Christmas Film Alternatives

Having fought my way through London’s Primark and War Horse brigade, up from the shires to clog the streets with tinsel and sick, I’m heading home with thirteen Christmas family film alternatives… Toys Barry Levinson’s strange Christmassy fable about toymakers and warmongers bombed spectacularly, even though it was co-written by SNL’s Valerie Curtin and featured […]

Ten Great Foreign Films For Christmas

At Christmas I won’t be watching M&S ads and X Factor specials on TV but my favourite foreign films. You know the accepted list; in the same way that Hollywood Top Tens place ‘Citizen Kane’ at the start, there’s usually ‘Jules Et Jim’, ‘A Bout De Souffle’, ‘Les Enfants Du Paradis’ and so on. I’ll […]

Creepy Christmas

Last weekend while I was away, I was fascinated by the different ways in which Christmas is celebrated. Italy is obsessed with automata – some very beautiful, some unbelievably tacky – that bring religious scenes to life. When I lived in America, it felt as if Christmas was mainly represented by Coca Cola. In England […]

The (Mean) Spirit Of Christmas

I should have known that when I sent out an eCard (jolly, festive, courtesy of the folks at Elf Yourself) to get around the post problems I’ve been having, people would start sending me ones back. Well, this serves me right. Theperfectgift!

Very Bad Santa

If you’re looking to buy a Christmas gift for a child you really don’t like, how about some of these worrisome presents? Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

When Classics Get Precious

Enough now. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point in my lifetime Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ turned from a nice 66 page story about the spirit of Christmas into a gigantic ‘beloved classic’ industry. Worse still, it turned into a brand. Now, I love it as much as anyone else (give me […]

Finally, I Understand Motion Capture

It’s been puzzling me ever since the posters went up (in August!) – where have I seen that face before? Now, after watching politician Peter Mandelson talking about his rubbish broadcasting bill, the pieces come together and we see how Jim Carrey achieved his dead-eyed, soulless appearance…and why Tiny Tim was left to die after […]

Your Christmas Movies 2

It’s time we added some other movies to the Christmas Comfort list. How about A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Barbarella (come on, it’s pretty tame now and it has a snow scene), Tim Burton’s second Batman with the Penguin, the Dino De Laurentiis King Kong? Personally I’d choose A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas […]