Fill your bowls with popcorn, sit back and enjoy, ‘tis the season to go to the movies!
In the last week or two I’ve been to the cinema about four times (that’s four times more than I have been in the last two months!). I’ve seen aliens who have come to earth to give us super advanced technology in ‘Arrival’, I’ve experienced fantastic beasts of every describable shape and size in the JK Rowling movie of the same name, and I have watched in shock and some awe as Tom Ford’s second movie ‘Nocturnal Animals’ took me to places I am not sure I really wanted to visit!
Whatever the subject matter, I love movies, I always have done. Most of the big movie production houses save their best films for this time of year – so they come out just before the Oscars season and are fresh in the minds of audiences and judges – so this really is the best time of year to go to the cinema.
One of my greatest joys at Christmas as a child was getting the TV Times and the Radio Times to see what movies would be on. 50 weeks of the year we never saw either of these listings magazines but, at Christmas, mum always indulged us all a little and got us things we never had the rest of the year. I guess that’s one of the reasons why my childhood Christmases feel so special.
As soon as the two TV guides would appear, my brother and I would grab one each and start marking out our preferred viewing options for the entire two week holiday season.
This was long before the days of Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs), so everything had to be planned on paper in advance.
As soon as I was finished with one guide, and my brother was finished with the other, we would do a swap. No one else could get their hands on them. To be honest, I think no one else was as interested as we were, which was heaven for us.
We poured over them, agonising over every decision. Schedule clashes were negotiated with the skill of a United Nations Security Council meeting. Trade-offs were made and deals struck.
Full scale negotiation was rarely needed, as every year the first things we hunted for were our traditional Christmas classics – ‘Wizard Of Oz’, ‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’, ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, and ‘Scrooge’ – and we worked our way backwards from there. Occasionally we would allow my poor, hardworking mum an intrusion into our agonizingly meticulous schedule, but only under duress, she was allowed the indulgence of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ (‘every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings’), ‘Gone With The Wind’, ‘Little Women’ or ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (the 1947 version).
Our Christmas TV scheduling was never trifled with lightly! I have come to love all of mum’s choices as well, because they remind me of grey, winter afternoons sitting in front of an open fire, Christmas lights twinkling, lazily drifting off to other celluloid worlds were everything was in technicolor and everyone’s problems always worked out in the end – would that real life were the same!
As I have gotten older, my childhood favourites still remain favourites, but the list has gotten a little longer over time.
I have new additions that have crept in like, ‘The Snowman’ (reminds me of the wonder of being a child), ‘The Family Stone’ (funny, sad, poignant), ‘The Holiday’ (smart, funny, upbeat), all the ‘Harry Potter’ and the ‘Lord of The Ring’ series (I love getting lost in epic films with great visuals).
Musicals are also a great way to spend a Christmas afternoon, ‘High Society’, ‘The Sound Of Music’, ‘The King and I’ (we used to be able to sing every single word and note of every single song when we were children as we had the soundtrack at home), ‘Paint Your Wagon’ (remember, ‘I Was Born Under a Wanderin Star’?), ‘Carousel’, ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’, ‘Hello Dolly’, ‘An American In Paris’, Hans Christian Anderson (with the incomparable Danny Kay)… the list goes on and on.
After the chaos of the run up to the festive season, it is truly comforting to know that you can just sit down and relax in the knowledge that you can just lose yourself in a really good movie.
Of course, any movie marathon has to be accompanied by sweet treats (my other Christmas indulgence), so I am stocking up on my Joe & Seph’s popcorn, Gower Cottage Brownies as well as Monty Bojangles and Butlers Chocolates. Ahhh, absolute bliss.
Whatever it is, I hope that yours is a stress free, movie filled escape from the usual hustle and bustle of life.
A merry movie Christmas to you all.
Until next time,