Archive for February, 2012

Cowboys and Aliens is surprisingly good

I have to admit I held off a long time before I watched this film.  Actually I had to be trapped on a long flight before I gave it a chance.  Imagine my delight to find such an archetypally strong film.

We see Cowards grow into Heroes and a Tytrant turn into a Lover/King but my favorite moment is when the main Hero (Daniel Craig ) is so rugged and strong that he carries the woman to safety – he is so focused on his mission that he apologizes when he stumbles.  He insists she gets whatever water there is.  I know it is so over the top it is funny.  But the character has captured the essential nature of the Hero archetype.  He has found something to value and he is willing to give his life to preserve and protect it.

This film is like a pool of archetypal energy doing its thing.  The cowardly gang of thieves man up in the end and find something worth fighting for.  The Coward son who is such a whiny Bully in the beginning, grows to be more heroic and respectful.  The Tyrant as you probably guessed is the father who neglects the First Nation boy who loves and respects him.  The Tyrant becomes the Lover/King as he allows his heart to exist outside himself regardless of the social repercussions.  The Bartender (Doc) becomes a man as he learns to be physical, develop skills such as operating a gun and learns to shape the outcome of his life.  The alien that is an heroic ally was a nice twist.  Always good to have a little surprise (hopefully I have been cryptic enough that the two people who have not seen this movie will still be surprised).

If you are looking for some practice in identifying masculine archetypes, this is a fun opportunity.  The more you identify archetypes in story the easier it is for you to access them from your unconscious when you are writing.


February 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm Leave a comment

The Whistleblower is haunting

I will never be the same.  This is the real power of film.  I’m in Whitehorse attending the Available Light Film Festival and I saw The Whistleblower last night.  It was amazing!  Now I just have to recover.

It is the story of a Nebraska policewoman, Kathryn Bolkovac, who goes to Bosnia on a post war peacekeeping mission and uncovers a sex trade industry driven by UN workers with Diplomatic Immunity.  It is horrific and mobilizing.  Someone should have been in the theater accepting donations to the cause because I was so moved I was ready to cash in my kid’s education savings plan.

I talk about the shadow archetype, the Victim or Whore, in my workshops and I feel I failed to portray the true horror of it.  The Victim is in an environment that is an assault to the sacredness of her body, and her soul.  The people around her have no feeling for her pain or suffering, and it is impossible for her to maintain a belief that she is of value in the environment of debauchery.  She is detached from any idea of her intrinsic worthiness of love.

The tyrant is also very well portrayed here.  The UN members use and abuse the girls for their twisted pleasure without a grain of conscience.  They feel entitled.  It is horrifying.  It is about money – that trumps all feeling for the girls they are using.  The fact that it is sex, the very act that can bond a man and a woman – makes it even worse.

The Whistleblower is a great example of a female hero – a heroine.  All the beats are followed except the triumphant ending.  It is a thriller/horror story after all.  This is a great movie but be emotionally prepared.

I had the opportunity to ask the director/co-writer, Larysa Kondracki, what the highest purpose was for the film.  She said diplomatic immunity is being abused by UN workers and it needs to be amended.  I definitely support that.

February 13, 2012 at 7:41 pm 2 comments

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