In this era of Marvel films and neverending streaming content, what even is a cinephile? Well, it's someone who's not just a movie fan but who's obsessed with the medium: A cinephile can rattle off their top five Ingmar Bergman films, swears by the theatrical experience and still clings to their old LaserDisc collection. Ignoring the obvious choices of Blu-rays and DVDs — you'll probably just buy them something they already own anyway — here are some off-beat gift ideas for the wannabe Tarantino in your life.
CRITERION CHANNEL SUBSCRIPTION (a)
We're not exactly in a drought of streaming sites, but the Criterion Channel is the go-to service for the serious cinephile. A spinoff of the esteemed Criterion Collection distributors, the channel features a curated selection of classic, indie and international films, a mix of arthouse essentials and more contemporary works. New titles are added every month, and the folks at Criterion have also put together themed packages, from paranoid '70s thrillers to Judy Garland musicals to the gory exploitation movies of director Herschell Gordon Lewis. You can also peruse the kind of supplemental materials you'd get on a Criterion disc, like behind-the-scenes documentaries, commentaries and interviews with filmmakers and actors. Move over, Netflix. $10 a month • criterionchannel.com
MAGIC LANTERN GIFT CERTIFICATE (b)
The discerning cinephile isn't content with merely multiplex offerings, so it's a good thing we have the Magic Lantern, Spokane's premier arthouse theater. They often play off-the-beaten-path selections — documentaries, foreign imports and indies — and give longer runs to specialty films that the AMC only plays for a week; regardless of what you see, odds are it'll be unique, challenging and will inspire great post-movie conversations. Individual tickets start at just $9, but you can also spend it on concessions like beer, wine and — best of all — popcorn with real melted butter. Magic Lantern Theatre • 25 W. Main Ave.
SPOILER ALERT (c)
Movie buffs love flexing their trivial knowledge, and your memory of famous movie plots will come in real handy with the fast-paced card game Spoiler Alert. It's a lot like that Parker Brothers classic Taboo: Players get a card with a specific film title on it, and then have their teammates guess that title but without using a series of no-no words. For instance, can you describe The Good, the Bad and the Ugly without saying "gunfight"? Or Despicable Me without "minions"? It's rapid-fire and fun, and the game also mixes in a couple TV shows and books, so you can invite more than just your cinephile friends. $20 • Uncle's Games, Puzzles & More • 404 W. Main Ave.
BOSE SOLO 5 SOUND BAR (d)
Any cinephile worth their salt has an extensive media library, and if you're spending a lot of time in front of the TV, then the state of your home theater is terribly important. One of the most imperative aspects of watching movies at home is a good, booming sound system — particularly if you're indulging in a fast-paced, explosion-filled blockbuster — but shelling out for an expensive pair of speakers might not be your best option. The comfortable middle ground is this Bose brand sound bar, which connects to your TV with a single cable (and to your phone via Bluetooth) and automatically brings an immersive aural experience to your basement den. It's sleek, it's compact and it won't break the bank. $199 • Huppins • 8016 N. Division St.
GOURMET POPCORN BUCKET (e)
Remember Jiffy Pop stovepop popcorn, the tinfoil bag mushrooming magically into shape as the kernels pop? So does your cinephile, who is equally particular about taste as they are about movies. The popcorn gift bucket is butter-flavored olive oil (more healthful for your sedentary cinephile), black truffle sea salt and 26-ounces of premium popcorn, for nearly 100 cups of popcorn, enough to last the entire Star Wars saga. $29.95 • Migliore Olive Oil in Coeur d'Alene • 512 E. Sherman Ave., Coeur d'Alene (CARRIE SCOZZARO) ♦