Holiday Favorites

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#251 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 24, 2020 2:32 am

Not a film or TV show, but this is my favorite version of my favorite(/the only good) Christmas song. It really breathes the gravitas of reflection from annual signifiers with equal parts depression, surrender, and gratitude, moreso than any other version I can think of- though I'm biased having listened to it yearly since the album came out, so that's a couple decades of hardwired nostalgia.

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Red Screamer
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:34 pm
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Re: Holiday Favorites

#252 Post by Red Screamer » Thu Dec 24, 2020 3:31 pm

I watched It Happened on Fifth Avenue (Roy Del Ruth, 1947) last night as an attempt to get into the holiday mood, despite everything. Boy, what a stale, lifeless movie. Within five minutes you'll already know, scene by scene, how the rest of its ungainly two hours will play out. The pacing is all wrong and Victor Moore seems to be falling asleep reading his lines, stretching...out...pauses...between words. People call It's A Wonderful Life hokum when it's mentioned in the same breath as creaky fare like this?

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#253 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:39 pm

I've been cherry picking the Hitchcock-helmed episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and stumbled upon Back for Christmas, which isn't exactly a Christmas movie but is kinda the perfect one for this year..
SpoilerShow
where a husband trapped in a mundane existence with his wife kills her to escape a shelter-in-place lifestyle, only to be likely drawn back from his travels to an actual prison by an uncharacteristic good deed as her final act. I appreciated the cynical fatalism of his impotence at liberating himself from his wife's clutches, but the reveal that he wasn't able to read her after all this time together, as the cause of his plan's undoing, is icing on the cake of this twisted wasted life! In this case, the holidays aren't exactly something to look forward to, will be spent alone, travel and freedom from one's home is a pipe dream, and living with a partner makes one go crazy. Sounds like 2020.

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domino harvey
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#254 Post by domino harvey » Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:09 pm

therewillbeblus wrote:
Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:39 pm
I've been cherry picking the Hitchcock-helmed episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and stumbled upon Back for Christmas, which isn't exactly a Christmas movie but is kinda the perfect one for this year..
SpoilerShow
where a husband trapped in a mundane existence with his wife kills her to escape a shelter-in-place lifestyle, only to be likely drawn back from his travels to an actual prison by an uncharacteristic good deed as her final act. I appreciated the cynical fatalism of his impotence at liberating himself from his wife's clutches, but the reveal that he wasn't able to read her after all this time together, as the cause of his plan's undoing, is icing on the cake of this twisted wasted life! In this case, the holidays aren't exactly something to look forward to, will be spent alone, travel and freedom from one's home is a pipe dream, and living with a partner makes one go crazy. Sounds like 2020.
This is one of Hitchcock's best episodes, a perfect little sick joke ie the best case scenario for the series in general

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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Holiday Favorites

#255 Post by reaky » Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:17 pm

I’ve just stumbled across a new addition to this list, Seth Holt’s remarkable Nowhere to Go. It was one of the last Ealing films, and the first film of Maggie Smith, Kenneth Tynan and the ever-undervalued Holt. It has a superb sense of place and time, and a twisty plot that never goes where you expect. It reminded me of Cavalcanti’s similarly sour They Made Me a Fugitive.

Costa
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:10 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#256 Post by Costa » Sat Oct 30, 2021 4:04 pm

reaky wrote:
Sat Oct 23, 2021 12:17 pm
I’ve just stumbled across a new addition to this list, Seth Holt’s remarkable Nowhere to Go. It was one of the last Ealing films, and the first film of Maggie Smith, Kenneth Tynan and the ever-undervalued Holt. It has a superb sense of place and time, and a twisty plot that never goes where you expect. It reminded me of Cavalcanti’s similarly sour They Made Me a Fugitive.
Is this set around Christmas?
I just saw the trailer and didn't see any indication of Christmas time.

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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Holiday Favorites

#257 Post by reaky » Sat Oct 30, 2021 6:47 pm

Yes, slightly tatty Christmas decorations crop up all over the place, and it stretches through to New Year.

