Discussion:
The Second Coming - and Betrayal - of E.T.
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Ubiquitous
2019-12-08 01:21:13 UTC
Permalink
Our cultural history and moral heritage have become a hollow `Okay,
Boomer' joke.

The new ad spot "A Holiday Reunion" is the sequel to Steven Spielberg's
E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) that no one was asking for. It
wouldn't have been made if we hadn't reached this point-of-no-return
moment of cultural devolution - and corporate audacity.

E.T. was the most popular movie of the 1980s (ranking No. 4 on Box
Office Mojo's list of all-time highest grosses, adjusted for
inflation). It humorously and movingly portrayed grade-school kid
Elliott (Henry Thomas), feeling lonely during his parents' separation,
as he develops a friendship with an alien from outer space.

The extra-terrestrial (called E.T., condensing Elliott's own name) is a
squat, brown-skinned, wide-eyed creature with whom white-American
suburban-boy Elliott experiences telepathic empathy: psychological
projection made real.

E.T. was instantly beloved. Coming after the cornball antics of Star
Wars, it raised the stakes of what popular cinema could express and
tapped the universal need to be understood. It made the process of
identification that accompanies a child's personal growth and
maturation seem almost magical.

The film's fairy-tale simplicity went surprisingly deep, a culmination
of the yearning need for recovery expressed in the groundbreaking
cynical classics made during the American movie renaissance. E.T.'s
enchantment was a response to post-Sixties, post-Vietnam, post-
Watergate disenchantment.

A Holiday Reunion picks up E.T. at a moment of cultural instability,
when cinema as a unifying public event is being phased out by private
streaming of narrative content - society's definitive fragmentation.
The advertisement's ulterior motive is to promote Xfinity, the cable
delivery system owned by Comcast and NBC Universal, which is the parent
company that owns Spielberg's film. Its brand-name logo marks several
scenes in the ad.

The reconnection with E.T. - the last great example of global-village
film art - proves to be a heartbreaking betrayal of cultural unity,
done for mercenary purposes. It occurs at precisely the same time that
Millennial youth have been indoctrinated and transformed into
protesting political pawns - their innocence thoroughly expropriated
and monetized, ironically brainwashed into meaningless "diversity."

E.T.'s story might be largely unknown to Parkland-Greta Thunberg
activists. Born after E.T.'s social phenomenon, the generation made
pessimistic and dystopic by Wall-E and The Dark Knight never learned
Spielberg's lesson about the ultimate ecumenical empathy. E.T.'s
annunciation and resurrection imagery was so replete with Judeo-
Christian resonances that, as with Spielberg's greatest film Close
Encounters of the Third Kind, it was more than what Disney's family-
movie fodder could ever be.

Instead, "A Holiday Reunion" presents false nostalgia. Its appeal to
Boomers encourages them to forget that E.T. was, above all, a spiritual
touchstone.

In the advertisement for this advertisement, the spot's plot is
described as "37 years in the making." So it is a shock when 47-year-
old Henry Thomas himself appears as a married father of two children
who embraces his old extra-terrestrial friend, returning to Earth for
no apparent reason except to sell Comcast. (Adult Elliott's couch-
potato family watch cable TV with E.T., and Elliott's son even
introduces the once technologically advanced visitor to the wonders of
WiFi, tablets, and virtual-reality gadgets.)

In "A Holiday Reunion," Xfinity's four-minute promise of media
revolution, some precious part of our cultural past has been violated.
E.T.'s storybook moral, the truly great moment of the alien and
children bicycling across the luminous orb of the moon, as well as
God's rainbow sign to Noah, are traduced.
19

"These things are fragile!" Holly Hunter insisted in Spielberg's 1989
metaphysical romance Always. She referred not only to tradition or
nostalgia but also to signifiers of Spielberg's (and the West's) entire
ethical, ethnic foundation, now trivialized - and, apparently, with the
corporate maestro's own consent. He's finally succeeded in turning E.T.
into merchandise. This ad's Christmas is a holiday minus a Christ
figure.

