I had a film theory teacher in my undergrad years who taught us to rewrite our top 10 favorite movies list annually. Why? Because your choices tend to reflect something about where you are in life.
If you're the type who likes revealing self-help exercises, I'd pause to do this now. Grab a scrap of paper and a pen and write quickly. Don't think too hard. Because once you learn what the trick is, there's no way to do it without cheating.
So do it! I'll wait. Just click through below when you're done...
|Disclaimer: No actual technical difficulties are ensuing...I|
just like this as a "Wait a Minute" picture.)
1. The Pink Panther Strikes Again
2. Pee Wee's Big Adventure
3. Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion
4. Kind Hearts and Coronets
The second step of the exercise is simple. Glance over the list and look for patterns. Are the movies all from the same genre? Do they have a similar storyline? Are they from a common era?
All of mine were comedies, all of mine involved a totally awkward weirdo as the protagonist and three of them would probably be considered too embarrassing to appear on any kind of movie list by my fellow film class snobs.
If someone told me to write my Top Five Favorite Comedies, my prestige list would go, in no particular order...
1. Kind Hearts and Coronets
2. The Pink Panther Strikes Again
3. Duck Soup
4. Some Like It Hot
5. Modern Times
So, what does it all mean?
Simple. I'm either feeling like a fish-out-of-water at the moment or I'm interested in writing a fish-out-of-water story. Maybe I need to watch more comedies to cheer up. Maybe I'm being too hard on myself and I need to just watch fun movies that I used to love back in the day.
Whether I choose to read the list personally or professionally, it leaves me with homework. Fun homework. Watch comedy or try to write some comedy. That's an easy, low-stakes exercise.
I'm curious, what was your list and what did it tell you about your life? Were they all movies from your childhood? Were they one specific drama? What did you learn?