Thursday, May 22. 2008
Friday was impromptu movie day at my home daycare. The children had seen a commercial for the movie E.T. all week on a station we watch regularly. They were enthralled by the commercial itself and asked if they could watch the movie when the network showed it. Unfortunately, it was going to be on at 7 P.M. which is after my daycare closes.
But hey! I have E.T. on videotape. Yes, videotape. I refuse to be ashamed of still watching the gazillion videos I own, so don't even start on calling me a technology dinosaur...
I was glad to be able to indulge the children's desire to see the movie during the course of the daycare day.
1. Even as a teen I knew that a bigger and better advertising blitz didn't necessarily guarantee a great movie.
2. When I am overexposed to a movie, I get bored before I even get to see it.
3. This independent thinker prefers to decide for myself which movies earn my admiration...thank you very much! I do not need have my opinions pre-packaged, then crammed down my throat.
So I finally saw E.T. when it came out on videotape, in the comfort of my own home. I'm happy to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, having had the luxury of making up my own mind!
Watching it after all these years with a three, four and five year old provided me a wonderful experience, almost more magical than the first time.
Since the plot is considerably more complex and intricate than their usual fare, I did everything I could to help them understand and follow along. (We even took a popcorn break and another "seventh inning stretch".) I sat with them throughout the entire movie as if I were another kid. I "oohed" and "aahed" at the appropriate moments, underscoring the action. I made sure to speak very loudly over the "Penis breath" comment and any other place when I remembered them using non-G-rated language. During the potentially confusing or scary parts, I narrated a simplified version so they could keep up with the storyline.
Afterward we discussed the themes of the movie: Non-verbal communication, friendship and loss. No one except me cried, but I think they had a great experience with their first mature movie (at daycare, at least). They gave E.T. their ultimate "Thumbs up" by asking, "Can we watch it again?" That's great for me...it's an enormous improvement over, well, just about everything else we watch!
I enjoyed the movie more than ever on this occasion with my little friends. For the first time, I watched with the mindset of a child because I was trying to think like a child in order to translate the action for them. It was a good state of mind to be in to gain a new level of appreciation for this wonderous movie.
At the very least, the children and I have a new gesture to share - the "Beeee goooood!" index finger touch.
I guess it didn't make a lasting impression on me.
p.s. I love that you OWN that bad boy -- the fact that you have it on videotape, not DVD!