In the summer of 1982, one movie imagined with eerie accuracy the film medium’s most persistent and successful competitor — television — as a supernatural force fighting for control of American hearts and minds. This was 35 years ago, long before cable explosion and streaming and Game of Thrones.

The movie was Poltergeist. You may remember, if you’re old enough. “They’re heee-re.” The little girl, listening to voices in the TV before becoming one of them, awaiting familial rescue. The static on the console (oh, for the days when television knew when to call it a night) hid the symbolic curtain separating bland suburbia from ghostly suburbs beyond. Credited to director Tobe Texas Chainsaw Massacre Hooper (who died last week), Poltergeist was in truth co-directed or, depending on various accounts, even primarily directed by Steven Spielberg.

It opened that June. One week later, Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial dealt with a similar setting (hilly, interchangeable tract home developments of Southern California) and a comparably bracing mixture of tones, though Poltergeist was essentially a horror comedy and E.T. was more reassuring in its fable of love and loss and tears and a boy and his alien.

E.T. became the biggest hit of the decade. (You can see the film this weekend at Blossom with the Cleveland Orchestra playing the score live.)

Meantime other, smaller, more eccentric pictures came and went in 1982, the year I turned 21.

For example: Barry Levinson’s Diner, which is a really good film to see when you’ve turned 21. I saw it again the other day for the first time in decades. It’s a film I loved then, and Levinson has spent a career trying to match it. It’s about young men who haven’t yet grown up, and Levinson recognizes their limitations as well as their charm.

It never found much of an audience, yet it was a critics’ darling, and Levinson’s ensemble included Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, Daniel Stern, top-billed Steve Guttenberg, Tim Daly and Paul Reiser. Collectively, they were sublime.

But the kids were all going to see Porky’s that year, another 1950s-set nostalgia exercise about young men and their gonads. This one made $100 million and paved the way for other stupid sex comedies.

The year I turned 21, Gandhi was the prestige picture to beat, the one destined to win the top prize at the Academy Awards. That one I saw once. The same year I saw Swamp Thing twice, both times for Adrienne Barbeau, which is how things go at 21.

That same year, I remember seeing An Officer and a Gentleman with my girlfriend and her parents and her grandparents, and when the big sex scene started, grandma Fanny, who was sitting next to grandpa Izzy, started monologuing in low tones “omigod-no-whatisthis-no-no-noooo-ugh-noooooo,” and my discomfort at her discomfort was so extreme it marked the beginning of the end of the relationship.

Time does a number on the movies.

When Blade Runner opened in 1982, nobody was in the mood, mainstream-public-wise. Their hearts were alight with E.T. and a brooding, methodical vision of the future, grimed over with acid rain skies and video billboards simply was not what people prioritized.

The movie was beautiful but cool, and “cool” was not “fun,” and certainly not Spielberg.