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/Film reader Paul Bullock discovered an awesome television profile on 34-year-old director Steven Spielberg which was aired on Japanese television in the Christmas of 1982, and has been virtually unseen by American audiences. If you’re even half the Spielberg-fanatic that I am, you’ll need to watch the entirety of the special. The special features a tour through Steven’s early Amblin’s offices and his Los Angeles home, behind the scenes footage of Spielberg directing his segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie. We get to see interview clips featuring Spielberg’s mother Leah Adler, Melissa Matheson (screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and his young secretary just turned producer Kathleen Kennedy (now the head of LucasFilm), Spielberg’s thoughts on 1980′s television (Cheers, St Elsewhere, Hill St Blues…etc), his then attestant Kathleen Switzer (later a producer on movies like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Apollo 18), and many others. We get to drive with Spielberg to the studio lot with his dog on his lap, Robert Zemeckis talking with his two mentors John Milius and Spielberg while they eat eel and pumpkin pie together. We get to spend some time with Spielberg sitting at the piano with John Williams talking about their music collaborations. Interspliced with clips from his early films and even some behind the scenes b-roll footage. The special also features all the vintage commercial breaks, filled with fun Japanese commercials. Watch this now, or bookmark this link to watch later.

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As photo (or video) ops go, this one is among the best: video footage of Steven Spielberg and John Williams tapping out an early draft of the main E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial theme on a piano. Whether the camera just happened to be there, or if this was designed specifically as a publicity stunt matters to some extent — it would be nice to know this was really a spontaneous moment — but either way it’s neat to see the birth of one of the more recognizable ’80s movie themes.

Watch below. Read More »

Steven Spielberg‘s classic family film E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and the movie is finally making its way to Blu-ray, in October. Besides the regular version of the Blu-ray release (which you can check out here), Amazon has a $140 pre-order available for a “limited edition E.T. spaceship edition.” What the heck could that mean? Turns out, it means exactly what you probably think it means.

After the jump, check out a video of the limited edition packaging which looks just like E.T’s ship, and opens up to mechanically present the disc, to the tune of John Williams’ score and all.

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The summer once belonged to Steven Spielberg, and while he doesn’t have a film out this season, we do have something to look forward to from the original blockbuster director. His 1982 film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is coming to Blu-ray sometime soon, and while we don’t have a release date or expanded feature list we do have a trailer for the release that suggests it features a digital remastering, 7.1 surround sound and “hours of bonus features”.

And for those who want to know for certain that this is the original theatrical version of E.T., just check out the trailer for the new release, below. One of the shots in which shotguns were replaced with walkie-talkies is very clearly shown, and the guns are there, as they were in the original theatrical release. Thanks, Mr. Spielberg!

Update: Bumped this because we now know that the Blu will be released in October. THR says the disc will indeed feature the ’82 theatrical version of the film (as Spielberg promised last year) and “exclusive footage from the set of the film [and] a new interview with Spielberg.”

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Over the weekend, I visited Orlando Florida to preview Universal Studios Orlando’s two new entertainment options, the new Superstar Parade and nighttime watershow Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories. I also found the time to ride the new renovated version of Island of Adventure’s The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride. After the jump you can find my thoughts on all three of these new theme park experiences, along with photos we took at the preview event.
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Conan the BarbarianThe ThingPoltergeistThe Road WarriorStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Tron, and that’s just the beginning. Yes, the Summer of 1982 was probably the best one in the history of movies and that’s why the Alamo Drafthouse is celebrating with a summer long, 30th anniversary celebration screening a slew of the most exciting films released that year. Plus, there’s now a significant update jumping off last month’s announcement.

Tickets for the first screening, Conan the Barbarian, go on sale Tuesday morning along with a limited number of passes that’ll get you into eight of the screenings. Second, the series has expanded significantly, adding films such as The Dark Crystal, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Vice Squad, The Secret of Nimh, Friday the 13th Part 3, Q: The Winged Serpent, Pink Floyd: The Wall and more. Third, Blade Runner will not be screened (bummer).

And finally, in accordance with the /Film sponsored screening of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on June 8 (tickets on sale May 25) we’re proud to exclusively debut the Mondo poster for the film by artist Dan McCarthy. Check out the poster, the important links, full lineup and more after the jump. Read More »

After giving the matter much thought, folks at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX have decided that the summer of 1982 is perhaps the best summer in history for big, fun movies. That’s a difficult point to argue, given that the summer saw the release of Conan the Barbarian, The Thing, Poltergeist, The Road Warrior, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and more.

The Alamo Drafthouse has decided to recreate the release schedule of that summer, and starting on May 11 will be screening the big films of the Summer of ’82 in 35mm, on the weekends corresponding to their original release date.

The company is partnering with a collection of movie websites to co-host each of the screenings, and on June 8, /Film will co-host a screening of Steven Spielberg’s enduring ‘boy meets alien’ classic E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. I’m excited to have the chance to introduce one of Spielberg’s signature movies.

Get all the info on the current screening schedule below, and see a great trailer created to announce the program. Read More »

On Tuesday, Steven Spielberg appeared in LA after a screening of a new digital print of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The print was created from the same new master files that will ultimately be used to create a Blu-ray release. And in a move that will likely delight fans, he expressed regret over alterations made to E.T. a few years ago, where guns were digitally replaced with walkie-talkies, and says that the Blu-ray release of that film will be the original 1982 version. His comments also suggested that the few digital tweaks made to Raiders of the Lost Ark for its 2003 DVD release might also be rolled back.

We’ll have another piece with other good trivia bits that came out of the post-screening talk, but the E.T. and Raiders blu-ray comments are below. Read More »

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