2016 has been a bit of a shitshow. Half the western world has been stunned by that shock political duo, Trump and Brexit, and if you weren’t disappointed by them, then you were definitely rocked by the deaths of Bowie, Rickman, Prince and Ali. Let’s just call it the nightmare before Christmas.
Through all that turmoil, one thing can be guaranteed to cheer you up, and that’s cinema. We’ll be talking about our film highlights of 2016 elsewhere in the coming weeks (and here’s a reminder of last year’s), but for now we want to give something back to you, our loyal readers.
Below is our Christmas gift guide, full of recommendations for the discerning film fan. Most excitingly of all, we have copies of some of these gifts to give away!
To stand a chance of winning a prize, simply share this article on Facebook or Twitter. Make sure you tag One Room With A View, so we can see your post, and include a hashtag for whichever gift you’d like to win. Unfortunately we’re only able to post prizes to addresses in the UK, and we also can’t guarantee you’ll receive your gift before Christmas Day.
The Art of Rogue One – Book
Whether you love spending time pouring over large, beautiful photo books, or you’re desperate to learn more about this Christmas’s latest gift from a galaxy far, far away, ‘The Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ has something for everybody.
It’s packed to the brim with artwork, concept drawings covered in anecdotes, and dotted with fascinating tidbits on Rogue One. Everything imaginably ‘Star Wars’ is lovingly dressed over the pages for fans to gawp at.
Whilst everybody else in the family is sat around playing on new phones or eating chocolate this Christmas, instead it’s worth losing yourself in the magic of that most beautiful thing: a new Star Wars film.
Scrappy Little Nobody – Book
Earning a book deal purely on the strength of her Twitter feed, Anna Kendrick’s memoir proves extremely readable. Perhaps more surprisingly for anyone who’s read her tweets, Kendrick seems remarkably sane. Alongside the expected funny childhood anecdotes, her clear-sighted vision of the madness of fame and celebrity culture really stands out. She completely eschews the tendency of other actor-cum-memoirists to namedrop every other bigwig they’ve ever worked or shared a lift with. This is perhaps a symptom of the fact that Scrappy Little Nobody doesn’t include as many set stories as you’d expect. Of course there are some, but they’re always thoughtful, meaningful inclusions. Everything in the book serves to make a larger point, whether underscoring a problem in the industry, offering a lesson about familial love, or delivering a punchline where Kendrick herself is the butt of the joke.
We have a copy of Scrappy Little Nobody for you to win. Simply fill in the competition box at the bottom of this article with the words ‘Anna Kendrick’!
The Neon Demon – DVD/Blu-ray
If there’s one thing The Neon Demon can’t be accused of it’s festive spirit. Yet, this bloody and visceral thriller from controversial director Nicolas Winding Refn would make a perfect gift for any friends or family who like their films slick and sexy. Elle Fanning has the perfect mix of naivety and allure in the lead role, while the supporting cast (including a predatory Keanu Reeves) all add to the sense of twisted darkness. The Neon Demon has been accused of style over substance, but that’s the point. Refn embraces the fashion world’s glorification of beauty to better explore it.
We have two copies of The Neon Demon on Blu-ray for some lucky readers to win! Simply fill in the competition box at the bottom of this article with the words ‘Neon Demon’!
This book is so beautiful I just want to hold it forever. It comprehensively explores every corner of one of the year’s most stunning films, detailing the animation process, storyboarding and character design. It’s a mystery how Laika made such a beautiful film from the rough-hewn style of stop motion, but this book goes some way to solving it. Let your eyeballs feast.
We have one copy of The Art of Kubo and the Two Strings for a lucky reader to win! Simply fill in the competition box at the bottom of this article with the word ‘Kubo’!
Zootropolis – DVD/Blu-ray
In a year that has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish, we all need a little reminder that not everything is as terrible as we fear. Enter Zootropolis, in which that reminder comes in the form of rookie bunny cop Judy Hopps and a surprisingly powerful – and much-needed – message about acceptance and tolerance. Nobody here at ORWAV Towers has a bad word to say about Zootropolis, and deservedly so – it truly is a soothing tonic for these troubled times.
