Sometimes around Christmastime the subject of “White Christmas” comes up (okay, sometimes I forcibly raise this question). There’s always some David Bordwell acolyte who’s all, well, that song originally appeared in Holiday Inn, which is objectively the superior film. It seems to me that Holiday Inn (with Fred Astaire as Bing Crosby’s sidekick rather than Danny Kaye), is in fact a better movie, though it suffers from a lack of Mary Wickes. Aside from that, I think at least one reason Holiday Inn never became as much of a Christmas classic as White Christmas is a) that it’s in black and white, and b) that it has a straight-up blackface scene that just kinda smacks you in the face. At least partially because it’s TO CELEBRATE LINCOLN’S BIRTHDAY. You can’t make this shit up (TW for blackface minstrelsy and a “Thank you, white savior” interlude from the only speaking characters of color in the movie - it can be hard to watch). And the movie was made in 1942.

And yet White Christmas (1954) has its own problems here - in lieu of a minstrel number, there is a number about how AWESOME minstrelsy was, and how much it sucks that “we” can’t do it anymore. So that seems like it might be better, although it’s definitely part of the excessive whitewashing and erasure of people of color in public life that characterized this decade. Since White Christmas is all about integrating soldiers into civilian life post-WWII, it has an investment in presenting that life as as uncomplicated and homogenous as possible, I suppose. But once you’ve really thought about “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army,” you can’t think about Stop-Loss the same way. 

So, I guess what I’m saying is, Merry Christmas?

My flight to london was cancelled!  I’m flying out tomorrow, when  there is a winter storm warning in mpls!  Maybe I’ll get stranded in  NYC, where I now have to lay over! 
But the truly exciting thing, tumblr, is this:
Remember  how we talked about my packing/IaWL tradition?  Well, so, I fell into a  Gloria Grahame (the slutty Violet to the virginal Mary.  Holy obvious,  Batman!) wikipedia rabbit hole and found out that not only was she  married to Nicholas Ray, she was also married to his son!  Who was 13  when N. Ray found them in bed together!  A Girl Who Cain’t Say No  indeed!  a) the jokes write themselves, b) I’m sorry.
And to think I could have been wasting my time eating Sunday Roast in Chelsea and shopping at Fortnum and Mason instead today. 

My flight to london was cancelled!  I’m flying out tomorrow, when there is a winter storm warning in mpls!  Maybe I’ll get stranded in NYC, where I now have to lay over! 

But the truly exciting thing, tumblr, is this:

Remember how we talked about my packing/IaWL tradition?  Well, so, I fell into a Gloria Grahame (the slutty Violet to the virginal Mary.  Holy obvious, Batman!) wikipedia rabbit hole and found out that not only was she married to Nicholas Ray, she was also married to his son!  Who was 13 when N. Ray found them in bed together!  A Girl Who Cain’t Say No indeed!  a) the jokes write themselves, b) I’m sorry.

And to think I could have been wasting my time eating Sunday Roast in Chelsea and shopping at Fortnum and Mason instead today. 

reblogging from Historic-Upstart

historic-upstart:

What is your favorite Christmas movie? thecranium

It’s a Wonderful Life. I think it’s just about the most perfect movie ever made. Yes, I cry my way through it every single damn year.

(Also, hooray!  This is the first question anyone has every asked me on Tumblr!  I always knew you’d be my first, baby.)


Not that this is in any way special, but I also love It’s a Wonderful Life - because it is so depressing and awful!  Oh, and the phone scene!  Since I’ve been in school for most of the last decade, heading to some parent’s house or elsewhere for the holidays after a brutal onslaught of finals and other crap, I usually watch it whilst packing for christmas.  I approach it a lot like the Beatles, actually - things that are almost universally-beloved that I didn’t grow up with because my parents are the caveat to the universally-beloved.  I therefore “discovered” these things on my own and they feel more special to me than they should.  Hence my packing tradition. 

In my house, we watch A Muppet Christmas Carol and White Christmas (who doesn’t love the number about how much it sucks that we can’t have minstrel shows anymore?  An improvement on the actual blackface number in Holiday Inn, though).  I think it’s so interesting how IaWL and White Christmas are so thematically similar in terms of dealing with creating/reshaping America and American mythologies post-WWII (IaWL was Stewart’s first movie after fighting in the war).