Film/TV Dec 6, 2016 at 4:00 am

Go See It's a Wonderful Life at the Grand Illusion This Christmas

Jessica Stein


My Dad would drag us there, thank God. I saw Aguirre, the Wrath of God there, and I always associate the Grand Illusion with that great film, and all those little monkeys at the end...I remember being stunned and then stepping out into a mid 70's seedy seedy Ave. Wonderful Seattle stuff,,,
God, I hate It's A Wonderful Life. My family was not in the cult of this movie, so the first time I saw it, I was about 25. I despised it. I wanted them all to die, especially the angel.
I suggest White Christmas and enjoying the creative suspension of believe of how they packed an orchestra and soundstage into a quaint Vermont barn.
MaKe seattle great agin!
"It's a Wonderful Life" is very good but not my favorite Frank Capra film. I have seen it once in its entirety but don't need to see it again. Sure it's existential, "What would happen if there were never you?" and anti hyper-capitalistic, "Yeah, Potter's a self-serving jerk". And, I did enjoy the communal and varied aspect of the town which featured at least one African-American woman donating to the cause. But, I don't think it his best film.

At the end of the day among many fine Capra movies, I prefer "You Can't Take it With You" (1938) that I like to watch on the holiday. It's not set at Christmastime and it isn't necessarily sad or uplifting. But it too, does deal with existentialism.

Check out this film that centers around an eccentric 'extended' family and I do believe it will put a smile on your face for the holidays, any holiday.

BTW, 2016 has been a good year. My Chicago Cubs won the World Series.
@ 2 and 5, check out the 1986 Dana Carvey SNL alternate ending:…
In the early 70's our dad used to take us there when we were kids to see Samurai movies. I'm not sure what they all were (I was 7-8 years old), but I'm pretty sure "Yojimbo" and "The 7 Samurai" were among them. Dad might have been having aesthetic experiences, but we loved the swords, the choppity-chop, and the endlessly spraying blood.

As a hopelessly romantic college student I paid my own money to see "Diva" there THREE TIMES. I may have possibly had sex with one of my dates (though not in the theater).

Now I'm all grown up (I guess) and live in another city, and when I'm in town I'm mostly busy helping take care of my mom. I hope this theater lasts forever.
Grips his future wife, you mean.
@7 I saw Diva at the no more "The Harvard Exit" on its first release, and loved it. There was a time in Seattle, where to appear in the know, you had to discuss, Diva, Bye Bye Brazil, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Stunt Man, Atlantic City, Gallipoli and revivals of The King of Hearts, and devour John Hartl (Times) and William Arnold (P.I.) reviews,,,,
If you're looking for films that will make you cry, Life is beautiful. If you still haven't had enough, What Dreams May Come and The Fountain should make you forget all about 2016.
I appreciate you sharing your love for this movie and for the tradition you've built around it. Sounds like a lovely time.
Except for "The Stunt Man", I have viewed all the films you mentioned. And, all of them are gems. Good taste.

BTW upon reflection, I found this posting title a bit of a stretch. For me, arguably the saddest film ever made is "Make Way for Tomorrow" (1937) by Leo McCarey. Orson Welles remarked that "That film would make a stone cry". It's devastating. And the saddest year just might be 1939.
The saddest year.... yeah, 1942-44, the early thirties, 1917-18, 1861-65, 1775-83 - those years were all laff riots compared to this.

(Allow me a moment while I unroll my eyes)

So we "elected" an Orange Julius. Are we just going to be "sad", or are we going to do something about it? (And by "do" I don't mean the tired old march and protest, which has been remarkably ineffectual for decades. I mean real resistance, on every level. Sand in the gears of the machine, and all that)

And "It's A Wonderful Life" is a perfectly fine movie that I've always enjoyed, but I've never once been reduced to tears over it - except for maybe the last scene, which is pure unadulterated Capra schmaltz. Maybe that's because I was raised by depression-era parents and I knew a lot of George Bailey types - people who wanted to do big things but were held back by financial hardship, family obligations and World War (although ironically, it was the war - along with the GI Bill - that allowed people like my dad to claw his way out of the ranks of the working poor) . That's the way life works, but the idea of being able to see what life would be like without you is an interesting diversion, and one that many people have probably daydreamed abut.
If you think "It's a Wonderful Life" is the saddest movie, you haven't seen enough movies.
Yeah, if you think 2016 was sad, you need to try 1943, 1916, 1809, or the granddaddy of all sad years, 1350.

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