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Dan Carrier’s movies news: A Matter Of Life and Death; The Man Who Invented Christmas

01 December, 2017 — By Dan Carrier

POST-WAR classic A Matter Of Life and Death, starring David Niven (pictured with Kim Hunter) as an RAF pilot taken to a celestial court to argue whether he should live or die, provided a war-weary, grief-stricken Britain with a film all could rally round. Made in 1946, Niven’s pilot spoke of the sacrifice so many had made in the immediate years preceding. The film is re-released next week and if you are looking for a seasonal tear-jerker designed to make you appreciate those closest to you, look no further.

Author Les Standiford’s book, The Man Who Invented Christmas, is an excellent tome about how Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol. Les was kind enough when the book came out a few years back to host a talk and screening of A Christmas Carol at the Everyman Cinema in Belsize Park – and donate the door money to the New Journal’s Christmas hamper charity fund. The book has recently been re-published in paperback to coincide with a new film with the same title. Starring Dan Stevens as Dickens, it explains how the author was hard up and required by his publishers to give them something to release for the winter season. He created Scrooge, Marley and the rest, battled to meet his deadline and by doing so both created the Victorian idea of the festive season and cleared some rather scary personal debts. The film stars Christopher Plummer as Scrooge and offers a way into seeing how Dickens came up with a book whose influence is immeasurable in terms of how the traditions we adhere to around this time of year came to be.

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