Strange Sinema 59: Strange Christmas - Fri. Dec. 21 - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Strange Sinema 59: Strange Christmas. Drawing on his archive of over 50,000 16mm film prints Oddball Films director Stephen Parr has complied a program of classic, strange, offbeat and unusual Christmas themed films.  The program features the early Di$ney animated surrealism of Mickey Plays Santa Claus (1931), a bizarre clip from the schlockmeister of kids scare films Sid Davis's Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen(1951),  Grant Munro's Toys (1966), featuring war toys coming to life before kids eyes in a Christmas window display, Big Business (1929) where Laurel and Hardy go door to door selling Christmas trees and wrecking slapstick havoc!,  Christmas in Oaxaca (1971) featuring all the colorful  costumes, parades, piñatas and rituals of Christmas in Oaxaca,  Mexico,  National Film Board of Canada's founder Norman McLaren's avant-garde animated Christmas Cracker (1963) and a few lively Christmas closers by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby in Happy Holidays with Frank and Bing (1957).  Plus! Holiday commercials featuring Kodak movie cameras, and early kinescopes of General Electric Christmas lighting!

Date:  Friday, December 21st , 2012 at 8:00PM
Venue: Oddball Film & Video, 275 Capp St. San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 RSVP  to: 415-558-8117 or

Highlights Include:

Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen (B+W, 1951, excerpt)

The Fairy Snow Queen gives a sort of dreadful life to Santa’s dolls on Christmas eve. Jack-in-the-box, toy soldiers, musical doll, and other dolls dance and sing for Santa to the music of The Nutcracker Suite and Sleeping Beauty. Snoopy the Brownie (Whaa?) tells us he visits toys every night to see if they’re being well treated by the children who own them. Don’t miss the gay uniformed “ toy soldier” and the creepy over-the-top human Jack-in-the box! Proof that Sid Davis - father of the cautionary mental hygiene film- really was the king of childrens nightmares.  

Christmas Cracker (Color, 1964)

A seasonal pleasantry consisting of three animation segments, employing tricks in movie magic by National Film Board of Canada artists and animators, including famed animator Norman McLaren and with specially arranged music. Three scenarios are presented: A jester mimes introductions to each act, the first of which is a play on Jingle Bells in which a boy and a girl of paper cutouts move to the music.  There follows a dime-store rodeo -- a whirring, hopping, ballet of tin toys done in animation to jazz composition.  The third act is a tall tale of a Christmas tree trimmer who needs a star to top his tree and builds a space vehicle to pluck one from the sky.

Christmas in Oaxaca (Color, 1976) 
If you’ve never been to Mexico during this time of the year you’re in for a colorful surprise. This film showcases Christmas celebrations in the Oaxaca region of Mexico, including folkloric dancers in vivid costumes, various customs of the region, vivid lighting, costumes, pinatas and a marimba band.

Mickey Plays Santa Claus (B+W, 1931)
Very early short featuring the famous little rodent- Mickey and Minnie are getting ready for the holidays when a basket of kittens is left on their doorstep. Despite being overrun by the mewling little guys, Mickey decides to throw them a Christmas party. The Mouse has not been as charitable since…

Big Business (1929)
On their road to riches, Laurel and Hardy give door-to-door Christmas tree selling a try. When a simple misunderstanding with a grumpy homeowner (the great James Finlayson) escalates from petty vandalism into full scale mutual destruction. Tit-for-tat was never so venomously delightful - it's comedy gold!

Toys (Color, 1966)
"This stop-motion animation takes a dark look into the war toys often given to children at Christmas time. Starting off as harmless objects, the toys quickly take on the gestures of real soldiers, mimicking the actions and penalties of a real war. This critical commentary on war and glamorized violence creates a real and frightening battle." -National Film Board of Canada

Holiday commercials featuring Kodak movie cameras, and early kinescopes of General Electric Christmas lighting!