Our Top 10 Classic Christmas Films

Our top 10 classic Christmas films to get you in the mood for mince pies! 🎄🎅

1. It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)


The ultimate Christmas classic, showing at Hyde Park Picture House on from the 18th – 21st December.

2. The Snowman (Dianne Jackson & Jimmy T. Murakami, 1982)


Beloved by David Bowie, this short film will have you singing along before you can help it. Screening at Leeds Town Hall on 17th December.

Trivia: The Snowman had the same musical director as cult vampire film, The Hunger, which Bowie had a leading role in.

3. Trading Places (John Landis, 1983)


Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy star in this farcical Christmas comedy.

4. Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984)

Many of us will remember growing up watching, and being terrified of, Gremlins every festive season.  Between the adorable Gizmo and the film’s own love of movies (who can forget when the gremlins go to the cinema?), this has to be one of the best Christmas films of all time.

Oops, we  missed it! Gremlins was shown with a Q&A at the Hyde Park Picture House on the 5th of December.

5. Home Alone (Chris Colombus, 1990)

Macaulay Culkin, idiotic burglars, and a large dose of Schadenfreude – the perfect accompaniments to mince pies and mulled wine.

6. Nightmare Before Christmas (Tim Burton, 1993)

Tim Burton is one of our favourite directors to watch during the holidays (as you’ll see from the rest of this list!). Start your Burton Christmas season with his best festive film,  Nightmare Before Christmas!

7. Batman Returns (Tim Burton, again, 1993)

(Batman doesn’t seem to be enjoying his Christmas…)

Burton spoiled us with two fantastic films in one year. Batman Returns may not be a quintessential Christmas movie, but after our screening of The Dark Knight last week, we couldn’t leave this Batman film off the list!

8. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Sharon Maguire, 2001)

Because every Christmas requires a bit of comedy, a bit of trash, and the resounding message that, whoever you are, how ever you are, you’re OK. (Oh, and Colin Firth in a Christmas jumper!)

9. Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003)

We were reluctant to put this on our list, lest we encourage more people to add to the chorus of ‘Santa, I know him!’ we’ve heard being shouted this year. However, infinitely quotable and delightfully silly, every Christmas needs Elf.

10. Carol (Todd Haynes, 2016)

If you like Christmas films that make you cry, Carol is a must. Set in December in the 1950s, and made with astounding attention to detail, this story of sexualiy, patriarchy, and forbidden love is not only the best Christmas film, but the best film of 2016. It may be recent, but it’s well worthy of classic status.

That’s our list for 2017. What would you add? (Anyone who suggests Love Actually is getting coal in their stocking!)


Photos from our Film Aesthetics workshop

Thank you to everyone who attended our last event of the (academic) year, Film Aesthetics: Bowie, Berkeley, Beckett.

Below you can find a few photos from the event:

We’d also like to thank all of those who participated in the film club over the last six months – it wouldn’t have existed without you!

We’ll be back in September with a very special screening to kick off the next academic year. Watch this space!

Film Aesthetics Workshop: Bowie, Berkeley, Beckett

Since it is our last event of the year, we’ve decided to do something special.

Join us in the LHRI from 5pm on the 21st of June for a screening of Samuel Beckett’s Film (1965) and a workshop on David Bowie, Bishop Berkely, Buster Keaton and, of course, Samuel Beckett.

Speakers will include Diane Morgan (Lecturer, School of Fine Art, History and Cultural Studies), Jivitesh Vashist (PhD researcher, School of English) and Laurence Carr (PGR, Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures).

The event will be followed by a wine reception.

Workshop programme:

5pm Arrival and introductory comments

5:15pm Jivitesh Vashisht, Beckett, Berkeley and the Silent Film

5:30pm Screening of Samuel Beckett’s Film (Alan Schneider, 1965)

6pm Diane Morgan, Mortality, Materiality and Modernist
Aesthetics: Beckett, Tarr and Bowie

6:20pm Laurence Carr, Buster Keaton’s Silent Film Career: An
Examination of the role of sound in Film (1965)

6:35pm Roundtable and discussion

7pm Wine reception

This event is funded by the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures and the AHRC OWRI fund.