Thursday, June 8, 2017

Double Features

In late Fall each year, being that the quality movies come out all at once, I've been known while away an afternoon and evening with movies two or three-at-a-time. Almost always, connections reveal themselves between even the most unlikely of films. I wrote about this phenomenon when, last year, I found myself at a random double feature of Yorgos Lanthimos' dystopian dark comedy The Lobster and Steven Spielberg's family-friendly adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG, two films that provide unlikely inspirations in the forms of sidekicks to their lonely protagonists.

I love this theme here today, this Thursday as part of Wandering through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks. And despite my opening, I am taking the approach here for selecting Double Features I haven't done yet, ideas I've had in moments of connection to one movie from another.

Here are my picks:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
dir. Michel Gondry, 2004

paired with...

Inside Out
dir. Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen, 2015

Because no two movies make the human brain and its development physically (and cinematically) visual. And because they just cut right through me.

The Apartment
dir. Billy Wilder, 1960

paired with...

Almost Famous
dir. Cameron Crowe, 2000

Because not only do the two share shockingly similar pill overdose in a New York City apartment scenes but they also deal with the most relatable instances of the young male's emotional condition, that of desiring (and deserving) the girl you want who happens to be dating the guy you most look up to.

A Genius Idea That's Not Mine (That I'm Gonna Do Very Soon)

Ace in the Hole
dir. Billy Wilder, 1951

paired with...

Nightcrawler
dir. Dan Gilroy, 2014

Because Billy Wilder needed two films on this list a friend of mine posted a picture of this on the marquis of the Castro Theatre in San Fransisco. Their double feature game is strong. And this one makes total sense. Questionable news men, played by powerful screen presences, crafting their own version of the news for the sheer fun of it.

Discuss.

22 comments:

  1. The only film I haven't seen here is Ace in the Hole. But you're other sets sound like interesting pairs. I didn't like Inside Out but watching it with Eternal might make it better for me. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Give it a try. