I am in the midst of prepping a course on mythology and folklore (an honors section) that I will be teaching this coming semester. I have pretty much decided on the general themes I want to cover, though the way I frame them for the class will be more narrow and specific than the way I am listing them here:
- The nature of myth itself
- Myths of origination, which I am defining to include three primary categories: origins of the universe, of good and evil and of society/civilization (which, in some cases, also has to do with national origin)
- Myths that deal with heroes
I’ve already picked out a pretty wide-ranging reading list from ancient/classical myths, but I want to supplement that list with contemporary movies or texts that would illustrate how myth functions in our culture now. It’s not so much that I want material that comments explicitly on myth–though that would be fine too. What I’m looking for are stories that mythologize or that retell myths or that make use myth that I can use as a way of getting students to think about how myth function in their own lives. (I’m not sure if that is as clear as it could be; much about the course is still fuzzy in my head.)
Some obvious ideas for movies that have occurred to me, mostly because they would already be familiar and accessible for my students, are Thor, the Transformers movies, and the X-Men movies–each of which plays with myth, or at least mythic elements, and what it means to mythologize in a variety of ways; but I would also love to hear other suggestions–movies, graphic novels, comic books, literary texts. Any ideas you might would be welcome, especially those that include female heroes that I might usefully compare–in terms of origins, character development, the “heroic arc”–with male heroes.
Thanks in advance.