Cinema:  Holiday Movies
By Ryder W. Miller


It is sometimes hard on people who have nothing to do during the holiday season, ie they were not invited to do anything with anybody. They spend some of their time walking through city streets that are empty with most people celebrating elsewhere with their families. Many people do things by themselves, but during holidays there is sometimes depression if nobody has thought of you. One should however count their blessings. One might be happier and luckier to be alone. Family and others can sometimes be a burden, even unintentionally so.

There is always a book to read, but reading for some is more of an activity then and event. A movie can be an event. It is always a place to go to during the holiday. If one has car or lives in the city there is always a movie theater. Why, one can go always go to the movies during the holidays. There is usually always a movie theater open, and if you live too far away you can have a DVD mailed to you with Netflix.

David Denby in Do the Movies Have a Future?  writes that people sometimes see movies because they don’t want to be alone.  Watching a movie you become part of a larger community. It is a shared communal experience even if you are watching them alone. You connect with a shared humanity.

There is also so much to choose from. During the Holiday Season some of the best films of the year also premier.

One of the benefits of seeing movies alone now is that you are more likely to be able to afford them. It has gotten pretty pricey to go during peak movie hours with others if you are treating, especially since the concessions are also pricey. Some however crave the soda, candy, and popcorn, which can be part of the traditional experience of the movies.

Going alone can also mean you can choose what and you see, and when and where you see it. For some this is affordable and a better option.

One can in this situation can more likely afford to see a number of films on the same day.  There are so many good films coming out in December that one might want to make the holidays a time for double features.

The movies do have a great deal of offer, especially around Christmas and New Years.

There are all to tried and tested movies that have survived the generation that one can see again.

It’s a Wonderful  Life  comes immediately to mind, but there have been many other films about The Christmas season. Kids are fascinated with gifts at this time and there have been all sorts of Santa Claus stories. I recently saw Elf at a library which added a great deal of humor to a story told about this time. Will Ferrell plays a grown up boy who was adopted, but after growing a bit big to work with the other elfs at the toy factory he strikes out from the North Pole to go to NYC to find his real father. They don’t know what to make of him at first, but they care. This is a fun story which will have even some of the children wondering about what Will Ferrell is doing. They can also grow in the process. We can learn from movies.

One should usually be grateful for what the movies have given them.  There have been all sorts of gifts.  During the Holiday Season there is fun and good cheer.  Elf gives one humor at all ages, and laughter sometimes can heal.

At the end of the year there are also all those serious contenders for the award season. The advertisements begin to cite the awards the films are being considered for.

Some of these films will be historical which show that the cinema has a perspective to be reckoned with. Some of these films will be social and can save or change the world. Some will let people talk of their life and situation making one wiser. Some say that people read or watch a movie to escape, but those who don’t do such things are escaping also. The movies can educate, inspire, offer an escape, or a confrontation.  It can draw the lines for a battle.

If alone, it is easier to pick and choose what you are in the mood for. You probably deserve the gift.

RyderRyder W. Miller is an environmental reporter, independent scholar, critic, and eco-critic who writes about Nature, Astronomy, the Sea, Academic books, Art, American Literature, and Genre Literature. He also writes short stories (usually genre stories) and poems. He is the editor of From Narnia to a Space Odyssey and co-writer of San Francisco: A Natural History. He is currently looking for a publisher for a book of Nature Writing/News Columns called An Ocean Beach Diary (published in The West Portal Monthly and Redwood Coast Review), and a collection of genre stories (many already published in Mythic Circle and The Lost Souls website). He has published on the web what could be a book collection of essays about science fiction and fantasy. He is also working on a anthology of Environmental stories called Green Visions. Following the dictum of C.S. Lewis he has come to believe that it is easier to criticize than understand, but not every book is worthwhile or a contribution.