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: ‘Carol’ (2015)

Venus, the archetype signifying love and pleasure, is at the heart of most enduring relationships. Although same-sex unions are now increasingly embraced by the general population, they were at one time more than Venusian. They were non-mainstream-Venusian, and aligned with the Uranian archetype of uniqueness, rebellion and, for some, subversiveness. However, this notion of anarchy-in-love […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Gift’ (2015)

Written and directed by Joel Edgerton, The Gift is a tight, stark and claustrophobic little thriller that spools as murky as the script’s reference to “let bygones be bygones.” The pair at the receiving end of those words – initially we don’t know exactly what the “bygones” are which need to be absolved – are […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’ (2015)

Nothing is as intoxicating – or terrifying – as power that’s been thrust on you and which shockingly fits you like a glove. In The Diary of a Teenage Girl, 15-year-old Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) learns about wielding such power through the carnal and emotional pleasures of sex. The downside is that her first, two-decades […]

Archetypes: Film: Review: ‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ (2015)

Where’s that “safe word” when you need it? Male Stanford students, who participated in a daring piece of psychological research in 1971, thought the “contracts” they had with that academic institution guaranteed them a way out at any time. But as The Stanford Prison Experiment, a film based on those events, demonstrates, the study took […]

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: ‘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: ‘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. […]