Christmas films

December 30
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989, 97 minutes) at the American Center, 44, Galle Road, Colombo 3, at 6 p.m.
The Griswold family has yet another family adventure from hell and this movie has all the clichés. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) desperately wants to have the greatest Christmas ever and hosts his extended dysfunctional and quirky family in an attempt to share the holiday spirit. He expends considerable effort on the Christmas lighting for his house but can’t seem to get it to work. As he desperately tries to get the lights working, his wife’s (Beverly DAngelo) idiot cousin Eddy (Randy Quaid) and his bizarre family -- including their pet dog, Snots -- show up uninvited and unexpected. Things go from bad to worse in a hurry. Clark’s secret Christmas present to the family is a swimming pool which he intends to pay for using his Christmas bonus from his employer but he’s financially overextended because he had to put down a huge deposit. When the bonus turns out not to be the financial blessing he expected, the stress becomes too much and he goes nuts (and gives us one of the all-time classic movie monologues).

December 23
White Christmas (1954, 120 minutes) at the American Center, 44, Galle Road, Colombo 3, at 6 p.m.
This is one of those movies you can just enjoy without having to think about why the characters act the way they do. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye play nightclub entertainers Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, while Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen are cast as singing-sister act Betty and Judy. The foursome travel to Vermont to visit Bob and Phil’s World War II commanding officer, General Waverly, who now runs a rustic old inn. Discovering that the general is in dire financial straits, the four entertainers secretly make plans to bail the old guy out with a big musical show, enlisting the aid of Bob and Phil’s army buddies. Corny in the extreme, White Christmas evidently struck a responsive note with film fans; it was the high-grossing picture of 1954, and a decade later proved to be a ratings bonanza when it was given its network-TV premiere. Of the four stars, Crosby comes off best, especially when singing the title song at the beginning and end of the film; Kaye is a bit overshadowed this time out, though he’s quite funny camping it up in a “drag” version of Irving Berlin’s “Sisters.”

December 27
Noel by Chazz Palminteri (2004) at the Russian Centre, Colombo, at 5. p.m.
In the Christmas Eve in New York, the lonely divorced publisher Rose Collins expects for a miracle to improve the health of her mother, interned in a hospital with Alzheimer. She feels sorry for the patient of the room in front of her mother’s and meets his visitor. Meanwhile, the Latin Nina Vasquez breaks her engagement with her beloved fiancé Mike due to his suffocating jealousy, but misses him. Mike is stalked by the stranger bartender Artie Venzuela. The poor Jules expects to spend the Christmas night in the hospital, where he spent the best Christmas of his life when he was a teenager. The lives of some of these characters cross with others along the night.

Starring: Susan Sarandon, Paul Walker Penelope Cruz and Alan Arkin.
For further details, call Russian Centre on 2685429, 2685440.


Ponds to work its miracle on Sri Lankan women

Unilever Sri Lanka launched its premium Ponds Age Miracle range recently.


St. Peter’s Golden Jubilee celebrations

December 28
St. Peter’s College 1958 Junior A classmates will hold a social get-together for the 50 years of friendship, at George Kulatunga’s Residence, at 58, Pirivena Road, Rathmalana, at 6:30 p.m. For more information contact: Anton De Mel at 2732326.


Hillwood’s Clarence Memorial Building designated historic

By Hafiz Marikar
The Clarence Memorial Administration Building and the Staff Room of Hillwood College, Kandy which is over 125 years, was built by Elizabeth Bellerby, the first lady missionary of the Church of Missionary Society in Kandy. It was given a face lift and refurbished to conform to its designation as a historical building, by the present principal, Sudharshini Hettige.
The building was re-dedicated recently by the Bishop of Kurunagala, Rt. Rev. Kumara Illangasinghe, who is the Chairman of Board of Governors and Rev. Paul Watson of the Church Missionary Society of England.


107th Nativity Play

Idama Juvenile Carol Group creates record

Idama Juvenile Carol Group of Moratuwa recently performed the Nativity Play for the 107th time. It is the longest-standing Nativity Play run in Sri Lanka.


Free copies of Temple Telephone Directory (Western Province) available

The third and expanded edition of the Temple Telephone Directory (Western Province) was launched recently at the Sri Lanka Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, No. 78, Galle Road, Colombo 3.


Preserving Heritage for Tomorrow

In recognition of the importance of creating awareness on conservation of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Sri Lanka Telecom with the Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka (FOGSL) is continuing its Preserving Heritage for Tomorrow programme for the third consecutive year.
The organisation provides the necessary knowledge and guidance by engaging schools in a series of workshops, which are done onsite.


Teaching workshop for French teacher trainees

A teaching workshop for French Language Teacher Trainees from Pasdunrata National College of Education was held from December 8 to 12, at the Peradeniya National College of Education. This programme was organised by the French Teachers Association in collaboration with the Embassy of France and the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka. The teaching workshops were proposed to 60 trainees of the first two intakes of Pasdunrata College of Education and were conducted by Dominique Thizy, Anne-Claire Ravenelle and Anne Leroux, experts sent from the Institut de Touraine, a prestigious French language centre in Tours, France.
This special project took place as a result of the MoU signed between the French Embassy and the Ministry of Education in Sri Lanka on the French teaching in Sri Lanka.


Friends launched

Dr. Sanjiva Wijesinha’s latest book Friends was launched last week and the first copy was presented to his ‘oldest friend’, Dr. Sam Wijesinha.
Dr Sanjiva Wijesinha - doctor, army officer, journalist, university lecturer and inveterate traveller - has enjoyed a rewarding and multifaceted career spent in various parts of the world. Educated in Colombo, Oxford and Melbourne, he has been a children’s surgeon, a family physician, a member of UNESCO’s 1990 Silk Route expedition as well as a long-standing columnist for magazines and newspapers in Sri Lanka and Australia.



December 27
The Bharatha Natya Arangetram of Nirupama Jayasundara, daughter of Abeyratne Jayasundara and Renuka Jayasundara of Nugegoda will be held at the Bishop’s College, Auditorium, at 6:15 p.m. She followed this course under Subashini Pathmanathan of Indian Cultural Centre and Vimalothaya Classical Bharatha Natya Kendra. Nirupama is a student of St. Bridget’s Convent and Colombo International School, Colombo 7.


Voice of Praise at the Hilton Colombo

Carols or any other festive songs during this Christmas Season is an essential part of the fun and festivity of Christmas. It definitely enhances the Christmas spirit.
Hilton Colombo’s Thorana Lounge is proud to present Voice of Praise choir led by Denham Pereira from the 21 to 24 of December from 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Public lecture

December 21
‘Creation Is Never Ending’ organised by the Krishnamurti Centre, at the Public Library, Colombo 7, at 10:30 a.m.


December 23
‘A Tale of Two Cities’ – A documentary in English (60 minutes) at the Indian Cultural Centre, at 6 p.m.