The cold descends: movies about winter

2 February 2011

Living in Texas means never having to be very cold — I can’t remember the last time I really needed to button up my coat or wear a hat. But every once in a while an arctic blast makes its way down the plains and hammers us. This is a problem for those of us who live in houses only designed to stay cool in the summer — and which now feel like Joel and Clementine’s bed in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, dusted with snow and battered by winds. When the wind began to blow in the middle of night on Monday, it was so loud inside my thin-walled little house that it woke me up.

What does this mean for Feminéma? Foremost that I now watch movies late at night covered with a down comforter that is, in fact, so comforting that I risk nodding off. So I’m looking for something that makes the cold into a major theme. It’s too bad I’ve already seen the great Swedish film Let the Right One In, and I’ve promised to wait till the weekend to see the American remake Let Me In. And I’ve already seen the usual snowy suspects — The Shining, A Simple Plan, Groundhog Day, Fargo, The Sweet Hereafter, The Ice Storm, and Affliction. This is clearly one of those viewing moments that requires a Korean, Russian, or Scandinavian film by people who understand the cold. More soon.

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7 Responses to “The cold descends: movies about winter”

  1. JustMeMike Says:

    The usual suspects list somehow doesn’t mention Dr. Zhivago. I’d love to see your comments about that one. I mean this is a movie designed to be watched from beneath a down comforter.

    jmm

    • didion Says:

      Oooh, maybe that’s the ticket for a cold night. (Is it possible my windows only accelerate the winds trying to blow my house down?) AND it’s streaming on Netflix. The only downside is that I’ve seen it before … but maybe, like hot cocoa and popcorn, we need to return to old comforts as well as the down comforter when it’s this cold outside.

  2. Hattie Says:

    How about that movie about Everest or some other mountain climbing disaster movie?

  3. tamcho Says:

    One of my all time favourites: The Winter Guest – directed by Alan Rickman, starring Emma Thompson and her mother Phyllida Law. Based on a play written by Keira Knightley’s mum (yes, I know too much movie trivia)

    It takes place in Scotland on a day so cold the sea has frozen on the coast. The movie is a quiet meditation on mortality, grief and mother/daughter relationships…with winter being quite the character!

    Smilla’s Sense Of Snow (could be consider an early precursor to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) taut thriller, atmospheric and intelligent.

    I think I’ll get them from the library too…I LOVE winter movies.

    • didion Says:

      I’ve got to see The Winter Guest, not least because I’m starting to recognize a serious weakness for movies about Scotland — as well as because the words Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson turn me on so effectively. (Keira Knightley not so much, but an early precursor to Girl With the Dragon Tattoo…!) More flights coming up, so it’s back to the library.

      • tamcho Says:

        Hmmm…methinks you’re a Britphile 🙂

        Yes, Alan Rickman is seriously beguiling, and I can count on one hand the men I have a soft spot for. I got enchanted when I saw him in Truly, Madly, Deeply. Now that’s a film I watch once a year.

        And Emma considers herself Scottish (like her mum).

      • didion Says:

        Funnily enough I think I’m actually prone to anglophobia, but like all good prejudices this one comes with lots of exceptions; it gets much harder to sustain when it comes to the movies. Sure, I can dislike Keira Knightley, but then there’s Mirren, Rickman, Thompson, etc. (And for me it’s Rickman’s performances in both Truly, Madly, Deeply and Galaxy Quest.)


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