In his introduction to the book Christmas at the Movies (2002), Jeffrey Richards writes:
"During the nineteenth century the family reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was one of the rituals of Christmas. In the latter part of the twentieth century, the ritual showing of Frank Capra’s film It’s a Wonderful Life took its place. This is symptomatic of the process by which cinema became an integral part of the celebration of Christmas in the twentieth century (Richards, ‘General Editor’s Introduction’)."
This Special Issue of Journal of Scandinavian Cinema explores the role of Christmas in the cinema of the Nordic countries. Such a focus is quite topical. Just think of the pride with which the Finns consider the Korvatunturi Mountain in Lapland to be the true home and origin of Joulupukki, a frightening mythical figure that somehow metamorphosed into cheery, affable Santa Claus. Only recently his original phantom returned to the film screen in Rare Exports (Jalmari Helander, 2010) as a supernatural monster that torments naughty children. Scenes from Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander (1982) are considered by many the ultimate staging of the Swedish Christmas spirit, with a sense of familial warmth combined with darker undercurrents. And in 101 Reykjavik (Baltasar Kormákur, 2000) the sympathetic loser Hlynur declares December 25 the most difficult day of the year because of the obligatory family holiday dinner.
This call for papers invites contributions on Christmas in cinema focusing on the ‘Scandinavian specificity’ of the subject. However, we also welcome a transnational perspective and contributions that address Scandinavian cinema and Christmas from theoretical and methodological perspectives, and that promote a general understanding of the various roles of Christmas in cinema.
Here is a partial and non-restrictive list of suggested topics that could be dealt with in relation to Christmas films:
- genre (changes of)
- home, family, and togetherness
- bad Santas
Please submit an abstract of 250-300 words for short contributions (1000-2000 words) or full length feature articles (6000) before 15 September 2012 to the Special Issue editors Tarja Laine ([log in to unmask]) and/or Mark Connelly ([log in to unmask]). Final submissions are due on 1 February 2013. Only submissions that follow Journal of Scandinavian Cinema’s Notes for Contributors will be accepted.
For general information or questions regarding Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, please contact Anders Marklund ([log in to unmask]) or any other member of the editorial team: Gunnar Iversen ([log in to unmask]), Andrew Nestingen ([log in to unmask] washington.edu), Casper Tybjerg ([log in to unmask]), Patrick Vonderau ([log in to unmask]), or managing editor Rochelle Wright ([log in to unmask]).
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite