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Watch: Why Are Christmas Films So Bleak?

Five days behind schedule, here’s a great Criterion essay from Michael Koresky on the bleak sentiments behind some of cinema’s classic and overlooked Christmastide tales. Suggesting the holiday’s proximity to winter solstice, and thus, the death of light, Koresky explores the backwards tendency to characterize a time of joy and harmony with mortality, existential crises, and dysfunction in Mon Oncle AntoineMy Night at Maud’s and A Christmas Tale. I’d scarcely be the first to suggest how peculiar it is that the quintessential all-ages Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life, is centrally preoccupied with suicide.

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