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The First Ever Culture Lust Gift Guide!

Criterion just released a special edition of Bottle Rocket for all of you Wes Anderson fans who say things like "I've liked Wes Anderson since way back in the day." & The edition includes the original 1992 short, a "Making of" documentary, an essay by Martin Scorsese and features artwork by Ian Dingman . Toss this t-shirt in the package for good measure. & And for the art house film snob in your circle (be nice to them, they may annoy you but they are a dying breed), you could shell out and get this beautiful box set that includes films by Kurosawa, Cocteau, Renoir, Polanski and more.

Other sites for good film gifts inlcude Kino , Turner Classic Movies , and Zeitgeist Films . From Zeitgeist, consider Billy the Kid , What Remains (for fans of photographer Sally Mann) and the short films of the Quay Brothers .

Holly over at Citizen Video in South Park has some nifty gifts for film lovers, including a collection of t-shirts that I really like. & A gift membership to Citizen is also a good idea. & Holly works to build a community among her clients so for film lovers, this is a local joint that should feel like home. & And, one more thing from Citizen Video - if you want to make your gifts, CV is hosting a series of Make Something Day Workshops on Thursdays throughout December. & You can make different pendants and do handcarved stamping.


I love getting subscriptions as a gift because it's the gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. & It's actually fun to play with the name on the subscription as well because each time it arrives, it makes you smile. & For example, I'm renewing my father's subscription to the Atlantic Monthly and this year it will arrive in his mailbox addressed to Don Corleone.... because see his name is Don Carone and he does a Godfather impersonation (you wondered why I posted about that, didn't you?)....[crickets].... Ok, so you'll come up with something more clever for your intended, but when you do, I'd go for the McSweeney's, The Believer, and Wholphin gift package . It's a tad spendy, but it's so worth it. McSweeney's books are beautifully designed - "one issue came in a box, one was Icelandic, and one looks like a pile of mail" - and features innovative fiction writing. & The Believer is a great Sunday read and it's annual music and art issues are always quality. & Wholphin is my favorite part of the package - a quarterly DVD magazine featuring short films, documentaries, and animation that you won't see in the multiplex. &

How about a Mormon gift basket? You could start with the first season of HBO's Big Love . The Henrickson family are a fascinating bunch, full of power struggles - power struggles between the sister-wives, between Bill and his father-in-law, between modern life and the fundamentalist sect living in Juniper Creek. & For a more journalistic look at Mormon history and culture, add Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven (I'm reading it right now!) to your Mormon basket. You can get it at any independent bookstore near you. Krakauer, who wrote Into the Wild and Into Thin Air takes a true crime approach to investigating the more fundamentalist side of Mormon culture. & And finally, you can add that Mitt Romney blow-up doll to finish it off the basket. & Ok, I couldn't find one of those, but let's actually be grateful about that.

If you're an indie music lover and want to share the love, than the very reasonably priced The Pitchfork 500 music guide is you're best bet. The subtitle is "Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present." Pitchforkmedia has become the premiere online source of music news and reviews for indie music fans and hipsters. This book will definitely inspire some new playlists. For some boxed set ideas, there's Jesus and Mary Chain and Joy Division (you could make a theme and add Control ). I'm also LOVING the new Raphael Saadiq (pictured) album The Way I See It . It's old school soul and, frankly, it makes me swoon. & If you've got a jazz lover to buy for, Howard Mandel is a trusted source and he has a list of the ten top jazz albums of 2008 . &

I wrote recently about San Diegan Mark Murphy's beautifully designed art books. I've given them as gifts in the past and they're a big hit. My top picks are the new Ray Caesar book , the Bob Dob soft cover book , and the new Jeff Soto book Storm Clouds . The Juxtapoze store is also good for art books and arty t-shirts. For some clever t-shirts, check this site out . I like the "Ninja Please!" one A LOT. I also like this one . If a collector of custom vinyl toys is on your list, or you want to turn someone on to this popular art form, go to San Diego's Subtext gallery to look for a gift. & The show ends soon so hurry hurry.

For those interested in the Salton Sea, the documentary Plagues and Pleasures on the Salton Sea is a lot of fun. Kim Stringfellow's book of photography on the sea and its surrounding communities is also a nice addition to a Salton Sea collection. & But really, if you want to set this gift package apart, you must include a framed dead tilapia straight from the Salton Sea shores. & Chris Metzler, who directed Plagues and Pleasures tells me the dead tilapia are a runaway bestseller. & Go figure. &


For your friends and family who like to travel, I adore We Jet Set, A Modern Travel Store . I love most things on The Curiosity Shoppe , especially the Elementary Lovenote Set and the bamboo bird mobile .

How about some random gift ideas just for fun: A felt, bacon cover for your iPhone (hmmm, bacon....), a New York Times puzzle where you select the date of the front page, and an umbrella for your google earth photo.

Just want some wacky office gifts for your co-workers? This site has a ton of options. My favorites are the To-Do tattoos , the boss remote , and the variety meats pencil toppers (awesome!). For more serious and really cute ideas for office gifts go to See Jane Work. I like the Susy Jack wall calendar and the giant document clothespins .

For many more gift ideas, I suggest spending some time on Etsy . It's an online marketplace with all kinds of handmade goods by artists and designers. & It's affordable and strikes the right tone in these tough times. For the same feel, the North Park Craft Mafia have an event this Sunday with close to 70 vendors. It's at NTC Promenade and you should be able to pick up some good DIY, crafty stuff. & Also, don't be afraid to look through your library and give someone your favorite book, always a thoughtful gift. &

That's about all I got in my bag of tricks. & Feel free to share your own gift ideas below. &