Straight to Video
Gifts for the Cinephile? Time to Go ...
Introduction By Sarah Hepola, Fri., Dec. 10, 1999
As a child, I found the distended hours and eerie hush of Christmas afternoon just deadly dull. "Play with your gifts," my mother would tell me, as I dragged my feet around the kitchen, whining of boredom. Probably desperate for an hour of quiet, she would scuttle me back to my bedroom, where I would comb Barbie's hair, flip through a Judy Blume novel, or scribble the one and only entry a new diary would ever receive. Soon toys were replaced with clothes and make-up, and still boredom persisted. And then, one holiday while watching a litany of films for a college course, I discovered the true joy of Christmas: watching movies. Scads of movies -- classic movies, childhood favorites, docudramas, two-reel historical epics, movies I'd put off seeing all year. These days, the holiday afternoon is spent contentedly curled on the couch, indulging in hours of back-to-back films. I suppose I could do this any day (and I sometimes do), but on Christmas afternoon, that eerie holiday hush that so unsettled me as a child is the very thing that makes it so enjoyable, allowing me to shake off those nagging reminders of weekend errands or work responsibilities and enjoy those distended hours without guilt. So to assist you in finding presents for the film lover in your life (or in yourself), we've compiled a few of our favorite videos below; most of them are new to the shelves, although a few, like the Godfather collection, are merely evergreens we think any movie lover should own. All of them are toys we'd gladly play with on Christmas Day.