There’s nothing a movie maniac needs more than unlimited access to cinema, which, given the skinny fare in our cinemas and stores, is usually best delivered through the Internet. But it’s hard to gift-wrap a superfast broadband connection, so we have the next best idea: DVD gift packs. The National Film Development Corporation’s DVD label Cinemas of India has released 20 of its best-known films in a collector’s edition, priced at Rs.2,999. The pack contains such classics as Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Mirch Masala and 27 Down as well as more recent titles, including The Man Beyond the Bridge and Anhey Ghorhey Da Daan. Buy from www.rhythmhouse.in (the Mumbai store delivers all over the country), or from www.flipkart.com or www.induna.com.
If you have friends or family in the US or the UK, do not hesitate to make shameless demands of them, such as DVD box sets from The Criterion Collection or pricey but keepsake items from the British Film Institute.
Film memorabilia is another good way to fuel movie mania. Every city has its vintage poster Indian supplier (Mutton Street in Mumbai’s Bhendi Bazaar neighbourhood; Hauz Khas Village in Delhi), where you can buy posters upwards of a few hundred rupees. For the less adventurous-minded, there are sites like Indian Hippy, which claims to sell hand-painted movie posters (priced Rs.8,000 onwards for custom hand-painted canvas designs or Rs.499 onwards for original vintage posters).
Coffee-table books about cinema are far too many, but two are worth the price and weight. Bhagwan Das Garga’s So Many Cinemas: The Motion Picture In India, which traces the history of film-making in India, is a must-have, to be kept on the same shelf as the magnificently produced Taschen publication The Art of Bollywood, a definitive history of the Hindi movie poster written by Rajesh Devraj.