The Naked Spur trailer with Jimmy Stewart

Movies & Television
As Myth & Social Criticism

The Truman Show

An exploration into the meanings of The Truman Show.  

Groundhog Day: Breakthrough to the True Self

Groundhog Day is a work of moral fiction that allows us to experience what it would be like to end our exile from our true selves, and develop the ability to have a full, authentic, life. Two pages.

 Images of Engulfment: Quick Takes

Jungle movies, haunted houses,  Betty Boop cartoons, the movie Aliens, and the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, all offer disguised depictions of the human body and the household of childhood, as good and evil, dangerous and comforting. Most depict the fear of being swallowed up.


The Founding of the West as the Bridling of Masculine Desire

Westerns let us experience phallic, masculine desires, even as they also let us experience what it is like to tame phallic masculine desires, to found and protect civilization.

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman as Moral Fiction

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman re-creates the Western into a story about the feminine (and feminist) taming of the frontier, to tell a story about tolerance and multiculturalism.

The Electric Horseman:
Escape From the Desert of Images

Popular culture has become a simulation machine, immersing us in simplified entertainments that turn people, places and values into images. But it doesn't merely manipulate sensory images; it also tries to draw us into a false image of life.

The Electric Horseman depicts a character who stands up to this society of simulation, which is shown transforming the American West. In the process, he takes a journey from the emerging "postmodern" West of the 1970s in which the frontier has been turned into an image for marketing and entertainment, back to what is left of the older West of genuine nature.


Attribution for image of Jimmy Stewart above:
By MGM (The Naked Spur trailer) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

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Ken Sanes 1996-2012