The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Gloomy Xmas! 28 defunct Christmas themed parks and attractions *

* (restored)

Cidade Albanoel (Paraty, Brazil)
If you like your Christmas-themed amusements to have a little more edge, then this derelict Santa Claus theme park in Brazil is for you. The vast park, where construction began in 2000, was intended to be spread over 38 million square metres, but was never completed after the Brazilian politician who came up with the idea was killed in a car crash right outside its entrance. The site remains filled with gradually decaying Santa figurines, rusty reindeer rides and crumbling candy cane turrets, making it feel more eerie than festive.


A Winter Wonderland (Milton Keynes, UK)
Queues for miles, outrageous prices and a melting ice sculpture: it wouldn’t be Christmas without another tale of a disastrous “winter blunderland”. Families who tried to attend the Christmas Wonderland event in Milton Keynes were promised an “evening of enchantment and adventure”. Instead of which they were met with the bizarre spectacle of what appeared to be a man in a wheelchair on fire. Organisers took down their Facebook page after it was inundated with complaints, with some visitors saying they had queued for two hours to get in, only to see some melting ice sculptures and “just fairy lights hung over some trees”.


Santa’s Land USA (Putney, Vermont)
You won’t find a brochure for Santa’s Land USA easily in Vermont. The official Vermont Attractions Map does not list it. It has no billboards. Even the publicity material for Santa’s Land USA’s home town, Putney, VT — which carries glowing descriptions of local businesses like Basketville and the Putney Food Co-op — fails to mention Santa’s Land USA. The entire attraction, which covers many acres of pine-shaded woods, appears to be run by five people: the kindly lady in the gift shop, the guy who sprints between the Sweet Shoppe and Candy Cane Cupboard, the train engineer, the kiddie ride attendant, and Santa. The first thing that catches our eye when we enter the park through the fairyland cottage gift shop is a huge blob of discolored white stuff lying near a little pond. What is it? Fake iceberg? A wad of funnel cake that fell out of Valhalla? The TV in the kid’s video theater in Santa’s Arcade shows nothing but electric snow. We walk up the hill to the quiet of Santa’s House, and can see red legs through the doorway. Santa sits, motionless. We assume he’s a stuffed dummy. Then a truck klaxon echoes through the woods — the over-the-top horn for the tiny Alpine Train — and Santa jerks to life. “Ho ho,” he says groggily. “You caught Santa napping.” The next words out of his mouth startle us even more than finding him asleep. “You look like prosperous gentlemen. Would you like to buy Santa’s Land?” Santa says that the park’s current owner wants to sell the place. The owner’s pumped a lot of money into its electric wiring and septic system — over $100,000 by Santa’s guess — but the right buyers have been as elusive as flying reindeer. The manager abruptly left a couple of weeks ago, and the place is currently run by the multi-tasking Sweet Shoppe guy. “The original owners — I forgot their name, I forget everybody’s name — built it. There used to be an airstrip here. For the war, you know. It’s not here any more.” Santa recalls that a family named Brewer purchased the park in 1970 and ran it for almost 30 years. “This place was Mr. Brewer’s pet. It did quite well for a few years, but then it sort of petered out. They lived up there, in the Igloo Pancake House,” Santa says, pointing into the woods. “Before it was the Igloo Pancake House. If you take the train, and get off at Pancake Junction, you’ll see it. It’s an igloo-type thing.” Note: Santa’s Land USA closed on Dec. 18, 2011.




Dickens Victorian Village (Cambridge, Ohio)
Welcome to Cambridge, Ohio, a small town that, until last year, celebrated the holidays in a big way, from Dickensian street scenes to contemporary light shows. It all started eight years ago, when Bob Ley, who owned a men’s clothing store downtown, traveled to Oglebay Resort, the city park in Wheeling, W.Va. that stages a major holiday light festival every year. Why couldn’t Cambridge capture some of those thousands of drivers traveling along I-77 to Wheeling? So Ley and his wife, a retired English teacher, came up with an idea: Create street scenes, with full-size mannequins depicting life during Dickensian England, and place them throughout downtown. At the annual event’s height in 2013, visitors saw 160 statues – including a cast of characters from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” a group of ice skaters, a chimney sweep, money lenders (placed strategically in front of US Bank), a beggar, a bobby, a blacksmith, and a man in a wheelchair.


