Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas films

Every Christmas there are some films that  it's great  to just watch over and over again. Everyone has their favourite Christmas films. A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34 th Street, Love Actually, the Box of delights. Even though we've seen them before, we all get settled on the sofa, coffee and chocolates to hand, and become engrossed in them, as though it was the first time.

One of our favourites is "It's a Wonderful Life", and it never fails to move us to tears.
I don't want to spoil it for any of you that haven't seen it. I have got a terrible reputation among my friends for doing that. Saying things like " I wish they hadn't got divorced at the end." Probably the worst blunder in spoiling a film was telling my brother the ending of "The Sting"...

 "It's a Wonderful life "  is  a film by Frank Capra, based on a short story called "The Greatest Gift".
It's about a man called George who, on Christmas Eve, meets with financial disaster, and goes to a bridge, thinking about jumping off it. There, he meets a trainee angel called Clarence Odbody.
Clarence sets about to show George what a difference he has made to the lives of  the  people he loves, and how awful things would have been without him.
George had always put his loved ones first, mainly his younger brother, and sacrificed his own dreams.

Often, in Italy you hear people saying how many "sacrifici" they have made, meaning they have given up something, or gone without for the sake of someone else. It always sounded a negative way of looking at things. A few days ago though, I heard an old lady, in a village in the mountains, who had spent her whole life making "sacrifice" for her family, give another definition. She said that making "sacrifici" to her, meant making what she did sacred. I really liked that.
She repeated it , loudly and emphatically with hand gestures, "rendo cioè che faccio sacro ".
I make what I do sacred.

Another really great Christmas film is "A Christmas Carol". What a story. It was written 170 years ago but still has a great message for us all. If some versions are a bit too scary for the children there is always "The Muppets Christmas Carol" which has all the charm but less of the frightening stuff.

The Christmas film for the children this year at the cinema is called "Frozen ".

The film "Frozen" is based on the story of The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.
The Snow Queen  frightened me more than any other story. The idea that someone could stop loving me was just so frightening it gave me nightmares for a long time. I remember watching it behind the curtain and feeling absolutely scared stiff.
The main thing that The Snow Queen and Frozen have in common is that true love will conquer all.
In the fight of good and bad, love will win.

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