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The Hero's Journey in Cinema

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posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 05:12 PM
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Here is a list of recent movies that in my opinion reveal more about the nature of the spiritual journey of the Mystery traditions than all of the exposes on YouTube combined. These films draw threads from a rich tapestry of symbolic and allegorical truths and each moved me deeply as they explored the Mysteries of human life. Each in some way represent the Hero's Journey as presented by Joseph Campbell's monomyth hypothesis. This list is far from exhaustive, and I hope to hear of others that I haven't yet seen. If the mods believe this thread belongs in MOVIES instead of SECRET SOCIETIES feel free to move it there.


The Fountain (Aronofsky 2006)


Spanning over one thousand years, and three parallel stories, The Fountain is a story of love, death, spirituality, and the fragility of our existence in this world.


The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (Gilliam 2009)


A traveling theater troupe whose leader, having made a bet with the Devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations and present them with a choice between self-fulfilling enlightenment or gratifying ignorance.


Pan's Labyrinth (del Toro 2006)


An unseen narrator tells a fairy tale: In a magic underground realm, a young princess is curious about life on the surface world. She escapes to the world above, but is blinded by the sun. Her memory erased, she dies. Her father the king believes that she will return one day in another time and place.


Big Fish (Burton 2003)


The story revolves around a dying father and his son, who is trying to learn more about his dad by piecing together the stories he has gathered over the years. The son winds up re-creating his father's elusive life in a series of legends and myths inspired by the few facts he knows. Through these tales, the son begins to understand his father's great feats and his great failings.


A.I. (Spielberg 2001)


In the not-so-far future the polar ice caps have melted and the resulting raise of the ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching to the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve him.


LXXXVI. TO DEATH [THANATOS]
The Fumigation from Manna.
Hear me, O Death [Thanatos], whose empire unconfin'd, extends to mortal tribes of ev'ry kind. On thee, the portion of our time depends, whose absence lengthens life, whose presence ends. Thy sleep perpetual bursts the vivid folds, by which the soul, attracting body holds: Common to all of ev'ry sex and age, for nought escapes thy all-destructive rage; Not youth itself thy clemency can gain, vig'rous and strong, by thee untimely slain. In thee, the end of nature's works is known, in thee, all judgment is absolv'd alone: No suppliant arts thy dreadful rage controul, no vows revoke the purpose of thy soul; O blessed pow'r regard my ardent pray'r, and human life to age abundant spare.

THE ORPHIC HYMNS
edit on 14-8-2012 by no1smootha because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 05:35 PM
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As a Campbell fan, I'll add a few.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World



The Matrix



Star Wars




posted on Aug, 14 2012 @ 05:50 PM
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If you're into this stuff, I recommend "Myth & the Movies: Discovering the Myth Structure of 50 Unforgettable Films" by Stuart Voytilla and Christopher Vogler. The ones you list are more recent than in the book, but they do a good job of breaking the movies down into the components of Cambell's Hero.

(edit, I probably have a few others at home as well. Will try to check tonight and post back... I don't recall how much the AFI guide to Writing Great Screenplays for Film and TV or Robert McKee's Story get into the myth stuff…)
edit on 2012.8.14 by JoshNorton because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2013 @ 03:32 PM
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I was watching the Mummy Returns on cable (lackluster film) but caught this exchange that I thought was interesting.

ARDETH BAY
If I were to say to you that, "I am a stranger traveling from the East, seeking that which is lost"...
RICK
... Then I would reply that, "I am a stranger traveling from the West, it is I whom you seek." How did you...?
ARDETH BAY
Then it is true. You have the sacred mark.
RICK
What, that? No, that got slapped on me when I was in an orphanage in Cairo.
ARDETH BAY
That mark means you are a protector of man. A warrior for God. A Medjai.

Not Masonic as there are no tattoos and only adult members in Freemasonry, but somewhat interesting nevertheless.



posted on Jul, 4 2013 @ 06:09 PM
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Originally posted by no1smootha
I was watching the Mummy Returns on cable (lackluster film)

Agreed. POS across the board


Originally posted by no1smootha
but caught this exchange that I thought was interesting.

ARDETH BAY
If I were to say to you that, "I am a stranger traveling from the East, seeking that which is lost"...
RICK
... Then I would reply that, "I am a stranger traveling from the West, it is I whom you seek." How did you...?
ARDETH BAY
Then it is true. You have the sacred mark.
RICK
What, that? No, that got slapped on me when I was in an orphanage in Cairo.
ARDETH BAY
That mark means you are a protector of man. A warrior for God. A Medjai.

Not Masonic as there are no tattoos and only adult members in Freemasonry, but somewhat interesting nevertheless.

I expect that many private fraternities source similar touchstones, probably because of ancient connections to which we try to put more modern facades.

Fitz





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