• BurgundySuit

    Wanna be as cool as Cohlchez? Then sign up for Year of the Month (from an idea by Elizabeth Lerner)!

    Here’s some things you can write up next month:

    And here’s our schedule so far:
    NO DATE: Wallflower: The Royal Tenenbaums
    NO DATE: Wallflower: Strange Little Girls
    NO DATE: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: Millenium Actress
    NO DATE: Gillianren: Atlantis – the Lost Empire

    March 1st: scb0212: Jane Doe
    March 12th: Joseph Finn: Not Another Teen Movie!
    March 15th: Conor Malcolm Crockford: Heist
    March 20th: ZoeZ: The Others
    March 22nd: John Bruni: Southern Rock Opera
    March 23rd: Ice Cream Planet: Mulholland Dr.
    March 24th: Balthazar Bee: Jason X
    March 25th: Ruck Cohlchez: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    March 27th: ZoeZ: The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
    March 30th: Miller: Monkeybone

    And here’s how we’re finishing out February!

    Feb 27th: Jacob Thomas Klemmer: Local Hero
    Feb 28th: Son of Griff: Zelig

    • clytie

      I call Fast Food Nation on the 21st.

      • BurgundySuit

        See it on Wednesday?

        • clytie


  • clytie

    I’ve never seen this movie, but I really liked this part of your article:
    “My favorite period pieces– like this, Freaks and Geeks, and F Is For Family— work not just because they depict a specific time so well, but because they depict universal experiences and feelings through that lens. I didn’t go to high school in 1982, but few experiences have felt as authentic to me as Lindsay Weir’s alienation, her feeling like she doesn’t quite fit in to any of her school’s subcultures and her uncertainty about what she really wants to do next, all while dealing with reactionary parents. Or Sam Weir’s repeated embarrassments from being thrown into a world he’s not ready for, or Bill Haverchuck’s isolation and finding comfort and companionship in comedy and pop culture. Similarly, I didn’t grow up in the 1970s, but I understand growing up in a home where managing the anger of a domineering figure was a coping skill everyone learned, or where accidental yet constant trauma was perpetually inflicted on an oversensitive child.”

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      Thank you! The movie’s great and I recommend you check it out.

      I’ve related to few characters in television, perhaps all of fiction, like Lindsay Weir, although I was neither a pretty girl nor nearly as emotionally well-adjusted (or well-liked) as she was. But being an ace at the academic stuff (especially the competitive stuff) while not fitting in at all with those kids (I didn’t even have a friend as loyal as Millie), while at the same time being viewed with suspicion by most of the freaks (I actually did have a loyal friend or two there), and not really ever fitting in there either even as I needed that space to figure out what I was really about and what I wanted.

      • clytie

        I didn’t purposely avoid it or anything. I just never had cable growing up (though my mom got a job where she got free satellite TV when I was well into my teens), which is where most people saw it.

  • Babalugats

    Not much to add, but I liked this article a lot.

    A Christmas Story uses its idyllic pre-war setting not to suggest a time when things were better, but to tap into universal childhood experiences and feelings, and in getting the details right has made a work that stands the test of time beyond the era in which it was set or made

    I think A Christmas Story understands nostalgia, not as a longing for an idealized time, but as a remembrance of something lost, and often lost for good reason. The film understands the pain of childhood, and the romance of the rare moments away from that pain. My own childhood had little in common with Ralphie’s, and I’ve never (even as a child) had any particular attachment to Christmas, but I still love this film, and still find it incredibly relatable, and incredibly honest. And of course, incredibly funny.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      The film understands the pain of childhood, and the romance of the rare moments away from that pain.


      And to build a little off @theploughman:disqus ‘s comment, to quote a Bill Watterson comment on a strip in one of the Calvin and Hobbes collections, “I’ve never understood people who remember childhood as an idyllic time.” A lot about being a child sucked, and one of the things I remember most is not having my thoughts and feelings taken seriously. (Something that Watterson does well and that Shepherd’s narration really makes work.)

  • The Ploughman

    Your description of the narration reminds me of Gary Trudeau’s introduction to the first Calvin & Hobbes collection. It always puzzled me growing up why Trudeau praised Waterson’s ability to make the kids sound like kids. Calvin’s vocabulary and complex reasoning was way beyond a 6-year-old’s, I thought at the time. As an adult I realized he meant it the same way you do here – the language and diction has been upgraded from that of a literal child, but the child’s eye POV is completely intact.

  • The Voice Of A Gnu Generation

    This is nicely done. As a point of comparison, the Chinese restaurant scene in A Christmas Story Live! plays out quite different than in the movie. After the waiters sing Jingle Bells beautifully Ken Jeong, who plays the owner of the restaurant, asks the Parker family, “What were you expecting?”