WHERE: In the living room of my apartment in Portland, ME

FORMAT: Blu-Ray on a Vizio 32″ LED HDTV

COMPANY: A very intoxicated Cinemanaut John and a not-yet-intoxicated Cinemanaut Becca.

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: A progressing state of drunkenness from many glasses of vodka and pineapple soda. Armed with a paperback copy of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which I had just finished reading a couple hours earlier.

I intended to use this week’s article to explore the ways in which Back to the Future is a perfect example of the Campbellian monomyth, but my friends decided we should get together and drink instead. Still, a good Cinemanaut never lets inebriation get in the way of film analysis, so here are my notes on the topic, transcribed exactly as they were drunkenly scrawled. Also, some videos from that evening of me being a disphit to help you take a break from all the learning you’re doing. You’re welcome.


The opening shot establishes Doc as the suppernatural aid.

Strickland calls Marty’s father into question right away, setting up an adventure for redemption of the father.

He redeems his father and experiences a literal re-birth. You can’t get more literal than this.

Put a picture of the monomyth here so everyone can follow allow. This isn’t cheating.

Lorraine is all four images of the “bad” mother.

  1. the absent unattainable mother
  2. the forbidding punishing mother
  3. the mother trying to hold on to her child
  4. the desired but forbidden mother (Oedipus)

Link to your fantasy version of BTTF… it’s how you could make this a Campbell version of this. Like a myth.

Joseph Campbell points out that the scientist who builds the labyrinth also knows the way out and can help the hero. This is Doc. The labyrinth is the fifties.

Where is the refusal of the call to adventure. Is it when he claims it’s a dream? Failing to show up for Doc’s experiment?

It’s not enought to just return. He needs to “return with the elixir” which in this case is redemption of his family. Can’t just find Doc and go home. He has to fix his family.

Lorraine is the meetig with the goddess. Lea Thompson IS A GODDESS.

Marty’s rebirth and father’s redemption.

This is better than Star Wars for monomyth.

Joseph Campbell’s prose style is too fovery.

This movie is perfect. Yup.

The return! What a return! Yes!

Fuck Joseph Camb [five lines of illegible scribbles] I LOVE THIS MOVIE.

Linda has so many boyfries! Polyamory is awesome. I recommend it. Right. So Joseph Campbell… the hero is showered with riches. In this case, the truck. And awesome rich family? Awwww yeahhhh.