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Costume Party is a monthly column exploring fashion, personal style, and historical aesthetics in film. Stanley Kubrick’s final film, Eyes Wide Shut (1999), has become a cinephile Christmas classic, playing in repertory theaters around the city and bringing little in the way of yuletide cheer. (You can catch it in 35mm at Moving Image, Lincoln Center and Metrograph this holiday season.) There’s much to explore regarding the film—the depiction of sexuality, its place in Kubrick’s...
Remember the Night (1940) Directed by Mitchell Leisen No film epitomizes the holiday season like this Preston Sturges-penned tale of a sincere, dignified prosecutor and the light-fingered woman, full of profound charm and an unbridled capability for human understanding, he brings home for Christmas. Though the plot is far-fetched, the tender sentiment of the story and the sound performances from—and the emphatic chemistry between—stars Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck as two Hoosiers who unexpectedly find...
This time of year is reserved for a few things in particular: drinking egg nog (spiked or otherwise), listening to seasonal music of the modern age and yesteryear, and, sure, spending time with family. So while surrounded by a lot of people eager to get into the Christmas spirit, one activity is essential (and has been since 2003): watching Love Actually—the holiday film that has spawned so many pale and incompetent imitators since. And with a parody of one of its most iconic...
The Lion in Winter (1968) Directed by Anthony Harvey "Did the Channel part for you?" A film, yes, but also a towering, regal monument to the healing power of sarcasm and sniping, the things that keep us sane, from which life, dreams, are made. Intelligence curdles into bitterness and every smile is a box of knives in this most voluptuous Christmas film. The Lion in Winter centers on a never-better Katharine Hepburn, winsome in her venom,...

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