I wrote the following piece about a pair of alternative Christmas movies screening at the Beverly Arts Center this month for Time Out Chicago. It should appear there today or tomorrow.
Tired of the same old Christmas-movie fare? The Beverly Arts Center Cinema is presenting a couple of alternative Christmas-movie screenings this month. On Wednesday, December 4, enterprising programmer Damon Griffin will host a screening of the most action-packed holiday movie of all time – John McTiernan’s Die Hard – and thus rebuff all those who would claim that Bruce Willis battling terrorists in a Los Angeles high rise has nothing to do with the spirit of the season; and on Wednesday, December 18, local writer/director Joe Swanberg (Easy) will appear in person for a Q&A following a screening of his 2014 Anna Kendrick-starring dramedy Happy Christmas.
Griffin, who has long supported the work of independent and local filmmakers describes Swanberg’s film in a press release: “Rather than simply another lo-fi naturalistic gasp of late mumblecore, Happy Christmas deserves to be ranked with any other essential windy city holiday film, of which there are a huge, or should we say HUGHES number; Planes Trains and Automobiles (Directed by John Hughes), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (written by John Hughes) and Home Alone (also written by John Hughes). Swanberg more than rises to the challenge of matching Hughes’ drollness with a certain millennial empathy, emoting a sense, throughout the movie, that a complete standstill in life and total underachievement is nothing compared to the bonds of family, community, and cheesy erotica.”
For more information on both screenings, including ticket info and showtimes, visit the Beverly Arts Center’s website.