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The Power of Myth (2010)

Joseph Campbell , George Lucas  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)

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The Power of Myth + Joseph Campbell - The Hero's Journey + The Hero with a Thousand Faces (The Collected Works of Joseph Campbell)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Joseph Campbell, George Lucas, Bill Moyers
  • Producers: Alvin H. Perlmutter, Joan Konner
  • Format: 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: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Athena
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,931 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Power of Myth" on IMDb

Special Features

Never-before-released conversation with Campbell from Bill Moyers’ Journal
Selections from Moyers’ interview with Star Wars creator George Lucas
12-page viewer’s guide with profiles of artists influenced by Campbell, an essay on mythology in everyday life, Campbell biography, and animal symbolism in myths
Profiles of Campbell’s Influences, episode photo galleries, Bill Moyers biography, and excerpts from the film Sukhavati
SDH subtitles

Editorial Reviews

The seminal PBS series on world mythology

"Dazzling and still potently relevant" --San Francisco Chronicle
"Fascinating" --The New York Times
"Compelling" --The Wall Street Journal
"Stirring and elevating" --Los Angeles Times

These stimulating conversations between inspirational scholar Joseph Campbell and veteran journalist Bill Moyers created a national sensation when they first aired on public television. In lively, expansive dialogues, the two men discuss how myths hold the key to understanding human experience. They may vary superficially from culture to culture, but at their deepest level they all reveal the path to self-fulfillment, social integration, and ultimately, transcendence.

Join Campbell and Moyers as they touch on topics as diverse as world religions, marriage, the virgin birth, and pop culture. Filmed at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch and New York’s American Museum of Natural History, this series fires the imagination and the intellect.

Joseph Campbell taught for nearly 40 years at Sarah Lawrence College; he authored and edited scores of books and inspired generations of scholars and artists.

Journalist Bill Moyers distinguished himself at Newsday, NBC, CBS, and PBS; his many honors include lifetime achievement Emmy® and Peabody awards.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
190 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Socratean Dialogue With Joseph Campbell October 3, 2001
This is the edited version of the hundreds of rolls of tapes that Bill Moyers shot of his long socratean dialogues with Joseph Campbell shortly before Joseph Campbell's death in 1987.
The entire collection is split up into six succinct subject-sequences where Moyers and his editor took different parts of the dialogues and organized them together thematically. The Hero's Adventure talks about the existence of the idea of the hero in lots of cultures and what role he or she plays in its mythology. The Message of the Myth talks more about the Jungian idea of the existence of archtypes of the collective unconscious and the metaphorical implications of many well-known myths from various cultures. The First Storytellers talks about the way environment and the basic necessities of everyday life affects the way the earlier hunting and gathering cultures created much of their mythologies and how they came to terms with the way they had to survive through the use of myths. Sacrifice and Bliss talks about the changes that came over different cultures when they changed from herding cultures to aggrarian cultures and how they changed their mythologies to suit their new ways of living and also the importance of the idea of the "here and now"; how heaven and nirvana and things of that sort are not physical places but a metaphorical place within your metaphorical heart and that "bliss" is only to be found in the present as you live your own life in the here and the in the now.
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128 of 130 people found the following review helpful
Of my two favorite memories of Campbell's talks with Bill Moyers of PBS in this video, the one that comes to mind is an introduction between Campbell and a Catholic Priest, perhaps a Cardinal, that he retells. After they are introduced and the Priest is told who Dr. Campbell is and a little about his life, he asks him, "Are you still Catholic?" To which he replies "No, Father." He then asks--and Campbell was impressed by his specificity--"Do you believe in a *personal* God?" To which Campbell replies, "No, Father."
The Priest then replies, almost as if to engage in a debate and denigrate the atheist's worship of the rational mind uber alles simultaneously (and an atheist is what you are led to assume he thinks Campbell is), "Well, I guess there is no way to logically prove the existence of God." And Campbell answers, calmly, "If there were Father, what would be the value of faith?"
"It's been a pleasure meeting you Dr. Campbell, have a nice day."
Regardless of your faith, interest, background or education, you will find yourself in the same shoes of that Priest when you watch this incredibly enjoyable DVD set. Campbell's erudition and knowledge of the many ideas, subtexts and similarities inherent in the world's treasure trove of mythology is daunting to say the least, and his approach is designed to have it all make sense to the modern human heart.
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204 of 215 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The search for eternal truth.... November 17, 2001
When I first watched the Moyers-Campbell exchange in the early 1990s on PBS, I understood very little of what Campbell said. I was still "seeing" myths, etc. from the "disciplined" perspectives of religion or science (psychology, structural anthropology, etc.) and I tried to fit his comments into "my" world view.
I have just finished rewatching the DVD version of these taped interviews, and I now understand more of what Campbell is saying. I've been watching this series with another person who is "searching" and he keeps saying "I don't get that." I want to help him "get it" and I sometimes feel I must appear like Burt Reynolds in one of his films where he took a "New Age" course and rolled on the floor and said "I've got it!!" Campbell says, when you think you've got it you haven't. So all I can say is--I feel I've got something more than I had.
Campbell says human beings will die for a metaphor. We are like the 10 blind men with the elephant--each with a part of the whole, interpreting it through our cultural spectacles. And many of us will die for our interpretation of what "God" is. Even the word "God" is connotive of a belief system. One has only to look at the ideological conflicts the world over to see the results of differing world views. And, it isn't just "religion" either. Beliefs systems underlie economic behaviour as well. Everyone has a belief system--the alternative is madness, which is probably yet another belief system of some sort.
For those raised in a religious tradition (most of us) the notion of giving up the idea of a personal god is painful. And yet, Campbell says one must give up this idea--and that is all it is--an idea.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A classic!!!
Published 18 days ago by Glenda Risinger-Champagne
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Vaygar-Ingvald Elmersson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good insight into why we do what we do
Have watched it over and over. Good insight into why we do what we do, especially when it doesn't make sense.
Published 1 month ago by rhacker
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow Your Bliss!
Anyone interested in storytelling or seeing how humans have created myths over time and how we create myths even today. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. K. Porcher
5.0 out of 5 stars A conversation for a lifetime..
While it may sound kind of nuts, especially to those who have never cared for TPOM, or who may have watched it only intermittently (when it's aired on PBS during fund drive month)... Read more
Published 2 months ago by paul serrano
5.0 out of 5 stars ahhhhh Joe Campbell
the bible for Star Wars fans
Published 2 months ago by Michael Ralston
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Joseph Cambell presents a wonderful overview of myths
It you can get this, BUY IT! Classic Joseph Cambell presents a wonderful overview of myths. By the way, a myth is a belief and it doesn't have to be false in nature. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ed - The Moneyman
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to listen to this in college many years ago and bought them on a...
Joseph Campbell is (was) one amazingly knowledgeable person! We're all the better for his taking the time to producing these videos.
Published 7 months ago by Steven J. Vaccarello
4.0 out of 5 stars Joseph Campbell with Bill Moyer interview Power of the Myth
The VHS tapes were new and in excellent condition. I like to see original events and listen to original music on yes the old 45's etc. I was fortunate to have found these tapes.
Published 8 months ago by Ju
5.0 out of 5 stars Still fascinating after all these years
The Power of Myth has generated more discussion and intellectual stimulation than any TV I've seen since the 1980's. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Carol B.
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