Summary: Rotten Tomatoes

Based on true events in Point Pleasant, Virginia, “The Mothman Prophecies” examines a series of inexplicable occurrences through the eyes – and mind- of one man. A man is driven to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding his wife’s death — and how they might be connected to the strange phenomena in a town four hundred miles away.

Nerd Corner:

Urban legends -> type of verbal folklore

What is folklore?

  • Merriam Webster: traditional customs, tales, sayings, dances, or art forms preserved among a people.
  • OED: the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth.
  • Wikipedia: the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group.

Folklore can be divided into modes of expression/transmission:

  • Verbal
  • Material 
  • Customary 

Four functions of folklore

  • Escapism
  • Validation of culture and tradition 
  • Education and reinforcement of values
  • Maintain conformity to community/cultural norms

Mothman is very regionally and temporally specific

  • Point Pleasant, WV 1966-1967

Silver Bridge Collapse facts

What was going on society-wise during the Mothman sightings: cold war, abandoned industry

Why is Mothman eternal? 

  • Connected to multiple conspiracy theories
  • Richard Gere movie
  • Annual Mothman Festival
  • Kim Stryker, a folklorist at George Mason University, theorizes that “supernatural interest springs up in society when a distraction is needed. The last twenty years…have meant unprecedented challenges to everyday life, and that in periods of great political and societal upheavals, stories like that of Mothman are greatly welcomed.”

 

Kate Notes:

Lots of close ups of her eyes and from strange angles. Like up the nose. LOTS of eye imagery. 

She was drawing angels. I bet she was drawing mothmen. Mothmans? 

Nightmare fuel journal

Mothman is like that goth little amelia bedelia who tries their damndest to do good but messes it up in creepy ways

A bit of shaky cam, it looks handheld the way it pans back and forth 

I feel like the cuts are meant to demonstrate his investigation but it just doesn’t feel very well done? Like it’s kind of rushed? While still being slow?

What do I look like? It depends on who’s looking. 

Freemarket on a building in the background, old school looking church in the foreground. The meeting of past and present? Of lore and modernity?

This movie feels a lot like Zodiac. Slow burn with lots of confusion.

 

Tropes:

Agent Mulder and Agent Scully

Alternate History

Decomposite Character

These are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know

 

Scale:

 

Works Cited:

Ponath. (2019, February 11). Mothman: A West Virginia Folklore. OSU College of Arts and Sciences. https://u.osu.edu/vanzandt/2019/02/11/mothman-a-west-virginia-folklore/ 

Vickery, Sarah. (2021, July 12). History student tells the story of the Mothman. University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee). The College of Letters and Science. https://uwm.edu/letters-science/news/featured-stories/history-student-tells-the-story-of-the-mothman/ 

(2020, December 15). The Silver Bridge Collapse. WV Public Radio. https://www.wvpublic.org/radio/2019-12-15/the-silver-bridge-collapses-killing-46-december-15-1967 

Mallow, Gwen. (2021, June 7). An Ode to a Hometown Creature: Mothman of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. Folklife. https://folklife.si.edu/magazine/mothman-point-pleasant-west-virginia 

Romain, Lindsey. (2020, August 4). What Is the Mothman and Why are we So Obsessed? Nerdist. https://nerdist.com/article/mothman-why-we-are-so-obsessed/