Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joseph Campbell- "The Hero's Adventure"

In the three part discussion of Avatar from earlier this month I referenced Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist and author from the last century. Campbell and his writings were a large influence on George Lucas when he wrote the Star Wars Trilogies, as well as with many other artists and writers of this era.

The PBS special from 1988, and its companion book,The Power of Myth, recorded a series of discussions between Campbell and journalist Bill Moyers. Few television programs have resonated with so many people for so long as this one has. Over the years it's airing has become a staple of PBS pledge drives. Personally, it is a project that changed my life. It made me more aware that the spiritual doesn't necessarily need to have a religious connotation. Also, it made me look at storytelling and film in a different way- all are based on universal themes, and some have become classics of modern mythology.

I was able to find several complete episodes online of The Power of Myth.

Below, from the collection of John Allen Bell, is Episode One of the series, The Hero's Adventure. Campbell and Moyers talked about Star Wars, as well as the meaning of the word "hero", and who or what is a hero. Another subject talked about in this episode, recorded in 1985 or 1986- that the earth would give us the next great mythology for mankind.....this was years before are concern about climate change moved to the forefront of our consciousness.

Campbell gives one bit of advice in this episode that he sees as the key to a happy and productive life......"Follow your bliss".

The Power of Myth - The Hero's Adventure from John Allen Bell on Vimeo.

Be sure to pause the music playlist before watching the video

For more about Joseph Campbell, visit the Joseph Campbell Foundation website.
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