INTERVIEW: WHAT IS IT ABOUT XMAS MOVIES?


For fall semester 2021, Prof. Scahill took his Film Genres class in a new direction by examining "Xmas Movies" as a genre. Employing the framework normally used to examine genres like horror, the western, film, or the coming-of-age film, Prof. Scahill asked his students if "Xmas Movies" constituted a genre--and if so, what are the features of that genre?


The class examined Dickens' A Christmas Carol as a starting point for the genre, and then examined such holiday classics as It's a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and White Christmas. The course then looked at films such as Black Christmas, Gremlins, and the much-debated Die Hard as part of the holiday canon. The class ended with films that examined who gets excluded by Christmas, such as Batman Returns, Tangerine, and the Jinkx and De La Creme Holiday Special.


The University of Colorado Denver asked to profile the course in a piece on the allure and the ideology of the Christmas Movies genre. Click here to read the article "What Is It About Christmas Movies?" in CU Denver News.



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