RSNO to celebrate Edinburgh film festival’s 70th edition with E.T. score

Elliott, played by Henry Thomas, helps E.T. escape from police. Picture: AP
Elliott, played by Henry Thomas, helps E.T. escape from police. Picture: AP
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SCOTLAND’S flagship orchestra is to perform one of the most celebrated movie soundtracks live to help celebrate the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival this summer.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra will accompany a big-screen revival for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial - more than three decades after Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece had its UK premiere at the event.

An iconic still from E.T., whose score will be performed by the RSNO later this year

An iconic still from E.T., whose score will be performed by the RSNO later this year

The film’s iconic score is one of the most celebrated soundtracks created by composer John Williams, who also worked on Star Wars, Superman and Jaws, Spielberg’s first blockbuster success.

The EIFF’s opening night film from 1982 went on to become the biggest-grossing film of the decade and helped cement Spielberg’s reputation as one of the great filmmakers of the modern era.

Now its revival at the 1900-capacity Festival Theatre is expected to be one of the highlights of the festival’s 70th programme when it is shown on the final Saturday of the festival.

The science fiction classic, which tells the story about a small boy who befriends an alien when it is left behind on Earth, is being accompanied by the orchestra after the success of an RSNO-backed 30th anniversary screening of Back to the Future last summer.

Mark Adams, artistic director of the film festival, said: “We’re delighted to continue our relationship with the RSNO for this wonderful film and music event.

“The fact that E.T. and Steven Spielberg have such a strong link to EIFF makes this magnificent screening in our 70th edition all the more special. It is certainly not an event to be missed.”

Krishna Thiagarajan, chief executive of the RSNO, added: “This will be the second time in as many years we’ve collaborated with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, following the hugely successful presentation of Back to the Future last year.

The RSNO is well-­known as an award­-winning recording artist when it comes to music for film, and the musicians relish the opportunity to perform John Williams’ works in a live context, as we have done on numerous occasions.

“E.T. surely has an appeal which spans generations so this special screening with live orchestra promises to be a memorable event for the young as well as the more seasoned cinema attenders.

“I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there were a few tears on stage as well as in the stalls come the film’s final scenes.”

Tickets for the EIFF’s gala screening of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on 25 June go on sale on Friday.

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