Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Christmas, Again

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Christmas, Again

Article excerpt


Directed by Charles Poekel

Christmas is, of course, a Christian holiday that emphasizes "peace on earth and good will toward men." It is also a crassly commercial holiday that requires shopping and giftgiving. But, even turning Christmas into Xmas has not been able to completely erase the idea that Christmas is a special time that calls upon human beings to exhibit some of their better characteristics, such as compassion, generosity, reaching out to others, and other characteristics that can be captured by the phrase "good will toward men."

The Sundance Film Festival had two movies showing this year that could be identified as Christmas movies. The first was the hilarious Tangerie-a tale about the adventures of two transgender prostitutes on Christmas Eve, adventures that call on the two prostitutes to reconcile their differences, to offer each other "good will." After al, it is Christmas Eve.

The second Christmas movie was aptly entitled, Christmas, Again. Christmas, Again is the story of a young man, Noel (Kentucker Audley), who comes to the city from upstate to sell Christmas trees each year - Christmas, Again. It's a lousy job. He works for a belligerent boss. He works with a friend (and his friend's girlfriend) who does not seem to care much about the job or to have much respect for Noel. Noel sleeps in a small house trailer on the sales lot for the season. It's often bitterly cold and when Noel is not freezing he is trying to stay dry from the rain. His customers are demanding and unpleasant. And he has to make deliveries. It is not at all clear why anyone would want this job, except that Noel is a construction worker and there is no construction work upstate at this time of year. So, it's a job.

One night Noel discovers a young woman (Hannah Gross) passed out on a park bench. …

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