The Dog Days of Christmas: Fay's Twelve Days of Christmas
William Wegman is most famous for his photographs of weimaraners. There are some beautiful pictures of these elegant animals, and then there are the photos of the dogs dressed in people clothes, doing human activities. In 1995, he made Fay’s Twelve Days of Christmas, which is still available on DVD.
There are two ways to interpret Fay’s Twelve Days of Christmas. It’s either a video for pre-schoolers (Wegman has made a number of Sesame Street shorts) that teaches counting, shapes, colors and holiday crafts, or it’s a bizarre video about how anthropomorphised dogs prepare for Christmas--a good gag gift for the annual grab bag.
William Wegman’s four weimaraners--Fay, Batty, Crooky, and Chundo--gather together with Fay’s dog Buster to perform their annual holiday rituals. Fay makes a mean fruitcake, with the emphasis on mean, and Crooky and Batty make cookies, Santa hats, snowflakes, paper plate Santas, and perfect popcorn chains. The dogs also form the numbers that count off the twelve days.
Wegman’s weimaraners have got to be the most patient dogs on the planet. He dresses them up and poses them for pictures. Women provide the hands for the dogs’ actions--stirring batter, wrapping presents, decorating the tree. The effect is somewhat freaky. Adding to its oddness is Wegman’s understated narration. Fay’s Twelve Days of Christmas succeeds at mesmerizing because it is so off-center.
If looking for a gift for pre-schoolers, Wegman fans, dog fanciers, or collectors of the whimsical, consider Fay’s Twelve Days of Christmas; the dogs may look bored to death but humans may find them amusing.
Note: Nearly as funny as Fay’s Twelve Days of Christmas is MBLAAMABA’s video review.