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: 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: 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: Film: Review: ‘Life’ (2017)

Life will out. As a viable entity, it has no choice except – as we known from the story of the scorpion and the frog – to survive by acting according to its nature. That’s not good news for the six-member crew of an international space station in Life, directed by Daniel Espinosa, whose mission […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Kong: Skull Island’ (2017)

The multi-layered archetypal survival theme in Kong: Skull Island comes as no surprise. Throw in a entitlement motif, though, and the mayhem that occurs in 1973 on an uncharted island in the South Pacific packs on a lot more proverbial muscle. Briskly directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, the film quickly lays out the time line of […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Personal Shopper’ (2017)

Noise – clanging, sudden, with threads that potentially reach beyond the earthly realm – can grate both on one’s nerves and the psyche. In Personal Shopper, directed by Olivier Assayas, Maureen (Kristen Stewart) is at the receiving end of such missives –smoky visuals and teleportation of household items are also involved – which throw her […]

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

Lucky are those who somehow assimilate their Shadow, the Jungian term for the typically objectionable traits we possess that we’re unconscious of. Only when we own and assimilate these darker aspects can we individuate into our best selves. Raw, a modern day horror film set in France that’s written and directed by Julia Ducournau, uses […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘Table 19’ (2017)

Life is messy and not particularly grid-friendly. People color outside the lines, the sort of folks who often end up at Table 19, a slice-of-life film – named for its least desirable ever seating arrangement – written and directed by Jeffrey Blitz. During pre-credits, Eloise (Anna Kendrick) is in torment deciding whether to attend an upcoming […]