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Ben Yennie: 5 of Ben's Favorite Holiday Movies

With the holidays just around the corner, we thought we would share some of our absolute favorite holiday films.  These are meant to be our favorites, not necessarily the best.  Jim might be joining us with a list in the near future as well.  

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas

It’s definitely a holiday movie, but which holiday is it for?  Do you watch it on Halloween, or do you watch it on Christmas?  The correct answer to that question is “YES!” according to my wife (and me).  Anyway, Jack’s journey is one of accepting himself, his place in the world, and figuring out how to do it well.  It’s got wonderful music from the frontman of Oingo Boingo, wonderfully dark animation and art, and a very a-typical but still refreshing story.  

2. Die Hard

There are two types of people in the world.  The ones who think Die Hard is a Christmas movie, and those who are wrong.  It’s one of my favorites.  If you haven’t already seen it, climb out from under your rock, go buy the DVD and watch it.  You won’t be sorry.  How could you be?  Alan Rickman as a conniving terrorist is fantastic.  

3. Home Alone

Ah, what would a holiday film be without excessive child abandonment, burglary, and incredibly violent booby traps that realistically would result in gross bodily harm?  While I won’t go so far as to say it’s one of the best holiday movies, Home Along is now and will likely always be one of my favorites.  As an aside, there was actually a fantastic Sega Genesis game on this title, if you can find a way to play it it’s probably worth it solely for the nostalgia.  

4. Gremlins

How is Steven Spielberg’s not so thinly veiled metaphor about puberty on my holiday movie list?  Well, primarily because it actually does a great job at showing what it is to be a struggling family, and what it is to grow up in that environment, as well as what it is to have holidays and regular life milestones in that environment.  If you don’t already know why Gremlins is a metaphor for puberty (and by extension sex and sexual awakening), here’s a video outlining it as well or better than I could.


5. Trading Places

Yeah, this one is probably pushing the lines of holiday film, but if you haven’t seen this legendary team-up of Dan Ackroyd and Eddie Murphy you absolutely must. Two rich bankers make a bet that they could make anyone successful, and tear anyone down.  So they tear down Ackroyd and elevate Murphy to some very high levels of success basically overnight.  The Film is an excellent allegory for the issues of inequality in our system, and if anything it’s more relevant today than it was when the film was first published.

I’ll be back soon with an additional 5 of my favorites, and even 5 of my least favorites, so stay tuned and thanks for reading.  

In the meantime, If you want to make your own awesome holiday film, you should join our platform.  We help you do everything from budgeting to scheduling to creating call sheets with a few clicks to keeping track to your props, wardrobe, equipment, set dressing, contacts, and locations and even finding the stuff you need but don’t already have!  Join using the banner below.  



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