Q: Hannukah starts on Wednesday and Black Friday follows soon after. What are you buying your culturally savvy loved ones this year?
Um, nothing? In all honesty my family and I (and this goes for my wife’s family as well) are so different when it comes to what we love culturally that I tend to stay far away from those sorts of presents for them – sticking to old standbys like soap and alcohol. Every washes, everyone drinks, so we’re good, right? One brother stopped taking my movie advice after I told him to see About Schmidt in 2002 and he hated it. The other, I’m not sure has seen a movie in the theater since Inception. My sister-in-law did recently mention her interest in Devil’s Knot, so perhaps a gift basket that includes the excellent book by Mara Leveritt, all three Paradise Lost films and West of Memphis and a note telling her to stay far away from Atom Egoyan’s horrible version coming out next year? Perhaps the best thing to get them “culturally” would simply be movie passes or gift certificates. That way, they can see whatever the hell they want – and if they waste them on crap, oh well. At least they’re going to the movie, which they don’t often do.
Now, what would I like this Christmas? Matt Zoller Seitz’s The Wes Anderson Collection for starters. The Crtierion Shoah for another (I may find it impossible to not watch it for another year if it stared at me all the time). Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep – which I’ll remain too cheap to buy until it comes out on paperback otherwise.