Filmmakers Tap into Power of Myth

Article excerpt

Byline: Serena Markstrom The Register-Guard

Steven and Whitney Boe releasing "Mythic Journeys" is a bit like a hero returning from a quest.

With backgrounds in mainstream moviemaking and acting, the pair didn't set out to create a spiritual film. But as they bored deep into the process, which they considered a documentary-making endeavor, they realized a spiritual film was what they had made.

In the structure of most myths, a hero sets out on a journey, then returns home with some newfound knowledge - while learning some important lesson in the process.

"We are in a disposable society nowadays," Steven Boe said. "We don't think that the past has anything to teach us or the information being passed down is useful to us, but we hunger for stories."

The Los Angeles-based couple has chosen one nugget of wisdom as emblematic of this project: "Every life is a story, and a story can change the world."

The direct quote from the film is a call to action, but not for any specific cause. It's simply a plea to find what you are passionate about, put good deeds out into the world and respect people with beliefs different from your own.

The Boes are screening "Mythic Journeys" today at the Center for Spiritual Learning. And they will be posted at Brian and Wendy Froud's tent at the three-day Faerieworlds festival.

The unusual documentary features series of interviews from spiritual thinkers and scholars, including Deepak Chopra and Michael Beckwith Smith. It is structured around a stop-motion animation version of "The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul's Conquest of Evil," as adapted from the book by Heinrich Zimmer (edited by Joseph Campbell).

The Boes interviewed the Frouds at the 2006 Mythic Journeys conference in Georgia, where they amassed 300 hours of footage.

That interview didn't end up fitting into the theme of the film, but the Boes later sent the Frouds an e-mail telling them about the idea to use stop-motion animation to weave a myth into the documentary. …