Double feature: Swagger, casts that are an embarrassment of riches in terms of star wattage, and characters trying to tap into the power of an American dream enervated by recent history – these are some of the things that “American Hustle” and “The Misfits” have in common.
Double feature: The prevailing genealogy of “Blue Jasmine” and its eponymous heroine involves “A Streetcar Named Desire,” the Madoffs, and the personality/mannerisms of a New York art gallery owner who came within Woody Allen’s ken. My personal theory involves the director (subconsciously?) crafting a take on the personality of, and everlastingly contentious end of his relationship with, Mia Farrow.
Double feature: “Felliniesque” has become shorthand for a kind of disjointed grace, with bizarre/ fantastical non-sequiturs and detours into characters’ mental landscapes, both dreaming and awake.
Double feature: Goodness knows, “The Godfather” doesn’t need anything else written about it. And, of course, the natural, undeniable impulse is to follow any viewing of it with its own sequel/prequel. But for something less conventional and equally evocative, try double-featuring it with the 1970’s German TV production of Thomas Mann’s “Buddenbrooks” – another multi-generational saga with literary roots.
Double feature: There really aren’t that many movies featuring the Thanksgiving holiday, even tangentially. If you’re looking to branch out beyond “Planes, Trains & Automobiles,” “Home for the Holidays,” and “Hannah and Her Sisters,” consider a double feature of “The Birdcage” and “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”
Double feature: Okay, so, “2001: A Space Odyssey” is set in space, while “Mon Oncle” takes place in a modernist home in the French suburbs. But both concern themselves with progress and evolution, contrasting the earthy warmth of the past with the chilly possibilities of the future.
Double feature: “Footnote” and “The Story of Qui Ju” are two films that explore the concept of advocacy. Both contrast characters who can’t, or won’t, stand up for themselves with relatives who defend their interests by proxy, often against their own. The former are partially motivated by pride and practicality, the latter by a sense of justice being violated.