Well, there’s no escaping it: In the next few weeks friends and family are going to start giving you stuff—most of it wrapped in garish paper and backed by genuine love and affection. That’s the good news. The bad news—in most cases you’re totally expected to return the favor. Maybe that’s no big deal. Maybe you’ve been paying close attention to the needs and desires of all those closest to you. If so, congrats—you’re a greased, well-running cog in the economic engine of modern materialism! But if you’re perhaps a little less than well-greased… If you find yourself wondering “What, oh what can I get for this person I treasure?!” And if that question is followed by the addendum, ”...and who happens to really like movies, so if I could connect my gift with that somehow…”—well, you’re in luck. Here are 10 suggestions for film-related holiday gift giving that may help you mark at least one person off your list. (We hope you chose the most important one first.)
10. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (Unrated Rich Mahogany Edition)
Ron Burgundy. Yeah, he’s kind of a big deal. Most every group of friends has at least one resident Ron Burgundy quote machine. With the impending release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, that machine is going to go into scorpion flinging, bowling ball-pummeling overdrive. Don’t fight it. Love lamp. After all, milk may have been a bad choice, but a Rich Mahogany edition of Anchorman? Never!
9. Star Wars: Frames
For the true Star Wars fan, it’s always Jedi season (“Sith season!” “Jedi season!”). As we await the next, Disney-helmed chapter of the series, remind that diehard fan dearest to your heart of all the good (the Original Trilogy) and evil (the Prequels) committed by George Lucas. Star Wars: Frames is just the tome to whip all that tentative hope and lurking dread felt by every fan into a rich, creamy broth of queasy anticipation.
Or, if you’re really a fan, you can drop ten grand more for this rarer version
8. Big Lebowski coasters
Even the sturdiest of cult favorites can benefit from a little merchandizing to stay frivolously relevant. For your resident appreciator of Dudes who abide, these coasters from Ruff House Art may be just the thing to help keep the rug moisture-free.
7. Plush Muppets
Not every wheel needs to be reinvented. Know someone who gleefully caught the 2011 relaunch of Kermit and his crew on the big screen? Who seemed really happy when Bret McKenzie won the Best Original Song Oscar (and not because of his affiliation with Flight of the Conchords)? There’s nothing wrong with Muppet love—especially not with Muppets Most Wanted on the horizon. Support your friend’s muppetry—or a child’s budding brand allegiance—by getting them a plush toy straight from the Mouse’s mouth.
Besides classic Kermit, there’s a walk on the wild side with Animal, or you can disappoint the child on your list by purchasing the newfangled, unlikely to ever catch on Walter Or get all three. They’re cheap-ish!
6. Movie Posters with a Twist
Not all gifts—or great gift ideas—sit around on a virtual shelf, available for an unending stream of customers to buy (and buy and buy). The posters available in Phantom City Creative’s shop are too often here today and bought tomorrow, leaving would-be consumers better off following the design firm’s twitter feed (@PhantomCityCrtv) and Facebook page. The payoff? Alternative posters for films like The Goonies, Lost Boys and, god help us all, Krull.
(For another source of inspired movie-related postering, check out Odd City Entertainment. )
5. Studio Ghibli: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata
Lovers of Hayao Miyazaki are made, not born. Perhaps he saw Princess Mononoke in the theaters after hearing it made a “bigger splash than Star Wars” in Japan. Or maybe she watched My Neighbor Totoro 12 times in a row while babysitting the neighbor’s kids. (Five-year-olds can be like that.) Or maybe he or she just loves wonderful, spirited animation. Regardless, Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc’s 2009 book is a treasure waiting to be bestowed.
Extra Credit: Do you know which Miyazaki film your loved one treasures? (Just say the the director’s name and you’ll be told soon enough.) If so, go straight to the art of the matter with any of the books on the art of specific films. (Seriously, juice this right and you’ll have gifts for the next five years crossed off the to-do list.)
The Art of Kiki’s Delivery Service: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki
The Art of Princess Mononoke
The Art of My Neighbor Totoro: A Film by Hayao Miyazaki
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions
The Art of Spirited Away
The Art of Howl’s Moving Castle
The Art of Ponyo
4. Collectible Figurines
Your buddy’s girlfriend may refer to them as “his dolls,” but you know there’s a big difference between a doll and meticulously sculpted figurine! A doll is a toy for children. A limited edition 20” statue of Gipsy Danger from Guillermo del Toro’s kaiju-riffic Pacific Rim? That’s a keepsake, a physical manifestation of the modern-day myth-making process we call movies. It also looks very, very cool. Not a fan of that particular movie? No worries—a site like SideshowCollectibles.com has plenty of figurines from other franchises from which to choose.
(And if hundreds of dollars is too much to drop on a friend or loved one, there’s always more wallet-friendly versions .)
3. “Two actors, a director and a film crew walk into a bar code…”
For some, even minimalist movie posters are too overt an expression of one’s film taste, and figurines or actual DVDs? Puh-leaz. For the cinephile who values simplicity and obfuscation, there’s the Movie Bar Code approach. Love The Incredibles but damned if you want others to know it? Have this lovely print or poster up. When asked what it is, just respond, “My favorite movie.” Seldom has an expression of one’s fandom been so vague and affordable!
2. The Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series
Have a friend who likes films? Honestly, who doesn’t? Get him or her a T-shirt with a favorite character or scene, referenced either sincerely or snarkily, and you’re good. But what if you have a friend who loves film (singular!)—or worse, has a degree in the stuff?! Well, that’s a whole new level of gift-giving quandary. Fortunately, Criterion is here to help—and sell you stuff. Criterion’s Eclipse series packages together budget-friendly, high-quality DVDs of hard-to-find films by people commonly referred to as “auteurs” and “masters” in Film Criticism 101 textbooks. The more wide-ranging your cinephile’s tastes, the more Christmases, birthdays and “sorry I ran over your dog” apology gifts you’ll have in queue.
1. The Periodic Table of Middle Earth
If Breaking Bad taught us anything, it’s that the world needs more Periodic Table-influenced designs. Chemist Emil Johansson has heroically risen to the challenge, morphing Mendeleev’s influential table into one chart to track them all: the myriad races and characters of Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.