Classical mythology is not only the stuff of legend, but great movies. Myths are full of monsters, sex and violence. Movies about subjects like the fall of Troy appeared on screen as early as 1911. Every year, Hollywood rolls out yet more remakes of popular myths like King Arthur, Hercules and the mischief-making Greek gods and goddesses.
Why are these myths made again and again? Because people go to see them. Myths are stories that many people grew up with, so the characters and plotlines are comfortingly familiar. The opportunity to see how magic, monsters and miracles are portrayed with the latest special effects makes for great popcorn fodder.
One idea in films about gods or goddesses is that they look down on people’s lives as a form of entertainment. Top Greek god Zeus was portrayed as betting with other deities about the outcomes of wars, love affairs or murders. Deities would then meddle in the affairs of men in order to win these bets.
The tables have now turned for the gods of myths. We the moviegoers are now the ones being entertained by the gods and their bets. Does this make us the all-knowing gods? Perhaps it does for the length of a film.