“The main American theme, I think, is freedom. It’s about individual freedom in opposition to or in tension with collective freedom.” -Ken Burns, documentary film maker, “The Civil War”
Throughout American history the archetypes which populate our myths and legends and capture our imagination are the Rebel, the Revolutionary, the Liberator, the Scout, the Pioneer, the Cowboy, the Explorer, even the Outlaw: all of them perpetually moving forward in pursuit of their idea of freedom, both on behalf of the common good and at the expense of it. While many of these archetypes appear from the very beginnings of our history, the conflict between the various notions of freedom—personal and collective—solidified in the American psyche in the years leading up to and following the Civil War. They continue to impact us and our ideas of ourselves to this day. Few films capture these American themes and tensions as well as John Ford’s masterpiece, Stagecoach.
Stagecoach is high on my list of the 10 Best Movies of All Time. I’ve seen it at least 20 times, probably more. Without fail, something about it captures and holds with every viewing, so much so I save it on my DVR, along with Singin’ in the Rain and a few other films, so I can view them again whenever the mood strikes me.
After all of the excitement and getting folks to vote on the next Archetypes & A Movie course, we have pulled a switch-a-rooney! Julienne and I got part way into recording the ‘Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ and it just didn’t feel right. Both our intuition and wisdom told us that it simply wasn’t the right time for it. Having just taught “The Way” a few days before, it was the most timely and generative choice for the next audio workshop.
We plan to combine the recording of my talk in LA with the recording of the movie commentary plus even more bonus material. Look for the new course in late summer! (We’re hoping by September…)
Our apologies to everyone who voted for Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, it remains at the top of our list and we are sure that the course on The Way will be fulfilling as well.
Many of you have already enjoyed the first edition of my ‘Archetypes and a Movie’ series: Ratatouille: Fate, Destiny & the Hero’s Journey. We are in the process of planning the next workshop and would love your feedback on what you would most like to see and learn from.
The theme of “pilgrimage” has been coming up quite a bit lately and pilgrimages can take many forms. While you don’t literally need to travel to go on a pilgrimage, it’s always a journey to the Sacred. The word pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) means a traveler, literally one who has come from afar.
Each of these films are an exploration of the archetype of the pilgrimage. We’d like to know which one you would most like to experience as an audio workshop.
Please take a few seconds to complete the 3 poll questions below.