Monday, August 19, 2002

The Sunday Times Of India had an interesting article about a ET which has been attacking people in Uttar Pradesh. From the article it appeared as if this was not another mass hysteria thingie - a very popular diversion among us Indians. Apparently, the Intelligence Bureau, one of the premier investigative agencies of the country, has video footage in its possession which 'shows' the ET.

Interestingly, the report appeared just the day after I saw Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on VCD. I watched the movie with a tinge of sadness. It seemed to me that had I seen it twenty years ago when it was originally released I would have 'connected' with the movie. Not that I wasn't touched by the chemistry between the ET and the kid, but the sense of wonderment was somehow missing.

The problem is as you grow older and cynicism sets in, you begin to lose the sense of wonderment. Things that you felt were remarkable when you were young, you completely fail to notice now.

Watching ET for the first time, I was convinced that the child in Spielberg is alive and kicking. Or else he couldn't have brought the sense of childlike wonderment to the film.

Here's some trivia for E.T. fans:

> Spielberg wanted ET's walk to be a combination of Bambi and Charlie Chaplin walking with his cane.
> Gertie's famous line "I don't like his feet" was actually contributed by actor Drew Barrymore and wasn't part of the original script.
> E.T.'s communicator made of an umbrella, record player, saw blade and many more items is actually worked. It was constructed by Henry Feinberg, an expert in science and technology interpretation for the public
> E.T.s scream was actually an otter's shriek
> ET's face was modeled after poet Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and a pug dog.
> Spielberg shot most of the film from the eye-level of a child - showing adults from the waist-level - to further "connect" with Elliot and E.T.
> Spielberg shot the film in chronological order to invoke a real response from the actors (mainly the children) when E.T. departed at the end. All emotional responses from that last scene are real.
> Spielberg is reported to have spent $100,000 to digitally remove the guns from the hands 2002 20th Anniversary re-release of the movie. He regretted using the scene and said he would remove it if he ever re-issued the film.
> As a child , Spielberg actually freed frogs at school
> Three actors were used to play the part of E.T. - two dwarves and a child who was born without a leg.
> ET premiered at the Cannes Film Festival

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