the transformation of E.T.

Neil Badmington indicates how the figure of the alien (in Film, TV and pop culture alike) have become  fashionable, friendly and even cute especially after films such as Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.
this does not mean that Aliens are not perceived dangerous anymore. simply, the classic opposition US vs THEM so popular in the 50s ceases to make sense.

why is this happening?
what issues are at stake here?
if the distinction is now blurred, then who is the alien and who is teh human being?


3 Responses to “the transformation of E.T.”

  1. Andrew Rodo Says:

    It’s very common for a person to take an opposite route for attention. The alien stereotype of these creatures that are here to destroy and abduct is quickly changing. In regards to Spielberg’s ET, he is simply offering a different point of view towards these creatures. When one is constantly bombarded with a single view that evil will come from anything extra terrestrial, a different point of view (such as a harmless alien) will stand out.
    In today’s society embracing the unknown or fear of the unknown can be seen as acceptable. The line between humans and aliens has not been blurred by any means it has only been altered. Since we have absolutely no clue what these creatures would look like, Hollywood’s description seems to be the image that comes to mind to the viewer. Therefore, humans have only been given an option for their own personal belief as to whether or not aliens are evil or peaceful. However, they have not completely changed their feelings or attitudes towards them.

  2. so, this shift in the way we interpret the “alien” may be also a reaction to a certain mainstream iconography, a move that challenges the current notions for the sake of experimenting, to explore further.

  3. Matt Canning Says:

    I think this shift in popular perception of the “alien” can be traced back further than Spielbergs advancements or developments. In 1972 David Bowie released the album “Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars,” a concept record that’s plot centers on a “starman”, from Mars who has come to save the Earth with messages of love and peace. Sort of a hippy figure with sparkly clothes and spiky hair. For a generation of music fans, the image of the alien would now represent peace and the kind of higher intelligence that was not found in the martians in Mars Attacks. To further solidify Bowie’s contributions to the perception, or reception, of the “alien”, it should also be noted that he starred (as the alien) in the 1976 film “The Man Who Fell To Earth.” The film tells a similar story as “Ziggy Stardust” with a peaceful alien seeking help from the earthlings.

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