Baldwin: Stuff your stockings with Christmas cinema

Published 9:58 am Friday, December 14, 2018

Ho, ho, ho Winchester!

Have you been good little cinephiles this year?

With Christmas a mere 10 days away, there is much to do and see, especially regarding Christmas-themed cinema.

This past week, Fathom Events and TCM Big Screen Classics presented a two-day showing of “White Christmas” (1954) in greater Lexington area theaters.

“White Christmas” is the classic holiday comedy musical starring crooner Bing Crosby and comedian Danny Kaye in the roles of Army veterans Bob and Phil.

Our leads meet in World War II, later becoming friends and the hottest two-man act in show business after their discharge from the military.

While on the road, the gents meet and team up with another musical duo, the Haynes Sisters, played by Kentucky’s own Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

The foursome decides to throw together a production at a financially ill ski resort in Vermont to aid Bob and Phil’s old commanding officer General Waverly, played by Dean Jagger, who is now the struggling owner of the establishment.

All of the songs were written by Irving Berlin and “White Christmas” was sung before by Crosby in “Holiday Inn” (1942) and “Blue Skies” (1946), in which he co-starred with Fred Astaire.

The title song, soundtrack and film itself were a box office cash cow upon release because of its growing popularity over the years thanks to home video and syndication on cable.

“White Christmas” is visually unique for its time as it was shot in VistaVision, which is one of the early predecessors of Imax in its infant stages.

“White Christmas” is a solid comedy musical full of sentiment and visual appeal which does not come as a surprise as it was directed by Michael Curtiz who helmed other memorable features such as “Angels with Dirty Faces” (1938), “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942), “Casablanca” (1942) and “Mildred Pierce” (1945).

If you missed this classic in the theater this week, it can be found online this holiday season.

Fathom Events is also presenting “Jim Henson’s Holiday Special” this weekend as a holiday treat in Lexington.

If you like “Sesame Street” (1969) and “The Muppet Show” (1976), you and yours are sure to enjoy this holiday special.

“Holiday Special” consists of two stories aimed to entertain little kids and the big kids at heart.

“Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” (1977) is the tale of a poor otter family that risks everything they have for a chance to win the top cash prize for Christmas at a talent show.

“The Bells of Fraggle Rock” (1984) follows Gobo Fraggle’s despair as to why he is not excited like his friends that it is Christmas time. For being a popular children’s show at the time, this episode is thought provoking and reflective in its approach to addressing themes such as faith and holiday depression.

“Jim Henson’s Holiday Special” will be screened Sunday at Regal Cinemas in Hamburg and Cinemark at the Fayette Mall with show times at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

May your days be merry and bright,

And may all your Christmases be white.

Have a film-tastic day.

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society (facebook.com/WCCfilmsociety). Find more from Rick on Facebook at facebook.com/ricksrhetoric/ and online at theintestinalfortitude.com/category/reviews-editorials/ricks-rhetoric. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at rickbaldwiniii@hotmail.com

H

o, ho, ho Winchester!

Have you been good little cinephiles this year?

With Christmas a mere 10 days away, there is much to do and see, especially regarding Christmas-themed cinema.

This past week, Fathom Events and TCM Big Screen Classics presented a two-day showing of “White Christmas” (1954) in greater Lexington area theaters.

“White Christmas” is the classic holiday comedy musical starring crooner Bing Crosby and comedian Danny Kaye in the roles of Army veterans Bob and Phil.

Our leads meet in World War II, later becoming friends and the hottest two-man act in show business after their discharge from the military.

While on the road, the gents meet and team up with another musical duo, the Haynes Sisters, played by Kentucky’s own Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen.

The foursome decides to throw together a production at a financially ill ski resort in Vermont to aid Bob and Phil’s old commanding officer General Waverly, played by Dean Jagger, who is now the struggling owner of the establishment.

All of the songs were written by Irving Berlin and “White Christmas” was sung before by Crosby in “Holiday Inn” (1942) and “Blue Skies” (1946), in which he co-starred with Fred Astaire.

The title song, soundtrack and film itself were a box office cash cow upon release because of its growing popularity over the years thanks to home video and syndication on cable.

“White Christmas” is visually unique for its time as it was shot in VistaVision, which is one of the early predecessors of Imax in its infant stages.

“White Christmas” is a solid comedy musical full of sentiment and visual appeal which does not come as a surprise as it was directed by Michael Curtiz who helmed other memorable features such as “Angels with Dirty Faces” (1938), “Yankee Doodle Dandy” (1942), “Casablanca” (1942) and “Mildred Pierce” (1945).

If you missed this classic in the theater this week, it can be found online this holiday season.

Fathom Events is also presenting “Jim Henson’s Holiday Special” this weekend as a holiday treat in Lexington.

If you like “Sesame Street” (1969) and “The Muppet Show” (1976), you and yours are sure to enjoy this holiday special.

“Holiday Special” consists of two stories aimed to entertain little kids and the big kids at heart.

“Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” (1977) is the tale of a poor otter family that risks everything they have for a chance to win the top cash prize for Christmas at a talent show.

“The Bells of Fraggle Rock” (1984) follows Gobo Fraggle’s despair as to why he is not excited like his friends that it is Christmas time. For being a popular children’s show at the time, this episode is thought provoking and reflective in its approach to addressing themes such as faith and holiday depression.

“Jim Henson’s Holiday Special” will be screened Sunday at Regal Cinemas in Hamburg and Cinemark at the Fayette Mall with show times at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

May your days be merry and bright,

And may all your Christmases be white.

Have a film-tastic day.

Rick Baldwin is a writer, filmmaker and film/music historian. He is president of the Winchester-Clark County Film Society (facebook.com/WCCfilmsociety). Find more from Rick on Facebook at facebook.com/ricksrhetoric/ and online at theintestinalfortitude.com/category/reviews-editorials/ricks-rhetoric. He is on Twitter @rickbaldwin79  and can be reached by email at rickbaldwiniii@hotmail.com.