Santa Kong (Universal Studios Hollywood)
Disneyland Park went hardcore for the holidays right from the very beginning. Whereas Universal Studios Hollywood (which first started loading tourists on “Glamour Trams” for a tour of their 230-acre backlot back in 1965) took a couple of decades before it finally really fully committed to Christmas. It would periodically try and find fun new ways to celebrate the season. These including taking that 30 foot-tall, 7-ton animatronic ape that guests could see as their tram rolled through that theme park’s old “King Kong Encounter” and then dressing him in a Santa suit.


Magical Winterland (Yorkshire, UK)
It promised a ‘fully immersive’ Christmas experience, with reindeer, a festive market and, of course, Santa’s grotto. But visitors to Yorkshire’s Magical Winterland found it to be far from magical and barely wintry. Children were left in tears as they entered a desolate warehouse with cardboard boxes and random material strewn all over the ground. Magical Winterland only opened its doors on Wednesday, but was forced to pack up just 24 hours later due to its “appalling” quality. There were multiple reports that the attraction’s multiple Father Christmases (five were spotted by some confused children) were alternately too gruff, too skinny or smelt of booze. One elf reportedly told a guest to ‘have a s*** Christmas’. The presents they gave out were cheap, plastic and unwrapped. And then there was the “snow”. ”Mummy, this isn’t snow. It’s strange,” said one child within earshot of this reporter. He was pointing at what looked like dirty papier-mache spread greyly across the mud outside the front entrance. “It looks like paper. I think it’s litter. It looks like litter. It’s stuck to my boot. Mummy, get it off!”


The Death Yard Christmas Haunted Attraction (Nashville, Tennessee)
“Instead of Christmas cheer, we are spreading some holiday fear,” said Carroll Moore, who in 2014 turned his Halloween season “Death Yard Haunted Attraction” in Hendersonville into a Yuletide horror show. For $10 and an unwrapped new toy, visitors passed through the 13,000-square-foot warehouse northeast of Nashville crammed with Yuletide horrors. For $5 more and a second toy, they could go to the paintball range just outside and take 15 shots at Zombie Santa and his friends. “You can unload on the undead,” Moore said. “Maybe Santa Claus wasn’t good to you last year.” Moore also offered chainsaw-wielding maniac elves, rabid and violent reindeer, and killer Mrs. Santa Clauses. The unwrapped new toys were intended to go to Last Minute Toy Store, which operated out of a Nashville church and gave parents who could not afford toys a chance to look for things their children might want, for no cost. All was well until Nita Haywood, who ran the Last Minute Toy Store at the 61st Avenue United Methodist Church, where she was director of youth and family ministries, visited the Horrific Haunted Holiday two days into its intended three week run. “I was horrified and nauseous,” she said. “The presence of the Devil was very, very strong.” After speaking to local police and the mayor, the attraction was immediately shut down. “New toys are new toys,” she said. “But not when they come from Hell.”




Santa’s Village (Dundee, Illinois)
Santa’s Village in East Dundee, Illinois (1959-2006) was a theme park built in 1959 by H. Glenn Holland who also built the other two in San Bernardino County, California and Santa Cruz County, California. This park was the third and last that he built. The buildings were modeled on what an average child might imaging Santa’s Village would look like. When it opened, it was a very prominent theme park. Over the parks history more than 20 million people passed through the front gates. One addition to the park, opened in 1963, was the Polar Dome which provided an ice skating and hockey venue under a forced-air supported dome. On November 28, 1966, a strong wind caused the Polar Dome to collapse. The unsuccessful launch of the Typhoon roller coaster and decreased attention to the aesthetics of the park eventually prompted the corporation to sell. The sale did not proceed as smoothly as hoped, and with many setbacks and unmet deadlines the park had to shut its doors.


