of the greatest storytellers of our time, and arguable the
greatest mythologist, Joseph Campbell spent most of his long,
rich career explaining how ancient myths like the Hero's
are relevant to modern life. In understanding the importance
of myth as a vital, vibrant source of "mankind's one
great story", Campbell inspired others to embark on a
quest for the meaning of myth in their own lives. This biographical
portrait, filmed shortly before his death in 1987, follows
Campbell's personal quest - a pathless journey of questioning,
discovery, and ultimately of delight and joy in a life to
which he said, "Yes"...
Campbell: The Hero's Journey
is a bit of a strange release. Already at least 20 years out
of date (he died in 1987) there seems to be no real reason
to release this on DVD now - unless you think being dead for
20 years is something to celebrate.
filmmakers obviously didn't know what to do with the material
they had gathered. Over the course of this documentary it
is uncertain whether it is supposed to be an exploration of
one man's philosophy on life, an examination of what the word
"myth" actually means, a look at how Campbell's
work has inspired movie makers like George Lucas, or how all
religions basically follow the same basic principals and beliefs.
movie tries to do too much and ends up exploring none of the
many subjects it tackles very well.
anyone in Campbell's audience attempts to interject, or look
like they might want to raise a point, he talks over them,
or silences them by touching them. What we end up with is
a documentary that seems to show a cult leader preaching to
a bunch of hippies.
Star Wars connection is thrown in to attract the sci-fi
fans, but this documentary never actually delves into it very
deep. While there is a montage of clips, it would have been
better if a more detailed exploration had been conducted.
All we really learn is that Star Wars was based on
Campbell's beliefs of what makes a good story. Everyone already
film print ranges from poor to awful and there are no extras
at all. To be honest this is a badly dated, poorly thrown
together release. If you are a real hard-core Campbell fan
and you wait until this is available in the sales for under
a fiver, then maybe there will be something here of interest
for you... but I doubt it. Everyone else - steer well clear.