Showing posts with the label New Years

O luna in Thailanda/A Month in Thailand (2012)

I'm not going to go in depth into the intricacies of the Romanian New Wave movement, mainly because I know absolutely nothing about the Romanian New Wave movement, aside from what I can glean from Wikipedia. The short version seems to be a focus on realism and grounded storytelling - those are certainly qualities on display in "A Month in Thailand," a film which is set neither in Thailand, nor over the span of a month. Instead, the movie takes place over approximately 24 hours starting on the morning of New Year's Eve. The title refers to a theoretical vacation the movie's main character wants to go on with a girlfriend that also serves as a sort of stand-in for the kind of person he aspires to be and the sort of relationship he wants to be in. By design, the plot here is fairly sparse. The movie opens with the main character, Radu, in a relationship with Adina. It's clear early on that Radu isn't completely satisfied, but things really take a turn after t

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

I think I've watched this movie at least three times since the creation of this blog simply to reconsider whether or not it qualified as a Christmas movie (this is, of course, in addition to countless viewings growing up - this is one of my mother's favorite movies, so it was on a lot). Because this is more a New Year's movie than a Christmas one, it never quite passed our litmus test, which I always regretted, since this movie - in my humble opinion - absolutely rules. Well, now we consider New Year's an extension of Christmas (since, you know, it is), so the question's moot, and we can talk about one of the most iconic romantic comedies made in the last four decades. The story, of course, centers around Billy Crystal's Harry and Meg Ryan's Sally, both of whom are awkward and somewhat off-putting. They come across to the audience as eccentric and likeable for the duration of the film, but the movie succeeds in making you doubt you'd enjoy hanging out w

Strange Days (1995)

Before I even get into the spoiler warning, I want to open this with a content warning. The movie I'll be talking about includes a sexual assault, and while I won't go into much depth in the review, I found it disturbing even relative to other films that touch on that subject matter. [Editor's note: I found this scene incredibly upsetting to watch. I was glad I sought out spoilers ahead of time so I knew what I was in for - Lindsay] If that's not something you're willing to sit through, you'll want to steer clear of this one... ...And I needed to open with that, because this is one of those movies where plot spoilers could impact your experience quite a bit. And also, yes, this is a pretty great sci-fi noir flick directed by Kathryn Bigelow, so it's probably worth your attention, assuming the last paragraph isn't a deal-breaker. The film definitely has some issues aside from that, so it's not like this is required viewing or anything, but it's g

Fruitvale Station (2013)

Of all the movies we've discussed on this blog, Fruitvale Station's relationship with the holidays (specifically New Year's Eve) is by far the most tragic. The film takes place almost entirely over the course of that day and the following morning, when Oscar Grant was killed by police on his way home from celebrating. The movie is less concerned with plot than with painting a picture of the 22-year-old victim, showcasing his relationships with his mother, daughter, and girlfriend. That's not to say there isn't a story - the events are absolutely structured into a narrative - but the real takeaway isn't how or why this occurred so much as the implications they have for the characters. Oscar, played by Michael B. Jordan, lost his job a few weeks before the movie started and has been keeping this from his girlfriend Sophina (played by Melanie Diaz) and his mother (Octavia Spencer). Sophina is already upset with him after catching him having an affair, so he's r

Let's Talk Swimming Swans and Milking Maids...

Since we started Mainlining Christmas, we've had an unofficial policy of disregarding New Year's media unless it also directly tied to Christmas Day. We've always known this was kind of silly, but then again this blog is silly, so that worked out. For the record, here's the logic. This blog was conceived as a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the massive juggernaut that the Christmas season represents in the United States. As such, the blog would primarily update between Black Friday and Christmas Day (i.e., the holiday shopping season). We've always known this runs counter to several historical versions of Christmas (e.g., the Twelve Days running between December 25th and January 5th) and our own decision to embrace a definition of Christmas much wider than the Christian holiday (which... look, we've written extensively about how this is really just Saturnalia, anyway, so let's not rehash that here). Ultimately, we mostly sided with the idea our study of Chris

The Christmas Visit / The New Year Voyage (1959)

I'm not entirely sure how to label this short animated Russian holiday special from 1959. The New Year Voyage is a more accurate translation of the Russian title, but it was released in the US under the names "The Christmas Visit" and "A Christmas Tree." The version we saw was dubbed into English and explicitly set at Christmas, though the original took place on New Year's. This isn't at all surprising - it was illegal to celebrate Christmas in the Soviet Union when this was produced. Despite that, the special is filled with trappings and elements that would feel at home in American Christmas specials from the same period. The story follows a Russian boy whose father is stationed in Antarctica. It's Christmas Eve (New Year's Eve), and the child is distraught his father is going to wake to Christmas morning (New Year's Day) without a Christmas Tree (New Year's Tree). The kid grabs his decorated tree and heads outside in the hopes of

Rudolph's Shiny New Year (1976)

When we last left Rudolph, Christmas had been narrowly saved from destruction, and he was returning to the North Pole along with Santa and the other reindeer. Of course, when we last left Rudolph he also had a full set of antlers and was more or less grown up. Rudolph's Shiny New Year opens on the same Christmas Eve but with a younger version of Rudolph, presumably because the producers thought kids would have an easier time associating with a talking deer closer to their age. Well, it turns out all is not right. Christmas may be saved, but they hear Santa's old friend, Father Time, is in trouble. That's right: now New Year's Day is in trouble. For some reason I can't fathom, they care. See, I get wanting to save Christmas: it's when we get presents. But New Year's? Who gives a damn? What's next? Are they going to risk their lives to make sure Arbor Day isn't ruined? Okay, there's some lip service about how it'll be New Year's Eve f