Monday, March 05, 2007

"I'll be right here"

Over at AICN they've started running a series of articles that are apparently a tribute to 1982, which Harry Knowles bills as the "best genre year ever". Now, I'm not sure about that, but it's a personal thing -- Knowles was twelve, which as we all know actually is the true Golden Age of science fiction. Anyhow, the first article he runs is about that year's megablockbuster film ET: the Extra-Terrestrial.

Here's something about E.T., and only a few, few other movies... it gets childhood intrinsically, so completely RIGHT. High praise indeed for Melissa Mathison's script, which has the cadence and the smart-assery that is inherent in every kid. Childhood is messy and joyful, dangerous and crude. Everything is truly an adventure, and nothing is certain. The kids cuss, like I certainly did. They ride their bikes recklessly, just one skid or sharp turn away from slamming into the pavement and serious injury. There is a sense of danger every day. And when you're a kid, you LOVE it. There's nothing, absolutely nothing, like waking up a summer's day and having no idea what the day will bring. Spielberg nailed that.

Yeah, I still blubber like a baby at that damn movie. Sometimes I blubber just thinking about it. The moment that always gets me started is when ET goes into defib, and they get out the paddles to try to shock his heart back into beating. The doctor puts the paddles on ET's chest, yells "Clear", hits the button; ET's body convulses as the voltage pours through him; and about twenty feet away, little Gertie (Drew Barrymore) recoils with fear, and then starts to cry.

Uh, I'm gonna go check something out in the corner...don't mind me....


Anonymous said...

I'd say that 1982 is certainly a good candidate for best genre year, simply because of the number of genre films that came out that year (and specifically that summer) that have gone on to become beloved (to some anyway) classics. Off the top of my head, I can think of:

John Carpenter's The Thing
The Road Warrior
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
Blade Runner
The Dark Crystal
Conan the Barbarian

I can't think of any other single year that has seen so many big, wide-release genre films in a twelve-month period.

Oh, and ET makes me cry, too... :)

Call me Paul said...

Yeah, I was 12 the year Star Wars came out. I don't watch ET anymore, because I got tired of all the crying. My crying, that is.

Tosy And Cosh said...

Trying to think of another film that hadsuch GOOD child performances and coming up short. Barrymore and Thomas are awesome.