Christmas In Film Land

So, as we approach the time of year when capitalist avarice goes into overdrive, here are some  Christmas recommendations to blow some of your hard earned loot, drug money, Lottery winnings ....delete where applicable. Being a greedy, spoilt Westerner, I'm hoping Santa will bring me some of these.

1.The New Biographical Dictionary of Film (5th edition) by David Thomson.  These come by once every 7 to 10 years. The previous edition is probably the best book on Cinema I've read. Thomson waxes lyrical on cinema and you just indulge in his insights.

2. At this time of year I have a real yearning to watch a few musicals (On The Town & Anchors Aweigh, both similar spring to mind). But High Society is the kind of star studied musical comfort to snug up to on a Christmas holiday. It's always a joy to watch how the other half live.


3. Staying on a musical tip, a good soundtrack collection is always a fine stocking filler. A recent budget find was this great collection of John Barry's cinematic theme's from over the years. You get some of his excellent Bond tracks and a lot more besides.

4. Frank Capra's  It's A Wonderful Life is probably recognized as the Christmas picture nowadays. But through a series of films Capra captured a certain feel good feeling with a social conscience that's unbeatable. This collection has the rest of the best.

5. A book which comes around at this time of year every year, is perhaps the best movie guide on the market. The Time Out film guide is on it's 19th edition this year. Short, sharp, intelligent reviews, this is one of the great dip in and out of reads.

1. Fanny och Alexander (1982, directed by Ingmar Bergman). Growing up, we did not watch movies in my house but somehow I managed to catch this (and many other magical films) as a child somewhere. This film depicts the mystery of Christmas and the mystery of the life of adults as seen through the wondering eyes of children. Many of my aesthetic ideals for what a real Christmas looks like come from this film.  
2.  Fragments by Marilyn Monroe, is a collection of her journal writing, notes and other personal material. The Guardian sees the publishing of her personal writings as an attempt to broaden our view of the last century's most idealized 'sex symbol' (I don't like the term).

3. Reds (1981, directed by Warren Beatty). This is for lovers, and for writers, lovers of Diane Keaton, Helsinki in the snow and Russia.
This is for those who think life is tragic and unfair but who value its beauty. And it's for those who love historical epics.       
4. Annie Hall (1977), Play It Again Sam (1972), Manhattan 1979). This is a golden trilogy (it's that only by my definition) for someone in love with New York, Woody Allen, the 1970's, Diane Keaton (again) and who wants to laugh and be entertained while totally not willing to let go of the intellectual pursue of answers to why we are here and alive. A survival kit.

5. Woody Allen's movie music CD, a soundtrack to a life. What more does anyone need for Christmas?



  1. Do you know where to get the TimeOut filmguide in Finland?

  2. hi 5plitreel,

    Astrid bought me last years edition from Stockmann, but they normally only have one in stock, but I'm sure they could order for you.I also have picked up older editions in Finland in the past, but you always pay double the actual price.
    But if you want to save Money, I recommend ordering abroad, Play has free delivery for example:{time%20out%20film%20guide}+c{91}+



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