Sunday, December 24, 2006

And the whole Christmas thing...

Christmas 2006. Right y'all. Here we go again.

Remember the 'Christmas Kills' Morrisey-inspired t-shirts in the 80's that featured a turkey about to be beheaded? Now really, that's the season for some. I knew several Smiths fans at the time who were active carnivores and still wore the t-shirt because they (and let me see if I remember this right) agreed with the right to express such a sentiment, and were really just supporting free speech desipte the fact they were going to enjoy such a turkey themselves over the holiday. Not the same turkey on the t-shirt of course, perhaps that was a factor.

I have a townhouse with carefully out-of-reach bits of Christmas bunting, a collection of Christmas mp3s and the usual assortment of relatives, visiting, etc. And by the way, how does one get duck fat off Emile Henry? The dishware, not the dude. If M. Henry was fond of being covered in duck fat, that was his business. More importantly, how does one get duck fat off of me, since I appear to have a faint rainbow sheen upon my person this morning?

I've wanted to watch a Christmas movie. Of course, I don't like most of the 'must watch at Christmas' flicks. I've gotten away with never watching 'The Sound of Music' in this lifetime, 'It's A Wonderful Life' gets a bit old (and is surprisingly dark by the end), the 1951 'A Christmas Carol' is pitch-perfect but committed to memory long ago. Never into the whole Grinch phenomena. I did find the 'Charlie Brown Christmas Special' and remembered watching it projected in a grade 1 class waaaaay back when, complete with a Coke spot before and after the 16mm ran through the reels.

If you're sick of the holiday, you could do an anti-Christmas film festival, where the action takes place at that time of the season but isn't really a pivotal plot point. Dan Ackroyd eating stolen salmon covered in fake beard in 'Trading Places'. Andy Garcia finding a serial killer with a fondness for blind women in 'Jennifer 8' (which also has the creepiest version of Silent Night ever put on celluloid). Don't forget the first 'Die Hard'. Either version of 'Black Christmas', although really, why would you want to? If you must, do the original, at least it had the merit of some great atmosphere. 'Less than Zero' begins with a Christmas party, how about that? Or better yet, how about not?

If you've got patience, 'Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence' actually manages to be a very powerful peace-on-earth statement, even if it is set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp with David Bowie as an Australian soldier who gets the attention (and I mean attention, wink nudge say no more) of the camp commander. Oh, and it also becomes a completely different movie for around 20 minutes, sort of a boarding school melodrama. It's very weird. It's very Japanese. Bowie gives an amazing performance. And Tom Conti's deadpanned line "He thinks he's Father Christmas" is worth the wait.

For my part...why not just call a truce with the world and read A Child's Christmas in Wales, or better yet listen to it here. In goes your mind into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea. If you're not into the season, just enjoy the prose. If it resonates, fill in the rest yourself.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Dylan Thomas. Listening to it made me feel that if I looked outside between exactly the right two slats of my blinds, my neighbourhood might just be glowing and shiny with newly-fallen snow. Ahhhhhhh. It's the most Christmassy I have felt yet this year. Merry merry.

Anonymous said...

My fav. Xmas movie is still the (vastly under-rated) Long Kiss Goodnight with Geena Davis and Sammy L. Jackson.

But then again, I'm not a big fan of Xmas, anyway...


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