It is always amazing to watch big snowflakes transforming your usual view into something completely new and unreal. For few hours, the world is a giant, immaculate and silent place.
It is fascinating for children as well as for adults.
Movies, of course, have very often exploited the incredible potential of white "laplands" on screen, and Zazie has decided to give out a short list of her favourite winter films.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
8. Smilla's Sense of Snow by Bille August (1997)
Ok, I admit it: I don't consider this film particularly good. But when in the middle of a snow storm you are home and in your kitchen appears a man like this (black turtleneck sweater and Irish accent included), the only thing you can dream of is that you'll be obliged by the storm to stay home with him for the rest of your life. Amen!
7. The Ice Storm by Ang Lee (1997)
Winner of the award for Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival 1997, this movie is a little gem by always interesting director Ang Lee. Set in New Canaan, Connecticut, during the Thanksgiving week-end of 1973, The Ice Storm perfectly shows the confusion of an entire country through the stories of two families and their relationship. The Watergate, the sexual revolution, the hypocrisy of the society all mixed up. And a great cast too!
6. Let the right one in by Tomas Alfredson (2008)
Forget about all the movies you've seen on vampires.
In this superbly filmed and very weird Swedish horror movie, the relationship between a shy and bullied 12 years old guy, Oskar, and his new neighbor Eli, a strange and androgyne creature who feels livelier at night, it is so intriguing that you can't get enough of it.
Watch out, though, there's a lot of red on the white snow!
There is also an American remake of the movie (Let me in, 2010). I didn't see it but I seriously doubt it could be as good as this one.
5. Frozen River by Courtney Hunt (2008)
Disgusted by the syrupy Xmas movies the TV is showing since last week?
No worries, here's the anti-Xmas film par excellence! Set two days before the "fatal" day, this is a desperate story about a desperate woman who, in order to find a way to survive for her and her two sons (after the husband left them taking all their savings), takes a bad decision. She will drive poor people eager to (illegally) emigrate in America from the Canadian borders through a frozen river in the Mohawk Reservation.
Oscar nomination for the incredible Melissa Leo: her Ray is the role of a lifetime.
4. Winter Sleep by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (2014)
3. Winter Light by Ingmar Bergman (1963)
No, there is no hope in this world.
God is silent and indifferent to human suffering, and in this land covered with snow not a single light comes to cheer up the poor characters of this pitiless but magnificent movie. Bergman's favorite film of his own career is a vision you can hardly forget.
His snow is the chilliest one of all.
If you dare to, you can complete this vision with the other two movies of the "Silence of God Trilogy": Through a Glass Darkly and The Silence. Good luck!
2. All that Heaven Allows by Douglas Sirk (1955)
American film-maker Douglas Sirk elevated the concept of mélo to a completely new and outstanding level (not to mention the fabulous dresses her actresses used to wear in his movies!).
In his masterpiece, a still young and beautiful widow falls in love with her gardner. For the profoundly hypocrite American society of the time (mid-'50s) this is totally unacceptable. The two will have to suffer and go through a lot before love could reign.
In the meantime, Sirk's unbelievable use of colours and his witty and superbly crafted dialogues do the trick...
... and the house where Rock Hudson lives is simply to die for!
1 . Ma Nuit chez Maud by Eric Rohmer (1969)
Eric Rohmer's masterpiece and one of Zazie's favourite movies of ALL time.
Clermont-Ferrand in winter, the snow, Blaise Pascal's thoughts longly discussed in a café, an invitation to sleep over that will not end the way you expect, a brilliant conclusion of the story. And three actors in the prime of their life and career: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Françoise Fabian and Christine Barrault.
After this movie, to be under a blanket watching the snow outside, will never be the same.
Eric, we miss you!