Myth and Ritual in Film


INSTRUCTOR: Adam Gorelick

SECTION: Summer 2020: RVG


Course Description

This online course integrates theoretical discussions of myth and ritual (as interrelated cultural dimensions of religion) with analyses of the relatively contemporary medium of film. In each case, a collective artistic experience employs narrative form to evoke, to explain, or even to create meaning. Following the trail of 19th-century anthropology and 20th-century psychology, we will examine the binding connections between myth and ritual, and we will also seek out their secular analogues in literature and drama on our way toward film as an integrative multi-media form of cultural expression. We will explore the sociological implications of mainstream cinema (such as Spielberg, Pixar, etc.) as shared experience, film adaptations of myth versus myth-inspired storytelling, theological and political interpretations (e.g., of alien films), and much more. Online interactive features will include live discussion, video, and even some amateur filmmaking on the part of the students.