Double feature: When “Frances Ha” came out, many reviewers hung their claims for its distinction on the fact that its heroine was a young woman, and yet its narrative had essentially nothing to do with that young woman’s love life. Presumably, this separated it from the pile of marriage-plot driven romantic comedies with women in the lead, a pile in which “Bridget Jones’s Diary” stands honorably near the top.
Double feature: A double feature of epics that will take the better part of a day to watch, the pairing of “Gandhi” and “Black Narcissus” provides ample fodder for considerations of dominion, overcoming, and the good/evil within us (i.e. whether one or both are inherent, and how each has the potential to conquer the other, if only temporarily).
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: 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: 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.
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.