June 11, 2011 - Premiere of E.T.

– 1982

This science fiction film is about a friendly extraterrestrial creature stranded on Earth and the children who help him to re-establish contact (“Phone home!”) with his spaceship so he can go home. It was hugely popular and still hovers near the tops of lists of best films, best science-fiction films, and even best movie quotes.

This movie was notable to me because it was one of the few that portrayed alien creatures in a positive light. (Another that did, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was created by the same director as E.T., Steven Spielberg.)

How about doing a research project about alien movies and books. How many authors and screenwriters show aliens as monsters who attack humans and who need to be destroyed? How many show aliens as interesting possible friends? How many show aliens as powerful, technologically advanced good-guys?

How many show aliens who are super mysterious and impersonal and aloof, or hard to recognize as sentient in the first place?

Here are some movies that could be part of such an analysis:
Warning: some of these are really scary, and some may be rated R. But you can check plot summaries on the internet, rather than watching them.

  • Alien movies
  • Star Wars movies
  • War of the Worlds
  • Independence Day
  • Contact
  • Starship Troopers
  • Cocoon
  • Starman
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • K-Pax
  • Star Trek movies
  • Avatar
  • Battle: Los Angeles
  • The Blob

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