A selection of 25 classic American films (as chosen by the American Film Institute) is an unorthodox gift choice from one head of state to another. But these here are crazy times and clearly, the Obamas are taking penny pinching to new extremes. Either that, or they think Brown needs some couch time with the classics (the list includes seminal titles such as The Grapes of Wrath, Vertigo, Star Wars and On the Waterfront).
Anyway, the gesture has caused a ruckus in the Old Dart, not least because the Browns' reciprocal offerings were more far more lavish, and included an ornamental pen holder made from the timber of a Victorian anti-slave ship that has a direct connection to the wood of the Oval Office desk. Compared to that, the DVD box set looks like the presidential equivalent of a gift voucher – or “a pair of socks”, in the eyes of a snarky Daily Mail (which seems to have forgotten that it\'s the thought that counts).
It does beg the question though: What films should President Obama put in a box set to Kevin Rudd? In light of the repercussions of that phone call with Obama\'s predecessor, perhaps How to Lose Friends and Alienate People wouldn\'t go astray...
Post your suggestions via comment below.