What child is this?
Serving up a slice of cinematic true grit
Honestly. You’d think that if the Year of the Pandemic had taught us anything, it would have been the value of self sufficiency. And yet here we are, on Christmas Day (December 25) 2020 in need of a little seasonal good cheer, and the best our public broadcaster can come up with is a trio of foreign-made feature films last seen in Best Buy’s bargain bin: 1947’s Miracle on 34th St, 1951’s Scrooge and White Christmas from 1954. An imaginative CBC could have made our Yuletide bright with an all-Canadian celebration, three movies actually made in the Great White North. Today, we might have binged on director Bob Clark’s trend-setting 1974 thriller Black Christmas, the first film to use the holiday season as a backdrop for screen shock. Add to the program Phillip Borsos’s 1985 trip to the North Pole, One Magic Christmas. Finally, the star at the top of the tree is Clark’s A Christmas Story. A genuine classic, its tale of an urban Christmas Past played on the fine edge of the midwinter madness that we all feel. Credit (or blame) his movie with the revival of seasonally-themed filmmaking that persists to this day in the Hallmark Channel’s annual Countdown to Christmas. Perhaps you’re not feeling sentimental about our reality-tinged Christmas? Well, neither was director David Burton Morris when he set his 1988 road-trip drama Patti Rocks during the festive season.
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