Merry Christmas from MMC!
This year, MMC! brings you good tidings of great joy by way of the Film Junk short, A Very Gerry X-Mas! (Jay Cheel, 2010). Starring Reed Harrington, made by Jay Cheel (director of another MMC! favourite – Beauty Day), and featuring a brilliant opening sequence by Rob Niosi, A Very Gerry X-Mas! provides a quirky, awkward take on traditional holiday television programming. Part cooking show, part instructional video, part video confessional, part dream sequence, part fireside reading, this is all tongue-in-cheek, holiday goodness.
Happy holidays to everyone out there! Stay safe!
(And our next post will go up before the end of the year … and this time I mean it!)
Merry Christmas Eve!
With the holiday season in mind, enjoy this short made for The Candid Eye documentary series recounting Christmas preparations in Montreal, Canada. The Days Before Christmas (Stanley Jackson, Wolf Koenig and Terence Macartney-Filgate, 1958) has everything you’d expect from the Christmas season and more – department store Santas and anxious children, choir practices, recitals, and Christmas pageants, holiday travellers and long-distance calls home, smoky nightclubs and lively jazz acts, cab drivers, traffic cops, and Brink’s guards with pistols drawn.
And to all those wonderful readers who arrive here regularly or stumble into MMC! accidentally, happy holidays and the best of the season to you! Enjoy yourselves, stay safe, and keep those titles in order of spine number!
We must admit, the last couple days have been tough here at MMC! and morale is lagging with things looking to get worse before they get better. I’m not sure if Wes Anderson’s new short Come Together (2016), a promotional work for H&M stores, helps the situation by offering some Christmas cheer or gives some further reason to mope by another of Anderson’s characteristic sad sack dollhouses, but we’re glad for it either way. Enjoy it now here, before it appears on the Criterion Collection’s eventual release of The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and we’ll see you in December!
Christmas is nearly upon us and MMC! wanted to wish everyone a happy holidays with this pair of short films by Jalmari Helander. These wonderful shorts take the “Murder Santa” trope into weird, fantastical places. For those looking for more, we recommend Helander’s 2010 feature elaboration, Rare Exports.
Merry merry, happy happy, everyone!
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents In Bruges.
Irish hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) have been ordered to cool their heels in the storybook city of Bruges (it’s in Belgium) after a big job goes wrong. While veteran killer Ken is happy to spend his days sightseeing and his nights waiting for instructions from their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes), newbie trigger-man Ray quickly grows anxious amid the canals and cobblestones of Belgium’s best-preserved medieval town and finds himself caught in the middle of surreal exchanges between hostile tourists, a beautiful drug-dealer, a skinhead robber, and a heavily drugged little person actor. And when yet another of Harry’s assignments fails to proceed according to plan, the angry crime boss makes his way to Bruges to sort out Ray and Ken’s mess. Playwright Martin McDonagh’s first feature is an equally poignant, hilarious, and hard-bitten tale of penance and redemption that has grown into a contemporary cult classic.
- New, restored 4K digital film transfer, approved by writer and director Martin McDonagh, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary with McDonagh and actor Colin Farrell
- Deleted and extended scenes, with optional audio commentary by McDonagh
- Six Shooter, McDonagh’s Oscar-winning 2004 short film
- Within Bruges, a new interview and video piece with McDonagh on the film’s influences and references
- When in Bruges, cast and crew interviews on the making of In Bruges
- Strange Bruges, interviews with the cast on the film’s historic location
- F*****g Bruges, a collection of the film’s vulgar exclamations and reactions
- A Boat Trip Around Bruges, a tranquil point-of-view tour through the canals of Bruges
- Gag reel
- Stills Gallery
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by cult film scholar Ernest Mathijs
The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents A Midnight Clear.
Six inexperienced American soldiers are assigned to make camp at an abandoned château in the Ardennes forest in December 1944. Their assignment is to monitor German activity in the area and provide early notice of an expected Nazi push through the region, but a troop of weary German soldiers hoping to surrender and survive the war causes the young Americans to reassess their assignment with tragic results. Adapting William Wharton’s novel, Keith Gordon’s A Midnight Clear is a literate, anti-war fable and an unrecognized achievement in 1990s cinema, boasting a stellar cast including Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise and Peter Berg.
- New, restored digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Keith Gordon, with DTS-HD Master Audio surround soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- Audio commentary by Gordon and actor Ethan Hawke
- A Winter’s War, Gordon’s 50 minute documentary on the making of A Midnight Clear
- New interviews with actors Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinise, Peter Berg, Keving Dillon, Arye Gross, Frank Whaley and John C. McGinley
- Deleted scenes with optional commentary
- Theatrical trailer
- PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Jonathan Rosenbaum