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« Year in Review: Best Dance Moments | Main | Team Experience Top Tens. The Stories They Tell... »

Happy 2014...Choose Three Cinematic Spirit Guides!


I've found in years past that it doesn't do much good to fuss over resolutions or plans for a new year... especially a long list of them. Which is not to say that self-improvement projects or, by extension in my case The Film Experience improvement projects, should not be on the agenda. The trick is to really focus so I'm only choosing three even though my nature yearns to do it differently. I have to fight the impulse to draft up a list of 2,014 life goals which would then make me miserable when I failed to accomplish them and guilty when I forgot what they were. I've already been working at upping my game behind-the-scenes since I didn't want to wait until a special date arose ("January 1st" is so arbitrary, really, and why should we be bound to Aloysius Lilius's 1582 business, you now?) to act on recent positive impulses, particularly because negative impulses are so more familiar and abundant. So in October this year I started saying "yes" to things I would normally hedge on or pass up altogether from worries of various sorts (time, money, fear). That was the entire goal, say "yes"! I did it in the hopes of breaking out of my "comfort zones" (which can also be pronounced as "ruts"). Maybe it's too soon to tell but I think it's working!

I'm not ready to share the three goals yet but for fun I thought I'd choose three spirit guides from the movies, to lean on for inspiration and spiritual support this year. And here they are...

Maria in The Sound of Music (1965)
Her image needs to be rehabilitated anyway. When I'm feeling ill equipped for whatever comes my way in 2014, I'm going to sing "I Have Confidence," the ultimate self pep-talk song. I'll do this while swinging my personal baggage around like it weighs nothing (I will do all of this internally and silently so as not to harm innocent bystanders) 

Captain America
Talk about freeing yourself from ruts: Is there a harder mold to bust out of than a 60 year old block of ice? He emerged with heroic spirit, super fitness (I so need to get back to the gym) and take charge instincts. He also knows from Classic Hollywood Movies since he saw them in first run!

Poppy in Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
Because she doesn't take herself too seriously and she'll try anything and throw herself into it. She's our best cinematic illustration that happiness is a conscious choice. Life doesn't always cooperate.

You should totally play along at home - strength in numbers. Choose three cinematic spirit guides and join me in making 2014 your best year yet. 

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Reader Comments (15)

I'll play along, although I won't give reasons as you did.
Celine from the Before Trilogy
Sam Shakusky from Moonrise Kingdom
Isabelle from Hugo

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterQueermyntcritic

I approve even if you're testing me with Isabelle ;)

December 31, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Emma from Blue is the Warmest Color for her sexy swagger and artistic snobbery
Paula from Gaslight for breaking free and becoming assertive and "mad"
Ernesto Guevara from Motorcycle Diaries for his abundant optimism

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

Rhett Butler--because I need some blockade running/whore house carousing/" I don't give a damn!" in my life.

Scarlett O'Hara--because I need some Rhett Butler in

James Bond--because what boy doesn't dream of being James Bond.

And Nat--Harm some innocent bystanders. There is nothing more cathartic than crying uncontrollably on the F train (never the G) and then lashing out unreasonably at the first tourist who asks you if anything is wrong before calming exiting the train at Union Square.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Elsa from Frozen- time to test the limits and break through. No right no wrong no rules for me. Be free!

Clementine from Eternal Sunshine- Be whatever color you want ( who cares what anyone else thinks)

Jeff Smith- Fight for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom

I did quite well for myself in 2013 with Mavis from Young Adult as my spirit animal. Not the stalk your ex and try to break up the the marriage stuff. No. The bulletproof writer who is unfazed by the sheer stupidity of the industry of writing and that level of confidence in everything in everything you do. I believe I will continue under her guidance in 2014.

Let's add in the self-determination/actualization of Elsa from Frozen and the empathy and wit of Truman Capote in Capote and I think I have a pretty good guide for the new year.

December 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Sadly, my spirit animal is Carrie Underwood :(

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbbats

Sammy Prescott from You Can Count on Me.
Christian from Moulin Rouge!
Brad Allen from Pillow Talk because we all need a little Rock in our lives. "Inspect what?"

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Tracy Lord to inspire me to believe in my beautiful self.
Elle Woods to remind me to work hard and succeed in even the weirdest situations.
Tank Girl to release my inner badass.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

John Shaft (1971)

Jessica Rabbit

Muriel Heslop

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

"I Have Confidence" really is the most amazing confidence-booster EVER. I had it as part of a mix CD I made back when I did dance competitions a lot. It helped.

As for my own cinematic spirit guides.... hmmmm... I need to think about that.

January 1, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Jennifer Tilly from Bound, as I enter my first full year married to my very own Corky.

Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not, because she's been my cinematic spirit guide since I was 14 years old.

Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, because "I'm always angry" still gets me.

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

I love this idea SO MUCH. On another day I might also choose Poppy, Celine, or Clementine, but since those have already been chosen here are my three:

Ree from Winter's Bone

Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz

Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

(hey mine are all literary too!) There's something I love about these girls/women who GET THE JOB DONE no matter what stands in their way.

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHannahlily

Happy New Year, Nathan! Love the idea of Maria being my helping hand this year through all things Baronesseque. ITA with denny that this song chases away those pesky doubts faster than you can say a double shot. Talk about some major uplift, from none other than Mary Poppins' alter-ego. (BTW, did Wyler steal that train shot from this number in SOM?)

No. 2: Chris MacNeil in The Exorcist. Whenever I feel the Devil is just a little too close to home, I'll keep reaching for that rainbow.

No. 3: Lara in Doctor Zhivago. The only way I'll get through another winter in Chicago is by finding the perfect hat. If I'm gonna freeze, I'm gonna look GOOD.

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

ohmygosh I forgot Hushpuppy. I wish instead of an angel on my should I could just have a Hushpuppy telling me what to do. I quote that movie every day of my life.

January 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHannahlily

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