Joseph Campbell and the power of myth. Episodes 1-3

United States, 1988

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When Joseph Campbell died in 1987 at the age of 83, he was considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on myth. He wrote over 20 books (eg “The Hero with 1000 faces” and “Masks of God”) and saw mythology as the song of the universe. In the two years prior to his death, Bill Moyers conducted this extensive series of interviews with Campbell at the Californian ranch of filmmaker, George Lucas, whose film “Star Wars was influenced by Campbell’s writings. In episode 1 (“The Hero’s Adventure”) Campbell discusses the function of the hero using “Star Wars” to illustrate this. In episode 2 (“The Message of the Myth”)he reveals the universality of many religious myths, such as the creation myth, and in episode 3 (“The First Storytellers”) he stresses the importance of ritual as enactment of myth.

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David Grubin


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