Posts Tagged Mark Kermode's Secrets Of Cinema

Mark Kermode’s Secrets Of Cinema: Christmas Cinema Secrets (2018)

A festive edition of the series that entertainingly explains the inner workings of the Xmas genre. Christmas themes have often inspired writers and artists and Mark shows how these popular themes are reinterpreted in many different ways in different films.

Mark Kermode unwraps a glittering selection of Christmas cinematic treats, from much-loved classics to hidden gems, from Hollywood blockbusters to international films.

Mark puts it like this:

“As with every popular genre festive films share common themes and traits which can be combined, jumbled, and reconfigured in myriad different ways. Like snowflakes, each one’s different but somehow the same. And because Christmas is so deeply embedded in our lives and culture it’s a rich seam for filmmakers to mine. And tonight I’m going to show you how they turn our shared experience into the stuff of cinema gold.”

The themes analysed are:

  1. Scrooge Variations
  2. Countdown to Christmas
  3. Good Ghosts
  4. Dark Santas
  5. Family Christmas
  6. Nativity
  7. Far From Home
  8. Christmas Romance
  9. The Healing Factor

Mark Kermode’s knowledge, sweep and ability to group so many different films into themes and then discuss those themes with insight is impressive. It made me realise how much we take things for granted and don’t think about how films work or why we like them. It also left me with a long list of films I either wanted to rewatch (notably the Scrooge variations and my favourite Xmas film – Bad Santa) or that I had somehow missed like Divine in Female Trouble and Nativity featuring Martin Freeman as a put-upon Teacher.

Reviewed by Pat Harrington


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