I was pleased to see this appear on the recently published list of British films Martin Scorsese recommended to Edgar Wright in preparation for Last Night in Soho. Scorsese is a big fan of Seth Holt - three of his films are on the list.

https://collider.com/martin-scorsese-fa ... vies-list/

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#258 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Oct 31, 2021 10:40 pm

Is Halloween a holiday? Not knowing what to watch tonight, I revisited Anguish 'cause why not watch the most 'meta' horror film showcasing the versatility of audience reactions if you can't decide what mood you're in yourself! I mistakenly ate dinner during the beginning, which is still the most unsettling part for me due to the rattling exposure to a skeevy internal logic of familial relationships, and that nausea persisted well before digging into candy (I can't for the life of me think of another film, regardless of content or gore, where eating whilst watching has bothered me or caused such a response). Then I looked up my writeup from last year:
therewillbeblus wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:42 pm
Anguish

Even the first section is extra disturbing not for the violence but the creepy fantastical elements and family dynamics, which just made me feel sick (I should not have eaten dinner while watching this)
Note to self: Next time, do not eat while watching Anguish

Note to the board: If you haven't seen it yet, watch Anguish, tomorrow on an empty stomach

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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
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Re: Holiday Favorites

#259 Post by reaky » Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:23 pm

Like many poverty row noirs (Decoy and Detour), I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes goes deeper than most into gloom and fatalism, and does some striking juxtaposition of Christmas cheer with death row scenes that could almost be Dreyer. The story is very characteristic of Cornell Woolrich.

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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
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Re: Holiday Favorites

#260 Post by reaky » Sat Dec 04, 2021 7:34 pm

Falling in Love(1984) looks at first glance like an odd splice of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen (Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel and Dianne Weist are in it) but this 1980s take on Brief Encounter actually feels very French, not least because of its matter-of-fact depiction of extra-marital relationships. Though topped and tailed by scenes of Christmas in New York, and featuring a meet-cute in a bookshop, its lack of sentimentality and emotional surges is probably what caused it to bomb at the box office. It’s also a great New York movie.

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domino harvey
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Re: Holiday Favorites

#261 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:51 am

domino harvey wrote:
Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:55 am
John Waters wrote:Santa has always been the ultimate movie star. Forget White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life and all the other hackneyed trash. Go for the classics: Silent Night, Bloody Night, Black Christmas or the best seasonal film of all time Christmas Evil ("He'll sleigh you").
Due respect to Waters but now having seen Silent Night, Bloody Night, this one's the best-- and, excepting Psycho, the best pre-Halloween slasher I've ever seen. I was legit impressed at how artfully made this future Mill Creek 50 Creepy Crawly Movie ScarePak-fodder is! The reveal of what links the small town victims (including John Carradine as a mute newspaperman who only communicates via a bell-- talk about perverse, imagine spending what little money you have on Carradine and not even having him use his famous voice!) is a novel surprise, and it's incredible how this movie embodies virtually every element of the Revenge Killer 80s slasher movie subsection, all the way back in 1972!

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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Holiday Favorites

#262 Post by reaky » Sun Dec 04, 2022 8:44 am

Jolly Christmas films this year thus far: Three Days of the Condor and I, the Jury (1953).

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swo17
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Re: Classic Holiday Collections

#263 Post by swo17 » Sun Dec 11, 2022 3:53 am

Not sure if there's a better thread for this, but it seems like the Complete Rankin/Bass Christmas Collection DVD set that just barely came out is already sold out in places and fetching high prices on eBay. Looks to be still available from B&N though

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therewillbeblus
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:40 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#264 Post by therewillbeblus » Mon Dec 26, 2022 1:17 am

It's by no means an objectively 'good' movie, but the animated 1995 short White Christmas is legit one of the most bizarre Christmas movies I've ever seen. It plays out like an Adult Swim episode that's only half-conscious of its ludicrousness, with absurd narrative escalations that include a superfluous kidnapping by Thunder and Lightning who embody Rocky and Bullwinkle villains (which is suddenly over almost as soon as it starts with a nonchalant shrug of deus ex machina), and a slew of kooky travel companions led by an effeminate goblin incarnation of Jack Frost who presents like a combination of Dobby the elf and Jar Jar Binks. It's surreal in ways that are occasionally clearly intentional, like with the wizard duo near the end who serve as reflexive commentators on the disinhibited imaginative eccentricities at play, but the arbitrary happenings are mostly pitched with sincerity, which makes it all even funnier- becoming an animated version of a so-bad-it's-good movie

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filmyfan
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Holiday Favorites

#265 Post by filmyfan » Fri Dec 01, 2023 3:39 am

1st of December today so the holiday film season can begin

I am starting with the new Laurel and Hardy silents BR with some Cary Grant (to tie in with new ITV series 'Archie') and some Hitchcock and film noir I think - xmas themed films from next week perhaps

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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Holiday Favorites

#266 Post by reaky » Sat Dec 02, 2023 5:43 am

I think I’ve read somewhere that Christmas plays a part in SINGAPORE (1947), in Indicator’s 2nd Universal Noir box. Can anyone confirm this?

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reaky
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Re: Holiday Favorites

#267 Post by reaky » Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:07 pm

I’ll answer my own question: having watched it, I can say there’s about five minutes set at Christmas. SINGAPORE gets by on the watchability of its stars and its classic Hollywood comfort viewing pedigree. It’s interesting that, like Bogart’s later TOKYO JOE, SINGAPORE is a patent effort to replicate the CASABLANCA template, but both films end up being more like each other than their model.

