Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Get Out’ (2017)

Ever get that sunken feeling? A hellish thing. Persephone, siphoned out of a field while she was picking posies en route to servitude, knew it well. And somehow Jordan Peele, writer and director of Get Out, has turned that Greek myth on its head so that its bones miraculously structure the story of Chris (Daniel […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘A United Kingdom’ (2017)

A United Kingdom, directed by Amma Asante and based on a true story, wastes no time announcing its Uranian theme of breaking with tradition. On the one hand, the upheaval is personal. In 1947 Englishwoman Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike) attends a dance with her sister (Laura Carmichael) and has one of those love-at-first-sight moments with […]

Archetypes: Film: ‘Split’: The Twist, Jung and The Beast (2017)

This post contains spoilers. Flashbacks in a movie typically reference what’s going on in the present, and the ones in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split are no different. Kevin (James McAvoy), a man with multiple-personality disorder – with a yet-to-emerge master persona, The Beast – has kidnapped three female teens, one of whom is Casey (Anna […]

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

Bickering families are ugly, whether they’re blood kin, feuding gods and goddesses, or archetypes all scrambling for a place in the sun. In Split, written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, a man named Kevin (James McAvoy), who has dissociative identity disorder, is the vessel containing 23 personalities, a bit like someone wielding a multiple […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Fences’ (2016)

If a movie is titled Fences and its protagonist has had his dreams of being a baseball star crushed, it’s fair to consider that sport’s well known adage. To “swing for the fences” refers to players who literally aim to hit the ball over a field’s barriers, scoring a home run. That sort of physical […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Patriots Day’ (2016)

Archetypal, explosive violence – the coupling of energy that’s both Martian-aggressive and Uranian-sudden – is both a personal and collective attack in Patriots Day. Co-written and directed by Peter Berg, the film sets in motion the rhythms just prior to the Boston Marathon, in 1913, that traditionally falls on what’s called Patriots Day. That year, […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘La La Land’ (2016)

Dreams, under the aegis of archetypal Neptune – ruler of film, actors, music and musicians – are slippery, hard-to-hold figments, operating in the depths of the unconscious. And trying to live out a dream in the waking state often means an endless clash between the transcendence of one’s pursuits and the hardcore reality of meeting material needs. […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Toni Erdmann’ (2016)

You yell at the screen and cover your eyes. But this is no horror film. It’s a highly sophisticated cinematic tale of the affectionately desperate pursuit of an adult female executive by her aging father who takes on Grand Guignol attire – atrocious, fake vampiric teeth and bad wig – and the name “Toni Erdmann” […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Jackie’ (2016)

You need a kickass, steely preservationist to ensure that an exceptional life becomes a memory that feeds future generations. And in Jackie, that force-of-nature caretaker is Jacqueline Kennedy who, after her husband’s assassination, impressionistically exudes intentions – elegantly, sullenly, arrogantly – to ensure Jack’s being remembered. Directed by Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain, and written by […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Manchester by the Sea’ (2016)

The archetypal Father is many things. The biological dad. A person who behaves like a father. A vigilant caretaker. All these paternal activities encompass the same vital force: guide, lead, protect and introduce the child into the world. Directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea is a sobering, often heartbreaking story about […]