It’s been 11 years since the launch of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), and though Avengers: Endgame is far from the end of Marvel movies, the weekend’s latest release is both a satisfying conclusion to a unique cycle of movies and fascinating cross-section of America. Much like the NFL, Marvel Studios walks a fine line between Conservatives and Liberals and manages to capture both. Cynical commercialism or collective unconscious made cinematic? Time will decide. In the meantime, they certainly are fun to watch. More at Boulder Weekly.
A few notes:
The quote I open the review with comes from Joseph Campbell’s 1949 comparative literature study The Hero With a Thousand Faces. The full passage is as follows:
Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.
Moving down to paragraph seven, Siegfried Kracauer’s From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological Study of the German Film explores the link between escapist cinema and the rise of a totalitarian government. Published in 1947 — lotta love for 1940s theory in this week’s review — Kracauer’s findings still echo eerily in today’s cinema. Even better for those crunched for time, Rüdiger Suchsland made a full-length visual essay in 2015, which is currently on DVD; check your local library.