What Maisie Knew + About a Boy

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Double feature: “What Maisie Knew” and “About a Boy” are two low-key literary adaptations examining what, and how, two only children understand and absorb upheaval in their domestic lives. (Seasonally appropriate bonus points to “About a Boy” for easing viewers into the holiday season.)

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Before Midnight + Claire’s Knee

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Double feature: The perfect pairing for the (unofficial) last weekend of summer – “Before Midnight” and “Claire’s Knee.”  Why? It’s not just that both are set, either all or in part, during summer’s end. It’s that, in a larger sense, the two films are structured around, and brim over with, markers of time.

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Blue Jasmine + Born Yesterday

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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.

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Buddenbrooks + The Godfather

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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.

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As Time Goes By + The Good Life

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Double feature: The obvious link between “As Time Goes By” and “The Good Life” (aka “Good Neighbors”) is the creator/writer they have in common, a fact contributing to their similar tone and shared conversational tics and preoccupations. The deeper connection between these two British sitcoms is their protagonists’ worldview, a specific mixture of humanism in theory and latent misanthropy in practice.

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