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.)
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: If you live in a cold climate, it’s easy to feel stuck at this time of year. The temperatures aren’t exactly encouraging outdoor exploration. Things seem to have shrunk. The world feels reduced to a circumscribed bare minimum circuit between the same points A, B, and maybe C.
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.
Double feature: Like your high school drama as self-serious and insular as possible? Then “Friday Night Lights” and “My So-Called Life” are for you. Conversations in both series are at an emotional pitch where “small talk” is impossible, no matter how trivial the words being exchanged. Grainy images with near-bleeding colors give a sense of worlds simultaneously dissolving, or cohering, in every frame.