Everyone remembers the highlights from ET the Extra Terrestrial: The moment ET’s glowing finger reaches out to heal Elliot’s cut. (Admit it. You just said, “ouch.”) Elliot’s bike flying through the air and across a full-moon. The debut of the adorable and tiny Drew Barrymore years before she drunkenly flashed David Letterman on the Late Night Show. More than the visuals, you probably remember the emotion associated with each scene. Without you realizing, the music subtly evoked these feelings, and the score dictated your mood from the moment ET’s spaceship touched down to Elliot’s tearful goodbye.
The Louisiana Philharmonic’s performance drew this process into the viewers’ consciousness in a unique and beautiful way. The rich, sweeping breath of the violins lifted the audience into the air along with Elliot and his friends. While the ominous bellow of the French horn forced us to empathize with the fear of ET as he hid from scientists hoping to poke and prod him. And the comforting tiptoe of the piccolo was there for whimsical relief to remind us that Steven Spielberg movies always have a happy ending.
If you missed ET the Extra Terrestrial: Film with Live Orchestra at the Orpheum last weekend, you missed the chance to relive childhood wonder with the sophistication of adulthood. But never fear, the musicians of the Louisiana Philharmonic are here to stay and can dictate your pulse like a metronome with or without an HD screen above them.