Decoding the hidden figures behind Christmas movies, from snowy backgrounds to uletide moments

A still from the movie ‘White Christmas’ (Photo credit: YouTube screengrab)

A still from the movie ‘White Christmas’ (Photo credit: YouTube screengrab)

Written by Stephen Langston

What makes you a Christmas special? Festive experiences include a series of selected elements that influence our sense of homesickness, evoke positive emotions, happy memories, and emotional vulnerabilities.

The elements can be positive (your favorite carol) or negative (COVID), each adding to our personal experience. These elements create the “genetic structure” of our personal Christmas experience, updating each year as new elements become a reality.

The same is true of our favorite festival films. Each seasonal component improves to identify with the audience. Christmas movies can be set against a snowy background, associated with depressing experiences or offer many fascinating yuletide moments.

Favorite Christmas Movies

To qualify for “Christmas Movie” status, the story needs a meaningful use of Christmas, yes, that means Die severely Qualifying. Netflix Christmas Chronicles Focusing on a family that has lost a father, the depression of the situation plays out instantly. At various stages of the film, the writers use the pockets of that element to play with our emotions.

Welcome to Element Philosophy. Along with the Christmas elements, the screenwriters use them to tell their story, the composers scatter scores full of slingshot bells, and the producers use them to influence us to buy a ticket. “Element Placement” suggests our emotional rollercoaster journey, and their placement within the length of a film is as crucial as the factor.

Filmmaker Natalie Haynes explains that the best Christmas movies represent the characters It’s a wonderful life, For example, on Christmas Eve, George Bailey decides to commit suicide because he realizes his life is a failure.

Haynes suggests that Christmas movies value love and family more than money and add a little magic to the whole. Sometimes they don’t even have to be about Christmas – like Meet me in St. Louis, Starring Judy Garland.

But FreeThe top 20 Christmas pictures of 2020 suggest that seasonal elements are important. As spectators we need experience and direction to enjoy and recognize a festive film. There are screenwriting templates for dramatic structures similar to those of Blake Snyder. Save the cat, But where should the elements be placed in the movie’s timeline?

How to apply the golden ratio

The golden ratio is a mathematical ratio that appears in nature to the pattern of a shell or a sunflower. Mathematically, this is a way of dividing a given length by two, so that the ratio of the shortest part to the longest part is equal to the ratio of the longest part to the full length. Known as the golden or divine ratio, it has inspired artists throughout history to recreate it in painting, music, design and architecture.

After seven years of research I have found that if you look closely enough the golden ratio will fit anything. It was first suggested that the pyramids were designed with the golden ratio in mind. But some of these scales can contain many patterns, including the golden ratio.

I wanted to find a system that could accurately use the golden ratio of people as a modern-day model, as opposed to imposing it on an art form or building. I came up with the “Marley system” so that creatives can match the golden ratio philosophy to performance with this time-based measuring tool, ending an old analytical argument: “Has the golden ratio been used?”

In May 2021, Conversation I published my article explaining how the Golden Ratio explains the formula of hit musicals. The application of the Marley method in films highlights the main factors that divide the golden ratio points according to its length.

Usually gold ratio calculations are used to measure the length of a material object. The Marley system takes these measurements and applies them in seconds, minutes, and hours. These periods are then divided by 1.61803 (the number representing the golden ratio) and marked as a point in the movie’s timeline.

For example, the main golden ratio point It’s a wonderful life When George’s Uncle Billy misses a day’s business take on Christmas Eve, the length of the movie is 7,799 seconds to 4,820 seconds. Divide the length of the original golden ratio by 1.61803 and place more golden ratio points, until we get a total of 16 points.

Traditionally, the golden ratio exhibits a sweetness of natural beauty. In cinema, a great moment that strengthens our understanding or enhances our enjoyment is classified as a sweet spot – like an unforgettable scene. Really love Hugh Grant, as Prime Minister, dances at number ten thinking he is alone.

Calculating the golden ratio points of a film, we analyze which plot elements (sweet spots) work in parallel. Since it was Christmas, I wanted to try this idea to find out if there are patterns in our favorite seasonal movies.

Used by The IndependentI used the Marley system as an analytical tool to identify any arrangement of element activity with golden ratio points over the top five Christmas movies of 2020 and five Christmas popular movies.

Created a pattern of important plot elements. These elements were cross-referenced against the plot of each film, establishing their significance. The more relevant factors manifested around these points increased the ranking of the category by a gold ratio match.

A graph showing the relationship between the top five Christmas movies and the golden ratio of the mathematical formula.  (Photo credit: Stephen Langston - by author)

A graph showing the relationship between the top five Christmas movies and the golden ratio of the mathematical formula. (Photo credit: Stephen Langston – by author)

The analysis reveals the alignment between the golden proportions of each film and the plot elements, but the question is, do the alignments highlight the story?

This research, based on the plot of the film – uses an analytical approach to see what appears to be the golden ratio points, but does not indicate that the authors deliberately used it as a stimulus to create the golden ratio. This suggests interesting layouts. Ultimately, whether a film is aesthetic depends on the filmmaker’s own creative genius.



Stephen Langston is the program leader for performance at the University of the West of Scotland.

This article is republished under the Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


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