DVD: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Can’t go wrong with a classic! This is the first (and best) adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s timeless children’s book, beautifully animated by the legendary Chuck Jones and narrated by Boris Karloff. Bursting with warmth, Christmas cheer, and Seussian charm.
Audiobook: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
A chilling psychological drama written by the renowned author of Jamaica Inn and The Birds. While on holiday, a young woman falls in love and elopes with a charming but world-weary widower, who whisks her away to his secluded mansion, Manderley. But soon the young bride finds she is living in the shadow of her husband’s late wife, the beautiful and mysterious Rebecca, and not everything at Manderley is what it seems…
DVD: The Muppet Christmas Carol
My favorite Christmas Carol version! They chose the perfect Muppet for each role and Michael Caine is Scrooge. This is a must watch Christmas movie for Muppets fans.
CD: Wintersong by Sarah McLachlan
This album features a variety of Christmas songs that showcase Sarah McLachlan’s ethereal voice.
DVD: Blue is the Warmest Color
In an unprecedented step, the 2013 Cannes Film Festival’s jury awarded not only the film but the two lead actresses, Lea Seydoux (Spectre) and newcomer Adele Excarchopoulos, the prestigious Palme d’Or. Jury president Steven Spielberg correctly identified this film as a great love story. The near 3-hour long saga describes the passionate affair of a burgeoning artist (Seydoux) and a young elementary school teacher (Excarchopoulos). Blue is one of a handful of movies that make you feel the emotions of the characters even when they say nothing.
Audiobook: Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland by Jonathan M. Metzl
A Midwesterner by birth, Metzl is currently a professor of sociology and psychology at Vanderbilt University. Dying of Whiteness is the result of analysis of hard data plus in-person interviews that endeavored to explain why citizens make decisions that at face value seem irrational and in reality often threaten the health and well-being, not just of individuals but of entire states. Metzl focuses on (1) the Missouri gun culture that was once based on common sense but which through politicians’ and lobbyists scare tactics has created a state with no meaningful firearm regulations, (2) Tennessee politicians’ aversion to government-sponsored health care, and (3) the austerity plan that sent Kansas’s once model schools spiraling downward, even in upscale communities that initially supported the governor’s policies. Metzl convincingly argues that the politics of race is at the core of these decisions. White privilege has been the unspoken gorilla in the room, and politicians stoke groundless fear of minorities, immigrants and big, bad government–even if it kills them, which it increasingly does.
DVD: Muppet Family Christmas
This was my go to Christmas movie when I was little. It has the whole gang – the Muppets, the Sesame Street characters, the Fraggles, and even Jim Henson himself makes a small cameo.
CD: Christmas at Downton Abbey
A heartwarming Christmas album that takes you back to Downton. My favorite feature is the recording of Carson reciting “The Night Before Christmas”.
“A human baby accidently ends up at the North Pole and grows up among the elf community. Buddy, as he comes to be known, knows that he’s “special”. When he’s 30, Buddy learns from Santa that he’s really a human. He decides to go in search of his father, to find out where he belongs. He walks to Manhattan, and is immediately run over by a cab. His father at first rejects him and Buddy ends up in a department store where other elves are working. But all the while, things are looking bad for Santa Claus. When Santa crashes his sleigh in Central Park, it’s Buddy’s moment to shine.”
CD: NFR! by Lana del Rey
“With the creation of her Lana Del Rey persona, singer/songwriter Lizzy Grant stitched together the iconography of a fading American dream with soaring but melancholic pop songwriting, becoming an icon unto herself in the process. Her distinctive approach blurred sadness and longing just as it did past and present, drawing on the influence of classic American pop while integrating modernized touches like trap beats and millennial cultural references. With [her] sixth album … Lana Del Rey expands her vision with the most daring and vulnerable work of her catalog.”
All quoted summaries from catalog.ccls.org