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Dionysia is a monthly film analysis podcast with roots stretching back to antiquity, when going to the theater was a religious rite dedicated to the Greek god Dionysus. In each episode, Jungian scholar Zachary Kampf explores one popular movie in search of the deeper psychological significance it might hold for the culture at large. Some call Hollywood the "dream factory," and just as our private dreams symbolically portray the inner workings of our own psyche, the imaginative world of cinema cryptically draws the collective into its own inner happenings.
A movie is just what its etymology suggests—a moving picture, image animated, enlivened by movement. In the chaotic world of postmodernity, movies are typically consumed for entertainment value, as an intermission from the grinding demands and banal minutia of everyday life. But from a Jungian vantage point, the entertainment value of films is a kind of superficial veneer, secondary to a deeper significance: films symbolically portray the root structural principles of the psyche, the essential realities of the soul. From these images we can gain insight not only into our own unconscious drives and motivations, but the workings of the objective psyche itself.
Some films seem to arrive at a critical moment to make a more profound impact on the culture (consider the surge of environmental disaster films as a growing awareness of climate change presses more heavily on the collective psyche). When discussing such films, Dionysia looks to the stars, using archetypal astrology to consider how the symbolism of a film relates to the quality of time in which it emerges and the concurrent archetypal themes pervading the sociopolitical atmosphere.