Scottish Film Events: December 2021

It's Christmas movies galore in Scottish cinemas this December. As well as the usual suspects like It’s a Wonderful Life and Die Hard you'll find some lesser-spotted festival treats on offer

Article by Jamie Dunn | 30 Nov 2021
  • Carol

In this ever turbulent world, there’s something comforting about returning to the same old Christmas movies over and over again. There are the unimpeachable classics (It’s a Wonderful Life, The Shop Around the Corner); the modern classics (The Muppet Christmas Carol, Elf); the ones with a satirical edge (Gremlins, Die Hard, The Nightmare Before Christmas); and the ones that are actually terrible, but still inexplicably popular (White Christmas, Home Alone).

All of the above are screening at least once at Glasgow Film Theatre, Filmhouse, DCA or Cameo this December. What we want to shout out here, however, are the more imaginative Xmas selections. We’re delighted that both Filmhouse and GFT have promoted Greta Gerwig’s Little Women to annual festive rotation. It’s also lovely to see Sean Baker’s electric comedy Tangerine and Todd Haynes’ lush romance Carol queering up Christmas with their screenings at Filmhouse.

Someone at the GFT clearly loves The Bishop’s Wife, a rather obscure Cary Grant film that gets wheeled out there each December. I’m also drawn to Remember the Night (Filmhouse), which features Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray four years before they steamed up the screen in Double Indemnity. For full screening details, see the cinemas' websites.

There are non-Christmas gifts at GFT in the form of two must-attend preview screenings of Paul Thomas Anderson's loosey-goosey coming-of-age romance Licorice Pizza on 35mm (28 & 29 Dec). Rep-heads should be sated by a pair of gem-like Yasujirō Ozu films at GFT – The Flavour of Green Tea over Rice (5 & 7 Dec) and Early Summer (12 & 15 Dec). Filmhouse, meanwhile, are rounding out the year with a Wong Kar-wai retrospective – masterpieces Chungking Express (10-12 Dec), Happy Together (20-22 Dec) and In the Mood for Love (27-29 Dec) are among the line-up.

The final film festival of 2021 will likely be the Catalan Film Festival. It’s bringing a carefully curated taster of Catalan cinema old and new, feature-length and short, to venues like CCA Glasgow (2-3 Dec), Filmhouse (2-5 Dec) and DCA (10-11 Dec); anyone in need of some sunshine should inject these films directly into your veins. Full details at

GFT are also hosting a pay-what-you-can screening of Ben Sharrock's bittersweet comedy Limbo (9 Dec) in partnership with Safe in Scotland. Not only is it one of the films of the year (The Skinny’s film writers certainly think so), its compassion for the plight of the refugees trying to make a home in this country will only be more poignant given the tragic deaths of 31 asylum seekers as they attempted to cross the Channel in late-November.