The Karate Kid

OF BONSAI AND BALANCE: THE HERO’S JOURNEY IN THE KARATE KID

Karate Kid

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 2012 issue of Paracinema Magazine.

“First learn stand, then learn fly.”

If there’s one overused approach to the academic examination of film it’s the application of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. First presented by Campbell in his seminal 1949 book “The Hero With a Thousand Faces,” the idea of the monomyth (also known as The Hero’s Journey) explores our shared history and examines a common thread that appears in the nature of our different cultures. It presents a pattern in myths, legends, fairy tales, etc. in which the hero goes through specific stages to transform into an archetype. Campbell’s book looks at why/how this pattern naturally emerged out of different stories from all over the globe and traces it throughout history. Of course, the monomyth pattern existed long before Campbell laid it all out in “The Hero With a Thousand Faces” in works like “Beowulf” and “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” and that seemingly omnipresence of it is what makes the monomyth so damn interesting and important.

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Of Bonsai and Balance in the New Paracinema Magazine!

The new issue of Paracinema Magazine is now available and I’ve got an article about The Karate Kid and Joseph Campbell’s monomyth in it!It’s not as boring as it sounds!

There are loads of other rad pieces in it, including ones about the subversive British horror and Coppola’s overshadowed masterpiece, The Conversation.

You can order the issue from the Paracinema website or from a few retailers. My MA friends can get it at Newbury Comics or the Red Lion Smoke Shop in Salem. My mom is super proud of me!