Below, Retoyman, in his own words, explains the motivations behind each of his three pieces.
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This moment is implied in the film, but what the audience sees is Elliot waiting all night sleeping on the Chaise Lounges in front of the garden shed to catch the thing he saw the night before but that nobody believes is real. I wanted to paint the moment when Elliot and ET made the physical/emotional imprint that connects them from this moment until they disconnect after they escape the makeshift hospital/quarantine inside Elliot’s home. Through out the film light acts a visual representation of emotional exchange. It starts with the flash light beam revealing ET and culminates with light from ET’s heart and finger trying to heal Elliot’s sadness when he leaves.
Like most characters in cinema the internal transformation of character is manifested by change in wardrobe. In this case Gertie helps the audience realize that ET is not only highly intelligent but also has power to heal. Gertie dresses ET as an old woman and this tips the audience that ET has a human connection to Elliot. As a Kid the closet stuffed animal hiding scene was one of my favorite scenes. Everyone I knew had plush and stuffed animals left over from childhood that we just didn’t want to let go of and collected on the edges of our lives. After the film art imitated life and ET became stuffed toy and sold all over.
The final ending where the bikes fly a second time with ET’s renewed strength was such an inspiration to me as child. I remember yelling to my best friend at the theater “this is the greatest movie ever!” There are major visual symbols that I deciphered as an adult but I didn’t’ comprehend as an early teen. How the glowing energy of the sun reflects the brightness of ET’s healing finger. Elliott’s red hoodie mirrors ET’s glowing red heart. Elliot’s growth and independence portrayed in the final image of a young boy by himself facing the vastness of the universe that ET belongs to.