MoMA Presents

Andrew Repasky McElhinney’s Christmas Dreams

Dec 15–29, 2022


Christmas Dreams. 2015. USA. Directed by Andrew Repasky McElhinney. Courtesy the filmmaker

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Willie Wonka for a new generation, Christmas Dreams is at once, in Michael Rapp’s music and concept, an homage to the television Christmas specials of the past and, in Andrew Repasky McElhinney’s direction, a sort of psychotronic expansion of them, full of imaginatively bizarre imagery and strange situations. Provocatively, McElhinney neither mocks the material nor fully embraces it, leaving the spectator in an unaccustomed position of rhetorical uncertainty, suspended between irony and sentiment.

A Philadelphia-based independent filmmaker and experimental theater director, McElhinney is best known for his 2000 gothic horror film A Chronicle of Corpses, an audacious blend of Vermeer lighting and genre plotting, praised by Dennis Lim in the Village Voice for its “rancid opulence and humid religiosity.” He is currently completing work on Casual Encounters: Philadelphia True Crime Confessions, a history of the city from 1960 to 2010 as seen through five different neighborhoods, each shot in a different film format.

Organized by Dave Kehr, Curator, Department of Film.

  • This film series is part of MoMA Presents and Virtual Cinema.

    Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

    Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, and Karen and Gary Winnick.


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