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Joseph Campbell - Mythos (1999)

 NR |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Wellspring
  • DVD Release Date: April 9, 2002
  • Run Time: 560 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005Y71U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,477 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • Joseph Campbell Biography
  • Joseph Campbell Bibliography
  • Weblinks

Editorial Reviews

Clocking in at 10 hours, Mythos presents the great educator Joseph Campbell's vision of humankind's "One Great Story." Since time immemorial, humans have been passing "life's lessons" from generation to generation through their particular society's theology and folklore, or mythologies. According to Campbell, by examining the world's diverse mythologies you will find therein universal themes that are applicable and speak directly to all humankind. In Mythos, Campbell dissects a wide range of the world's mythologies, particularly Hinduism and Buddhism. Rather than pointing out their superficial differences, he accentuates and embraces their similarities. It doesn't matter whether the myths are Greek, Indian, Egyptian, Native American, Judeo-Christian, or Arthurian in origin. Campbell explains it is their intrinsic themes that share a commonality: the trials of the hero, the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, the path to enlightenment, love, struggle, sacrifice, etc.

Narrated by Susan Sarandon, Mythos is Campbell's final work captured on tape while on an academic lecture circuit in the last years of his life. Campbell looks lively and wonderfully at ease in the familiar classroom setting discussing his life's passion. Those enchanted by what The Power of Myth introduced will be deeply satisfied with the epic, academic content of Mythos. --Rob Bracco

Product Description

Journey with the remarkable Joseph Campbell as he explores how myths evolve to reflect changing beliefs about nature, God, and life to his explanation of the shaping of Eastern tradition by examining spirituality through the mythic images of Hinduism and Buddhism. 560 minutes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
97 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very human look at our beliefs and ourselves April 20, 2002
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This is a collection of Joseph Campbell's lecture series prior to his death in 1987. It is a no-frills presentation with just the documented lectures of an extraordinary teacher and mind. He humanizes many difficult concepts from psychology to religion while taking you through the process of not only what various people believe, but also how they came to those beliefs. His lectures are inclusive of everything from Carl Jung's psychology to American Indian mysticism to the spectrum of Eastern philosophy. Campbells greatest contribution is that in his work he focused not on the differences between various religions and beliefs, but the fundamental similarities we all share.
The series is very well hosted by Susan Sarandon who prefaces each segment and gives you time to reflect on what it is you've just learned. The production value is limited; as I said this is a collection of documented lectures from the mid-80's with just Campbell on a stage or in front of a projected image. However, for anyone interested in a comprehensive and entertaining view of comparitive psychology and formation of belief systems, this is an exceptional series.
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101 of 109 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I hate to do this but... December 11, 2003
The reason for one star is that this is a randomly abbreviated version of what used to be available on 14-hour VHS series. The tapes showed all the lectures in their entirety - on this DVD we get odd selections here and there intertwined with comments read by Susan Sarandon seated on an uncomfortable sofa. This set omits _all_ the lectures on Western mythology.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Correcting a misimpression from an earlier review, the Mythos series was indeed copyrighted by the Joseph Campbell Foundation in 1996, and what profits there are do go to the JCF, which administers Campbell's intellectual estate.

The earlier review asking people not to buy this DVD (seemingly - and mistakenly - on behalf of the JCF, which I'd like to assume is an innocent error) has apparently confused Mythos (hosted by actress Susan Sarandon) with Transformations of Myth Through Time (hosted by actor Peter Donat), an unauthorized presentation of some of the same material hurriedly cobbled together and rushed to market to take advantage of Campbell's immense popular appeal in the wake of the first airing of the Power of Myth interviews with Bill Moyers on PBS. This series of lectures was strung together in a format that made sense to the editors, but did not reflect Campbell's own vision - but because it aired first, many believe it to be the original, uncut version (a claim advanced in another review on this page). Litigation has since resolved the dispute, and the Transformations of Myth series is no longer available.

Besides the elegant comments of Miss Sarandon (which serve the same function as Mr. Donat's in the Transformations series, bridging awkward transitions), Mythos has attractive, updated visuals, and a format in harmony with Joseph Campbell's original vision ... visually pleasing, entertaining, educational, and mind-expanding all at once.

This verison of the series has been hard to find - but now, with the resolution of legal and logistical obstacles, the Joseph Campbell Foundation has re-released Mythos I on DVD (autumn of 2007), with Mythos II to be re-released in the spring of 2008. Further volumes of "new" never-before viewed lectures can be anticipated in this series.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Joe June 20, 2003
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If you love Joseph Campbell - his gentle spirit - his charming wit - his extensive knowledge - this DVD is heaven (pun intended - see the last episode, on the Tibetan Book of the Dead). In Mythos you view taped lectures with some beautiful visual aids. That's it. There is no interviewer to interrupt him - you hear what Joe intended to say, his jokes and asides included. I love Joe's books, but I love even more to hear his voice and see his wonderful eyes. This DVD is worth watching again and again.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Human Treasure Alive on the Screen July 4, 2005
Joseph Campbell was a man with a rare concentration of knowledge and charisma. Campbell works to give us an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the rise of man through the great civilizations of the East and the West. He then interprets the art and mythologies of the people in their times to reveal the common concerns of men. He helps us to understand why our stories resonate so deeply and how mythology goes much further than just creation stories.

Campbell probes the artifacts of our past and finds the internal dramas of the heart and mind fully expressed in the world of our ancestors and ancients from around the world. We also discover the absence of mythology that our modern cultures endure today. Campbell reintroduces us to ourselves by proposing that, as humans, we need such stories; learning about this mode of human understanding can awaken or enhance our view of the world and add the kind of color to our lives that we thirst for. The whole function of mythology is to bring the mind into accord with the ways of the world and nature. We have the privelage of perspective and hindsight and it is a glorious vista into our past that Campbell shares with us. It's an invitation that is hard to resist, Campbell is basically saying, "Come spend some time with me and let me show you who we are."

To be critical, I would have enjoyed learning more about western mythologies too. What we have here is absolutely precious - I just can't get enough of this stuff.
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