Brrr! – The Films of Winter

What’s your favorite wintertime movie?

Here’s our list of films where the cold and the snow play a role in the film.

Winter Light (1963)

If you haven’t spent some time falling into the films of Ingmar Bergman, you need to start today. “Winter Light” takes place in rural Sweden. Typical of a Bergman film, it’s dark, moody, and intense. The keyword for Ingmar Bergman films is ‘bleak.’ This might seem like a tragedy to watch, but it’s the intense emotions of the darkest hours of the soul that make great film and many of life’s most powerful memories.

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick, Stephen King, Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Cruthers – That’s just about all you need to say. When a true master of film gets his hands onto a brilliant and terrifying story, it becomes more than simply a horror movie. Since 1980, million of hours have been dedicated to parsing out the images and symbolism of one of the greatest films of one of the greatest directors. Cabin fever, that intense insanity that settles on those in isolation, can lead to terrible events. Kubrick et al. turn this into art.

Fargo (1996)

Made by the Coen Brothers, this is a class dark comedy that has become far more than simply a film. It’s a cultural icon. Minnesota and North Dakota in the United States are legendary for the cold that they can suffer in winter. This film, the story of a murder, kidnapping, and extortion, created Marge Gunderson, one of the Nineties’ favorite and most iconic characters. One of the most beloved films in the last 30 years, Fargo has spawned a TV series and a culture that celebrates flannel and that North Dakota accent.

The Gold Rush (1925)

Charlie Chaplin heads in the Yukon to find his fortune. It ends up being a cold and hungry endeavor that it more than simply a story, it’s hilarious. Some of the most famous scenes that ever included the Little Tramp, including boot soup and dancing rolls, are in this little silent film. These days, many people miss the great silent films, but this is one that everyone should see. You are guaranteed to laugh, even if you’re warm and happy.

Grumpy Old Men (1993)

When you put film legends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau with the eternally stunning Ann-Margaret and Burgess Meredith, you get a comedy that ends up being side-splitting and an instant classic. All of these actors were in the twilight of their acting careers, but this fine cemented their position as some of the most gifted and funniest actors of all time.

The Thing (1982)

Winter has just arrived, but you would never know that when see the Antarctic cold. Then everything changes when a bizarre alien is dug out of the ice. Horror film legend John Carpenter created his most famous film with Kurt Russell and the movie has more than stood the test of time. The winter cold is a permanent feature in Antarctica, but for us, we might feel downright warm watching the movie.

Article written by Bob Peryea for The Monthly Film Festival
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3.12.2016
 

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