Mythology and the Movies

Elective Courses

CINE 106 - Mythology and the Movies

ANTH 160
401 |Krasniewicz, Louise |TR 10:30am-12pm |MUSE B17

Myths are powerful symbolic stories that shape how we understand, feel about, and act upon the world around us. They have been important throughout time and across all cultures. Traditional myths contain accounts of supernatural events and experiences, and the traditional mythological subjects of creations, hero quests, and gods and monsters are found in all the non-Western, non-industrial cultures that anthropologists usually study. But we can also see similar tales in our own contemporary American culture, especially through the popular movies that have become so much a part of our daily lives. This cross-cultural occurrence of mythic themes is a major concern of this class. This semester will focus on the concept of fantasy in mythology. Both traditional myths and popular movies address what happens when the imaginary intrudes on the real, when rationality and irrationality battle, or when alternative worlds tempt us with a glimpse of what might be. This course explores the relationship between myths and movies by considering both of them as significant cultural narratives that present a forum for discussing the magical, the surreal, the dreamlike, and the fantastic while also addressing real world issues and effects. Movies for this semester will include many of the following: Galaxy Quest,While You Were SleepingTwisterLone Star, Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I. There will also be a focus on Tim Burton films including BeetlejuiceAlice in WonderlandEdward Scissorhands, and Big Fish. This semester, every student will write and design a graphic novel inspired by the class movies, by theories of mythology, and by the graphic novels Watchmen and Promethea by Alan Moore. All technical, design, and writing instructions will be included in the class. 

last updated 06/23/2014 - 11:36am

Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782