Here are my top picks to survive the haters:
- Titanium by Sia, found on the David Guetta album Nothing but the Beat.
- Overheated by Billie Eilish, from the Happier Than Ever album.
- Mean by Taylor Swift, from the Speak Now album.
- I'm Still Standing by Elton John, from the Too Low For Zero album.
- Sabotage by the Beastie Boys, from the Ill Communication album
Surviving the elements and living in the wilderness can be a matter of choice or of circumstances. Valuable lessons about who we really are can happen in both cases, and in these films:
The Mountain Between Us
This film depicts two people who find themselves thrown together to survive the elements after a plane crash. OK, can you imagine being stranded alone with Idris Elba, worth watching for that idea alone!
A grief-stricken widow chooses to withdraw from society and live off the land surviving completely on her own. The choice has unexpected challenges, consequences, and soulfully beautiful vistas.
A famous chef becomes a recluse in the wilderness with his truffle-hunting pig. He chooses this lonely state of survival, until suddenly something shakes him up and challenges his quiet existence.
Based on a true-life story, a determined young man embarks on a treacherous cross-country marathon with a team of sled-dogs. The strength of the human spirit in the face of this grueling survival story is the real win.
Tina is an excellent HBO documentary about the ultimate survivor, Tina Turner. On dvd and bluray.
Here are some songs that are good for surviving a break-up along with my favorite line(s) from each.
I Will Survive / Gloria Gaynor
"I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key." I love when they stick in the word "stupid" even though it doesn't make sense, just because they're mad. This is on cd and freegal.
Red Rubber Ball I actually first heard this sung by Nellie McKay on the album My Weekly Reader, even though it was first recorded by a group called The Cyrkle and covered shortly after by The Seekers. Paul Simon wrote it and it's on their album Old Friends.
"Now I know you're not the only starfish in the sea. If I never hear your name again it's all the same to me. I think it's gonna be alright, yes, the worst is over now, the morning sun is shining like a red rubber ball".
Another song I first heard on My Weekly Reader is Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying, but it was recorded in the 60's by Gerry and the Pacemakers. You can hear their version on cd and freegal.
"We know that crying's not a bad thing. But stop your crying when the birds sing." (what good advice!)
Too Many Fish in the Sea by The Marvelettes, on cd and freegal. but I first heard Bette Midler sing it on It's the Girls.
"Pull yourself together, no use crying forever ... don't worry about him, do without him ... don't let him get you down, there's other boys around. Because there's too many fish in the sea."
It Doesn't Matter Anymore by Linda Ronstadt is on the album Greatest Hits, v.1.
"I'll find somebody new, baby, we'll say we're through, and you won't matter anymore"
Some videos of Survival!
[Nothing But] Flowers by the Talking Heads
It's the End of the World As We Know (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.
Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
We Don't Need Another Hero by Tina Turner
The theme of Survival is a powerful one and there are so many ways to look at the theme. I have quite a few favorites ranging from screwball comedy to intense drama.
Starting on the lighter side, Irene Dunne survives both a plane crash and seven years on a deserted island (with Randolph Scott) to show up inconveniently on her husband's (Cary Grant) wedding day to another woman in the 1940 film, My Favorite Wife. The lack of details about her survival are part of what is funny about this film. It was successfully remade in 1963 with Doris Day and James Garner as Move Over Darling. Both films are fun escapes from Survival's harsher side.
Survival in space is often thrilling and transporting and often shows off the need to innovate on the fly in an environment completely hostile to life. I love the real life suspense and heroism of director Ron Howard's Apollo 13. The masterful editing and acting makes really plunges us into the high tension reality of a spaceship mishap in space.
Less true but equally intense is director Ridley Scott's The Martian. An astronaut left for dead on the surface of Mars finds his and his crewmate's ingenuity pushed to the limits as he attempts to survive while waiting for them to rescue him against tremendous odds.
Finally the seven time Oscar winning cinematic tour de force of Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity lifts us into a vertiginous experience as astronaut Sandra Bullock is beset by life ending hazards from all sides. The movie's visuals and sound are still among some of the best that I've seen.
As we collectively survive California's current heatwave, I'm reminded of the 1965 epic, survival/adventure film, Flight of the Phoenix where a group of men crash land while flying over the Sahara. The wrecked plane is their only shelter from the lethal heat and their only way of surviving may mean all their deaths. The film is as remarkable for its character driven psychology as for its intense scenes of survival. Film icon, James Stewart leads a strong cast through the drama.
Things turn chillier and the challenges to life are complicated by bear attacks in two explorations of men driven to the edge in the Oscar winning Revenant and The Edge. The Revenant explores an almost existential loneliness and grief as Leonardo DiCaprio is left for dead in a bleak wilderness with almost no chance of survival after a bear attack. In The Edge, Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin survive a plane crash in Alaska only to find themselves tracked by a killer Kodiak bear. A chilling and riveting tale of madness and survival.
Finally the emotions of survival are explored in director Peter Weir's excellent Fearless. Jeff Bridges survives a plane crash that kills many of his fellow passengers and finds his personality is profoundly changed by the experience. Rosie Perez received her first, and so far only, Oscar nomination as a fellow survivor of the crash suffering survivor's guilt.
Movies & Music - Question of the Week
The American version of the reality competition show Survivor was based on the same format as the show Expedition Robinson, which originated in this country.