Thank You, 2017 / by Andrew Yorke

After coffee and a stale donut, my buddy encouraged me to take exactly twenty minutes to list everything I want to thank 2017 for. Sure, it's just a year. But hell, we all know it's more than that, right?

So here we go…

  • Thank you for starting off the year with both myself and Queen Holley Elizabeth sick as…well…dogs.
  • Thank you for allowing me to question myself and my motives over the last ten years.
  • Thank you for the depression.
  • Thank you for the anxiety.
  • Thank you for the impatience.
  • Thank you for the reminders of community and communal bonding.
  • Thank you for the strangers who waved.
  • Thank you for the stranger who flicked me off when I was in a hurry to get to a meeting.
  • Thank you for the many cloudy days in early January.
  • Thank you for the many days of sunshine that soon followed.
  • Thank you for letting me rediscover Richard Strauss, and particularly "The Last Four Songs".
  • Thank you for encouraging me to attend the Women's March in Dallas.
  • Thank you for forcing me to be humbled by said march.
  • Thank you for not allowing me to be lazy.
  • Thank you for allowing me to be lazy when not being lazy was no longer an option.
  • Thank you for a bed I call mine.
  • Thank you for friends that came, friends that left, and strangers who became more than strange.
  • Thank you for Donald Trump.
  • Thank you for Doug Jones.
  • Thank you for checks and balances. Doesn't work all the time, but damn it does work when pushed.
  • Thank you for encouraging protests in the United States.
  • Thank you for scaring the shit out of me.
  • Thank you for exposing/re-exposing me to the works of Denis Velleneuve, Jane Champion, Jean Renoir, Otto Preminger.
  • Thank you for "Big Little Lies". Seriously. That's a hell of a show.
  • Thank you for transient abstinence.
  • Thank you for scaring the absolute shit out of me in regards to my talent and future.
  • Thank you for comforting those fears and forcing me to put life in a certain context.
  • Thank you for reminding me of mortality.
  • Thank you for reminding me of infinity.
  • Thank you for redefining both mortality and infinity.
  • Thank you for scaring the shit out of me some more.
  • Thank you for forcing me to find a way to get to the Toronto Film Festival this year.
  • Thank you for allowing me to meet Kevin Spacey in a Toronto elevator.
  • Thank you for wrecking that experience a few weeks later.
  • Thank you for bursting the Weinstein Bubble.
  • Thank you for reminding me that artists create, create, and create some more.
  • Thank you for showing me the world of cinema in a new light.
  • Thank you for reminding me that cinema = home.
  • Thank you for giving me the clarity to take the plunge again.
  • Thank you for the anger.
  • Thank you for the insight.
  • Thank you for false promises.
  • Thank you for the clarity to see those promises as false.
  • Thank you for the countless stories and countless lessons from all those around me.
  • Thank you for the woman in Toronto who stole my heart for fifteen minutes.
  • Thank you for the women who spoke to me this year.
  • Thank you for their courage.
  • Thank you for their honesty.
  • Thank you for their bravery.
  • Thank you for allowing them to be comfortable talking about their personal struggles with this lanky S.O.B..
  • Thank you for Lake Ontario.
  • Thank you for not letting my first movie become an international blockbuster.
  • Thank you for yoga.
  • Thank you for FilmStruck.
  • Thank you for Spectre.
  • Thank you for David Lynch's return.
  • Thank you for letting me grow my hair longer than I ever thought I would.
  • Thank you for the onslaught of bad news at every corner.
  • Thank you for lighting a fire inside my heart and mind.
  • Thank you for all the nutty ideas that have come from said fire.
  • Thank you for letting me embrace the madness.
  • Thank you for the many walks through wilderness, both rural and urban.
  • Thank you for doggy kisses.
  • Thank you for the chill sessions at friend's homes, filled with alcohol, kale chips, and other assorted hipster offerings.
  • Thank you for shame.
  • Thank you for handshakes.
  • Thank you for hugs.
  • Thank you for your honesty.
  • Thank you for being you.
  • Thank you for reminding me to dance like a wildcat while cleaning the dishes.
  • Thank you for reminding the world that 'weird' is fucking in.
  • Thank you for encouraging my obsession with Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
  • Thank you for fulfilling promises I made to myself years ago.
  • Thank you for the opportunity.
  • Thank you for the challenges.
  • Thank you for the failures.
  • Thank you for pushing me, just like the years before you.
  • Thank you for letting me smile at the little things, the big things, and all the curious madness in between.
  • Thank you for all the memories and moments I promised to remember but couldn't.
  • Thank you for being the best god damned 2017 in the history of history.

I will admit -- making out the list was a bit cathartic. Actually more than a bit.

Who the hell knows what's going to happen in 2018, but I'm looking forward to the new roads a new year brings. 

One last thing…

I discovered this while researching the films of Powell. I honestly pulled this from Wikipedia. Powell sent this in a letter to actress Wendy Hiller in the early 1940s. After reading it through, I decided to steal it and adopt it into my own philosophical outlook.

  1. We owe allegiance to nobody except the financial interests which provide our money; and, to them, the sole responsibility of ensuring them a profit, not a loss.
  2. Every single foot in our films is our own responsibility and nobody else's. We refuse to be guided or coerced by any influence but our own judgement.
  3. When we start work on a new idea we must be a year ahead, not only of our competitors, but also of the times. A real film, from idea to universal release, takes a year. Or more.
  4. No artist believes in escapism. And we secretly believe that no audience does. We have proved, at any rate, that they will pay to see the truth, for other reasons than her nakedness.
  5. At any time, and particularly at the present, the self-respect of all collaborators, from star to prop-man, is sustained, or diminished, by the theme and purpose of the film they are working on.

Wise words, even though blanketed in idealism. Great things stem from idealism. 

Here's to 2018, everyone.

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