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Movie Reviews: The Lord of the Rings – by Stephanie Pope, MA

Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth. No mother suckled him, no sweet land
gave large-mannered motions to his mythy mind
Wallace Stevens
With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished. But even as it fell it swung its whip, and the thongs lashed and curled about the wizard’s knees, dragging him to the brink. He staggered and fell, grasped vainly at the stone, and slid into the abyss. “Fly, you fools!” he cried, and was gone.
My friend, cultural mythologist Maggie Macary, and I often talk about movies from a mythological perspective. “Movies,” Maggie comments one afternoon we meet for mochas and myth-talk, “appear to me to reflect the collective dream of a culture when seen against the immediacy of cultural events.” She uses as her example that day an awareness that the movie, Signs begins production within the same timeframe as September 11th, while the number one and number two top movies at the box office one year later on the anniversary of 9-11 are My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Signs. Maggie’s idea reminds me that Jung considers the folktale in much the same way as Maggie does the movie.