Snuggling up with a good movie, a great holiday tradition.
Holiday Film Recommendations
Over the holidays, you're sure to have some free time. If you're Awix, you'll probably sit down happily to watch Jason Statham do something drastic with a bicycle, but the rest of us usually like our holiday fare a bit more on the cozy side. Here are a few recommendations that avoid the saccharine and over-melodramatic in favour of the original:
- The feel-good movie: It Happened on Fifth Avenue. Finally, this splendid old film has arrived on archive.org. Made in 1947, it deals with the postwar housing shortage faced by returning veterans in the US. It's warm, funny, and well-acted. It is also devoid of false sentimentality and manufactured pathos. In spite of that, you might just shed a tear or two. And the dog is cute.
- Why not celebrate Hanukkah in a non-traditional way, by enjoying Handel's opera Judas Maccabaeus? If you're a fan of baroque, this performance might hit the spot.
- If you're more action-oriented, you might prefer this Cinecitta version of the ancient story, performed by thousands of Italian extras wearing tablecloths and such. Sorry, Awix, no worry on the upcoming Statham remake. Though we think he could take Antiochus Epiphanes with one hand tied behind his back.
- You want a Nativity story? We refuse to recommend one. When a good one has been made, we'll let you know. Forget all those manger scenes, and go rent Godspell, which is devoid of cherubs but full of wisdom and good music. Or watch Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Just as uplifting, and much funnier than most Bible dramas. And it's so British… Joan Collins as Mrs Potiphar is just impossible to describe…
- Prefer a more modern mythology? You may find Hogfather more entertaining. It can't be accused of being sentimental. No, we didn't say it wasn't sentimental – of course it bleeding well is, bordering on the maudlin in places. But it gets away with it, d'ye see, because it's also arch and 'meta', with its critique of other, lesser mythologies. Oh, and naturally because it's British and terribly popular. Hey, we didn't say we didn't like it, only that we know we're being hypocritical for doing so. Sooner or later, everyone has a guilty pleasure at Hogswatch time.
So, pick your holiday fare according to taste. Add eggnog, chestnuts roasting by an open fire, plum pudding, or whatever puts you in a mellow mood. Sing along to your favourite tunes.