Everyone has those little traditions to bring in this time of year, with one of those top celebrated pastimes being able to kick back with your loved ones and enjoy the groups’ favourite flick. Happy December from the team here at IPM, that last month of the year and the time known for the hustle and bustle, the rush to meet deadlines and bring ourselves closer to family and friends. These can range from energetic musicals filled with numbers guaranteed to get the family in singalong, a good old children’s animated feature or a classic Hollywood blockbuster with the heart-warming fairy tale ending. Whatever is your family’s guilty pleasure, or in this case, Christmas tradition perhaps you will find some new treasures from our “naughty and nice” list to add to your own. Our team has had a look at some traditional film choices as well as film inspirations for you this holiday season!
‘Home Alone’ trilogy
Boasting two successful sequels- small spoiler: we get to go to New York at one point. Con? It’s not entirely as fun as it sounds- there’s always a good chance that not only the first one will broadcast on your local screens, so you get to enjoy the full trilogy from start to finish. Let the tears of joy and laughter ensue.
It’s hard to say what exactly draws the viewer into this hauntingly beautiful visual of childlike wonderment and festive spirit- we imagine it to be the minimal dialogue that allows the whole family to pay attention to non-verbal clues. Perhaps in that it was adapted from an acclaimed 70s children’s book, then released to a new generation of 80s babies, who in turn encouraged that fascination with their children, etc…IPM thinks it may lie in the central song “Walking in the Air” performed by young schoolboy Peter Auty, who’s ethereal vocals complement the climax of the short film’s adventures. The fact of it being a young child being both the vocal emotional core for the film, and it’s main character combined with the overall whimsical tone of the film makes it even more fitting as a movie to captured both children’s and adults hearts.
'The Wizard of Oz'
One aspect that will stand out to audiences is the amount of effort gone through to craft this world: not a munchkins’ clothing without detail or a brick out of place on the famed street.When watching it back, filmmakers can’t help but feel a mix of admiration and sadness; firstly, for the level of cinematography and production work gone into delivering what is frequently listed as one of the greatest films of all time. Secondly, the sadness in knowing that however far we have come technologically, there is nothing filmmaking wise that can recreate the raw magic captured on film to the level of The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes we wish we could click our ruby red socks together and get a chance to experience that movie magic again for the first time. That’s why it is important to stimulate the knowledge of the influences such as the Golden Age of Hollywood and its impact on modern cinema today, and why it so innovative to the point of being aesthetically appealing many decades on. Boasting a musical standard “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, this era of filmmaking was aware of the impact a score has on the emotional reaction of the audience. Judy Garland is the film’s bright light of hope in its initial setting of bleak Depression Kansas lamenting her troubles to her uncaring guardians, she emphatically croons the lyrics of the now renowned ballad, almost outrightly conjuring up the ensuing tornado with her siren-like call. “We’re not in Kansas anymore”, stresses Dorothy to her trusty furry sidekick, Toto. No, we are certainly not and after diving deep into the world of Oz, you will never want to be again
Some Honourable Mentions...
An array of plotlines, intermingling the lives of young lovers to the Prime Minister of the UK, the modern holiday classic was directed and written by Richard Curtis. With an ensemble of great UK names headlining this holiday film, there is a familiar face for everyone to identify. The initial release of the film actually received mixed reviews from audiences, but once it hit the UK Box Office it was welcomed with great praised and became an audience favourite for the Christmas season. Who doesn’t fall in love with the young bright eyed Sam’s trouble with his first love as the holiday’s come around as his newly widowed father navigates single parenthood!
Though it is debated whether Gremlins is a Christmas film, the original release of the Horror-Comedy and memorable 80’s classic was during the summer period, but has since become a go-to for the holidays. It follows the story of struggling inventor Randall Peltzer who buys an unusual, furry creature as a Christmas present for his son. However the strange pet Gizmo soon spawns other creatures which transform into little gremlins, and wreaks havoc across the town during the festive period. Gremlins was produced at a time when combining horror and comedy was becoming increasingly popular and to this day is still a classic.
Another debated film for the festive season, Die Hard originally was released in 1988 and takes place on Christmas Eve. People around the world stand together to say it is a Christmas film. With great lines like ‘Now I have a machine gun, ho-ho-ho’ it is a great film for those who prefer the fast-paced action genre instead of something a bit more sappy!
What are some of your Favourite Festive Films?
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