Category Archives: myth

The Olden Days – The Nation & the EU

Exchanging views with Brexiteers I could not help but notice a lack of sense of history. It is not a mere knowledge of history, which is certainly lacking, but an understanding that break-ups of geopolitical systems (be they an empire, … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', democracy, European Union, institutions, myth, nation, politics, power, romanticism, sovereignty, The Olden Days, UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Wars: the ambiguity of religion

There is something compelling about the Star Wars saga (I’m only referring to the original films 1977-1983). It manages to be original whilst being heavily plagiarised (from 1940s war movies and 1950s B-movies to pirates and Robin Hood movies, mixed … Continue reading

Posted in belief, Empire Strikes Back, faith, fantasy/supernatural, gender, good & evil, humility, masculinity, monasticism, morality, myth, religion, sexuality, Star Wars, The Return of the Jedi, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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

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

Dracula (1992) – Sex, Misogyny, and Christianity

Dracula begins with an overload of cheap special effects, where images are superimposed, one fades into the other, and a battle is represented through Chinese shadows. One can’t help wonder whether the director is some overenthusiastic film school’s graduate who’s … Continue reading

Posted in body, Christianity, Dracula (1992), fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, love, myth, purity, religion, romanticism, sexuality, society, vampires | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trick ‘r Treat (part 2): Sacrifice, Rite of Passage, and ‘Othering’

The School Bus Massacre – Sacrifice and ‘Othering’  A group of children go from door to door trick ‘r treating but also collect jack-o’-lanterns. Alpha-girl Macy (Britt McKillip) tells the other kids of the ‘school bus massacre’. Thirty years prior, … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', entertainment, fairytales, fantasy/supernatural, good & evil, Halloween, horror, Mary Douglas, myth, purity, ritual, sacrifice, society, tradition, Trick 'r Treat, vampires, Van Gennep, Victor Turner | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trick ‘r Treat (part 1): Tradition and Ritual

The reason why I like horror is that it reverses the order of things. Those who fit society, be they conventional types or ‘alpha men and women’, are ridiculed, tortured, and killed. Horror is not just about our subconscious or … Continue reading

Posted in 'othering', entertainment, fairytales, fantasy/supernatural, good & evil, Halloween, horror, morality, myth, purity, ritual, tradition, Trick 'r Treat, Victor Turner | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cabin in the Woods – Sacrifice, Scientific Modernity, and the Entertainment Society

The films starts off with the all too common horror trope of college students setting off for a weekend in a cabin in the woods. The students seem at first corny stereotypes from a B-movie, but they are quickly shown to be … Continue reading

Posted in America, Cabin in the Woods, entertainment, fantasy/supernatural, femininity, gender, horror, humanity, myth, purity, sacrifice, science, society, technology, Victor Turner | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Sheep – The Enlightenment Project & Nature

Black Sheep is a true classic! It  presents a critique of the Enlightenment project by exploring modern science, phobias, environmentalism, myth and monster sheep. Henry (the hero) develops a phobia of sheep due to a childhood trauma and leaves the family farm. … Continue reading

Posted in Black Sheep, Enlightenment, fairytales, fantasy/supernatural, good & evil, horror, myth, nature, romanticism, science | 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