Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (2015)

At the beginning of the movie Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter “Star Lord” Quill (Chris Pratt) spots and snatches a lizard, and then uses it to simulate a microphone. In the first moments of Max Max: Fury Road, Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), eyes a two-headed one and gobbles it whole, the creatures’ tail, in a […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Cinderella’ (2015)

It’s certifiable eye candy, but the latest cinematic version of the Cinderella story also packs a pleasingly egalitarian punch while managing to tip its hat to Jungian psychology. Directed by Kenneth Branagh, Cinderella gets its heady spirit from Chris Weitz’s screenplay whose recurrent and play-it-forward mantra is “Have courage and be kind.” Young Ella, the […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Chappie’ (2015)

The feeling- and consciousness-infused machine has been one of cinema’s more popular go-to sci-fi archetypes. Add the titular robot of Chappie to that list. Set in a near-future Johannesburg that’s riddled by crime gangs, Neill Blomkamp, the movie’s co-writer and director, has created a parable – sandwiched between two revenge tales – about one man’s […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Lazarus Effect’ (2015)

The Resurrection archetype never, well, dies. The savior revivified in Christianity, the phoenix arising from its ashes in mythology and the undead walking amongst us in pop culture all demonstrate that life-after-death is the gift that keeps on giving, as it does in The Lazarus Effect. Directed by David Gelb, and with its titular nod […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ (2015)

If there’s a semblance of saving grace to the inert sexual drivel that is Fifty Shades of Grey, it’s the film’s gauzy archetypal connection to the myth of Persephone, whom Hades abducted while she was picking flowers and took to his Underworld lair. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and based on the novel by E. L. […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Wild Tales’ (2014)

Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajes), from Argentine director Damian Szifron, is a film of six stories, each one a tale about people getting even. Vengefulness and retaliatory measures, as responses to offensive acts, have been around since the beginning of time. And, if animals retaliated in bestial ways when their kill was poached, Szifron makes it […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Selma’ (2014)

Saturnine self-mastery is never easy. The challenge becomes even more formidable when one’s values and integrity are tied up with the political well being of a people. In Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay, the Rev. Martin Luther King finds himself in exactly this position as he straddles being true to his core beliefs while creating […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Into the Woods’ (2014)

When beset by trauma, disappointment and hurt, people often find their way to a dark place to sort things out. The Underworld of the psyche is where knowledge can be accessed with hard, committed work. It’s an inner journey that’s well reflected in Into the Woods, a grown-up complex take on fairy tales based on […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Leviathan’ (2014)

A Russian modern-day epic, Leviathan begins and ends with an images of nature at its most pristine. Gradually the geography becomes more contaminated until we rest on a wreck of a house that’s the fragile link between a one-time unspoiled ancestral heritage of land and its exploitation. The inciting incident that drives Leviathan, written and […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Babadook’ (2014)

Death is often seen as a conduit to new life, a theme at the heart of The Babadook, a psychological horror film written and directed by Australian Jennifer Kent. Amelia (Essie Davis) is a single mother, whose husband died seven years earlier in a car crash while driving her to hospital to deliver her child. […]