Originally created 12/22/05

White stuff provides atmospheric setting



Dream all you want, but we ain't getting a white Christmas.

Wet, maybe, but not white.

Living without seasonal snow is part of the price we pay for enjoying the relatively temperate South.

In return for the warm winters, we get lush landscapes, a Waffle House on every corner and a winning way with the whiskey drink. But no snow. You want snow, you've got to go.

Still, for those who need a blanket of the white stuff to truly feel seasonal, there are some cinematic alternatives. Here's a list of favorite Reel Releases movies that feature snow-covered settings:

PATHFINDER (1987): Shot in the winter wonderland of Lapland, this Finnish production re-creates the adaptive lifestyle of the Lapps circa the year 1000 and then drives it home with a rousing adventure tale. A little-seen movie that deserves a larger audience.

Star wars: episode v - The Empire Strikes Back (1980): For my money, the best of the Star Wars films, this dark chapter in the space opera opens on the snow planet Hoth with scenes that are among the most effective, exciting and imaginative in science fiction.

THE GOLD RUSH (1925): Classic Charlie Chaplin, this comedy features the master performer's Little Tramp character seeking his fortune in the Alaska gold fields. A scene where the cold and hungry protagonist eats his shoes is a classic.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS (1990): The work of director Tim Burton at his most magical, this masterpiece about a boy with, well, scissors for hands, peaks when he summons a snowstorm out of thin air. Well, maybe not thin air. There's actually some ice carving going on, but it's a miraculous snow scene nonetheless.

MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971): Robert Altman's best movie. Dark, dramatic and beautifully shot, this elegiac look at life and last chances in the American frontier ends with one of the most dramatic snow sequences in cinema history. Not to be missed.

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or steven.uhles@augustachronicle.com.