Buffy Andrews at Buffy's Write Zone had posted a piece about her favorite Christmas movie and I liked the idea so much I thought I might review mine as well. I left my comment on her site but am going to expand upon on mine further. Buffy's favorite is It’s a Wonderful Life directed by Frank Capra and released in 1946. I'm sure that's one of everyone's favorites. I'm going to go for a less obvious and more obscure choice.
I loved this movie --- it ranks with Fellini's best as far as I'm concerned. But the caveat here is that most movie viewers probably don't have the patience for Fellini's vision in this film or most of the body of his work. The story here is simple enough. It's a sweet story that could have been done by any other straight-forward director as a serious drama, a comedy, or even a musical. But why do it that way when you can make it a wacked out surrealistic dream vision of a film complete with midgets, transvestites, beautiful people, and the whole gamut of individuals that make the world the wonderfully various place it is. The vision concerns the decay of the modern world and the modern mind, alienation as brought to you by television, and the wistful longing for a past that is gone and perhaps was really never how we envision it now. The layers of the film's cinematography, dialogue as pertains to the story, absurdist antidialogue, sets and costuming, and every other aspect makes the film call for repeated watching. The acting is superb. The music is typically whimsical and lovely as any Fellini film.
GINGER AND FRED ranks high on my list of favorite films. But as I have warned, if your movies have to have action and traditional storylines then you may not appreciate this one, especially since it's in Italian with subtitles. But if you think you would enjoy watching a story presented in a manner akin to watching a dream (not a nightmare) full of strange visuals and off the wall ideas and dialogue then I would encourage you to give this a chance--it is an artistic coup. I would compare Fellini's film to those of David Lynch except without the perversion, violence, and darkness. Fellini is more like Lynch at the circus. Before there was David Lynch, there was Fellini.
Actors: Giulietta Masina, Marcello Mastroianni, Franco Fabrizi, Friedrich von Ledebur, Augusto Poderosi
Director: Federico Fellini
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Run Time: 127 minutes
How about you? What's your favorite Christmas film?