A Christmas Tale

The Coroner

I’m not certain why, but when Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale played during the one Fantastic Fest I was present at, I missed it. I was probably drunk on Peanut Butter Milkshakes and also whiskey and Rob Hunter had yet to convince me to start watching movies with subtitles. Over the recent Christmas season (it’s over now, take down your decorations), I caught up with the film in the comfort of my own home all while being mostly sober. Rare Exports is a Finnish import about the havoc created when the truth about Santa Claus is quite literally unearthed. You think you know all about this jolly fat man, but brother, you ain’t seen nothing yet. If you watch this film though, you’ll see plenty of old man dicks, so there’s that, in addition to a pretty pleasing film.


Criterion Files

For regular readers of this column (yes, all both of you – thanks, Mom and Dad; Neil really appreciates the traffic), it may seem like I have something of an obsessive inclination towards choosing French movies. Such an observation would not be incorrect. I’m fascinated by French movies. It’s difficult to deny that, between eating baguettes and smoking cigarettes at cafés, the French have taken the time to make some pretty damn good movies. And not just now. Or in the 60s. Every decade of the twentieth century, from the formative works of Lumiere to the contemplative mood pieces of Claire Denis, the French have had a consistently strong output and have had enormous influence on western film history at large. For some reason, French movies speak to certain type of cinephile very potently. I haven’t done the math, but it’d be safe to say that more French movies make their way to the US than from any other non-English-speaking country. And it seems every year that a French film makes its way onto the Best Foreign Language Film awards lists. So part of the reason a love for French cinema proliferates amongst Francophiles and cinephiles alike throughout the country is simply a self-determining factor: French films are available and accessible (commercially, not always artistically), thus an interest can grow, which in turn enables more commercial availability. While many international film histories are only selectively accessible to US consumers (I, for one, can only name two or three notable Spanish […]



Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves working as a documentary filmmaker who follows Asian girls around to document their love lives. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs.

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