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Nashville classic cinema this week: It's a wonderful week for Christmas movies

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The week before Christmas brings several holiday classics to the Middle Tennessee area.

Christmas is alive and well at the Franklin Theatre, where “Elf”, “The Polar Express” and “White Christmas” will all be screened. Later in the week, both the Belcourt Theatre and Franklin Theatre will be showing the beloved Frank Capra classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

For news on repertory films playing in middle Tennessee, subscribe to the Nashville Classic Cinema Examiner today!

Cult Fiction Underground is celebrating the season the only way they know how: With a screening of Bob Clark’s first Christmas film, the slasher classic “Black Christmas.” (Clark would go on to direct “A Christmas Story.” And also “Porky’s.)

Also continuing this week is the Belcourt's Coen Brothers retrospective, leading up the premiere of their new film, "Inside Llewyn Davis." Another Christmas tradition rules the Belcourt's midnight movie screening, with showings of the action epic "Die Hard."

A complete list of this week's repertory screenings is below. The descriptions are taken from the screeners' respective websites, which you can click on below:

The Belcourt Theatre

The Franklin Theatre

Cult Fiction Underground at Logue's Black Raven Emporium

Are you screening classic films in the middle Tennessee area? If so, drop me a line, and I'll add you to this weekly feature. To keep track on repertory screenings in the Nashville area, subscribe to the Nashville Classic Cinema Examiner today.

12/16

“White Christmas” - 6:00pm at the Franklin Theatre - A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

“The Polar Express” - 9:00pm at the Franklin Theatre - On Christmas Eve, a doubting boy boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus' home.

12/17

“White Christmas” - 6:00pm at the Franklin Theatre - A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

“Burn After Reading” - 7:30pm at the Belcourt Theatre - On the disc is the makings of a memoir for one Osborne Cox (John Malkovich), a former CIA man with a drinking problem and an axe to grind. But when insecure Linda (Frances McDormand) and the peppy but dunderheaded Chad (Brad Pitt) find the disc, they think a little espionage is the key to easy street. Enter the ex-Secret Service “inventor” (George Clooney) in an on-again/off-again affair with Cox's wife (Tilda Swinton), and the game is set for a lethal, laugh-filled pitch black farce. If ever a comedy can be made about our modern surveillance culture, this is the film that qualifies the Coens to tackle it head on.

“Elf” - 9:00pm at the Franklin Theatre - After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

“The Big Lebowski” - 9:40pm at the Belcourt Theatre - Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski doesn't want any drama in his life—heck, he can't even be bothered with a job. But he must embark on a quest with his bowling buddies after his rug is destroyed in a twisted case of mistaken identity. Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman and John Turturro.

12/18

“A Serious Man” - 3:00pm and 7:30pm at the Belcourt Theatre - Professor Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg) is a man in crisis. His wife wants a divorce so she can marry another. He’s on a collision course with his university’s tenure committee. His savant brother Arthur (Richard Kind) has taken up what seems like a permanent residence on the family couch. The next door neighbors are encroaching on his property. His stoner son seems dangerously unready for his bar mitzvah. And the Columbia record club won’t stop calling. Gopnik is a man put upon, and answers are unforthcoming from both human and divine. Perhaps taking advantage of the new freedoms might help in accepting the mystery? Or perhaps every man must define himself in the face of the almighty... We'll see how that goes.

“White Christmas” - 6:00pm at the Franklin Theatre - A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

“Elf” - 9:00pm at the Franklin Theatre - After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

“No Country For Old Men” - 9:40pm at the Belcourt Theatre - Featuring an Introduction from Scott Juengel, senior lecturer in the English department at Vanderbilt University.

Hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon the bloody aftermath of a botched drug deal and believes he can safely abscond with the case of $2 million he finds amongst the bodies. Unbeknownst to him, nihilistic assassin Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) has been sent to retrieve the money and eliminate anyone who stands in his way. Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) watches helplessly as the murdering beast ravages his small town, trying to piece together what little he can of the seemingly indiscriminate and vicious killings. This neo-Western based on the Cormac McCarthy novel of the same name earned the Coen brothers three Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay and won Javier Bardem a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his career-defining performance as the sadistic, bowl-cut, coin-tossing killer.

12/19

“Double Feature: O Brother Where Art Thou? and Down From The Mountain” - 7:00pm at the Belcourt Theatre

Two Films, One Price!

O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?:

With their collective eye focused on retrieving a cache of hidden money, three convicts (George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson) break out of jail in Depression-era Mississippi and embark on an epic journey that bears more than a few similarities to Homer's Odyssey. Along the way, they fast-talk their way out of jams, sidestep alluring riverside sirens and record a hit country song as the Soggy Bottom Boys.

DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN:

On May 24, 2000, a group of mostly Nashville-based musicians converged on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium to celebrate the music of O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (the soundtrack, produced by long-time Coens collaborator T-Bone Burnett, has since gone on to sell nearly 8 million copies). Filmed by a well known team of filmmakers, this engaging concert documentary features Ralph Stanley, the Fairfield Four, Gillian Welch, Allison Krauss and Emmylou Harris among others, as well as a whole host of Station Inn regulars and the final filmed performance of the legendary John Hartford.

12/20

“It’s a Wonderful Life” - 12:30 pm, 3:10pm and 6:50pm at the Belcourt Theatre - An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

“Elf” - 6:00pm, 8:30pm and 11:00pm at the Franklin Theatre - After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

“Black Christmas” - 8:00pm and 10:00pm at Cult Fiction Underground - “Ah yes, the heartwarming Bob Clark holiday classic -- Ralphie and his family, the Red Ryder BB gun, the Old Man, the leg-lamp, Li'l Orphan Annie... wait, what? OHHH... the OTHER Bob Clark holiday classic? Ah yes - one of the first (or maybe the first, depending on who you ask) true slasher films -- a sorority house full of coeds getting stalked by an anonymous killer. Of note? Olivia Hussey (ROMEO AND JULIET) is the main young lady! Margot Kidder is not actually the craziest thing in this movie! SCTV's Andrea Martin is in this! John Saxon is the cop, and he was the awesome bionic bad-guy on SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN! Also also of note? Olivia Hussey was real purty. Just sayin'. We can also play a game where the first person to mention the remake gets hit by everybody else. -jack

“Die Hard” - 11:59pm at the Belcourt Theatre - the Chrismas action epic starring Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New York cop who just wants to spend Christmas with his wife. Now, McClane has to stop terrorists from attack Nakatomi Tower. YIPPIE KI YAY, MELON FARMER!

12/21

“Elf” - 10:00am at the Franklin Theatre - After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” - 10:00am at the Belcourt Theatre - As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” - 1:50 pm, 4:35pm and 7:30pm at the Belcourt Theatre - An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

“White Trash Christmas Party” - 6:00pm at Cult Fiction Underground - Featuring screenings of “Bad Santa” and “Trailer Park Boys.”

“Die Hard” - 11:59pm at the Belcourt Theatre

12/22

“It’s a Wonderful Life” - 11:15am 1:50 pm, 4:35pm and 7:30pm at the Belcourt Theatre - An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” - 1:00pm, 4:00pm and 7:00pm at the Franklin Theatre

“Mystery Movie” - 7:00pm at Cult Fiction Underground - Each Sunday, CFU plays a mystery movie. Visit their Facebook page for hints on what they’ll be showing!

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