Whether you’re George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life or an one of the many Scrooge incarnations, there is a seasonal cinema treat suited to you this Christmas at the IFI.
Those looking for an antidote to relentless good cheer can find it with our duo of Anti-Christmas movies. Bad Santa introduces us to Willie Stokes, an in-store Santa who works tirelessly year in and year out to make sure he gets his hands on the retailer’s stock. Arousing the suspicion of security, Willie pretends to take a genuine interest in one of the kids and while this does lead to something of a personal transformation he ends the film only a slightly better person. Bad Santa is gleefully profane and very funny antidote to Christmas sentimentality.
Next up, Scrooged gives a gentle New York twist to A Christmas Carol with the great Bill Murray at his malevolent best playing the utterly amoral Frank Cross, a television executive who has sacrificed family and personal life to his all-consuming ambition. Murray’s in top form yet the film is nearly stolen by Carol Kane as the psychotic Ghost of Christmas Present.
If you’re looking for something a little more traditionally Christmassy, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most passionately uplifting movies to come out of golden-age Hollywood and fully deserves its annual revival. George Bailey steps back from the brink and we agonisingly trace through his past seeing his youthful decency brought low by greed and ruthlessness. Bring your hankies!
December’s Feast Your Eyes film is a rare showing of foodie festive treat Christmas in Connecticut, a 1945 comedy starring Barbara Stanwyck as Elizabeth Lane a cookery writer who can’t cook! When her boss invites himself for Christmas she somehow has to fulfil the picture perfect but entirely imaginary image of her home life from her column. Mince Pies, seasonal nibbles and mulled wine will be served after the film, the perfect way to relax with a friend before the Christmas cooking begins.
This month’s Monthly Must-See Cinema celebrates Dickens’ bicentennial and the remarkable career of Belfast-born Brian Desmond Hurst with Scrooge, perhaps the best of over 50 film adaptations of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Alistair Sims captures the many faces of Scrooge perfectly – from nasty old skinflint to terrified supplicant to joyous merrymaker.
Christmas at the IFI
It’s a Wonderful Life Dec 14th-27th
Bad Santa Dec 15th (14.00) & 17th (18.30)
Feast Your Eyes: Christmas in Connecticut Dec 18th (18.30)
Scrooged Dec 16th (13.45) & 18th (18.20)
Monthly Must-See Cinema: Scrooge Dec 19th (18.30)
Tickets for all the events in Christmas at the IFI are available from the IFI Box Office on 01 679 3477 or www.ifi.ie