The Auteurs of Christmas: Christmas Morning as Seen Through the Eyes of Kubrick, Tarantino, Scorsese & More

What­ev­er our set of beliefs, most of us soon­er or lat­er unite in the same cel­e­bra­to­ry pur­suit on Christ­mas Day: the watch­ing of movies. Going out to the the­ater to catch a hol­i­day-sea­son block­buster or two after you’ve opened your presents (or after oth­er peo­ple have fin­ished open­ing their presents) has become a kind of tra­di­tion in itself, and enough of a tra­di­tion to per­mit vari­a­tions. Maybe you’d rather use film to free your­self of the bur­dens of the Christ­mas sea­son, going instead to the art house and catch­ing the least com­mer­cial film pos­si­ble in this increas­ing­ly com­mer­cial time of the year.

But even if you stick with the auteurs, you can’t get away from Christ­mas entire­ly. A cou­ple Christ­mases ago, “The Auteurs of Christ­mas” shot a series of ver­sions of this most antic­i­pat­ed morn­ing in the style of direc­tors Steven Spiel­berg, Sergei Eisen­stein, Wes Ander­son, Woody Allen, Lars von Tri­er, Mar­tin Scors­ese, Michael Moore, Stan­ley Kubrick, Wern­er Her­zog, and Baz Luhrmann.

More recent­ly, the fol­low-up above expand­ed the project to envi­sion Christ­mas as envi­sioned by Char­lie Chap­lin, Quentin Taran­ti­no, Ter­rence Mal­ick, Christo­pher Nolan, Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitch­cock, Mor­gan Spur­lock, David Lynch, M. Night Shya­malan, and Michael Bay.

But just as the con­clu­sion of one year’s Christ­mas can sim­ply get you look­ing for­ward to the next year’s, so these two super-homages make you think about the pos­si­ble auteurs for inclu­sion in a third: what would Yasu­jirō Ozu’s Christ­mas morn­ing look like, shot just a cou­ple feet off the tata­mi mat? Or Chan­tal Aker­man’s, which, for prop­er pac­ing, might require a whole video by itself? Or a Coen Broth­ers Christ­mas? Gas­par Noé’s? Tru­ly, this hol­i­day keeps on giv­ing.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Watch Ter­ry Gilliam’s Ani­mat­ed Short, The Christ­mas Card (1968)

An Ani­mat­ed Christ­mas Fable by Mau­rice Sendak (1977)

William S. Bur­roughs Nar­rates a Clay­ma­tion of His Grim Hol­i­day Sto­ry “The Junky’s Christ­mas”

A Christ­mas Car­ol Pre­sent­ed in a Thomas Edi­son Film (1910)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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