The End Times Are Near!
Originally, I had planned to examine the character of E.T., from the movie of the same name, as a messiah figure. Well, howdy-do to you too--no shit it's an obvious conclusion, any high school AP English student would say the same thing. But have you--as an adult--ever watched the movie, start-to-finish, consciously looking for Christian allusions as you wipe the tears from your eyes? Well, I did, and I've got news for you--Spielberg's E.T. is more than simple messianic musing, more than just another interpretation of the Jesus myth. It's a goddamned message, I'm telling you!
With E.T., Steven Spielberg is more than just yanking at your heartstrings. Not only does he evoke sympathy for E.T. by positioning him as a postmodern martyr, but the little stubby alien is, in reality, being offered up as quite the opposite to the more cynical viewers who are intelligent enough to see through all the Hollywood claptrap. And it all kind of makes sense, seen from a greater perspective: why would Spielberg, a Jew, want to perpetuate the crucified martyr as a sympathetic character? Granted, he was obviously cashing in at the expense of this mind-numbingly-gullible culture, but he's got to know that there's no need for any more Christian dogma hidden underneath paper-thin layers of modern drama. After all, that's what the Family Channel is all about.
No. Spielberg has another message for us. The play-by-play of the film on the next page lists all the Christian references I could find in the film; some are quite surprising, more subtle than I'd expected. That's the easy part. Now, pay special attention to the citations in bold--these indicate the scenes which occur at the 6:66 interval (7 minutes, 6 seconds). Each of these scenes is pivotal and central to advancing the plot--the entire tale of E.T. is told during the 6:66 scenes. That's right--take those bits, throw out the rest, and you've got the whole picture. Is this just an accident? Coincidence? Hindsight of the obsessive?? Hell no. Modern moviemaking is too exacting to allow for such a precise mathematical structure to occur unintentionally. In fact, I had a friend at MIT use their supercomputer to calculate the odds of something like this happening by accident: 4.57 billion to one!!
Spielberg is telling us that the E.T., or the "alien" by his '90s fashionable name, will soon be embraced as the second coming of the messiah, but will ultimately reveal himself to be the Antichrist!
The evidence is plain as day. Spread the word. And, of course, watch the skies.
7:06 E.T. is abandoned. Sadly, he watches his pals hightail it away from Earth.
8:54 Elliott's brother's friend says: "Everything but the
little fishies." A reference to the Christian fish,
10:07 A full moon [Star of Jerusalem] lights the way.
10:16 Elliott approaches the shed [manger] where E.T. is hiding.
11:15 Six people approach the manger as three distinct units (Elliott, Mom, brother & friends).
12:53 Elliott approaches manger for third time.
14:12 Elliott sees E.T. for the first time.
17:20 We learn that the family's father is "in Mexico with Sally," suggesting an Immaculate Conception.
21:18 E.T. is shown in the house.
28:24 Elliott shows E.T. his toys.
35:30 Kids make pact to hide E.T. from the grown-ups.
35:48 The mother's name is revealed to be Mary when the young Drew Barrymore gratuitously refers to her by the first name.
40:43 First miracle: revives dying flowers.
42:36 E.T. escapes detection by Mother.
49:19 During the pre-dissection frog revolt, Elliott's classmate assumes a stigmata pose while a plague of frogs assaults her.
49:42 E.T. and Elliott's synergy/equivalence is fully established, setting the stage for subsequent cross-character references (see 1:12:47, 1:21:48 as example).
56:48 Elliott and Michael gather parts for E.T.'s phone.
58:22 The infamous Sistine Chapel finger-touching scene.
59:23 E.T. performs second miracle: heals Elliott's boo-boo [laying of hands].
1:03:54 Elliott brings E.T. to set up his phone.
1:04:24 E.T. performs third miracle: rides bike on air
1:07:23 The G-men [Romans] move in.
1:11:00 E.T. calls home.
1:12:30 Mary kneels in front of Elliott.
1:12:47 Mary genuflects in front of Elliott.
1:18:06 The G-Men capture E.T.
1:21:48 Elliott shown with crown of electrodes.
1:22:47 "His being here is a miracle. It's a miracle."
1:25:12 E.T. begins to die.
1:28:48 E.T. dies at 15:36, or 3:36 pm. Lots of 3's and 6's in that number, no?
1:30:13 E.T. is entombed.
1:32:18 Elliott visits E.T. in his tomb.
1:32:48 "I'll believe in you all my life. Every day." Suspiciously apostletic.
1:32:36 E.T. is resurrected.
1:35:03 Elliott begins to preach that E.T. is alive.
E.T. emerges, Christlike, from the back of the van.
1:39:24 The kids take E.T. to rendezvous with spaceship.
1:42:60 E.T. performs fourth miracle: lifts the gang and their bikes into the air.
1:46:30 E.T. and Elliott say goodbye. Mom goes down to her knees.
1:47:41 E.T. declares "I'll be right here," pointing to Elliott's head, thus ensuring that the Gospel will be spread.
1:49:18 The Ascension: E.T. departs.
1:53:36 Close of credits.
Note: the Reese's Pieces are an obvious allusion to the joke where Jesus can't eat M&Ms because they keep falling through the holes in his hands. (M&Ms were originally slated for the tie-in--and, in fact, are written into the E.T. Storybook--but Reese's came in with more money. (Or, depending on which rumor you believe, M&Ms jumped ship after reading the script, fearing a box office bomb. Whatever.) Same joke; different candy filling.)
By the way, did anyone know that Jim Carroll's "People Who Died" is listed in the closing credits?
Next issue! Spielberg's disgrace in his debut feature, JEWS, a morality tale about those money-hungry, media-controlling sharks. Why else do you think he made Schindler's List, if not as a token of remorse to the Tribe?