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TechnicolorAcid
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:43 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#268 Post by TechnicolorAcid » Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:38 pm

For this Christmas season, I’ve arranged a steady palette of comfort films, the nice, reassuring, lightly comical and/or heartwarming classics from around the globe.
I started off with The Cassandra Cat for the 1st and Bell, Book, and Candle (which by lovely coincidence, turned out to be set around the Christmas season) for the 2nd. Will post my complete 25 Films list at the end of this project so stay tuned for more.

Blip Martindale
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:09 am

Re: Holiday Favorites

#269 Post by Blip Martindale » Sun Dec 03, 2023 8:07 pm

TechnicolorAcid wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:38 pm
For this Christmas season, I’ve arranged a steady palette of comfort films, the nice, reassuring, lightly comical and/or heartwarming classics from around the globe.
I started off with The Cassandra Cat for the 1st and Bell, Book, and Candle (which by lovely coincidence, turned out to be set around the Christmas season) for the 2nd. Will post my complete 25 Films list at the end of this project so stay tuned for more.
Well your first two include cats, will this be a concurrent theme?

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TechnicolorAcid
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:43 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#270 Post by TechnicolorAcid » Sun Dec 03, 2023 8:20 pm

Blip Martindale wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 8:07 pm
TechnicolorAcid wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:38 pm
For this Christmas season, I’ve arranged a steady palette of comfort films, the nice, reassuring, lightly comical and/or heartwarming classics from around the globe.
I started off with The Cassandra Cat for the 1st and Bell, Book, and Candle (which by lovely coincidence, turned out to be set around the Christmas season) for the 2nd. Will post my complete 25 Films list at the end of this project so stay tuned for more.
Well your first two include cats, will this be a concurrent theme?
It really is just an odd coincidence that both films include magic cats but now that it’s been mentioned, Christmas with Cats could be a good idea. Just need to find 23 more first.
Last edited by TechnicolorAcid on Sun Dec 03, 2023 9:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Blip Martindale
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:09 am

Re: Holiday Favorites

#271 Post by Blip Martindale » Sun Dec 03, 2023 8:22 pm

TechnicolorAcid wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 8:20 pm
Blip Martindale wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 8:07 pm
TechnicolorAcid wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2023 1:38 pm
For this Christmas season, I’ve arranged a steady palette of comfort films, the nice, reassuring, lightly comical and/or heartwarming classics from around the globe.
I started off with The Cassandra Cat for the 1st and Bell, Book, and Candle (which by lovely coincidence, turned out to be set around the Christmas season) for the 2nd. Will post my complete 25 Films list at the end of this project so stay tuned for more.
Well your first two include cats, will this be a concurrent theme?
It really is just an odd coincidence that both films include magic cats but know that it’s been mentioned, Christmas with Cats could be a good idea. Just need to find 23 more first.
Seems like Chris Marker might have (or should have) made a film about Christmas and cats

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TechnicolorAcid
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2023 7:43 pm

Re: Holiday Favorites

#272 Post by TechnicolorAcid » Sun Dec 03, 2023 8:27 pm

He didn’t but god that would have incredible.

Jonathan S
Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England

Re: Holiday Favorites

#273 Post by Jonathan S » Mon Dec 04, 2023 3:43 am

The Curse of the Cat People?

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reaky
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 8:53 am
Location: Cambridge, England

Re: Holiday Favorites

#274 Post by reaky » Mon Dec 04, 2023 4:43 am

The first of Laurence Gordon Clark’s Ghost Stories for Christmas, The Stalls of Barchester, features a malevolent ghost cat. Then there’s The Lion in Winter.

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ianthemovie
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Re: Holiday Favorites

#275 Post by ianthemovie » Mon Dec 04, 2023 12:50 pm

Can't wait to hear what else you decide to watch, TechnicolorAcid. I love the sound of that project and you've already started out with some inspired choices. (I haven't gotten around to The Cassandra Cat yet; is it Christmas-themed?)

Not sure if this qualifies as "heartwarming," exactly, but last December I was delighted to discover Mr. Soft-Touch, an overlooked Christmas noir (?) starring Glenn Ford as a criminal with a stash of stolen money hiding out from the police at an orphanage/homeless shelter during the holidays. There are some light comic situations involving the orphaned kids and the other characters at the shelter, as Ford's character struggles with his conscience somewhat in the manner of Scrooge or the Grinch. The sweetness and sentimentality of these scenes is tempered by the crime/suspense elements, culminating in a memorable, borderline psychotronic final scene (which I won't spoil) involving Ford disguised as Santa. I wish a good physical release of this existed because it's truly a forgotten gem.

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