Santa Present Park (Hokkaido, Japan)
This amusement park has to be included among the most poorly conceived, planned, built, and attended amusement parks in history. It was tied into a popular ski resort and featured numerous Christmas-themed attractions including four roller coasters. Like all theme parks in Japan, it was only open during the non-winter months. Unfortunately, the ski resort was only open during the winter season. Long story short, after having been built for $10,000,000, it never opened and was torn down after standing empty for eight months.


Magic Forest (Lake George, New York)
This was the weirdest place I’ve ever been. I came for Santa and for Lightning the diving horse, and stayed for all the other weeeeird ass shit. It was OLD OLD OLD, snack bar (wish I’d brought my own food) OLD OLD OLD. Sign on the gift shop read, closed but go to the snack shop if you want to buy something. During the Christmas Safari ride (don’t ask me), we noted three instances of racist portrayals. As we got on the ride, I almost knew it was coming. The first was a display with a person being boiled in a pot with dark-skinned mannequins all around holding spears. Ugh. The whole park was dirty, in definite disrepair, and some of the ride operators were creepy, rude and two seemed kinda drunk. Needless to say, it was magical! RIP




Sherborne Wharf’s Search for Santa (Birmingham, UK)
Until 2014, Sherborne Wharf near Brindleyplace used to run canal trips through Birmingham city centre on a quest to find Father Christmas. All participants were geared up with the latest “Santa-detecting technology” and shipped off aboard narrow boats in search of the Man in Red himself. Apparently finding him wasn’t very hard and, when he was found, he wasn’t very interesting.


Santa’s Village (Scotts Valley, California)
In 1958, Santa’s Village was created in the wooded hills of the Santa Cruz mountains. This Christmas wonderland served thousands of park visitors each year with its holiday cheer! Residents of Santa’s Village included Santa and Mrs. Claus, their elves and gnomes, who operated the rides and sold tickets. There was a baby petting zoo filled with goats, sheep, bunnies, ducks, deer and a Mexican burro. Children could feed the animals green feed pelets that they purchased from dispensing machines. Four reindeer from Unalakleet, Alaska, pulled Santa’s sleigh. There was a bobsled ride, a whirling Christmas tree ride and a miniature Santa’s Express train ride. Other attractions included a giant Jack-in-the-Box, an Alice in Wonderland maze, Santa’s enormous boot, brightly painted cement mushrooms and a Queen of Hearts figure … all part of Fairytale Land. Mrs. Claus had her own kitchen, where hamburgers, hotdogs and steak sandwiches were served. An egg-shaped cottage and a shoehouse were open for children’s exploration and imaginations. In 1977, after the Santa’s Village Corporation had filed for bankruptcy, Billawalla bought the whole of Santa’s Village for $615,000, speculating that he could build a more attractive theme park there. The City of Scotts Valley rejected Billawalla’s plan to create a Knott’s Berry Farm-type complex, which would have included a hotel, a shopping center and rides. That year there were heavy rains during the park’s peak season of November and December, coupled with the political bureaucracy of the City of Scotts Valley … it proved to be the death nell for Santa’s Village.


Parlor Lucky (Tokyo, Japan)
Parlor Lucky was a karaoke bar in the Ginza section of Tokyo where patrons could only enter if they were wearing a Santa Claus costume. Costumes could be rented at the Santa Claus Everyday rental costume store next door.


Christmas Land (Marshall, Texas)
Seasonal attraction with year-round Santa statue, sometimes headless, now reduced to an entry sign.


