Posts Tagged ‘Christmas movies’


OFG Screens “Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale” 12/14/11

9 December 2011

Oh, of course we love the holiday movie classics…but sometimes you just need something a bit bracing to counter all the sweet that envelops us this time of year. With that in mind, we present the film Roger Ebert called a “rather brilliant lump of coal for your stocking hung by the fireside with care. How else to explain an R-rated Santa Claus origin story crossed with ‘The Thing’?”…Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale.

The unjolly Santa is this tale was inspired by from the Finnish version: a “pagan figure, named Joulupukki known for wearing goatskins and horns. But instead of giving presents, he demanded them in return for not causing trouble!” (BBC)

The film, from Finnish director Jalmari Helander, is a prequel of sorts to his celebrated Rare Export shorts. The film is in Finnish with subtitles and runs 84 minutes–and remember: it’s rated R. We’ll screen it and then discuss it starting at 7 PM in the Community Room of the Oswego Public Library. It’s free and all are welcome.


Poster for 12/20/10 Event: “MST3K/Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”

20 December 2010



OFG Screens “Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” 12/20

13 December 2010

We’re on vacation…from quality films!

Come join us for a Patrick Swayze Christmas Monday, December 20 for a 7 PM free screening in the Community Room of the Oswego Public Libraryof the 1964 travesty Santa Claus Conquers the Martians as seen by Joel and the ‘bots.

If you’re not already familiar with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) series, check out their website:


‘Simply having a wonderful Christmastime…’

12 December 2009

I saw the same clip from The Ten Commandments of Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea twice this week: last night as the Syracuse Crunch hockey team took to the ice (they won) and during A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël, 2008, dir. Arnaud Desplechin), when the family watches the movie on TV during their holiday visit.

Emile Berling, Mathieu Amalric, and Catherine Deneuve in "A Christmas Tale"

The film was a critical success (though I see from the sampling of comments on The New York Times on-line, viewers seemed to either love it or hate it). I didn’t have such strong feelings about it; I enjoyed it and wasn’t bored despite its length (2.5 hours). I haven’t seen any other Desplechin films; I don’t know if the unusual music and scene pairings and other attention-getting devices are typical. The story’s a well-worn subject: the dysfunctional family get-together over the holidays. I found what pleased me most about the film was its staying power. Too often it’s not only the blockbusters that seem to disappear from thought as soon as the credits end–for me, plenty of art-house films also seem as insubstantial. I thought about the characters and wondered about the Christmas (and Easter) story parallels that might be drawn days after I saw A Christmas Tale.

The film is out on DVD and it’s available on Sundance on Demand. (For you Time Warner customers: see your Free Movies on Demand channel). Postscript: For OFG friends who saw our screening of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, it was a twist to see Anne Cosigny and Mathieu Amalric work together in A Christmas Tale as well–not as close collaborators in Diving Bell, though, but as two completely alienated and hostile siblings.


A Seasonal List: 10 Christmas Movies

4 December 2009

In the very entertaining 10 Bad Dates With De Niro: A Book of Alternative Movie Lists, edited by Richard T. Kelly (Overlook/Rookery: 2007), the final entry is Graham Fuller’s  ‘Ten Movies to Save Us All From Satan’s Power’. Here are his picks (minus his full comments). They’re a mix of some expected seasonal entries, but also some unusually dark ones, including a noir with an innocuous title (Christmas Holiday) and some cynical and sad office intrigue (The Apartment). Also featured: two great duos, Laurel & Hardy (Swiss Miss), and Tom & Jerry  (The Night Before Christmas).

10. Christmas Holiday (US, 1944, dir. Robert Siodmak)

9. Swiss Miss (US, 1938, dir. John G. Blystone)

8. The Man Who Came to Dinner (US, 1942, dir. William Keighley)

7. The Magnificent Ambersons (US, 1942, dir. Orson Welles)

6. Comfort and Joy (GB, 1984, dir. Bill Forsyth)

5. The Night Before Christmas (US, 1941, dir. William Hanna & Joseph Barbera)

4. A Christmas Story (Canada, 1983, dir. Bob Clark)

3. The Apartment (US, 1960, dir. Billy Wilder)

2. Scrooge (GB, 1951, dir. Brian Desmond Hurst)

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (US, 1946, dir. Frank Capra)