Cinema 1982:Summer Magic E.T. and POLTERGEIST by Spielberg

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Summer Magic


Two by Steven Spielberg

Once upon a time there was a little boy named Steven, who lived in a mythical land called Suburbia. His house was just like everybody else's house; his family's car and dog and swimming pool were just like everybody else's too. But little Steven's dreams were different. He dreamed of telling the stories of his strange land—wonderful tales of his home and his school, his parents and especially his friends—and making them shine like new. So every night he would tiptoe outside his ranch-style house and make a wish on the brightest star that he could see in the suburban sky. Over and over he would whisper, "Help me tell the story."

At 34, Spielberg has tapped directly into the power source of youthful fantasies and produced two remarkable works of popular art. Poltergeist, which he supervised from original story to final cut, is a horror movie about malevolent spirits that infiltrate the home of an ordinary California family. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, which he devised and directed, tells of a creature from outer space who is mistakenly abandoned on earth and befriended by three school-age children. "Poltergeist is a scream," Spielberg says. "E. T. is a whisper." The first film means to thrill, the second to enthrall. Both succeed beyond anyone's expectations, perhaps even those of their prodigious creator.