Category Archives: magic

The Big Short – Faith in the Free Market

The 2008 financial crisis was the result of recklessness, dodgy dealings, and hubris. Like drug addicts, people bought mortgages they would have never been able to pay. Like drug pushers, mortgage brokers fed the beast until it all went belly … Continue reading

Posted in America, American dream, belief, faith, finance/economics, magic, reality, reason/rationality, The Big Short | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cinderella – Maskenfreiheit & play

Kenneth Branagh chooses to begin the story with Cinderella’s childhood and has the heroine suffer her parents’ death and the humiliation of going from owner of the house to unpaid servant. Screenwriter Chris Weitz clearly couldn’t conceive, let alone write, Cinderella’s  moral strength and … Continue reading

Posted in Cinderella (1950), Cinderella (2015), entertainment, fairytales, family, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, freedom, gender, imagination, Into the Woods, magic, play, Precious | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

American Horror Story (Coven) 2 – Othering Voodoo, Race, & Rationality

As mentioned in my previous post on Coven, the series is set in a boarding school for witches in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the witches is Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe), who is human voodoo doll. She can harm others by … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', America, body, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, horror, magic, nature, postcolonialism, race/diversity, reason/rationality, ritual, The Coven (American Horror Story) | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American Horror Story (Coven) – Witchcraft & the Dark Goddess

The Coven is the third installment of American Horror Story, the first being porn and film plagiarism, the second concentrating on the plagiarism. The third benefits from an injection of irony. It is set in a boarding school for witches … Continue reading

Posted in America, consciousness, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, horror, knowledge/epistemology, magic, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, ritual, The Coven (American Horror Story) | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Women, Bad Women, and Witches – Hocus Pocus, The Craft, Practical Magic

Hocus Pocus is fun. It is for children so the evil witches are more fun than scary. Yet, they follow the traditional cinematic construct of the evil witch as a bad woman, a woman who does not adhere to the … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', body, family, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, good & evil, Hocus Pocus, love, magic, morality, nature, patriarchy, Practical Magic, sexuality, The Craft, witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Indiana Jones & Empire Strikes Back – Belief

Religion, as argued in my post on the West Wing, is often assumed to be a person’s belief in a supernatural God. Yet anthropologists and sociologists of religion would wince at this statement. From a social scientific perspective, belief is … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Empire Strikes Back, Enlightenment, faith, fantasy/supernatural, Georg Simmel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, knowledge/epistemology, magic, Malcolm Ruel, myth, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, scifi | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

West Wing’s Religion – Modern Rationalism and Fundamentalism

In movies, religion is often assumed to be a person’s belief in a supernatural God and that the Bible is the word of God to be taken literally. Religion thus gets neatly divided into ‘good’ (progressive/liberal) and ‘bad’ (conservative) President … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Christianity, Enlightenment, evangelical, faith, knowledge/epistemology, magic, politics, Protestantism, reason/rationality, religion, science, West Wing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sleepy Hollow – Science, Magic, and Modernity

Faithful to gothic tradition, Sleepy Hollow has fear at its centre. Fear is here understood as what cannot be controlled by scientific reason, but it also associated with the horror of the sublime, as argued by Edmund Burke. Tim Burton’s film … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', belief, Enlightenment, fantasy/supernatural, gender, Godfrey Lienhardt, horror, knowledge/epistemology, magic, masculinity, Max Weber, myth, nature, reality, reason/rationality, religion, science, Sleepy Hollow (1999), Stanley Tambiah, witchcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Enchanted – True Love & Autonomy

Enchanted is a commercial film and a crowd-pleaser, but its parodic style allows it to play with gender and the cinematic construct of love. The Walt Disney parody keeps to the safe framework of the happy-end, which allows it to be, … Continue reading

Posted in autonomy, Enchanted, fairytales, fantasy/supernatural, gender, love, magic, myth, Once Upon a Time, reality, romanticism | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Once Upon a Time – the sanctity of the family

American TV constructs the family as the ultimate value. You can mistreat people, maim them and kill them, but once you get in touch with your inner parent you are redeemed and you’re just one step away from being a … Continue reading

Posted in family, fantasy/supernatural, good & evil, magic, Once Upon a Time, reality, TV | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment