Star Wars: A Missed Opportunity

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 20, 2016 4:14:44 PM

A guest post by Keiron Le Grice

Although Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke box-office records for commercial success, we might lament the filmmakers’ missed opportunity to deliver a narrative of enduring mythic significance and philosophical profundity to its expectant global audience. Had this opportunity been taken, how—in an alternate galaxy far, far away—might the storyline have begun and been developed?

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Mythology, C.G. Jung, film

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fact or Fiction?

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 17, 2016 3:44:30 PM

A guest post by Dr. Dennis Patrick Slattery.

Now that the heat of the long-awaited release of the next installment of the Star Wars epic, franchise, industry, and monster money-maker has passed and the fires of enthusiasm have cooled a bit to a delightful glow, one might ask: what is it about this series of science fiction films, the brain-child of George Lucas, which has now been passed on to the brilliant director, JJ Abrams, whose task it was to retrieve some of the excitement of The Return of the Jedi (1983) by offering a plausible sequel to it, but revitalized and, well, made to reflect more inclusively the world we inhabit today?

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Mythology, film

Jung, Individuation, and Film

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Feb 3, 2016 2:21:36 PM

A guest post by Bonnie Bright, Ph.D.

Ever since I met Dr. Glen Slater in 2008, I have known him to be a particularly passionate and knowledgeable advocate of film. I often see his film reviews in Jungian and depth publications, and his background in clinical psychology and religious studies—along with his interest in technology and culture—make his commentary especially valuable.

In a recent interview, Glen and I sat down together for an intriguing depth discussion on Jung, individuation, and film.

To begin, Dr. Slater notes, while we can think of individuation as coming to one’s deep self or unique character, it’s also the place where one comes to contribute to the larger human story. The individuation process is both deeply personal but also transpersonal; both universal and archetypal. At any given time in a specific culture, individuation is about finding a deep relationship with those energies that are coming up from the collective psyche. Jung believed that “no one can individuate on a mountaintop,” Glen reminded me. Therefore, at the same time you are growing into your own genius, you are also finding where your own life resonates with what is emerging collectively.

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Posted in: Pacifica Events, C.G. Jung, film

The Hero's Journey: Creating My Own Star Wars Adventure

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 23, 2015 2:48:56 PM

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a box office hit. The excitement over the film brings us back to the original 1977 Star Wars film and its popularity. Star Wars was iconic. Why was it so popular? Aside from changing the way films were made (see Time's latest article with director J.J. Abrams) the story of the orginial Star Wars film closely follows Joseph Campbell's formula of The Hero's Journey.

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Mythology, transformative, film

Joseph Campbell and the Skywalker: Meetings with George Lucas

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Dec 21, 2015 3:47:42 PM

A guest post by Pacifica's Special Collections Librarian Richard Buchen.

"... the first axiom of all creative art -- whether it be in poetry, music, dance, architecture, painting, or sculpture -- which is namely, that art is ... a presentation of forms, images or ideas in such a way that they will communicate, not primarily a thought or even a feeling, but an impact.

"The axiom is worth recalling here, because mythology was historically the mother of arts and yet, like so many mythological mothers, the daughter, equally, of her own birth."

Joseph Campbell, The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology (New York: Penguin, 1976; first published 1959)

In April of 2002, the Joseph Campbell Library on the campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute was visited by a film crew directed by Tsukuru Matsuki from Kyodo Television of Tokyo. They were filming for an episode in a television documentary series called "Passion for Arts" which was aired nationally in Japan that year via TV Tokyo, and the broadcast included footage of the Joseph Campbell Library, as well as its Special Collections Librarian talking about The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The subject of this episode was not Campbell, but rather a man who had been deeply influenced by him, the filmmaker George Lucas.

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Posted in: Joseph Campbell, Mythology, film, Jungian & Archetypal Studies

10 Must See Jungian Psychology Themed Films

Posted by Nikole Hollenitsch on Mar 17, 2015 8:32:00 PM

We asked our Pacifica faculty for a list of films that have a Jungian theme in them and here are the top 10 movies that they came up with. I have to add that Lionel Corbett said "all movies have a Jungian theme." Tou·ché Dr. Corbett, tou·ché. 

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Posted in: Mythology, C.G. Jung, film, Jungian & Archetypal Studies