It’s been a wonderful year at the movies for cinephiles, but what do you get for the film lover who has seen everything already?
The holidays always bring anniversary releases of tried-and-true classics, like the 4K Ultra HD 25th Anniversary Titanic re-release, as well as tricked-out 4K sets of the year’s biggest hits, like “Barbie” of course. But there are plenty of more unique options, at all price points, from a high-roller ticket to the Sundance Film Festival in January to a Criterion Channel subscription and more.
Sofia Coppola dug into her personal photos from 25 years of filmmaking for her first book, “Sofia Coppola Archive 1999-2023.” In the 479-page book, Coppola takes you on a visual journey from “The Virgin Suicides” through “Priscilla,” including intimate behind-the-scenes photos with all the famous faces she’s worked with, from Kirsten Dunst to Bill Murray. There are inspiration boards, script pages with handwritten annotations, correspondence with collaborators, as well as personal introductions to each film.
Whether you’re trying to upgrade a loved one’s movie poster collection from whatever was in their college dorm room or just trying to find something a little off-beat, this delightful collection of Polish Film Posters is a great place to start. There is a long, rich history to these artistic interpretations of Hollywood marketing materials. Some are surreal, some abstract, and all are reflective of the individual artist. The prices are all over the place depending on whether you choose vintage or reprint: An original “Godfather” poster designed by Tomasz Ruminski will set you back some $912, but Leszek Żebrowski ’s haunting “Eyes Wide Shut” design is only $40 and Andrzej Krajewski ’s pop-inspired “Pulp Fiction” piece is $43.
Streaming options can be a treacherous place for classic and indie film fans, but thankfully the Criterion Channel is still going strong with thoughtfully curated selections every month. The format is easy to use, and spotlights which movies are new and which will expire at the end of the month. They even have a section where you can choose films based on running time: Only have 90 minutes or less? There’s a section for that. Their December lineup includes a spotlight on Parker Posey; retrospectives dedicated to Yasujiro Ozu and Ousmane Sembène; and some holiday noir, MGM musicals and “Hitchcock for the Holidays.”
Can you hear the music? Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” will finally be available to watch in your living room over the holidays (after Nov. 21). The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD will include over three hours of special features, including a 70-plus minute making-of documentary, with new interviews with Nolan, the cast and crew. Another special feature looks at the development of black and white 65mm film stock they pioneered for the film. And you can also watch a panel conversation, held earlier this summer, between Nolan, author Kai Bird, and physicists like Kip Thorne.
This is a pricier one, but it is possible to get access to the 40th Sundance Film Festival in January with an in-person or virtual pass. For $850 (not including travel and lodging in Park City, Utah), you could be among the first to see the next “CODA,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” or “Past Lives.” Or for $225, you can get virtual access to the award winners, and let the juries sift through the gems and duds for you.
The longtime film critic and editor Matt Singer takes a look at the importance and impact of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel in his book “Opposable Thumbs: How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever.” It’s full of anecdotes about their infamous, ever-watchable sparring, and the ways in which they were able to champion small films like “Hoop Dreams” for a mass audience. Singer writes that the two Chicago critics “democratized criticism” and “turned it into mass entertainment.”
Described as “the ultimate game for movie geeks, film nerds and cinephiles” this set includes five levels of varying difficulties. The filmography level, for instance, asks players to name more films than their opponent for whatever name comes up on the card (like, say, Samuel L. Jackson, which could keep things going for a while.) If you need more of a challenge, the expert level tests your ability to connect two actors in fewer than six degrees (like, Cillian Murphy and Jason Momoa… go!). You can play many of these alone, or with a crowd.
Did you know Steven Soderbergh has an online marketplace with art and clothes and swag? Or, sorry, it’s “the artist formerly known as Steven Soderbergh,” according to the website. These are delightful deep cuts, but he biggest seller on extension765.com is a soft, black, vintage-inspired, cotton T-shirt designed by Joanna Bush with 18 LU 13 printed in bold white letters. Soderbergh comments, “Our biggest seller. Why? No idea. But I know this: if you work on the set of a movie or a series or anything that involves Teamsters and you wear this hat /t-shirt/ backpack, at SOME point, someone who drives a vehicle will come up and say NICE HAT or NICE T-SHIRT. Because this license plate has serious movie cred.’” It’s easily google-able, but we won’t spoil it here.
You don’t need to make your family disappear or defend your home from gold-toothed bandits to enjoy the silliness of “The Unofficial Home Alone Cookbook.” Recipes – there are 75 of them — include a “lovely cheese pizza,” and “junk & rubbish sundaes.” It just might not be for foodies.