A spot of festive crate-digging...
'Next Year Will Be Mine'

"So here it is Merry Christmas, everybody's having fun..."

Not our words, but the words of one Noddy Holder - and we certainly echo the sentiment. This year though we opted for a slightly more pensive festive soundtrack, with Whyte Horses sharing a fantastic two-part Advent treat.

Ending a stellar year for the group on a high, Whyte Horses also kindly pieced together this list of Christmas curios for your festive delectation...

1. Christmas Cracker - Norman McLaren, Canada

One of the most prolific directors from the classic National Film Board of Canada era of the late 50s / early 60s. A visionary unafraid of exploring every medium within the realms of film making. This is a snapshot of his multi-disciplinary skills at work, taking deceptively simple ideas and crafting them to perfection. His syncing of music and film is seamless McLaren was one a total one-off, a true genius and pioneer in his field.

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2. The Night Before Christmas, Russia

A classic Soviet from 1951 by the Sisters Brumberg produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studios in Moscow. A Christmas story consisting of wonderful symbolism with a Devil and a witch as central figures. A slightly darker and more socially vocal version of early Disney movies. This must have been an enormous influence on Whyte Horses favourite Andrey Khrzhanovskiy.

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3. The insects Christmas Poland

A creepy and simultaneously uplifting short from 1913. Evokes feelings of early David Lynch with a echoes of Bagpuss.

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4. Lights (Marie Menken - 1966)

A silent study of Christmas lights straight from the 16mm school of Stan Brakhage. I’m a massive fan of this era of kinetic and meditative style filing that rely purely on visuals and feelings.

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5. The Junky’s Christmas (1963), William Burroughs

A brilliant idea, get Burroughs to narrate an animation about a Junky, at Christmas with a decent uplifting message for all mankind. Why aren’t there more ideas for TV specials like this these days?

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6. Santa Claus Versus The Devil (1959)

A madcap good versus evil story visually comparable to Kenneth Anger directing Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

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7. Mr T. Christmas Story

Not that obscure but who can resist Mr T. reading Xmas tales to children and taking no prisoners.

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8. The Gift of Winter

Crap Christmas film, worth a watch though.

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9. Fat Albert Christmas Special

I loved Fat Albert as a kid probably my first introduction to breakbeats and funk. I live abroad for a couple of years when I was a kid and always had American re-runs on the telly, this makes me feel nostalgic, to a degree.

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10. Christmas with Slade… and Simon Le Bon

Scraping the barrel now, that's my lot... Happy New Year!

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