Christmas Fantasy Village (Great Bend, Kansas)
Christmas Fantasy Village (1979 – 2000) was located on Highway 281 about 3 miles south of Great Bend. If you followed the lighted signs during the winter that started at 10th and Main, you were able to find it. You knew you were there when you saw the 50 foot tall lighted snowman! The Christmas Fantasy Village started as a couple’s celebration of Christmas, and turned into a local event.


Santa Land and Zoo (Cherokee, North Carolina)
I haven’t been able to find out the history of the park, but I suspect it was around for a while. Many of its kiddie rides dated back to the 1950s and a few of them came from the Allan Herschell factory. The Rudicoaster was exactly the same as the coaster in Santa’s Village in Ontario; a steel figure-8 configuration with a Rudolph themed car in the front. There was also the token train, a CP Huntington, that went around the entire park. Kids could visit with Santa in his house every day. He had a large sleigh they could sit in and tell him their secret wishes.


Elf School (Brierly Hill, UK)
For one strange Christmas season in 2013, kids from Brierly Hill and beyond were welcome to enroll in Elf School, going through what as billed as a complete elf makeover, learning an elf chant, and taking home their own elf hat. Finally, they got to meet Santa and visit his toy shop where they could choose a present to take home with them. The Elf School experiment was never repeated because many parents complained that, after the event, their children were acting strangely and, in some cases, refused to return to their human form to the point that the parents were driven to seek psychological counseling for their brainwashed children.


SCUBA Claus (Tennessee Aquarium)
Did you know, in the midst of tackling the seemingly impossible task of delivering presents to every home on the planet, Santa Claus found the time to get SCUBA certified? From the heat 2013 to 2017 guests to the Aquarium were familiar with (and fond of) Saint Nick’s annual underwater visits to the Nickajack Lake and River Giants exhibits. Until the visits were discontinued, they could catch the Jolly Old Elf’s dives and press their wish lists against the glass on Saturdays and Sundays from Nov. 18 to Dec. 17.


Santa Land (Santa Claus, Arizona)
Nina Talbot and her husband founded Santa Clause in 1937 with the hopes of turning the desolate wasteland into a place where families could settle and live the suburban dream. They hoped to attract investors with North Pole themed buildings and children’s attractions dubbed Santa Claus Land. Unfortunately for the Talbots, investors never came. Thought a diner in the quaint snowy desert oasis gained a few fans through the years—including Duncan Hines and actress Jane Russell—the Nina Talbot sold the land in 1949. By the 1970s, the town had started to fall into disrepair. Now, derelict wooden huts and barbed wire fences are clear signs that Santa Claus doesn’t live there anymore.




Eastland Mall Christmas (Charlotte, North Carolina)
Eastland Mall was famous in North Carolina in the 1990s for its yearly elaborate Christmas makeover. Until everyone stopped going there. Or caring. In about the year 2000 when it closed and became an empty shell. There were plans to turn the giant building into a movie studio but they never panned out. So they tore it down.


Santa’s Village (Lake Arrowhead, California)




Santa Claus Land (Santa Claus, Indiana)
Santa Claus Land opened August 3, 1946; the theme park included a toy shop, toy displays, a restaurant, themed children’s rides, and, of course, Santa. Koch’s son Bill soon became the head of Santa Claus Land. In 1960, Bill married “Santa’s daughter,” Patricia Yellig; he remained active in the family business until his death in 2001. Bill and Pat had five children; the eldest, Will, was the park’s president for more than 20 years until his unexpected death in 2010. Over the decades, Santa Claus Land flourished. Children from across the country came to sit on the real Santa’s knee and whisper their Christmas wishes. Guests included Ronald Reagan, who stopped by in 1955.


