The innovative mid-’80s TV series Robin of Sherwood incorporated aspects of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon mysticism into the Robin Hood mythos. In this scene Robin, Marion, Little John, Much, Will Scarlet and Friar Tuck – and then, to the surprise of the rest of the group, Nasir the Saracen – commemorate their fallen comrades by firing … Read moreNothing’s Forgotten; Remembering the Dead in “Robin of Sherwood”
Art Garfunkel’s song Bright Eyes, from the 1979 film adaptation of Watership Down. Author Richard Adams, who wrote the original novel, developed a fascinating matrix of “Lapine” language and a rich mythology, including tales of the Black Rabbit of Inlé. The Black Rabbit serves Lord Frith – essentially a deification of the sun – by … Read more“The Black Rabbit serves Lord Frith, but he does no more than his appointed task.”
The Last of Us, Part 2 is a brutal, epic video game experience, set in a post-apocalyptic America devastated by a fungal infection that transforms humans into monsters. Death runs rampant throughout the grueling game-play, both as inflicted by and upon many of the characters and in terms of motivating a seemingly endless cycle of … Read moreA Seraphite Shrine from “The Last of Us, Part 2”
George Romero’s Knightriders is a messy, eccentric and often quite beautiful celebration of/elegy for the idealistic, bohemian spirit of the 1960s. In this, one of the final scenes, the titular troupe of motorcycle-jousting knights and their friends gather to pay tribute to their fallen “king”, Billy (memorably portrayed by Ed Harris in one of his … Read moreKing Billy’s Funeral (“Knightriders”, 1981)
Glenn Paton’s 2015 short subject dramatizes the notion of the Euthanasia Coaster, first posited by designer Juljionas Urbonas in 2010. Here’s Urbonas explaining the ethos behind his concept of euphoric, ritual suicide-by-machine:
The 1973 movie Soylent Green posits a catastrophically polluted and over-populated future society in which suicide is not only legal but encouraged and facilitated by the state. In the New York City of 2022 (according to this fictional timeline), there exist institutions where people can end their lives peacefully and beautifully. In the full context … Read moreThe Thanatorium in “Soylent Green”
In this clip from Pixar’s modern classic Coco (2017), young Miguel – having been magically and accidentally transported from a crypt in his home-town’s cemetery during el Dia de Muertos – crosses a cempasúchitl bridge between the worlds and first encounters the Land of the Dead. The filmmakers’ visualization of a towering, glowing necropolis in … Read moreThe Land of the Dead in Coco (2017)
In a nutshell … A seminal scene from The Dead Poets Society, in which the extraordinary Robin Williams as the extraordinary John Keating imparts the first of many lessons in unorthodoxy, recalling the finitude of life and seizing the day.