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: “I’m not the enemy,” the eponymous protagonist of “Michael Clayton” tells his unravelling coworker in an attempt to distance himself from the compromising agenda of his profession. The latter, not skipping a beat, shoots back: “Then who are you?” It is this exchange – the sharpest in a film of sharp exchanges – that links “Michael Clayton” to the endearing and moving documentary “Bill Cunningham New York.”
Double feature: Need help bidding farewell to summer? Try a double feature of “Almost Famous” and “Dirty Dancing.” Both films let you relive the thrill of warm weather escapades, then prepare you to wave goodbye to the season (wistfully, from the rear windshield of the tour bus/family station wagon) by pointing to the potential for good that lies further down the year’s road.