The day is short, and after 12 long months, we are entering the period where we can relax. It was a year with many ups and downs. Maybe it’s fatigue, maybe world fatigue, but I’ve been thinking a lot about this Christmas break. Usually, I like to work until Christmas Eve, take a few days off and then come back to work. It’s been a cycle that leaves me feeling drained, so this Christmas I decided to embrace things with both hands.
The past two years have been so far from tradition because of the pandemic, I’m ready to fully enjoy this festive season, which for me means the living room and the flickering fire. It’s a time when you can relax – hibernate, if you like – and catch up on your favorite movies.
Yes, of course, classic It’s a wonderful life, which is always expressed on the big day. It’s a movie I never shy away from, because I’ve shared bad experiences about Christmas, and when I watch it, I’m reminded of the joys found in family and community, and that one person can make a big difference. It carries weight for all those on the road less traveled. I hope it never gets a remake – it’s a classic for a reason.
I’m looking forward to the antics of John McClane, the hardline New York cop who finds himself at the Nakatomi Plaza tower over Christmas while a group of German terrorists attempt to steal gold zero-debit bonds. die hard sparks the traditional debate in many homes about whether it’s a Christmas movie, but of course it is.
Just because McClane is fighting the bad guys led by Alan Rickman doesn’t overshadow the fact that this is a carnival movie – indeed, at the end, Christmas music plays. Given the sad news of Bruce Willis’ declining health, this is a poignant film worth watching over and over again as the great man has retired from acting.
die hard remains one of the great examples of action movies where an ordinary Joe takes on seemingly impossible wins and odds. It is a masterpiece.
RTÉ will definitely show Back to the future trilogy of works. Watching these movies during Christmas and reliving one’s youth became a ritual. In preparation for this year in my own home, we watched the first movie last week. Despite being 37 years old, it stands out in so many areas, from text to visual effects. If you’re after nostalgia, this is the winner.
I’ve lived in Australia for a few years and so have spent many hot Christmases. In the seasons there, in contrast to Ireland, I would find myself at the beach or in a bar, eating seafood rather than turkey and enjoying the heat of summer. I still remember Christmas in Sydney as a joyful experience. Next to our apartment, the homeless shelter is hosting a big Christmas party and it brings people from every corner of the city together to Potts Point.
A staple of Christmas in Australia is the villain in Christmas movies in the form of wake up in fear. The 1971 indie film is perhaps the best mash-up of Australian psyche in decades.
We witness and experience the debacle of teacher John Grant on a lost weekend in Bundanyabba when he loses all his money in a two-player game in the back room, a favorite game of young people. Anzac soldiers. But it’s not Grant’s downfall that attracts attention; rather, it is a test of masculinity, tolerance, and self-destructive nature.
When it was re-released in Australia in the 2010s, I watched it in Sydney and found locals disappointed by its depiction of Australia. It challenges suburban middle-class sensibilities, but it has a power. It still acts as a bad mirror decades later and shows that there is a dark side to the nation, one that can be racist, toxic, and foul-smelling.
Maybe it needs a Canadian director in the form of Ted Kotcheff to examine the heart of another country.
Sometimes the movie challenges us to look at ourselves. In a way, you can see the outsider influence on Martin McDonagh in our ability to look from the outside into our own cinematic culture.
Surely many of us will curl up this Christmas by the fireplace and for a few hours or even days revisiting those movies we haven’t seen in a year. Whatever you decide to watch, make it something that nourishes you. Good cinema has the power to take us from the Australian outback to the American suburbs. It’s a trip that can lift our spirits and, given a year we’ve all gone through, it doesn’t hurt to take a few days off.
Enjoy the moment while we have it. Happy viewing.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/its-a-wonderful-life-catching-up-on-favourite-films-especially-at-this-time-of-the-year-42239658.html It’s a great life to watch your favorite movies, especially at this time of year