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Posts Tagged ‘Norman Rockwell’

E.T. was a very personal little picture. My motivation for making it was pure and non-profit based – I didn’t think it would be a hit because it was about kids and no films about kids under 18 were doing any business then.”
Steven Spielberg
Total Film interview

“This movie made my heart glad. It is filled with innocence, hope, and good cheer. It is also wickedly funny and exciting as hell. “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” is a movie like “The Wizard of Oz,” that you can grow up with and grow old with, and it won’t let you down.”
Roger Ebert
E.T. – The Extra Terrestrial movie review

In the post Emotional Autobiography I touched on The King’s Speech being the emotional autobiography  of screenwriter Daivd Sielder . His personal childhood story of overcoming stuttering is told in the larger story of King George VI.

In a similar way, the movie E.T. touches on the childhood of director Steven Spielberg. The script written by Melissa Mathison is saturated by the great director’s own Norman Rockwell childhood full of Boy Scouts, toy trains, and 8mm movies. A childhood that was disrupted by his parents divorce and moving to California in high school. Before the divorce his parents moved a lot making it difficult to establish friendships, and he had other issues;

“I was skinny and unpopular. I was the weird, skinny kid with acne. I hate to use the word wimp, but I wasn’t in the inner loop. I never felt comfortable with myself, because I was never part of the majority.”
Steven Spielberg on his youth

“ET is as close to an autobiographical movie as Spielberg has given us with the themes of loneliness, fear of separation and longing for friendship, they seem to come straight from Spielberg’s own lonely, peripatetic childhood.”
Roger Ebert

“A beautiful simple and lyrical parable of interplanetary friendship, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was also the little movie about ‘keeds” Francois Truffaut had been urging Spielberg to make since 1976. Produced for Universal by Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, E.T. was made for comparatively low production cost (about $10. Million) and with few of the elaborate visual effects that accompanied the aliens’ visit to earth in Close Encounters. But, ironically, it was finally delivering the ‘little movie’ he promised himself and the public that Spielberg made the film that accumulated the largest domestic box-office gross in movie history until Star Wars reclaimed the title with its 1997 reissue. What touched the hearts of more than two hundred million moviegoers throughout the world in E.T.’s first year of was release was a disguised emotional autobiography of Steven Spielberg.”
Joseph McBride
Steven Spielberg: A Biography

Related Posts: E.T. Mel & Easter

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