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Very Bad Santa 

Wednesday, Dec 1 2010
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Christmas is over, but this irreverent little package is worth opening year-round. In Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Finnish filmmaker Jalmari Helander imagines the nastiness that ensues when an American mining company accidentally excavates a dirty, naked, and bearded fellow lying dormant deep under the ice. Santa, we hardly recognized you. But this Claus has no use for the mall and all that ho-ho-ho jive. In short order, children start disappearing and a herd of reindeer is found slain in the snow. (Even Prancer and Blitzen? Say it ain’t so!) The timid young son of a reindeer hunter is compelled to step in and clean up this aberrant, amoral mess, although fortunately he isn’t the saccharine, Pixar-polished hero of so many kids’ flicks. Come to think of it, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is not entirely suitable for impressionable youngsters below a certain age. For adults, however, this ruthless black comedy goes quite nicely with a flask and a deep-seated loathing for the corporate commercialization of what used to be, long ago, a fine little holiday.
Thu., Jan. 13, 4:45 & 7:30 p.m., 2011

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Michael Fox

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