Frank T. Bird Ruined My Weekend
Now, I know some of you reading this probably think 04:30 is a bit on the late side — all you irritatingly perfect go-getters who rise at four o’clock every morning, go for a run down to the beach, then an icy swim, Wim Hof style, before heading back to your yoga studio to warm up with some high-powered asanas followed by an hour’s meditation before breakfast.
That’s not me, OK.
So right now, I’m a little pissed off. I’ve got a tough weekend ahead of me and being kept awake from such an ungodly hour, struggling to understand Frank’s movie choice, has left me a little grumpy.
I mean, I can obviously understand why he picked Planes, Trains and Automobiles over some obvious spiritual fluff like Fearless, for example. Jeff Bridges’ spontaneous ‘enlightenment’ following his brush with death so close to the start of that movie is just too celestial from the outset.
Bridges’ almost Messianic role after that initial awakening and subsequent choice to ‘return to Samsara’ because of love clearly have strong spiritual overtones, but lack the grit of humdrum day-to-day annoyances which lead many ordinary people onto a ‘spiritual path’ in the first place.
And Frank makes it crystal clear in his Medium story that, in his opinion, “The spiritual path is very much about a student learning from a teacher.” Although Bridges’ character assumes the role of teacher or guide in Fearless, he himself had no real ‘journey’ to his transformative experience and there was definitely no sign of a guru.
I can also see why Frank didn’t pick something like The Game as his greatest spiritual movie of all time. Although you could say that Sean Penn loosely represents the guru for Michael Douglas in that movie, there is a feeling of something too engineered and psychological to the plot.
Sure, there are many elements it shares with Planes, Trains and Automobiles, including the ‘series of torturous events’ which Michael Douglas is…