Myth, Mind, and the Screen: Understanding the Heroes of Our Times

Myth, Mind, and the Screen: Understanding the Heroes of Our Times

Myth, Mind, and the Screen: Understanding the Heroes of Our Times

Myth, Mind, and the Screen: Understanding the Heroes of Our Times

Synopsis

This systematic attempt to apply Jungian theory to the analysis of films covers 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Silence of the Lambs and The Piano as well as a variety of cultural icons and products such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and televised sport. Through these and other examples, John Izod demonstrates how Jungian theory can bring new tools to film and media studies and new ways of understanding screen images and narratives.

Excerpt

Cinema, television and the related media fascinate their audiences in a variety of ways, but entertainment is what most people want when they pay for leisure products. Well aware of this, the media industries build their profits by seeking to gratify audiences' expectations that what they are buying will give them pleasure. The potent impact of moving pictures on the imagination is plain from audience response. A particularly striking feature film or television drama will be received with the most intense private and public reactions. And ever since they first became sources of popular entertainment, both large and small screens have been channels for deeply felt legends, myths and cults. The most exciting fictional characters catch the public's attention and pass into popular discourse where they may remain familiar figures for years. Then too there is the enduring phenomenon of stardom and the hero-worship associated with it.

Orthodox modes of Media Studies have developed effective means of analysing some aspects of the screen experience, including narratives, characters and settings, not to mention the control of style through sound and imagery. However, most spectators want films to give them a buzz through the arousal of intense emotions. Particularly in the case of movies, with their creation of a world that appears entire unto itself, many viewers want the screen's fantasy to lift them in imagination out of their own daily lives. They hope to enjoy pleasures and experience emotions aroused by events which they themselves are not personally undergoing – even if that means being pained witnesses to the sufferings of characters with whom they empathise.

In general, the producers, distributors and exhibitors of films and television drama work alongside those who market the product to attract audiences by responding to this desire. From the initiation of an idea in the scriptwriter's first treatment, the spectator's likely emotional responses are usually among the prime considerations that shape the way a drama will be made. And indeed, mainstream productions have developed highly sophisticated machineries to support the communication . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.