Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘It Comes at Night’ (2017)

Must the archetypal intruder take corporeal form before becoming a threatening and terrifying presence? Early in It Comes at Night, the hallmark of the deadly interloper – a mysterious and deadly illness – is Neptunian invisibility. Written and directed by Trey Edward Shults, the movie milks this uncertainty for all it’s worth. Sarah’s (Carmen Ejogo) […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: ‘The Wizard of Lies’ (2017)

The exceptional Saturnine ordering of the clothing and accessories closet of Bernie Madoff suggests he’d be an ace at accounting. Based on Diana B. Henriques’ book, Barry Levinson’s television film “The Wizard of Lies” demonstrates early on that Madoff – responsible for bilking trusting investors out of tens of billions of dollars in his Ponzi […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Alien: Covenant’ (2017)

The Alien franchise’s signature archetype has been the Moon, signifying Lunar birthing and caregiving: there’s the space vessels’ operating system MU/TH/UR, simply referred to as “Mother”; the extraterrestrial xenomorph, keen on reproducing; the absentee mom who misses out on her daugheter’s entire life – easy to do when you’re lost in space – and who […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Snatched’ (2017)

A sharp turn off the beaten track – defying one’s traditional pattern of behavior – is at the heart of Snatched. Directed by Jonathan Levine, the female-centric movie adds another archetypal dimension to its Mother-Daughter theme: Saturnine safety and convention vs. Uranian risk, individualism and non-conformity. Emily (Amy Schumer) has just been dumped by her […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: Feminine Archetypes in ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ (2017)

Families bequeathe their most valuable possessions to subsequent generations to preserve legacy. In HBO’s fact-based dramatization “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” based on the book by Rebecca Skloot, an item as dear as gold is gifted to the world and bypasses the offspring. The story focuses on what’s medically known as the HeLa cell […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: ‘Girls’: Moon, Venus and the Feminine (2017)

Unlike Athena, who emerged fully formed out of Zeus’s thigh, the quartet of “Girls” – chronologically young women but called by a more immature younger-female appellation – spent six seasons finding themselves. And the show’s creatrix, Lena Dunham, used the dyad signifying the archetypal Feminine – Moon and Venus – as their strategy for self-discovery. […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Colossal’ (2017)

The word “colossal” evokes massive Greek statues that adorned the ports of ancient islands, a tacit and imposing warning to ensure that visitors with bad intentions turn their ships around. Colossal, written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, is a bit like that. Except, instead of these big artful structures keeping people out, it’s about people […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Graduation’ (2017)

Graduation, written and directed by Cristian Mungiu, is an incisive exploration of expansion – educational and travel-based – through archetypal Jupiter. The humans caught up in this dyad are Romeo Aldea (Adrian Titieni), a respected physician in a small town, whose daughter Eliza (Maria Dragus) is about to graduate from high school. She’s a good […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: ‘Big Little Lies” and the World of Neptune (2017)

As the waves relentlessly crash onto the shoreline of Monterey, you anticipate the emergence, any minute now, of bearded Neptune, sporting his trident as though waiting to pierce some high-end seafood and olives. “Big Little Lies,” HBO’s seven-episode drama based on Liane Moriarty’s novel and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, is about a murder tied to […]

Archetypes: Television: Review: ‘The Americans’ and the Lotus (2017)

Like “The Americans”’ Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip (Matthew Rhys), the lotus is not what it seems. The flower – an Eastern representation of the female, specifically her genitalia – is externally magnificent, with no clue that it grows in the mud, anchored by earth. The title of Season 5’s “Lotus 1-2-3” refers to the […]