Even as John Williams's repurposed score tugs at your memories, the
"Okay, Boomer" sarcasm of this ad is a patronizing offense. The ad's
director, Lance Accord (a former cinematographer who gave a mirthless,
disenchanted look to several of Spike Jonze's surreal art-caprices),
cannot match that transcendent final close-up of Elliott staring
heavenward, his child's face conveying the price of wisdom. Is nothing
in our culture sacred? Will anything ever make Spielberg great again?

--
Watching Democrats come up with schemes to "catch Trump" is like
watching Wile E. Coyote trying to catch Road Runner.
Bill Anderson
2019-12-08 15:19:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ubiquitous
Our cultural history and moral heritage have become a hollow `Okay,
Boomer' joke.
No he didn't. He copied and pasted an article from National Review.

https://news.yahoo.com/second-coming-betrayal-e-t-205106638.html
--
Bill Anderson

I am the Mighty Favog
Mack A. Damia
2019-12-08 17:17:05 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 8 Dec 2019 09:19:59 -0600, Bill Anderson
Post by Bill Anderson
Post by Ubiquitous
Our cultural history and moral heritage have become a hollow `Okay,
Boomer' joke.
No he didn't. He copied and pasted an article from National Review.
https://news.yahoo.com/second-coming-betrayal-e-t-205106638.html
What do you expect? He's a trumpster.
BTR1701
2019-12-08 19:31:06 UTC
Permalink
Our cultural history and moral heritage have become a hollow 'Okay,
Boomer' joke.
E.T.'s story might be largely unknown to Parkland-Greta Thunberg
activists. Born after E.T.'s social phenomenon, the generation made
pessimistic and dystopic by Wall-E and The Dark Knight never learned
Spielberg's lesson about the ultimate ecumenical empathy. E.T.'s
annunciation and resurrection imagery was so replete with Judeo-
Christian resonances that, as with Spielberg's greatest film CLOSE
ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, it was more than what Disney's family-
movie fodder could ever be.
Instead, "A Holiday Reunion" presents false nostalgia. Its appeal to
Boomers encourages them to forget that E.T. was, above all, a spiritual
touchstone.
In the advertisement for this advertisement, the spot's plot is
described as "37 years in the making." So it is a shock when 47-year-
old Henry Thomas himself appears as a married father of two children
who embraces his old extra-terrestrial friend, returning to Earth for
no apparent reason except to sell Comcast. (Adult Elliott's couch-
potato family watch cable TV with E.T., and Elliott's son even
introduces the once technologically advanced visitor to the wonders of
WiFi, tablets, and virtual-reality gadgets.)
I watched this thing yesterday and through my general horror at the way
they've turned a childhood classic into a cable service commercial-- and
apparently did it with the blessing Spielberg and Henry Thomas-- I
couldn't help but wonder why a creature that has the technology to
travel between the stars would be in any way impressed with VR goggles
and an iPad.
Keith F. Lynch
2020-02-04 01:38:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by BTR1701
I watched this thing yesterday and through my general horror at
the way they've turned a childhood classic into a cable service
commercial-- and apparently did it with the blessing Spielberg and
Henry Thomas-- I couldn't help but wonder why a creature that has
the technology to travel between the stars would be in any way
impressed with VR goggles and an iPad.
Comcast chose E.T. as a spokesbeing because everyone who lives closer
already knows how awful Comcast service is.
--
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
Please see http://keithlynch.net/email.html before emailing me.
JTEM
2019-12-09 01:15:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ubiquitous
The new ad spot "A Holiday Reunion" is the sequel to Steven Spielberg's
E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) that no one was asking for. It
wouldn't have been made if we hadn't reached this point-of-no-return
moment of cultural devolution - and corporate audacity.
I reacted rather negatively myself.

I still find it difficult that it would be disgraced as mere a commercial.
That, maybe they are looking at a sequel and this was an attempt to
reacquaint the public, wet it's appetite for such a film?

I'm not prepared to abandon this thought. After all, who in their right
mind would sh!t on a classic like this?




-- --

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3628727?seq=1
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