Published: Feb. 2, 2023

Assistant Professor of English Andrew Scahill was interviewed last month by LE FIGARO, the largest and oldest French publication (est. 1826), and one of the three newspapers "of the record" in France. The interview centered around Scahill’s love for holiday movies because he’s taught a class on Christmas movies as a genre, and much of his scholarship focuses on the emotional experience of genre.

A translation of the section featuring Scahill: Charles Dickens, with his grumpy old man character, Scrooge, is the pioneer of the genre. “His recipe: to transform a cynic into a believer in love in the power of Christmas after many tribulations," laughs Andrew Scahill, professor of cinema at the University of Denver. It's the start of looping reruns of classics like Life is Beautiful from Capra. Soon that's not enough. A pioneer, the BBC launched dedicated fiction in the 1960s. Some channels, such as the religious station Hallmark Channel in the United States, have made it their trademark. "The writing is formatted: mention Christmas every six or seven sequences," notes Andrew Scahill. Bonus: production costs are low. What to seduce the platforms. “The Christmas story is the equivalent of a good pudding, which does not require much concentration. Perfect for keeping your subscriber," points out the teacher.

Fictions de Noël: pourquoi elles restent un plaisir coupable
LE FIGARO, December 16