Directed & Written by Steven Boe and Whitney Boe
Stars Mark Hamill, Tim Curry, Lance Henriksen
Imaginal Cells FilmWorks
“Mythic Journeys” is an odd movie: half documentary, half claymation mythical narrative, this film explores all sorts of mythical narratives, and the role of mythology in modern media and society. It explores these themes by contemplating the hero’s journey in many different cultural traditions and speaking to many different mythologists, paying homage to Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung along the way. It feels a bit like two different movies, as it goes back and forth between documentary material that includes interviews with Deepak Chopra and Michael Meade, and a somewhat-disconnected claymation narrative which utilizes the vocal talents of Mark Hamill, Tim Curry, and Lance Henriksen.
The film vacillates between the trivial and the profound, and I found myself wishing that, despite the charm of the claymation narrative, it had been taken out and made into a separate movie instead. A lot of it felt like wasted time, while the documentary portion felt too short; at the end, I was longing for more exploration, and a deeper dive into many of the points which were raised by interviewees. The discussion in the documentary portion suggested that the power of metaphor is vast, and that we are dying from literalism; people need to know what story they’re in to know what the resolution to that story is. By applying narrative to our own lives, we can extract meaning, and find courage and faith. This is a pretty deep point, full of lasting implications, only a few of which are explored in the documentary.
Perhaps one of its strongest points, and one which will appeal especially to eclectic Pagans, is the idea that treating all religions as mythology allows us to get value from any source, not become attached to dogma, and accept each other as equals despite having different stories. We are not looking for the One True Story by which we might all define our lives, but instead reading all stories, so that we can have different patterns and templates by which we can recognize which story we’re already in. Fans of Michael Meade, Carl Jung, or Joseph Campbell will probably enjoy this film; in the end, I think it asks some interesting questions, but found it disappointing that in its approach to analysis of mythology, it seemed to open doors without walking through them. Still, if this material is new to you, or if you just want a launching pad to consider mythology from a psychological and sociological perspective, there is a lot here to get you started.
“Mythic Journeys” was written and directed by Steven and Whitney Boe, and produced by Imaginal Cells FilmWorks. For full cast and crew information, along with additional reviews of this movie, visit its listing on IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1204935/
About the Author:
Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com