Sunday, September 4, 2011
E.T., Phone Home
E.T., Phone Home
I was flipping through the channels tonight and happened upon the last hour of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. It had been many, many years since I had seen this charming movie. Filmed in 1982, it captured the imagination of the American public and quickly became a classic. Our youngest son, after viewing it at age five or six (1992), developed a fear of E.T. that included seeing any stuffed image of the figure. The movie, indeed, had powerful imagery and elicited powerful emotions from its viewers. After viewing it again, I had a strong yearning for my very own E.T. to drop into the backyard.
Toward the end of the movie, five or six young boys take E.T. away from the meddling scientists, put him into a bicycle basket, drape him in a white cloth, and take off at high speed to help E.T. meet his spaceship. When they run into a blockade of police cars, E.T. uses his supernatural powers to lift the boys above the fray. They fly to the reconnaissance point and E.T. boards the U.F.O. for home.
As the boys lifted into the air, I felt such exhilaration. As I am wont to do, I wondered why I was feeling that way.
Without getting overly dramatic, I would have to say it was because I would love to lift above the fray sometimes. Imagine watching the nightly news, the latest jobs forecast, the stock market figures, the ongoing toxic political scene and then being able to just float above it. Looking down from E.T.’s vantage point, the world would look serene, bucolic, inviting and together.
That’s what movies do best. They take us away from our human worries and allow us to disappear into a bit of fantasy for a couple of hours. Making the feeling last is more difficult.
E.T., if you’re out there, just phone home. We could use you about now.