However, picking Christmas gifts for the film buff in your life can be a risky business. Whether they’re ‘Star Wars’ obsessives, Kubrick collectors, Studio Ghibli completists or cult film fanatics, it can be hard to know where to start. So, to avoid that inevitable spiral of present-buying panic, we’ve put together a Christmas gift guide for your movie lover.
Here you’ll find everything you need, including a VHS cassette that’s actually a ‘Jurassic Park’ Blu-ray disc, 007 swim shorts and even ‘The Greatest Showman’ soundtrack on vinyl. Hopefully this guide will leave you with time for the important things this festive period, like blasting Christmas songs after a few too many down the pub.
RECOMMENDED: Christmas pop-up cinema in London
German publishers Taschen are known for their gigantic doorstop art books crammed with gorgeously laid out images and painstaking historical detail. Expect this hefty tome covering the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy to follow suit, with enough schematics, storyboards, models, miniatures and unseen set photos to fill a space cruiser (and a price tag to match).
An epic overview of the production process behind Peter Jackson’s miraculous ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy, from the unlikely initial pitch to the films’ casting, shooting and release. Whether you’re after the inside scoop on Elijah Wood’s regular record-shopping trips, Viggo Mortensen’s manly camping expeditions or Treebeard’s grooming regime, it’s all in this epic tome.
To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the movie voted greatest sci-fi film of all time by Time Out’s very own panel of experts, here’s everything you need to know about how this remarkable film came to be. If you know a budding filmmaker who might benefit from an insight into director Stanley Kubrick’s mysterious production process, here’s the ideal gift…
Carrie Fisher liked to joke that Princess Leia was the only woman in the galaxy – but that’s no longer true. From the heroines of ‘The Force Awakens’ and ‘Rogue One’ to characters from TV, comics and novels, this lovingly illustrated book explores the feminine (and, increasingly, feminist) side of the ‘Star Wars’ universe.
The Scala was a London institution: a repertory cinema catering to the weird, the wondrous and the downright freaky. Shut down in 1993 – in part because they were sued for playing Kubrick’s ‘A Clockwork Orange’ while it was still banned in Westminster – the cinema’s legacy is celebrated in this heavily illustrated, deeply geeky large-format book.
London’s longest running sci-fi film club, Science Fiction Theatre is remarkable in that it produces bespoke artwork for every single screening, reinterpreting classic sci-fi movies in strange and surprising ways. This unique book collects the first 50 posters SFT has commissioned, alongside a critical appraisal of each film from noted writers, experts and filmmakers including ‘The Descent’ director Neil Marshall.
Behind-the-scenes books are ten a penny, but how many are actually written by the folks who created the show in question? Charlie Brooker and his producer Annabel Jones offer their unique insight into the writing, production and worldwide success of a series that keeps redefining humanity’s future in horrible and inventive ways.
£80? You could buy your own Catbus for that! Still, this limited edition boxed-up celebration of Hayao Miyazaki’s child’s-eye masterpiece does look gorgeous, with stickers, cards, a tote bag and a hardback book about the film.
Specially designed for the hipster retro nerd in your life, this throwback box set features a Blu-ray disc of everyone’s favourite dino blockbuster housed in an old-style VHS case. What it doesn’t include is an actual playable videotape, but kids today probably wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway.
Woodfall Film Productions spearheaded the British New Wave of the 1960s, offering voices to working class talent and producing internationally acclaimed masterpieces like ‘Look Back in Anger’, ‘A Taste of Honey’ and ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’. This BFI box collects eight indispensable films, plus extensive documentaries and commentary.
This year, four ‘80s classics by legendary horror and sci-fi master John Carpenter returned to our cinema screens in pristine 4K restorations. Now they’re available on Blu-ray and HD disc, in deluxe editions complete with posters, soundtracks and exclusive artwork. This iconic, darkly hilarious action movie is an ideal starting point.
The greatest music documentary of all time makes its Blu-ray debut in the UK. Featuring performances from Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Muddy Waters and hosts The Band, it’s a raw, rootsy celebration of American musical diversity. Fun fact: Martin Scorsese’s between-song interviews were the inspiration for ‘This is Spinal Tap’.
Vinyl’s been back for a while now, but soundtrack producers are really using the format to their advantage, releasing gorgeously designed editions of some of the year’s most noteworthy scores. Depending on your tastes, we can recommend Radiohead man Thom Yorke’s intricate score for the ‘Suspiria’ remake, Kendrick Lamar’s slick and shiny ‘Black Panther’ soundtrack or – if you’re a bit of a singalong masochist – the tunes from ‘The Greatest Showman’.
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Know anyone who’s such a massive Star Wars nerd that even their pets get dragged into the fandom? The Death Star Pet Cave is the perfect present! It’s exactly what it sounds like – a cosy bolthole for your dog or cat, shaped like the Empire’s planet-killing superweapon.
Blow the other geeks at the swimming pool right out of the water with these exclusive trunks featuring artwork of Sean Connery in ‘Thunderball’. Frankly, you’d need to be a major international playboy to even afford them.
Simple but unexpectedly era-defining, these T-shirts featuring the names of female filmmakers and performers in block type have taken the world by storm in the past year. They can make you look fiendishly highbrow (Maya Deren, Sally Potter) or unashamedly populist (Carrie Fisher, Sigourney Weaver), but either way they’ll make you and your loved ones look pretty darn cool.
They call them box sets, but where’s the box? How about this: you make your own box, Blue Peter style, containing a voucher so your loved one can stream an entire series of something they’ll love. Committed royalists can soak up two whole series of sumptuous wealth-porn with ‘The Crown’; crime fans will want to give ‘Big Little Lies’ director Jean-Marc Vallée’s brooding ‘Sharp Objects’ a go; and ‘Peep Show’ creator Jesse Armstrong’s viciously funny family drama ‘Succession’ is a delight.
The competition to sport the most obscure movie reference on a T-shirt steps up another notch with this ‘Jaws’-themed garment advertising the island of Amity’s 1975 sailing regatta. Suggested drinking game: wear it down the pub and buy a pint for anyone who actually gets it.
Even a crazed axe-murderer needs a nice cup of tea every once in a while. Fans of Stanley Kubrick’s bizarro horror movie will love this mug, adorned with samples from popular author Jack Torrance’s bestseller-in-progress.
Support a local movie palace – and get free tickets and discounts – with the gift of a cinema membership. Truly independent cinemas like not-for-profit single screener The Lexi in Kensal Rise, art-deco beauty the Rio in Dalston, old-school rep theatre the Prince Charles in Leicester Square or ultra-hip film club Whirled in Loughborough Junction all rely on support from loyal audiences, and you’ll feel good knowing that you’re helping to keep a valuable institution alive. The larger arthouse chains like Curzon and Picturehouse also have membership deals available.
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