Jingle Bell Rocks! | Chicago Reader

Jingle Bell Rocks!

Rated NR 94 minutes 2014

Written and directed by Mitchell Kezin, this documentary about yuletide pop songs is propelled to some extent by a sentimental story line about his unresolved anguish over an absentee father—and the Nat Cole rendition of "The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot" that sparked his early love for schlocky Christmas music. John Waters, Rev. Run of Run-D.M.C., and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips provide talking-head commentary, posed before fireplaces and clad in gaudy sweaters, but the documentary is better served when Kezin spotlights the crate diggers and vinyl hounds living on the margins of this marginal subgenre. His best illustration of the holiday music obsession may be the unassuming Andy Cirzan, a vice president at Jam Productions, who hunts for rare and bizarre Christmas vinyl in the dusty boxes beneath the dusty boxes; he never quite knows what he's looking for until he unwraps it and spins it on his portable phonograph.

Film Credits

Director: Mitchell Kezin

Producer: Mila Aung-Thwin, Bob Moore, Mitchell Kezin and Jeff Kline

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Jingle Bell Rocks!

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