Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Shopping ideas from the IFI Film Shop

Christmas is in sight and you’ve no shopping done? Time is short but the pressure is on to find that special gift and despite the global realm of internet shopping you fear you’ll end up grabbing random gifts in your local shopping centre on Christmas Eve? You may not have considered it but the IFI Film Shop could be the antidote to your Christmas gift anxiety. In addition to carrying a broad range of DVDs and books relating to film which make perfect stocking fillers, it also has some quirky gems and beautiful, limited edition gifts that could be just the ticket for that Cinephile in your life. 

Here are three I hope I will find under my tree this year.

One of my favourite items in the IFI Filmshop is a beautifully framed print of James Mason as rebel leader Johnny McQueen, which is a production still from the classic Irish film Odd Man Out (€100, with proceeds going to the IFI Irish Film Archive preservation fund). This image, which is one of the thousands preserved by the IFI Irish Film Archive as part of its stills and document collection (and reproduced with kind permission of ITV) is from the noir thriller directed by Carol Reed, who later made the Third Man with Orson Welles.

Roman Polanski proclaimed Odd Man Out the greatest film ever made, praising its intriguing mix of styles, Reed married the classic film noir aesthetic with surrealist sequences giving the film a dreamlike, claustrophobic quality; that signature film noir visual style; dramatic lighting creating heavy shadows and an unusual unbalanced composition are used to great effect in this image and make it an arresting and worthy addition to any cinema aficionado’s abode. The IFI Irish Film Archive’s Document Collection includes film stills, posters and production materials, relating to Irish films and many of the images from this collection can be ordered as framed pictures (where copyright allows) making  striking and unusual gifts for a discerning film fan.

Another beautiful gift for those interested in film history is the collector’s edition of the Shepperton Studios book (€40) which was released by Southbank publishing to celebrate the Shepperton’s 75th anniversary this world famous studio. 

This special limited edition of the book comes in a presentation box, is numbered and is one of only 750 copies published. With exclusive contributions from directors, actors and producers and including over 300 stunning images, this book is the first comprehensive, illustrated account of the history and influence of  the legendary British studio where some of the most successful films ever produced were made , including such classics as The Third Man, The Omen, Alien, Gladiator and 2001 A Space Odyssey. This special collectors’ edition includes extras such as a Facsimile of an original Flicker Book (the success of which helped Norman Loudon create Shepperton Studios) A reprinted copy of the film campaign brochure for 70s classic The Wicker Man, and an exclusive DVD featuring trailers from 12 major Shepperton Films , making it all the more covetable and worth repeated investigation.

My final pick is lavish a book from the Taschen Directors’ Archive series The Ingmar Bergman Archives; (€100) for over 30 years Taschen have been producing imaginative and beautifully presented books about art, but even by their impeccable standards this work is remarkable.

Ingmar Bergman who has been considered one of the leading figures in international cinema since The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries were released in 1957, wrote, produced and directed 50 films in a career that spanned 60 years, addressing the fundamental questions of our existence such as mortality, faith, loneliness and fear. For this project Bergman collaborated with the authors up until his death in 2007, gave full access to his archives and granted permission for his writings and interviews to be reprinted. Picture researcher Bengt Wanselius (Bergman's photographer for 20 years) discovered previously unseen images from Bergman's films and from the personal archives of many photographers. The book features an introduction by Bergman's friend, and collaborator Erland Josephson, a full chronology, filmography, and bibliography, a DVD full of rare and previously unseen material and an original  film strip from the 1982 film Fanny and Alexander (1982) that has been played on Bergman's own film projector.

This is the most detailed examination of  Bergman’s life and work ever published and one that The Guardian’s film critic Philip French described as "a sumptuous volume of unsurpassable excellence, the greatest-ever study of a movie director".

Kasandra O'Connell
Head of IFI Irish Film Archive

IFI Film Shop - opening hours: Mon – Tues 11am – 7pm, Wed – Sat 12pm – 9pm, Sun 1pm – 7pm (extended opening hours in December!). Also open Christmas Eve!

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