John McTiernan's Explanation of 'Die Hard' as a Christmas Film Is a Lot to Unpack

Latest Trending 

For years, a mostly tongue in cheek battle has played out in which fans argue as to why it should be a holiday movie, and the director has his own thoughts.

John McTiernan's Explanation of 'Die Hard' as a Christmas Film Is a Lot to Unpack

John McTiernan gave his explanation as to why Die Hard is a Christmas movie and by the end, viewers may need to remove their shoes and make fists with their toes because there is so much to unpack.

The video posted to YouTube by the American Film Institute is a little more than 12 minutes long and features a long-haired McTiernan talking about his 1988 action classic starring Bruce Willis.

For years, a mostly tongue in cheek battle has played out in which fans argue as to why it should be a Christmas film. The events of the film take place on Christmas Eve, but the film was released in the summer of ’88.

McTiernan’s take on how the film became a Christmas movie is way deeper — with multiple moving parts.

John McTiernan's Explanation of 'Die Hard' as a Christmas Film Is a Lot to Unpack

The director begins his Die Hard-Christmas conversation by saying the explanation is presented in a particular way, just like every shot in one of his films.

“There is a particular word in a particular place in a particular order that is the right word. And if it’s a movie, there is the right shot,” McTiernan said. “And if you have any nerve, you’ll try to figure out what the right shot is.”

From that point, McTiernan skips to centuries-old paintings of kings. The painter, he says had to discover a tiny element of the piece they could focus on to find satisfaction or escape. He pointed to the late 18th-century painter Jacques-Louis David, who gave the nobles he painted “trustworthy faces” even though they were not rich or noteworthy.

“And that was, in effect, the king’s losing control of the content,” said the filmmaker.

After the somewhat confusing preamble, he got into the Die Hard connection. He noted that he drew inspiration from the Bedford Falls becoming Pottersville moment in It’s a Wonderful Life, which he believes was meant to represent rampant capitalism.

McTiernan says he only agreed to direct Die Hard after producer Joel Silver agreed to allowing John McClane to be a normal, everyday person, and the people in authority would be made to look foolish. McTiernan says had an agenda that was mostly understood by the cast and crew, who took joy in the subversion.

“We hadn’t intended it to be a Christmas movie. But the joy that came from it is what turned it into a Christmas movie,” said McTiernan.

But the American Film Institute video did not end there. He drew a connection between Die Hard and American politics.

“There are genuinely evil people out there,” said McTiernan. “My hope at Christmas this year is that you will all remember that authoritarians are low status, angry men who have gone to rich people and said, ‘If you give us power, we will make sure nobody takes your stuff.’ And their obsessions with guns, and boots and uniforms and squad cars and all that stuff. And all those things you amass with power meant to scare us, meant to shut us up so we don’t kick them to the side of the road and decent people of the world get on with building a future.”

Watch the video below:

 

 

What do you think about this song?

We want to hear from you all.

Drop your comments