The Darker Side of Christmas Films

Quick!  What comes to your mind when you think of Christmas movies?  It’s a Wonderful Life?  National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation?  Scrooged?  Home Alone?  Bad Santa?
 
Eh, who needs ’em!?  It’s that time of year for…
 
The Schleicher Spin’s Top Ten Non-Traditional Christmas Films:

These are movies that highlight the darker side of the season or perhaps just have that contemplative, cold wintry feel.  So sit back with some whiskey, put a log in the fireplace and cozy up with something a little bit different.

10.  On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 

"Daddy, daddy, does Santa live there?" "No, son, that's where Blofeld lives."

What says Christmas better than gun fights and chases on skis, blowing up Blofeld’s mountaintop resort/terrorist compound and seeing your wife murdered in a drive-by?  Ah, the holidays!

9.  Eyes Wide Shut

Santa knows you've been a naughty boy.

Kubrick’s swan song if chock full of that holiday spirit – from swanky yuletide parties, to brisk walks through the night, to cultish orgies…the whole film is strung up like twisted Christmas lights. Continue reading
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Revisiting The Sweet Hereafter – The Best Film of the 1990’s

There is no such thing as a simple list.

The 1990’s proved to be as ponderous as it was wondrous when looking back on its contributions to cinema.  It was the decade where I came of age as a film buff, but many of its films that seemed at the time to speak so strongly to my generation just haven’t held up that well to scrutiny as years have passed.  It was a decade that saw one of the most original filmmakers of the 1980’s, David Lynch, do his most astounding work on television with Twin Peaks.  In film, the Coen Brothers hit their stride while a contemplative Canuck (Atom Egoyan) and an insane Dane (Lars Von Trier) reached career pinnacles.  Meanwhile, emerging from the British Isles were the classically refined works of Anthony Minghella and Sam Mendes.  But it was in the Coen Brothers’ America where many saw a mini-Renaissance.  Unlike the 1970’s, which produced a plethora of auteurs (Scorsese, Spielberg, De Palma, Coppola, Lucas) who were birthed in formal film schools, the 1990’s saw the emergence of a new generation of auteurs (Tarantino, PT Anderson, Fincher, Spike Jonze) who developed their styles first by working in music videos or by being products of their own self-guided fan-boy obsessed film clubs after dropping out of film school. Continue reading