Myths is a word used to denote the traditional stories, most probably peoples history, or explains the usual and communal spectacle and mystical beings and actions are mostly used. They are used to explain the where people originated from and values which are vital in a certain culture, and the humanity nature together with universe. Today, it refers to the stories that a a given culture have faith in, and whose events are explained by use of supernatural powers. The film industry has taken it into their account our cultural believes by inclusion of the ancient myths in their stories. Almost every film we watch has our traditional myths somewhere. These stories are liked by both the children and the adults. These films show the relationship between myths and the film industry.
Looking at the movie, Thor, it follows the story of the Norse God Thor. The marvel comics and the producers of the story draw the motivation from the early myths of the Norse or Viking-era Scandinavians. Thor and Loki characters are modified in Marvel Universe. Instead of being Thor’s nemesis, Loki denotes god of mischief, who is partially a foe and partially a friend to Thor. In the myths, Thor is fierce, volatile and stubborn nature made him succumb tricks and traps. However, he is a god and he has to win. Similarly, in marvel films, Thor is the ultimate savior in both worlds (Chang 109).
In ancient myths, heroes would fly and be right in time and be able to save the day when a certain character was in danger. Such heroes would be big birds, big energetic people, and so on. Today, in films like, The Flash, Man of Steel, Super girl and many others, heroes have the ability to fly, run fast, feel powerful and have the heart to help others. Just when something terrible is about to happen, they manifest themselves and prevent it from happening, thus saving the day.
It is a Christian believe that God is powerful and so is the son of God, Jesus, who saved the world. Jesus was half God and half human. Just like in the film, “Clash of Titans.” Perseus, who was the human son of Zeus, god, was able to defeat his uncle, the god of the underworld. He managed to terminate medusa, the gorgon, would usually turn an bystander into a stone. He also flew on the winged horse, which were only mentioned in the ancient myths, and protected Andromeda, the princess, from a sea monster.
Typically, in the myth of succession, three generations are covered. That is, grandfather, father, and son or grandmother, mother and daughter. Power is also passed on from generation to generation. In the film, “The Godfather”, Michael, who the Youngest son inherits his old father’s position as head of an organized crime family. His elder brother Sonny causes his death and the his brother is depicted as stupid, leaving Michael as the head of the family. Michael bore a son who was to start the third generation of the myth of succession
In most mythical stories, the hero often faces a danger while still a baby and he or she miraculously survives after being hidden. In mythical Biblical stories, for instance, Moses and Jesus escaped death while they were so young. They later were able to become the heroes of the day. Similarly, in Theogony, the infant hero, Zeus, was secretly born and kept away from the antagonistic affiliates of the older cohort. Kronos, who was the father of zeus, swallowed his other sons. Zeus would have been swallowed too if his father had not been deceived to swallow a stone instead. Zeus grows miraculously fast and attains the needed strength to save his brothers by forcing his father to vomit them (Winkler 520).
In ancient Egypt, mummification was used as a burial exercise intended for preservation of the corporeal body later after death. Although people of all positions used this in the society, the wealthy could afford more techniques of preservation like the use of embalming chemicals or organ removal. The ancient Egyptians believe that a person’s body was necessary for afterlife (Meskell 863). In the film,” The Mummy”, a group of explorers accidentally freed the killer mummy, Imhotep. The mummy was defied and cursed by a cult. This film also included the biblical ten plagues of Egypt.
According to Irish myth, mythical creatures such as Selkies existed in different forms; human form. Female selkies could shed their skin and walk among humans in cover. They could fall in love with humans and stay with them, though they would still have the desire to go back to the sea (Moore 55). In the film “Ondine”, a fisherman in a small Irish town managed to catch a woman in his fishing net during fishing. He decides to rescue the woman and stay with her. Only that he did not know this woman was a selkie. In many animations today, these selkies are seen as mermaids.
Therefore, there are many ways in which the film industry today has incorporated the ancient myths. This has made people continue believing in what their ancestors had always talked about and has also led to the continuation of our cultural believes.
Chang, Huang-Ming, et al. “From mythology to psychology: Identifying archetypal symbols in Movies,” Technoetic arts, 2013.
Maskell, L.” Objects worlds in ancient Egypt: material biographies past and present (Materializing culture),” Oxford, England: Berg Publishers, ISBN 1, 2004.
Moore, Tomm, et al. “Song of the Sea, “Film, Kilkenny: Cartoon Saloon, 2014.
Winkler, Martin M. “Classical Mythology and the western film,” Comparative Literature Studies, 1985.