Ruislip Winter Wonderland (Northolt, UK)
Parents have vented their fury after another winter wonderland festive fun fair has been cancelled just two days before it was due to open. Despite announcing the event more than a month ago, the Ruislip Winter Wonderland in north London, was cancelled yesterday with organisers citing a disagreement with landowners. Today, one day before the scheduled opening, the site earmarked for the funfair at India Gardens in Northolt appeared barren and undeveloped. A “star-studded” opening night featuring appearances from I’m A Celebrity contestant David Van Day, EastEnders actor Matt Lapinskas and Coronation Street star Adam Rickitt was due to take place tomorrow. Other celebrity scheduled guests included Blue singer Lee Ryan, Another Level singer Dane Bowers and boxer Joe Calzaghe. Since the statement was posted more than 200 angry parents have posted messages over their disappointment, with some saying they believed it might have been a hoax. Nicola Powis commented: “The idiot running it has showed unprofessionalism, petulance and idiocy in all of the responses to the comments. I don’t believe they ever had any intention of putting on the event. Idiots.”


Minnie’s Christmas Party (Anaheim, California)
Minnie’s Christmas Party premiered at Disneyland on November 2, 2001, for the 2001 holiday season. But that was the end of its run. In fact, that was the end of having Christmas shows in the Fantasyland Theatre. Minnie’s Christmas Party was virtually nonexistent in scope. The set was simplistic and flimsy enough that vibrations from the passing monorail caused it to shake so violently that an earthquake was hastily written into its plot. The plot — humans visit Minnie Mouse on Christmas — was dispatched with in five seconds followed by 45 minutes of yelling, jumping up and down, and painful stretches of up to minutes with performers standing in stunned silence. The script seemed to be written for children under the age of 1 year old.


The Christmas Factory (Athens, Greece)
If you are outside of the country of Greece, the Greek National Tourism Organization would like you to believe that The Christmas Factory, “the most fabulous factory of Christmas”, has returned to Technopolis – City of Athens in Gazi from November 28, 2015 to January 6, 2016. It is claimed this amazing theme park is installed in the centre of the city and – “with the help of elves, fairies and goblins – aims to spread the magic of Christmas to all visitors to Greece”. Holiday travelers to Athens are told of the games, sweets, ‘cheats’, songs, presents, awards awaiting them at the Santa’s House, the Toys Factory, the Digital Christmas, the Sweet Factory, the Ice Rink, the Carousel, the Train, the Wheel and the Slides “thanks to these fanciful heroes”. The interesting thing is that there is no advertising for The Christmas Factory inside of Greece. That is because there is no money in Greece to produce The Christmas Factory this year. Visitors lured to Athens by the florid advertising for The Christmas Factory which is widespread throughout Europe, paid for by God knows whom, will, upon reaching the site of The Christmas Factory, find instead a single mechanical man statue dressed in a Santa Claus costume that has seen better days standing on the sidewalk. His recorded and looped voice thanks whoever has found him for visiting Greece in its time of need. You will also find two members of the military stationed near the Santa Claus mechanical man who will confiscate your phone or camera if you try to take a picture.