A-Z of Great Film Directors – Andy Tuohy and Matt Glasby
If you love every director you see, from auteur A to helmer Z, then you’ll really make a great gift out of this eye-catching book from illustrator Andy Tuohy and writer Matt Glasby. Combining witty pop art visuals and knowledgeable biographies of a whole host of famous directors, this is an essential guide for any new film fans. The duo behind this book have tackled directors both mainstream and arthouse, from Christopher Nolan to Jean-Luc Godard, combining a fun spirit and informative analysis.
Midnight Special – DVD/Blu-ray
It’s fair to say that Midnight Special has been somewhat neglected. After impressing at Berlinale earlier this year, American indie auteur Jeff Nichols’ first attempt at hard sci-fi has gone under the radar for most and does not seem to be rearing its head in many end-of-year lists. It’s a shame though; beside the more highly-regarded Arrival, Midnight Special represents a boldly independent take on the genre while being unafraid to show its Spielbergian influence. Believe our hype and buy it for a loved one this Christmas.
If you’re an Oliver Stone fan the only question you really need to ask yourself is why don’t you already own this book? Structured in a similar way to Matt Zoller Seitz’s brilliant Wes Anderson Collection, this behemoth of a book is built around in-depth interviews with the man himself, and surrounded by script extracts and behind the scenes images. Insightful, entertaining and always provocative, this book is your new bible.
We have one copy of The Oliver Stone Experience for a lucky reader to win! Simply fill in the competition box at the bottom of this article with the words ‘Oliver Stone’!
Ghostbusters – DVD/Blu-ray
Another token reboot or a brilliant blockbuster that just happened to feature four women as the leads? Here at ORWAV we’re definitely backing the latter. In hindsight it’s really no surprise that a film starring Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristen Wiig, and Funniest Comedian in The World Right Now Kate McKinnon was so hilarious. What was more surprising was how brilliantly Chris Hemsworth took to his comedic role, playing dumb in a blond secretary satire that stole the show. Ghostbusters had its flaws – a weak plot and mediocre action – but there’s no questioning its laughs. If you need to keep a comedy fan happy this Christmas, look no further.
Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film – Mel Brooks and Rebecca Keegan
Burdened with a timely poignancy after the recent death of star Gene Wilder, this labour of love brings to life every detail of a classic comedy. The book opens with a compelling argument for Young Frankenstein‘s brilliance from contemporary comedy legend Judd Apatow and races on to offer interviews with the key cast and crew. Alongside script extracts and plenty of behind-the-scenes images, you’ll learn everything you could ever wish to know about Young Frankenstein.
We have two copies of Young Frankenstein: The Story of the Making of the Film, for some lucky readers to win! Simply fill in the competition box at the bottom of this article with the words ‘Mel Brooks’!
The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher
Finding a box of diaries from 1976 inspired Fisher to pen this “sort-of memoir”, The Princess Diarist (a truly excellent title), unedited pages of which – clever poetry and all – form the central section. It’s a fascinating and honest examination of an insecure and naïve 19-year-old girl’s mind when thrust onto a male-dominated film set.
Here Fisher sensationally admits to an affair with costar Harrison Ford, exploding all fan fiction. She doesn’t shy away from the angst caused by this “very long one-night stand”. Revealing, painful; you can’t help but want to be her friend.
We have a copy of The Princess Diarist for somebody to win!Simply fill in the competition box at the bottom of this article with the words ‘Carrie Fisher’!
Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film – Edward Ross
Whether you’re a comic book collector or graphic novel novice, well versed in film history or don’t know your Eisenstein from your Truffaut, Filmish is the book for you. It’s a beautifully illustrated journey, adventure even, through film, tackling concepts, technologies and genres in a delightfully digestible but undiluted form. Edward Ross has taken the art form he loves and made a new one with which to share that passion, one which now makes perfect sense: after all, it’s all about the pictures.
Enter the competition words you want from the article above in the form to win! Good luck!