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Essential Journal

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Festive Films for One and All

The festive period unlocks the archive to some of Hollywood’s most loved productions. From The Grinch to Gremlins, we take a look into our mostloved Christmas crackers 

It’s that time of year again. The thought of closing down the office for a couple of weeks, putting on some festive pj’s and cracking open the celebrations box. We find that one of the hardest decisions when it comes to getting comfortable in front of the TV, is what festive film is available to pop on. Whether it’s a traditional family event of viewing at least one select Christmas film over December at home or a trip to the cinema, or background ambiance for a Christmas house party, a festive film is almost as important as those little pieces of joy we call “pigs in blankets”.

Is there a category, or are they all just feel good films? Surely a feeling of guiltiness would enter our system if we were caught watching a film with added snow and tinsel, whilst the weather outside was not so frightful. But after months of summertime sadness, it’s time for the Christmas film to return in all of its glory. These films are amongst a select few that never seem to go out of style, or lose there comedy value as the years roll on. Whichever way we look at it they will always be around, and the good ones will always be tough to replace. Some of Essential Journal’s favourite holly jolly movies include everything from: The Grinch (2000) to The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), for others its the romantic comedy style of films such as Love Actually (2003) that signify love and hope at this time of year. 

When it comes to festive filmmaking, some of the classics have also been subject to their fair share of criticisms. Some films that can be seen as absolute classics on one hand, but on the other hand have been uncontrollably placed into the “Christmas film” category via default. The on going joke of having Die Hard (1988) classed as a festive film seems strange to some. We can see the relevance, set on Christmas Eve, the snowy scenes and of course the dead terorists in santa hats, how could it not be a Christmas film? Overrated or underrated, the beauty of the Christmas film is that almost every single family member chooses a different one. This makes for the perfect conversation piece around the dinner table whilst tucking into your stuffing balls and roast potatoes.     

If in the mood to get warm by taking a trip down to the cinema, independent picturehouses from around Liverpool have taken the liberty of showing some of our most loved Christmas films back to back throughout the festive period. Merry-made screenings of classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) are being shown at cinema’s such as FACT & Woolton Picturehouse. It does not get much more christmassy than to watch James Stewart as George Bailey running through the snow looking for life’s answers. Something we recommend to do with your loved ones at this jubilant time of cheer. 

Some of the best Christmas films trigger memories that we cherish for a lifetime, this is partly the reason why we continuously feel the need to re-watch them as soon as December approaches. We associate Christmas with spending time with loved ones and eating a-heck-of-a-lot of chocolate, however there is always room for our favourite fictitious characters to come and spend some time with us too. After all, there is definitley space on our couch for a green, hairy, tiny hearted Grinch and volatile diva called Miss Piggy. EJ