Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Videos on Demand

Wouldn't it be great to find something the whole family can watch during your holiday downtime? Better yet, something free and available 24/7? Have we got a deal for you!

Access Video on Demand (AVOD) is a free streaming video service available through the Library's website. AVOD does not require you to create an account or jump through hoops to access its videos. And AVOD's intriguing collection of rare and unusual Christmas videos include holiday treats for just about everyone.

Among AVOD's musical celebrations are Bach's Christmas Oratorio (1983) performed by the Dresden Philharmonic; The Nutcracker (2009) Sir Peter Wright’s legendary production for The Royal Ballet, which has been called the ultimate Nutcracker; The Story of the Carol (1993) with singers, dancers and instrumentalists performing traditional carols, including "The Boar’s Head Carol" in full Tudor glory; and A Victorian Christmas in Song (1989) starring British tenor Dennis O’Neill performing 19th-century carols and Christmas songs.

Holiday dramas include  A Child's Christmas (2008) an animated version of Dylan Thomas' classic A Child's Christmas in Wales; O. Henry's "Gift of the Magi" both as a 20-minute short from 2001 and as a 1978 feature-length TV special with Marie Osmond and James Woods in the lead roles; Lovely, Still (2010) a late-life romance starring Martin Landau and Ellen Burstyn; A Matter of Principle (1990) an hour-long Depression-era family drama starring Alan Arkin and Virginia Madsen; and, of course, Dickens' Christmas Carol.

Among the holiday documentaries available: Christmas: Confidential (2006) travels the world (including Atlanta) to meet the moguls of the Christmas industry as well as ordinary people crazy for all things Christmas; Joyeux Noël with Emmanuel Mollois (2010) artist and actress Poh Ling Yeow gets caught up in the Christmas spirit with celebrity chef Emmanuel Mollois; Modern Marvels: Christmas Tech (2006) reveals how Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, and window displays have become cheaper, safer and more spectacular than ever; and Tradiciones Navideñas (1993) presents a traditional posada on the beautiful grounds of an abandoned convent in Mexico's Desierto de los Leones national park (in Spanish).

Finally, amateur and archival footage from the National Archives is sure to put a lump in your throat as it takes you back to Christmas 1949 in West Berlin, 1953 with the Army in Korea1958 in the US, 1960 in Chicago, and 1986 in Lithuania.

To watch any of the these videos, click the links or images above. Or make your way to AVOD through our website (Home Page > Research & Homework > Video & Photographs: Access Video on Demand).

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