Fast gift idea — pair a movie with a snack and a joint! Here are some film favorites and their corresponding munchies. Whether you rent a flick or buy a Blu-Ray, the real gift is some high time together.
HIGHER BY TETON GRAVITY RESEARCH (2014)
Pair with: Pretzels and cheese
Snowboarders and weed, an everlasting love story. Everyone in the audience was definitely high when I saw Higher in theaters. Teton Gravity Research reliably pumps out vaguely emotional snowsport movies with cool hipster soundtracks. First, your heart is warmed by the whimsical tellings of childhood memories. The next minute, you're sideswiped by the adrenaline face blast of big mountain snowboarding.
In this installment, the crew scrambles to the top of the Himalayas and Alaska Range to satiate the unyielding thirst of adrenaline. The first mountain they board is 13,000 feet, with five spots where they must rock climb and repel as they move downhill. There is very little plot to keep track of aside from "watch them go down until gravity stops." (Rent on demand/free with Prime subscription)
Pair with: Rare steak
This non-narrative film is requisite for anyone who does drugs. Quite literally without a plot, the movie presents shots of nature, urban life and how humans interact with both. Time lapses of clouds dancing across the sky. Images of cities. Top-down views of computer microchips. People filing in and out of subways. Hotdogs in a factory. Building demolition. Really nice rivers. Philip Glass composed the film's entire score, and it's a behemoth of technique.
Do you like sitting in a dark room high, contemplating modern industrialization? You're in luck, this movie gives you two hours of just that, with absolutely no dialogue to interrupt your internal processing. (Rent on demand/free with Prime)
MIXED NUTS (1994)
Pair with: Canister of mixed nuts
There is a substantial enclave of '90s families that choose Mixed Nuts as their yearly Christmas movie tradition. Steven Martin, a suicide hotline worker, meets interesting characters on Christmas Eve. Without giving away too much, it's a silly goofy movie for a silly goofy mood. Make it your own family tradition! (Rent on demand)
ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW (2013)
Pair with: Ice cream
This absolutely unhinged independent film was shot illegally inside Disneyland and unceremoniously presented at the Sundance Film Festival. The beauty of the film isn't the film itself, it's the sneakily illegal process that birthed it.
The plot is not great — I struggled to figure out what precisely the director was hinting at with the surreal fantasy film. It might be a bad trip. To this day, I could not give you a synopsis, which is perfect for stoners who won't be needing the plot anyways. (Rent on demand)
OPERATION AVALANCHE (2016)
Pair with: Cheese and crackers
Operation Avalanche, a film also shot in a legality gray zone, is a vastly better story than its Disneyland counterpart. After sneaking into NASA headquarters, filmmakers posed as students in order to capture real footage and interviews. The footage was then used to create an entire unrelated story — how the moon landing was faked.
After some crafty splicing and borderline abuse of fair-use laws, the result is a conspiracy-theory thriller about CIA moles uncovering deep truths. More of a spectacle of its origins, take this film for what it is — a taunt of legality and conspiracy. (Rent on demand/free with Prime). ♦