p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Happy Xmas to you should such a wish be relevant. Oops, about the top gif. Err, I’ll find a replacement. Wonderful backstory stuff about Visconti, much appreciated. That’s an awesome favourite Xmas song, I must say! Glad to see mine isn’t the only blog that’s marking the occasion. Everyone, After you’ve had Xmas at DC’s, or, well, before or during if you prefer, go spend Xmas at the FaBlog where David has done up a festive, timely, Ehrensteinian shebang for you. Here. ** _Black_Acrylic, Happy happy! Well, I suppose if my Xmas morning wasn’t exactly like every other of my mornings, I would take the blogging day off, but … Your day ahead sounds most lovely. Hope it is/was. ** Misanthrope, I hope your gifts contain worlds. You’re reading Welty. That is something of a surprise. I haven’t read that one. I’ve quite liked what I’ve read by her. Denis Johnson: I think ‘Jesus’ Son’s’ status as a modern classic is fully justified. Killer writing. I like some of his early novels. especially ‘Resuscitation of a Hanged Man’, which I think is my favorite. I remember thinking ‘Already Dead’ had great stuff in it but was maybe a little drawn out. I haven’t read the last few. But, yeah, I would say read ‘Jesus’ Son’ at least, if you haven’t. Have a super swell big day. ** Grant Maierhofer, Hi, G. Thank you for asking him to send me the book. I love that press, Inside the Castle. One of the very, very best out there for sure. Thanks about the holidays. They’re being … fair to me, I guess I would say. Have a great whatever you do today. ** KK, Yeah, I’m definitely gonna hunt that down. Maybe today. Glad you’re working on the new book. Oh, I think books should be as long as they are and no longer even if that makes them slightly harder to get published (… although I think the stigma that short books are harder to publish is a bit of a lie. That said, my new novel, which is quite short, has gotten ‘would you consider fleshing it out’ comments from editors, but when I say no, absolutely not, that doesn’t seem to be a rejection trigger.) IHOP. and with a Satanist no less. I miss IHOP. I was just longing to eat at an IHOP just the other day. I hope there are shitloads of gifts for you under a tree somewhere today. ** Corey Heiferman, Happy Xmas and/or its equivalents to you! No, the buche I ended up getting — by default since my top choices were sold out — is one with a sparkler in it that you light and that then not only gives you a little cake-bound fireworks show but supposedly also ‘reinvents’ the buche, but I’ll believe it when I see it, meaning as soon as it gets darkish here, meaning around 4:45 pm. I’m an early to bed, early to rise guy, and it seems to make me productive. Infatuations are such a great idea fuel. For me, historically. Cool. There are no murkier waters than those, so says I. I went bi-slanted-towards-heterosexual for about a year or so in the early 80s, and I liked it. It was very invigorating and strange while it lasted. I’ll look at that Jan Nemec vid thing, thanks. I’m used to watching films without English subtitles. Well, in fact I basically live in foreignness without English subtitles. Glad you and Quinn mutually located. If anything out of the ordinary happens on his designated day, max it out. ** Barkley, Hi, Barkley! A very, very Merry Xmas to you!!!!! ** Okay. I decided to give you a gloomy Xmas, or sort of gloomy depending on how you define gloom. Anyway, enjoy your todays, and I’ll see you in the Santa-free world tomorrow.


  1. Ferdinand

    Thanks Dennis for the well wishes, Yes indeed if the papers are in order and on time then we will be married before end of January. The next step would then be to apply for reunification in Belgium from South Africa. My partner really misses home but is unable to live alone in Belgium for health reasons. Yes a coffee sometime would be great, then I can show you some of my photography. If not this time then defnitley a next time. Haha these xmass theme parks are such a bad trip, its rather amuzing, the cruminess of it. Have a good one yourself and may you enter the new year loaded with inspiration.

  2. _Black_Acrylic

    Ho ho ho Merry Xmas! This cavalcade of gloom contains some absolute classics of the genre, including that legendary Magical Winterland event in Yorkshire. Kind of related, there’s a really good Facebook group here called Angry People in Local Newspapers and yesterday they featured this story of a Dundee man irate over the Xmas closure of his refuse chutes. It contains a photo of the guy with his binbag looking suitably pissed off.

    Today I received a haul of pants, socks, chocolates and a stack of books too. I hope you have a great one and your buche + sparkler combo is everything you hoped it would be.

  3. Kyler

    Hey D – hoping your day (like any other) is good! You probably know I’m not a fan of the holidays, and this year is the first season without my folks, so it’s not easy. Filling the time though with some good films. The new Almodovar last night – pretty good, very touching in parts. But really looking forward to the new Malick this afternoon. I’ll try to get through the near 3 hours without a bathroom break! Waiting to hear from this guy in Paris who says he wants a telephone reading today…haven’t heard from him yet….maybe you can give him a psychic nudge – though I can do that too – psychic nudges can work from a distance, but I like that you’re both in Paris. Cheers, mate.

