47 Years of Student Run Cinema
Student Film Society of the Year 2002, 2005, 2006
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Spielberg's "instant classic" was the hit, and provided the catchphrase ("ET. 'phone home") of 1982. In Spielberg's previous film, Raiders of the Lost Ark he attempted to return to a child-like joy in film-making. In E.T. children provide the film's focus. Eliot, the film's (human) hero has an absentee father and a mother who works, leaving an empty house in which large parts of the film are set. Adults do not really feature in the action until near the end, and even then, through the police and government workers out to capture E.T., they represent some sort of malign force, corrupting the innocence of E.T. and the children.
The film's success is partially derived from the familiarity of the suburban setting to much of its audience, and theme of being necessarily split from someone you love. Also of note is fact that some critics have found spiritual, even Christ-like significance in the film.
The direction is smooth despite a few minor narrative flaws, and the
lighting is unsubte but effective, but what really makes the film is the
acting and the relationships portrayed. The three child are excellent,
and E.T., played by three mechanical models, four separated heads, two
very small actors, and a lot of electronics is a wonder to behold. A sort
of "boy and his dog" for the Star Wars kids, E.T. is strongly
Review by Iain Lang
Taken from EUFS Programme 1994-95