Ebooks

Film plays a vital role in the celebration of Christmas. For decades, it has taught audiences about what the celebration of the season looks like – from the decorations to the costumes and to the expected snowy weather – as well as mirrors our own festivities back to us. Films like It’s a Wonderful Life and Home Alone have come to play key roles in real-life domestic celebrations: watching such titles has become, for many families, every bit as important as tree-trimming and leaving cookies out for Santa. These films have exported the American take on the holiday far and wide and helped us conjure an image of the perfect holiday.

Rather than settling the ‘what is a Christmas film?’ debate – indeed, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are discussed within – Analyzing Christmas in Film: Santa to the Supernatural focuses on the how Christmas is presented on the deluge of occasions when it appears. While most Christmas films are secular, religion makes many cameos, appearing through Nativity references, storylines involving spiritual rebirth, the framing of Santa as a Christ-like figure and the all-importance of family, be it the Holy family or just those gathered around the dining table. Also explored are popular narratives involving battles with stress and melancholy, single parents and Christmas martyrs, visits from ghosts and angels, big cities and small towns, break-ups and make-ups and the ticking clock of mortality.

Nearly 1000 films are analyzed in this volume to determine what the portrayal of Christmas reveals about culture, society and faith as well as sex roles, consumerism, aesthetics and aspiration.
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