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Non-Festive Films for the Festive Season

From Woody Allen to Autumn de Wilde and Federico Fellini, not all festive films have to be decorated in tinsel.

By Marianna MichaelPublished 6 years ago 2 min read
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It would be far too easy to create a list of all the Christmas films to watch over the festive season. All That Heaven Allows (1955), The Apartment (1960), When Harry Met Sally (1989), Peter's Friends (1992), and Elf (2003) are five films that I will readily add to any list of #Christmas films, or any list of films regardless of season. There's something comforting about them as well as the fact that the entire film, or part of the film, is set within Christmastime. And although many of these films are great, full of nostalgia, helping to submerge any Scrooge into the festive season, or enhance a love of this time of the year, it would be a disservice to so many other films to exclude them from the holiday period.

'Moonstruck' (1987)

Set in New York city, and yes, featuring a skyline that often epitomises Christmas—perhaps for its frequent use in such films or maybe it's just because of the light-decorated cityscape—Moonstruck is a classic movie. John Patrick Shanley and Norman Jewison's three-time Oscar winner follows Loretta (Cher) in what becomes a love triangle between Ronny (Nicholas Cage) and her boyfriend Johnny (Danny Aiello). Betrayal, intimacy, discovery, along with striking shots of the Metropolitan Opera, and of a grandfather wandering around the city beneath the moon with a horde of dogs; this romantic comedy is set to impress with the imperfect realities of love and life.

Moonstruck (Photo via MGM)

'The Postman Dreams' (2016)

To note is that The Postman Dreams isn't a film, but a short film series created for Prada and all written and directed by Autumn de Wilde.

Prada's project includes the following films as part of the series: "The Postman," "The Makeup," "The Battlefield," "The Tree," and "The Laundromat." All five films can be watched together in under 10 minutes of high-octane visuals, quirky soundtracks and easily digestible plots.

"The postman is a metaphor for personal communication in an e-mail world, and The Blasting Company — a Los Angeles nouveau-gypsy band started by brothers Justin and Josh Petrojvic — plays a strategic role and builds a refined and unexpected atmosphere, evoking community and displacement. The music adds to the surreal sense of multiple times and genres, all playfully moulded in de Wilde’s skilfully crafted art." —Prada.com

'Nights Of Cabiria' (1957)

#Federico Fellini's career was at a great height with Nights of Cabiria winning an Oscar straight after La Strada (1956). Here, Giulietta Masina takes on the role as as Maria ('Cabiria') in an enchanting, witty, visually captivating and thought-provoking Oscar-winner.

At times it's a farce, but redeemed by emotionally demanding scenes. In a somewhat episodic film, we watch Cabiria navigate love, loss, lust and misfortune in what has become a prominent film its genre.

'Midnight in Paris' (2011)

It's hard not to choose Annie Hall, but Midnight In Paris is thought to be the film that reignited Woody Allen's career. Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) encounters everyone in Paris, from Ernest Hemingway to Gertrude Stein and Picasso during a whimsical trip to Paris with his fiancé. In all its madness and whimsy, sensibility is found in one of Allen's stronger scripts to come in some time.

'Frances Ha' (2012)

Noah Baumbach's modern black and white film follows a somewhat illusive Frances (Greta Gerwig) around New York as she chases her dreams. It's fun and not as cliche as one sometimes hopes. It therefore becomes more satisfying, perhaps because of its realism as experienced by a buoyant, unpretentious character. This films captures everyday struggles, modern dreaming and pursuit.

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About the Creator

Marianna Michael

Fashion-Writer, screenwriting, Art-Directing, daydreaming and Caffeine-consuming.

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