    • Kyler

      update: saw a little of the Almodovar again while waiting for the Malick to start. Liked it better today than yesterday – striking nude scene with a beautiful Spanish boy. Don’t remember if you’ve seen it yet, but I thought the Malick was phenomenal. As we were leaving, an older lady said, “The whole thing could have been an hour long.” And I said, “No! All 3 hours were necessary! Was like a meditation – that’s his style.” Or something like that. He’s extraordinary.

  4. David Ehrenstein

    Few things are quite as forlorn as a Failed Christmas Theme Park.

    One more thing re Visconti, Claudia Cardinale told me “8 1/2” and “The Leopard” were shot at the same time, so she was going from one set to another. She said Fellini and Visconti were wildly competitive and wanted her to tell them what the other was doing. She found this hilarious. Both great film directors treated she like the Goddess that she is. What a career — Fellini, Visconti and Sergio Leone!

  5. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Yeah, so the only bookstore in our city is a Books-A-Million and they now do used books. I found the Welty at like $2 and the Johnson at $5, so I picked them up. Welty has her style and I appreciate it and even like it. You know me, I’ll read just about anything, and I like getting a little detour from the usual type of stuff I read. It’s interesting to see how others have done it and not done it.

    I’ve gotten that a lot from others about Jesus’ Son. I’ll have to pick it up and give Johnson a fairer shake. It’s not that Tree of Smoke was bad at all, it’s just that it had all this acclaim and I just didn’t get it. But I do realize it’s large and epic and there are themes underneath and above what I’d consider regular ol’ narrative writing, so I do get that. However, the prose itself? Nothing big, kind of meh.

    But yeah, I’ll try Jesus’ Son, and I’m sure that’ll make the difference as far as how I regard Johnson. My most trustworthy sources say that’s the real deal.

    Thanks. You have a good day too. Hit that Buche if you haven’t already.

    I’ll be doing some editing today, and then I’ll probably start on a thing that my friend DR wrote over the past year, a memoir about his high school/early college days. He’s the guy who I did a day on his teenage writings that almost got him expelled from school way back when, if you remember. I’ll be hanging out with him tomorrow afternoon/night, along with some other friends. I daresay that you and I and some other of my friends inspired him to get back to writing, and I think it’s a good thing because he’s a good writer and he’s hilarious.

  6. Sypha

    Happy X-mas dennis. SERIAL MOM & PICKPOCKET were amongst some of the DVDs I got as gifts, so obviously I took your advice of a few weeks ago, ha ha.

    In regards to Denis Johnson for me the Big 3 are ANGELS, TREE OF SMOKE and ALREADY DEAD. ALREADY DEAD was kind of a weird one because when I was reading it I liked it but wasn’t super-wild about it… it was only a couple of months after I finished it and had reflected on it for awhile that I realized that in the end I actually liked it a real lot. Guess it was a delayed reaction!

  7. Dominik

    Merry, merry Christmas, Dennis! Tons of love to you!!!

  8. Bill

    An appropriately glooming post for a gloomy time of year. Some of those attractions are pretty mindboggling.

    Happy holidays from the mysterious orient. Yeah this directional thing is pretty confusing. They had “Long Day’s Journey into Night” on the flight! Umm no, wouldn’t have been the best viewing setup. The other movie offerings were mostly pretty predictable.

    Misanthrope, I’ve never read Tree of Smoke, but I loved Jesus’ Son and Largesse of the Sea Maiden.


  9. Steve Erickson

    It’s very funny to think of an Israeli teacher trying not to offend Christians by saying “happy holidays” instead of “happy Hanukah!”

    I was happy to finish reading the anthology AMERICA: FILMS FROM ELSEWHERE, which is about films set (and mostly shot) in the US made by directors from outside the country, and write a workable rough draft of my book review for Cineaste magazine today. Unfortunately, like all my work for them, it won’t be available online.

  10. Keaton

    Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year! Hope you have a good one and a great year. Big love

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