Saturday, December 29, 2007

Goodbye 2007!

We have come to the end of another year. Hopefully you have been able to catch a few films over the holiday season. So far I have seen Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp, go figure!) and Atonement. Both deserve two thumbs up! In January I will be updating you on all the film awards that have been or will be announced (writer’s willing!). So check back in 2008!
Goodbye 2007! I will see you all on the other side!
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Does it have to be about Christmas to be a Christmas Film?

Everyone is busily running around this time of year, but at some point we all need to sit down and relax. For me, that means I have time to watch some of my holiday film favorites. I know what my favs are but I thought I would ask my fellow HBPL staffers what tickled their fancy at the holidays (film-wise, of course!). I thought I might be in trouble when I asked one employee and his answer was “I think there was a Christmas scene in Goodfellows!
Fortunately I pressed on and came up with some more festive titles: The most popular was It’s a Wonderful Life. Many of the staff mentioned this is a film they try to watch every Christmas. I also like it but find it interesting that when it was released it got very mixed reviews and was viciously trashed in the New Yorker. It barely made back the cost of making it and didn’t become popular until its copyright expired and was shown every Christmas on television. Now it is a classic.

Other than It’s a Wonderful Life, I would have to say my favorite holiday films are A Christmas Carol (the Patrick Stewart version) and White Christmas. It just isn’t the holidays for me until Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen sing the title song. Another film that got a mention and that I also really like is Nightmare Before Christmas. I guess it can be either a Halloween film or a Christmas film. I tend to watch it at Halloween but some of my workmates claimed it belonged to Christmastime.

The other popular titles: Miracle on 34th Street, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story (“You'll shoot your eye out!!”) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. These are all very Christmas-worthy (and available in our Media department).
But what constitutes a Christmas film?? For me it is the films that I have to watch every year at Christmas. When I asked my colleagues for their films, most were in the traditional vein. But a few were quite surprising. One colleague, without hesitation, stated Desk Set. Another, Serendipity; and I had more than one Home Alone’s!

So, I hope your holidays are full of joyous spirit and that you find some time to relive days past with your favorite holiday films (whatever they may be!).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Double Dip of Depp for the Holidays

The holidays always bring releases of big films on DVD. The studios aren’t silly! They know that Christmas is a time to make some more $$ on those big budget films. This holiday season is no exception. The two big DVD releases are Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End. As some of you might know, I have a mild thing for Johnny Depp (which started with 21 Jump Street). Last Spring I ran a film program here at HBPL called “Not Just a Pirate – the Films of Johnny Depp”. As part of the program I always opened with a short lecture about the life of JD and/or the film being screened. At the time, one of the patrons mentioned that it would be nice to have the lectures available on our website. So as a little holiday treat for you…click here for an abridged version of those lectures.
Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End comes out December 4th and will, of course, be available at HBPL!! (as will Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which comes out December 11th).
The other Depp film, Sweeney Todd, will be coming to theatres on December 21st. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp teaming up once again to make a film version of my favorite Stephen Sondheim musical. Johnny singing, dancing and wielding a straight razor; what else could one want for the holidays!?