Hail Santa! Ho, furthermore ho, and in conclusion, ho. How fares the day, our delightful Readership? We hope it finds you in an eggnogilicious mood. Ongoing changes to the lockdown rules mean that most of the staff at The Cut have been forced to stay in the office for the season, roasting chestnuts and turkey in an improvised and potentially deadly adapted microwave setup. Oh well, those of us that survive will all be laughing about it this time next year.
Let’s get the festivities started, shall we? Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin’s in a rut. Now is the time, here is the place, welcome to The Cut!
We begin with a little Entry Music. For us, the first tune played on Christmas Day is always the 1975 live version of Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town by Bruce Springsteen and The E Street band. It isn’t X-Day without it. We especially like the point where Bruce nearly loses it when a roadie in Santa costume sneaks up on him from backstage. Have you guys all been good this year?
We’re going to try not to make this Cut exclusively Crimbly. Please, in that spirit, enjoy this great oral history on the making of Prince’s greatest album, Sign ‘O’ The Times. Created in a time of seismic changes in the Purple One’s life, it would mark the start and end of great things…
We’re fans of writer Laurie Penny, whose political and cultural smarts are matched with a pleasingly goofy strain of geekery. It seems beautifully apposite that her restless nomadic life led to a whirlwind romance at the most difficult time for cross-continental relationships. This is a beautifully written feel-good story with a properly happy ending.
If you’re running short of things to watch during the festive lockdown, you could do worse than work through Open Culture’s list of free-to-watch film noirs from the golden age. Some stone cold classics in here. It has to be better than another re-run of The Snowman, right?
There is one truly great Christmas movie. Ok, we’ll allow It’s A Wonderful Life, but for the purposes of current conversation, consider the Frank Capra classic as separate. Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett explores the reasons why The Muppet Christmas Carol is the only festive film you need…
One success story of the lockdown has been the creation of a new Supermarionation show. Very much in the spirit of Gerry Anderson classics like Fireball XL-5, Nebula-75 has been made with a tiny budget and extremely limited resources. The skill and wit of the lovely people at Century 21 Films has ensured the show transcends all that, bringing thrills and spills of a very particular sort to our screens. Out yesterday, enjoy the Xmas Special!
Of course for every bauble on the tree there has to be the occasional pine-cone. Daily Grindhouse have been doing great work this year, and we were especially pleased that they closed out their Christmas coverage with this review of the 1965 TV special The Dangerous Christmas Of Red Riding Hood. It looks like an absolute doozy and more than ripe for a reissue…
We were forwarded this post on a sparrow hawk that somehow got itself entangled in a family Xmas tree and well, it sums up the year, don’t it? Thanks for this one, TLC.
We’re deep in listicle season, but enjoyed this one from Wired on the positive things to happen during 2020 enough to share. It’s not all been gloom and doom, you know…
And finally, Cut Crush Susie Dent shares an alternative Christmas dictionary which we’re going to find extremely useful over the next week or so. Dunno about you lot, but we plan to spend today deep in hurkle durkle and quafftide.
And that’s it from us. We wish you all a calm, peaceful and gentle Christmas in which you can find a little joy, whatever the circumstances. Join us next week for the first Cut of 2021, which may or may not include some of our picks of the year in films, books, comics, music and more! We’ll leave you with the other song without which we just don’t feel Christmassy. It only gets more appropriate over time. Take it away, Greg…
See you next year, Santa babies.