Recently I was part of a little panel at Wesleyan University about dressing in the fashion of Wonderland using street clothes we already own. Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me, received an email from me, or followed me on twitter or tumblr or any of my various blogs knows how important the stories of Alice in Wonderland are to me. The Alice books and many adaptations are not simply my favorites, nor is it merely an intellectual captivation. It’s personal. Alice, Wonderland, Mirrors, Rabbits, Pills, Keys, Pawns… these are concepts I use to express myself and explain myself to the world, and in a very Alice way, to myself. Now, I’m hardly the only one — Alice has fascinated people since she was first introduced and that fascination, and how we all play with the imagery and ideas, are why I can use it all to express myself and explain myself — it’s become a shared mythology.
Wonderland is probably most often used as a metaphor for madness; as the text directs us. But whether Wonderland is mental dysfunction or simply a childish dream the lesson most important to me is that Alice has complete control over it. Alice gets herself into, around, and out of Wonderland all by herself.
The other panelist Elseachay put together the following presentation on “closet costumes” which is the other side of the mirror equivalent of my ready-to-wear outings. I deconstruct costumes to create “real world” fashions and she uses “real world” clothing to create costumes. The results by definition meet in the middle: mirror images!
I love sports movies. I love the ones about scrappy underdogs. I love the ones about fallen champions. I love the ones about team-building and the ones about falling in love and the ones about reconnecting with family. I love the ones about winning and I love the ones about losing. I love the ones about teams and I love the ones about individuals. I love the ones about athletes and I love the ones about coaches or managers or moms. I love the ones about world champions and I love the ones about small town heroes. I love sports movies. And I can be counted on to cry at the resolution, win or lose or something in between.
A quote from Marianne Williamson recurs in the film Akeelah and the Bee (a sports movie in my estimation):
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
A sports movie, at its core, is about that fear and what it takes to overcome it. A sports movie, at its core, is about people who dare — not to be something they aren’t, but to be something they are.
Wreck It Ralph is a sports movie. There is a journey to win a medal, there is a race, there is a straight up training montage. But like all sports movies, it isn’t really about that. It’s about three people who dare to be powerful beyond measure. Of the three, Venellope is my favourite.