Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The noblest ambition to which we can aspire


What was the work Bernard Levin was writing about?
Those last minutes are as profoundly affecting as anything I have ever seen in the cinema, a theatre or even an opera-house, and I shall return to them in a moment. But long before they are reached, the audience has been pierced by the effect of this ravishing masterpiece and the poetic imagination that informs it throughout. Elliott's first encounter with the still unseen E.T. sets the tone; unable to convnce the family that there is something at the bottom of the garden, he goes out alone at night to watch ...

In that sense , E.T. is a film for children, and the magic creature itself a child. But then, in that sense to be a child is the noblest ambition to which we can aspire. It is the mark of Spielberg's achievement that with this film he gives us all the opportunity to attain that ambition. Whether we take it or not is up to us.
Bernard Levin wrote the review on January 22nd, 1983. Congratulations to A N Other 1 (an extra-terrestial perhaps?) who nailed E.T. early in the game.

Cycling trivia - the stunt rider on the 20 inch wheels in the classic closing sequence of E.T. seen above was BMX champion Bob Haro who went on to form Haro Bikes. My own more conservatively ridden 20 inch wheels feature together with Claude Debussy and Leopold Stokowski in The almost submerged cathedral.

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2 comments:

The Wound Dresser said...

Oddly,I have found that ET did not hold up for me upon a second viewing...welcome back,BTW

The Marches Hatter said...

Oddly, I never saw ET a first time! I guess I reached the point after a number of years, where it became a conscious decision NOT to see it (along with Titanic, Jurrasic Park, Avatar... not that I am suggesting ET necessarily belongs in that group). As much as anything, I I think it is Speilberg himself that has put me off for all these years. On the other hand, I don't think I have ever met anyone with a bad word to say about it.