Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday tips and YOJIMBO (52)

It's Christmas Eve and I'm sure many of you out there are in a state of reserved panic, the pressures of the holidays crushing in on your blackened souls. Here's the rub though, these "holidays" have the potential to be really exceptionally entertaining. I understand, some of us have terrible family situations, some of us are cringing through another year of economic depression, some of us are snowed in airports and of course some of us just hate the hell out of Christmas. But, as long as the whole damn United States of America is reveling in these tinsel-soaked days, here's a few Sanders' Family tips to help you enjoy it at least a little bit:

1. Don't take it so damn seriously. Sure, the Christian Right will try to make you believe that this is the day to sit in solemn rooms, candles lit, praying to our Lord Jesus, but seriously it's just another day. Working yourself in to a lather over gifts and wrapping and food and family is just going to ensure that your holidays suck the proverbial "turkey's ass". A friend of mine this year eschewed traditional gift purchasing and purchased these items for her family: brass knuckles (for her dad) and a painted portrait of a dearly departed down syndrome tiger named Kenny Rogers. Sure her family was confused, but they enjoyed the sentiment and in the end that's all that really matters.

2. Make a little bit of fuss about it. I know, you bah-humbugs out there are chomping at the bit for these holi-days to go the way of the dodo, but it's here, you're going to experience it somehow, so why not just embrace a bit of it. You don't have to set up Mom and Dad's flagellation device, maybe just have a sip of egg nog, or drink a beer with a couple of friends. Just don't spend it by yourself, bemoaning the fact that the inevitable holiday cheer has shat on your shoulders again. It just isn't going to do anything.

I always have such high hopes for these lists, but my ideas usually come in slightly truncated bursts. Thus, you get two tips, and a hi-five from my main man Kris Kringle. Don't let him near the children after he's been dipping in the brandy.

In one way or another you've probably seen Yojimbo (52). You've either seen this original wander-samurai, Akira Kurosawa masterpiece, or you've seen Sergio Leone's classic A Fistful of Dollars or you've seen the lesser known Walter Hill film Last Man Standing. This is a classic story of a samurai turning two blood-thirsty gangs against each other in a quest to rid the world of some evil and make a little cash at the same time. I've only just started it, but already I'm shocked and surprised that one of the great masters is so adept at making such a genrefied action flick. There is blood and lost limbs and a sort of up-close and personal camera style that had me smiling from the get go. I can't wait to finish this one up over the next few days so I can dig in to some of the things I love about the film.

Happy Holidays people, try not to stay too sober this week.

Be safe.

I'll see you on Monday.

Monday: Yojimbo (52)

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