The Mythic Power of Film Melody Jackson

Although story is an important source, it is but one of four dimensions which are the source of film's mythic impact, the other three being the moving photographs narrative form, the cinematic form, and intrinsic influences. In exploring film as a major cultural force, Dr. Jackson expounds on these dimensions, each of which hosts specific elements that compound film's mythic power and strike chords of resonance in the deep realms of the psyche. Whereas the impact of story takes into account Campbell's hero's journey, the impact of the moving photographs narrative form derives from elements such as camera angles, montage, and ideologies inherent in the film apparatus. The cinematic form accounts for the impact of the quieted, communal setting of the darkened theatre and the projection of an image of reality onto a giant screen. And the fourth dimension, extrinsic influences, accounts for the impact of movie stars, technology, and distribution strategies. Understanding these four dimensions will help to broaden one's insight into film's role in the culture.