Et paragraph task

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Information about Et paragraph task

Published on March 19, 2014

Author: smagdeburg


One of the themes that runs through the film ET is alienation. This is evident in the film’s opening scene where we see a slow pan-and-tilt of a star-laden black sky which gradually evolves into an ghostly glow of subdued colour at its horizon thus allowing the trees of a Californian forest to be seen in silhouette. John Williams’ score is also significant here, as it is throughout the film, building from a sombre outline of the film’s fantasy theme played as a flute solo evoking a sense of incredibleisolation before the sound of a harp invites the other sections of the orchestra to subtly enter the soundtrack just as the orb-like alien spaceship is shown on the forest ground. The impact of this opening isthe successful drawingout of an emotional response from the audience through the way Spielberg sets up the atmosphere of the film.

In ET we have already been shown a range of curious contrasts which serve to enhance the apparent juxtaposition of a ‘fantasy-realist’ atmosphere that saturates the entire film. We have been shown a familiar sight – a forest – but in such a way to make it seem almost unreal both in the eerie sounds that preceded its appearance during the opening credits and the otherworldly spaceship that we have now seen to reside within it. This is further developed as we are taken into the forest at ground level, the soundtrack again opening up a strange difference from peaceful flute to mildly-menacing organ. This could be read partly that the world of ET is make believe and that as an audience the other part of us really wants to believe in the magic that Spielberg is laying out for us. It is suggested in the film that the two main characters have a telepathic link. When ET learns to speak thereis the symbolic use of a ‘Speak & Spell’ as an interstellar messenger and his long healing finger, the touch of God as its similarity to Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam implies, which persistently acts as a telling reminder of E.T.’s underlying friendliness. It is its themes of communication that ring strongest all the way through the film. There is a lot of symbolism in the film. Here are many cleverly disguised images: the ET spaceship is, at one point, a Halloween pumpkin and, at the end, a Christmas tree ornament.There is also lots of interesting Biblical symbolism, including the use of the rainbow at the end to indicate the peace between God and human. This could suggest that the alien creature has been the catalyst to add the very ingredient missing in the family's household: a strong center capable of holding everyone together.

When Elliott and E.T. see each other for the first time, they both jump back in fright and surprise, and let out yelps. We see each of them from the other's point of view. When the camera stands back to show a whole scene, it avoids showing it through adult eyes. There's a moment, for example, when Elliott's mom (is moving around doing some housework, and never realizes that E.T. is scurrying around the room just out of her line of sight. The camera stays back away from her. We don't see her looking this way and that, because it's not about which way she's looking. The film more clearly identifies with many childhood experiences: a troubled, broken family with a single parent and no positive role-models, a lonely, disenfranchised boy lacking emotional fulfillment, a boy's fierce caring for an equally-lost, stray creature or pet (also 'broken away' from his family), the need for friendship, the malevolent world of grown-ups and the perils of childhood, miraculous healing, wish-fulfillment, courage, transcendence, and homesickness. This instantly establishes ET as a sympathetic creature.

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