It may be the season of cheerful carols and twinkling lights, but the holidays also bring about a melancholy mood that has inspired some of the world’s greatest filmmakers. This selection explores the clashing emotions at the heart of the yuletide spirit, including Jacques Demy’s gorgeous musical romance THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, Guillermo del Toro’s emotionally captivating fantasy CRONOS, Luis García Berlanga’s stinging satire PLÁCIDO, and Ingmar Bergman’s intimate epic FANNY AND ALEXANDER.
Introducing Blue Christmas
Morning for the Osone Family
Directed by Keisuke Kinoshita • 1946 • Japan
Kinoshita's first film after the end of World War II is a wrenching, superbly wrought tale about a liberal-minded Japanese family torn apart by war and imperialist politics. Morning for the Osone Family is both palpably bitter about the nation's fresh...
Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger • 1947 • United Kingdom
Starring Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar
This explosive work about the conflict between the spirit and the flesh is the epitome of the sensuous style of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A group of nuns—played by som...
Directed by Luis García Berlanga • 1961 • Spain
Starring Cassen, José Luis López Vázquez, Elvira Quintillá
Widely considered one of the greatest works of Spanish cinema, this relentlessly paced satire chronicles an ill-advised charity campaign sweeping across a small industrial town on Christmas...
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Directed by Jacques Demy • 1964 • France
Starring Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo
The angelically beautiful Catherine Deneuve was launched to stardom by this dazzling musical heart-tugger from Jacques Demy. She plays an umbrella-shop owner’s delicate daughter, glowing with first love for a h...
My Night at Maud’s
Directed by Eric Rohmer • 1969 • France
In the brilliantly accomplished centerpiece of Rohmer's Moral Tales series, Jean-Louis Trintignant plays Jean-Louis, one of the great conflicted figures of sixties cinema. A pious Catholic engineer in his early thirties, he lives by a strict moral code in ...
FANNY AND ALEXANDER: Theatrical Version
Directed by Ingmar Bergman • 1982 • Sweden
Starring Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve, Ewa Fröling
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Alexander, we witness the delights and conflicts of the Ekdahl family, a sprawling bourgeois clan in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Sweden. Ingmar Bergman intended FANNY ...
Directed by Whit Stillman • 1990 • United States
Starring Carolyn Farina, Edward Clements, Taylor Nichols
One of the great American independent films of the 1990s, the surprise hit METROPOLITAN, by writer-director Whit Stillman, is a sparkling comedic chronicle of a young man’s romantic misadven...
Directed by Guillermo del Toro • 1993 • Mexico
Starring Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman, Claudio Brook
Guillermo del Toro made an auspicious and audacious feature debut with CRONOS, a highly unorthodox tale about the seductiveness of the idea of immortality. Kindly antiques dealer Jesús Gris (Federi...
A Christmas Tale
Directed by Arnaud Desplechin • 2008 • France
In Arnaud Desplechin's beguiling A CHRISTMAS TALE (Un conte de Noël), Catherine Deneuve brings her legendary poise to the role of Junon, matriarch of the troubled Vuillard family, who come together at Christmas after she learns she needs a bone marro...