Who invented Christmas? Was it Charles Dickens, through his heart-rending tale of Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol which reflects a Victorian Christmas, so much of which has become our tradition, or was it Frank Capra, who dolloped a hefty dose of American-style schmaltz into the mix a century later with his own seasonal classic, It’s A Wonderful Life?
Movie-goers will get a chance to decide for themselves next month at South Norwood’s Stanley’s Film Club, when they get a rare opportunity to see the Capra film on a big screen, or to view The Man Who Invented Christmas, starring Dan “Downton” Stevens and Christopher Plummer in a telling of the story behind the story of Scrooge and Bob Cratchett.
The more modern film omits other elements of the Christmas tradition which Dickens popularised through his other books, such as The Pickwick Papers, but does provide a fresh way to tell the Scrooge story (let’s face it, after the Muppets did their version, there was really no where to go with A Christmas Carol).
With a cast that includes Plummer – more than 50 years since he starred in what has also become a Christmas-time staple, The Sound Of Music – and the ever-excellent Jonathan Pryce, The Man Who Invented Christmas, rather than retelling the classic once again, focuses on Dickens himself, revealing the story of how the author conceived his Yuletide novella.
Stanley’s Film Club – which for a £5 membership fee offers ticket discounts and other benefits throughout the year – is even offering two chances to view the movie, including once in a Bring Along Baby daytime screening.
The film club is moving most of its weekly screenings next month to the Harris Academy South Norwood, one of a number of changes and upgrades planned by the club for the coming weeks. The Capra movie, on a Sunday afternoon, will be shown at the Holy Innocents church.
Stanley’s Film Club programme December
All films are at 7.45pm unless stated.
Tickets £8 adv / £10 doors (£5 for members) and held at Harris Academy South Norwood, SE256AE, unless otherwise stated
Wed Dec 6 THE FLORIDA PROJECT (15)
2017 US 111min, Director: Sean Baker
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Valeria Cotto, Christopher Rivera and Caleb Landry Jones
A fun-loving six-year-old and her rebellious mother live out their summer days in “The Magic Castle”, a budget motel just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World. The moving story of a single parent who is not quite managing, yet surrounded by signs of wealth and fantasy.
Wed Dec 13 – GOD’S OWN COUNTRY (15) + Q&A
2017 UK 105min, Director: Francis Lee
Stars: Josh O’Connor
A thrilling love story about two men seeking warmth, connection and belonging in the harsh wilderness that surrounds them.
Plus, after the film there will be a Q&A with producer Manon Ardisson.
Sun Dec 17 – IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (U) – 2.30pm
1946 US 95min, Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
To be screened at Holy Innocents, 192A Selhurst Road, London, SE25 6XX
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. An all-time Christmas classic
Wed Dec 20 – THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (PG)
2017 UK 104 mins, Director: Bharat Nalluri
Stars: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce
Bharat Nalluri’s film presents the making of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Life events and a vivid imagination inspired Dickens to create timeless characters such as Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim. A fascinating insight into the author’s creative process as he attempts to win back the confidence of his publishers by writing a novel that would eventually breathe new life into an uninspired holiday season. Dan Stevens gives a lively performance as Dickens.
Thu Dec 21 – THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (PG) – 11am
As Dec 20 above.
A Bring Along Baby screening.
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