E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial | NC Museum of Art | Special Events | Indy Week

Special Events

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

When: Fri., June 29, 9 p.m. 2012

For a generation, the phrase "phone home" carries with it a crook-fingered hand gesture, a hunched posture and a strained, nasal tone of voice. Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was a cinematic game-changer, out-grossing even Star Wars and holding the distinction of top moneymaker until Jurassic Park finally unseated it a decade later. The question is: why? Why did this ragtag cast of child actors (including a pigtailed, 6-year-old Drew Barrymore) and an animatronic alien whose face was a mash-up of Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway strike such a nerve? Several answers spring to mind. First, Spielberg handles nostalgia masterfully. The difficulties of young protagonist Elliott's life are semi-autobiographical, so the emotions Spielberg taps into are real. And he understands that science fiction is actually about the present rather than the future. During those early Reagan years, with the energy crisis fresh in our minds, we needed a reason to look up at the sky with wonder and possibility. Spielberg gave us that, and now the NCMA gives us the chance to sit under the night sky with the next generation to watch this magical movie about the power of hope and determination. Plus, E.T. is kinda cute. Bring a picnic, blankets, lawn chairs and tissues for teary eyes. Admission to the 9 p.m. screening is $4. —Chris Vitiello

Price: $4

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