Brattle Theatre Film Notes Posts

July 16, 2021 / / Main Slate
July 6, 2021 / / Main Slate
June 10, 2021 / / Main Slate
April 27, 2021 / / Main Slate
May 29, 2018 / / Main Slate
January 8, 2018 / / Main Slate

Editor’s note: On December 16, 2017, we had some special young guests among our audience for our annual screening of It’s a Wonderful Life. They are the high-school students from the Film Club at Boston Collegiate Charter School. We were very excited to have them as part of this Brattle holiday tradition, so we asked if they could send us their thoughts on the movie and the movie-going experience at a theatre like the Brattle. Victoria got back to us. We love her fresh take on this particular movie as well as the concept of “Christmas movies,” so we want to share this with you.

Yangqiao Lu
Editor of Film Notes

It’s that time of year again! Time for hot chocolate by the fire, building snowmen, hosting extravagant parties, and waiting for Santa to come down the chimney!

Of course, no one finds this their reality, as the majority of movies over romanticize Christmas. Most people know the type: the cheesy Hallmark Channel movie about some overly decorated suburban town with that one person who left, who then comes back to fall in love with his or her high school sweetheart. It might as well achieve its Christmas designation with some sage advice from a mall Santa. There are also over joyous Christmas movies like Elf, where I am left queasy with Christmas spirit after the opening scene and stuck with the image of Will Ferrell in tights burned into my retinas. Then there’s the classic tale of Ralphie pining for a ‘Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle’ in A Christmas Story, another holiday classic reminding me of simpler times when the most stressful moment in life was getting a “triple-dog-dare” from friends, whether that person was born in the 40s, 70s, or 2000s, like myself.

December 5, 2017 / / Main Slate

Kathleen Collins (1942–1988)

Thirty years after director Kathleen Collins’ death, her landmark film Losing Ground finally received a wide release. Its belated moment in the spotlight is all the more astonishing as it flourished along the festival circuit. To people who are familiar with the film, it is known as one of the first feature films made by an African American woman, if not the first. It is also one of the first times audiences saw an all-black middle class cast on screen, as Nina points out in an interview. The significance of this achievement is easy to overlook in our age of media overstimulation and saturation but mustn’t be, because to do so would be to forget the enormous service that Kathleen Collins did by breaking ground for women filmmakers and filmmakers of color with Losing Ground.