Posted eight months ago: A Twitter challenge 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) 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, and (2) Fred Zinneman‘s High Noon, which says that fair-weather friends are a dime a dozen, that most people are cowards or at the very least don’t mean what they say, and that when the chips are down there’s only person you can really count on — yourself. And even then you’ll need a certain amount of luck to make it through the gauntlet.

HE’s wishful thinking movies are (3) 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 an empty myth, a caring, compassionate entity can nonetheless lend a hand at a crucial moment, and (4) 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.