Dailies: the November Blahs, Leftovers, and Future Film Feasts

Julaftonen_by_Carl_Larsson_1904_edit

Hya, folks. I apologize for that long absence back there… I was away. (That word had a curious connotation to nineteenth-century folks in Ireland, don’t you know?) I was away and not in my usual element—my familiar work environment—and also a little busy with travel, etc. And I’m still “away,” technically: sitting in a library, typing away on this laptop. But I’m “back” in other ways: back in action, watching, absorbing, and blabbing about TV and film. And it feels good. (Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, clickety-clack…)

I’m back, I say, and finding myself in November. So far, not the blah month it has a reptutation for being. But I get why November gets that reputation: Halloween is over, and the festive holidays of the Winter Solstice still seem far away. And it’s October and December—or the festive events that occur in those months—that have inspired so many films. I’ve had my say on Halloween hahrah (see at least one of my “Why we love Twin Peaks” posts, my feature on A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, or my last “Dailies”), so now I’m starting to think more about films that have a wintry feel to them.

There’s the bleak, cruel, and hopeless sort of winter environment that we get in The Shining, as well as excellent films like Fargo (1996), Affliction (1997), and Winter’s Bone (2010). I would add to this list Leviathan (2014), which is “wintry” though not really dominated by the winter scenes of snow drifts, ice, and deep freeze we see in those other pictures. I’ll be saying something more substantial about this Zvyagintsev masterpiece (I don’t use the word lightly) later this week, but I urge you to watch it. It’s definitely a November type of film.

There’s also the cheerful, heartening, and festive sort of winter environment we get in Remember the Night (1948), On Dangerous Ground (1951), Groundhog Day (1993), and My Winnipeg (2007). Does it say something about my personality that (with the exception of the Bill Murray classic) I know the bleak set of films better? Maybe. (And as far as Groundhog Day goes, check out Rounding30’s great post on this film.) But what I like about these films is the balance between the bleakness and the hope (and isn’t Groundhog Day a dark comedy that only becomes a “rom-com” in its last act?).

All of this to say: some of my future posts (at least between now and New Years, and likely beyond) will focus on some (or all) of these wintry films (both dark and cheerful).

But I’m also quite conscious of unfinished business—of the leftovers that need to be cleaned up before the feasting can begin anew. One example? My planned “Films about Filmmaking” three-part feature: back in September (eek!), I completed Part One, which covered Hugo (2011), and I promise to get to the other two: Cinema Paradiso (1988) and 8 ½ (1963). I guess I’m really stretching the boundaries of “the next week (or so),” huh? Other leftovers? More on “science fiction” and “sci-fi” (see my previous rant), including some coverage of the Star Trek franchise (which will have its 50th anniversary in 2016, don’t you know?).

And, while I may or may not go back to the “Talk Back Tuesdays” (I don’t like restricting myself when it comes to “Dailies”), I still enjoy talking back (and not just looking back). I’m curious about YOUR favourite winter films (and not just the “Christmas” ones). For inspiration, here’s a list I’ve been consulting.

In the meantime, um, bundle up, eh? And get yourself a darn cocoa. (Ah, heck! that’s too hot!)

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6 comments

  1. “Away?” I could never post as often as you do (although, I should say, that’s the goal).

    As to winter films, “Let the Right One In” is fantastic. Love the movie itself, and I have very strong memories about past and more recent loves tied to it (not that any of them were actual vampires. Maybe if they had been things would have worked out?).

    Also, nice last parenthetical lines. They made me smile.

    Finally, I realize that I never got back to you about the recognition award you nominated me for. I apologize! I’m still trying to get a handle on my blog, so I ended up not posting anything about the recognitions. I do really appreciate it, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Away” = “away with the fairies”

    “Let the Right One In” = blown away by it (reminded me of “Martin,” by George Romero; worth a view for sure)

    Np on the recognition award: it’s really an optional thing; just wanted to “pay it forward” as far as exposure goes.

    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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