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Showing posts with the label New Years

Fruitvale Station (2013)

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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)

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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)

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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