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 ...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.
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.
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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