Cinematic cosmic funnels seem to be having a rebirth this summer. R.I.P.D. has made such a channel part of its endgame – previously a one-way trip for the newly dead in an upward direction, the bad guys now want to make it a two-way street so the evil dead can tumble back to earth.
Also this month, Pacific Rim demonstrated that the appearance of the Kaiju was through a tubular, funnel-like construct in the Pacific. In June, This is the End, the comedy featuring real Hollywood celebrities coping with The Rapture, had its own cosmically lit funnel, heading north, for the souls who were saved.
The Mother of All Funnels, however, made its summertime debut just over 32 years ago in Raiders of the Lost Ark. In a funnel-defining moment, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) and his beloved Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) are hand-tied to a stake. Indy exhorts her to keep her eyes shut, as heavenly forces punish the Nazis and take the sacred Ark of the Covenant for a skybound ride before dropping it back to earth. Honorable partial-funnel mentions are Poltergeist, Danny Darko and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, in which swirling smoke suggests but doesn’t actualize a real funnel.
These channels, through which people and objects get a taste of transcendence, are tied to Mercury, the winged messenger, who did the gods’ bidding by traveling from one realm to another. Riding a funnel is akin to traveling across the rivers Styx, the mythic body of water the newly dead embarked on to fulfill their trajectory-in-death.
Funnel note: Not Just Kitchen Tools.
Astrology Film Rating: ☿(Mercury)