Shrouded in Myth

One of the newly erected engineering buildings near my place pleased me by departing from the expected corporate standard of exhibiting some colossal abstract art and instead erected a statue of Perseus taming Pegasus. Now every time I drive home I’m reminded how much I love Greek Mythology.

And it’s not just the Greeks that created mythologies I’ve loved. While still in junior high, I read almost every mythology book the FJH library had, and not just the Greek and Norse stuff, thought those were my favorites.

This passion for all things myth had a direct impact on my descent into the geekier realms, though movies like Willow and Dark Crystal, and probably then to Dungeons & Dragons. Then of course there were the actual Greek mythology movies, crafted with stop-motion by the masterful Ray Harryhausen, like Clash of the Titans and Jason and the Argonauts. Mythology seems like a subject that Hollywood should love, especially after fantasy returned to the forefront of blockbusting with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Unfortunately, the only thing even closely resembling the classic myths that has emerged recently was the horrifyingly awful Clash of the Titans remake. Another movie, Immortals, which focuses on Theseus, is set to release this year, but I’ve become skeptical. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was a decent attempt at modernizing the genre, but felt too juvenile for what I’m craving.

Norse mythology is even more scarce when it comes to cinema. A select few viking movies exist, ranging from atrocious(Pathfinder or Valhalla Rising) to fairly good (13th Warrior and the animated Beowulf), but nothing truly chronicling the Eddas and Sagas of the Norsemen. We have Marvel’s Thor coming out soon, but the shiny plastic Asgard portrayed in the trailer warrants apprehension, and again, it’s not based in myth enough for my tastes.

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