Double feature: Of course I am neither the first, nor will I be the last, to recommend “Boyhood.” But what I may be able to add is the observation that its exploration of time and existence is a uniquely American one.
How so? Continue reading
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: 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: 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.
Double feature: Lots of films concern themselves with the “what” or “when” of action. “The Straight Story” and “The Swimmer” stand out, and link to each other, by placing their urgency on the “how.” Both center on protagonists who turn routine journeys into quests by dreaming up exquisitely particular, unconventional ways to get from point A to point B.