Some kind of Twitter challenge popped this morning from the Filmstruck gang — define yourself with four films, two reflecting the basic emotional reality of things and two about wishful thinking.

Hollywood Elsewhere’s emotional definers are (1) Billy Wilder‘s The Spirit of St. Louis (’57) because it says that life is about the big challenge and the long haul, and that despite all indications that God is a myth a caring, compassionate entity can nonetheless lend a hand at a crucial moment, and (2) Stanley Kubrick‘s Paths of Glory (’57) because it reminds that life is unfair and in fact horrid for the grunts, and when the shit hits the fan it’s better to be Kirk Douglas than Ralph Meeker, Joe Turkel or Timothy Carey.

HE’s wishful thinking movies are (3) the first half of David Lean‘s Lawrence of Arabia (’62) because it reminds that intrepid adventurers can manage the near-impossible if determination is truly with them, and (4) Fred Zinneman‘s High Noon, which says that when the chips are down you can’t trust anyone except yourself, and even then you’ll need a certain amount of luck to make it through the gauntlet.