Mythology and the Movies

Elective Courses

CINE 106 - Mythology and the Movies

ANTH 160
401 |Krasniewicz, Louise |TR 1:30-3pm |MUSE 330

This course looks at mainstream Hollywood movies as a form of mythology that people use to interpret, organize, act upon, and make sense of the world around them. Instead of seeing popular movies as merely entertainment or as an art form, we will approach them as cultural narratives that, as members of a culture, we all actively use to construct our social world. This semester we will investigate movies and other popular media that explicitly address the power and constraints of mythological narratives. Starting with John Scalzi's science-fiction novel, Redshirts, the TV show Star Trek, and the movie Galaxy Quest, we will ask whether pre-existing cultural narratives constrict how we can imagine, build, and inhabit our world. Through other movies like The MatrixInceptionWhile You Were Sleeping, and Toy Story, we will consider the difficulties of defying narrative structure. In the second half of the class, we will study a cultural group, based in the Maker movement and in Steampunk (Victorian science-fiction), that does defy pre-existing narratives by reinventing time, history, identities, technology, artifacts, aesthetics, and creativity. Our excursion into Steampunk will include not only a look at recent Steampunked movies and television (including Warehouse 13 and Dr. Who), but also the building of a Steampunk artifact and the writing of a Steampunk comic book.

last updated 06/16/2014 - 1:37pm

Cinema Studies Program
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