A Week of Movie Posters, II: E.T
A vast expanse of space can often draw one to wonder what else exists out there (though itâ€™s rare to see such a sight in New York, so Iâ€™m going on memory here!), and thus the backdrop for the poster already casts oneâ€™s mind to distant stars, planets, and lifeforms. But the foreground image is the truly bold one, with its visual referencing of Michaelangeloâ€™s Sistine Chapel, and the finger touch between God and Man. Quite bold to invoke Michaelangelo and God, but just as Michaelangeloâ€™s image literally and figuratively connects God and Man, so too then are extra-terrestrial and human connected here, their lives, fate, existence, and being connected. Important, though, is that itâ€™s not Man here, as much as Child, suggesting that if humankindâ€™s first great experience with a higher, other being was with Man and Adam, its next great step forward will be with Child. Several of Spielbergâ€™s films take up the mantle of Twain and Rousseau, positing the child at the center of all thatâ€™s important in the world, and here the act is crystallized in a visually evocative image.
Subtly, too, since weâ€™re looking at Earth in this picture, the poster places us in the extra-terrestrialâ€™s spot, and seemingly gives us its eyes â€“ an initial move towards taking away the threat of ET. The childâ€™s hand is open, not clenched or withdrawing in fear, and thus the moment of first contact is portrayed as gentle. And the text likens him to a kid lost at the bus depot, not a green goblin come to probe and destroy. Neither kids nor their parents need be scared of alien nightmares, setting the stage for one of Hollywoodâ€™s all-time best childrenâ€™s movies.
Tomorrow: Home AloneTags: ET, poster art, posters