Hello cinema friends,

Despite unseasonably balmy conditions, I assure you the winter season is still on schedule. Fittingly, this Friday we open a snow-swept, pitch-black prestige picture to warm your bones: Nightmare Alley

Make no mistakes, Guillermo del Toro’s newest is a departure from his standard supernatural fare, dropping his usual horror haunt and instead looking back to the 1940s. Astute students of cinema are likely familiar with the studio-era, Tyrone Power-helmed noir of the same name—a landmark of the genre, standing amongst the likes of Detour and Touch of Evil. However, del Toro stakes William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel as the true source material for his Nightmare Alley. Regardless, all three versions are steeped in shadowy New York underbellies, mistaken identities, con-men, carnies, and clairvoyants and—in the absence of Guillermo del Toro’s signature affinity for ghouls—find that man is the scariest monster of all.

Meanwhile, certain Cinema friends among us will be thrilled to know that Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time finally arrives on Friday. Bring a tissue… and maybe your high-school paperback of Breakfast of Champions. Throughout the week, alternative Christmas classics abound in the leadup to the 25th with shows of Die HardCarol, and It’s a Wonderful Life. Finally, stay-tuned for a surprise announcement that should make even the darkest seasons bright.

So it goes,