If you were a Grinch, like me, Christmas always meant being home alone in the evening wishing you had a box of pizza, bitter that you can’t order one, probably in a vest watching some films on TV with a can of Stella, occasionally wondering why your residence lacked an elaborate air ventilation system that could double as alternative transportation.
Well, some habits die hard. Despite being able to order pizza. I did not, but I did watch films & ponder air vents. I even managed to fluke an extra Christmas film in too.
— Ghost of the Past —
xcvi. Jingle All The Way (1996) – Arnie was probably a larger part of my childhood than Bruce Willis & some his lesser films were merging into one in my head. Turns out, I didn’t remember this very well at all. I was expecting moments of Last Action Hero & Kindergarten Cop it seems, which obviously means they’ll also need revisiting soon.
How’s the film? Yea’ pretty dire, but I’d be lying if I were to say I wasn’t at all charmed.
— Ghost of the Present —
xcvii. Die Hard 2 (1990) – While the whole of social media took to debating the merits of whether Die Hard is a Christmas film (which it indubitably is), I’d been there, done that last year, I’ve moved on to the next (which also is, I might add). Let the memes play catch-up, I suppose.
This second installment was a lot better than I remember it being. I guess due to the cult status of the first, I’d been brainwashed into believing the rest all paled in comparison. The following years may lead me to feel that way if I continue beyond the sacred trilogy, but for now, I remain impressed & pleased.
— Ghost of the Future —
xcviii. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – Though ordinarily, this would have been one of the Back to the Future films (obviously), since I’d made a pact to see all 16 of Stanley Kubrick’s films in 2017 and the deadline was encroaching intently, I wanted to just get this done. Turns out, with some twist of fate, like a pre-cog foreseeing my crimes of putting this off so long, it turned out to be set around Christmas too, There was a tree 🌲 in it & everything, so I was quite chuffed about that — double whammy.
The heavily slated film was one I’d missed at the cinemas upon release. Back then the name Kubrick meant nothing to me, despite murmurs of his genius being talked of amongst fellow cinema staff.
Having seen it now, to my surprise, it was engaging & compelling. I’ll admit, there is no way I would have appreciated it back then, as a teenager. I’d also say having the familiar faces of running man Tom & his taller partner of the time Nicole certainly helped get me invested, but the subject too was thought-provoking, even if it wrapped up in a rush leaving you with questions about that whole surreal middle segment.
On that specific note, I imagine there’s some story around that organisation that could make for an entirely separate film, somewhat like the ‘hotel’ in the more recent imaginations surrounding John Wick, maybe it was even made, maybe it’s a porno. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows? [Please do comment if you do.]
What I can say with certainty is this was how the days around Christmas this year were spent. There was also an abundance of caffeine in my bloodstream. Still is. C’est la vie, as the French day.
I then ended the year with a couple of flicks outside of my usual comforts to reach 100:
ic. 24×36 – A Movie About Movie Posters (2016) 🎥
A reminder to myself why I don’t tend to like documentaries. It started well, engaging me in the first half with the art and history of posters in years prior to my existence. The latter half spoke of the downfall in appreciation of art in that space, then the rise of Mondo Art, which I was still appreciating until it started getting idealistic. Following this it just seemed like a moan-fest, complaining at loss of interest from others & those who just don’t bother respecting the rightful owners of the films. I swiftly lost interest.
c. Psychohydrography (2010) 🌈
An interesting concept, following the water cycle. Alas, for me, I like my films with more flow, this just seemed kinda like a constant running tap, like an extension of an exercise I had done to understand the mechanics of DSLR cameras, what those shutter speeds & aperture options produced. That was an education on photography, many years back, this was extended photography presented as a film, rather than a screensaver.
Another year passed away. A bittersweet ode to ends & new beginnings, for if not given any sense of scale or measurement, how would we quantify progress? Perhaps more on that in coming posts, for now, Happy New Year!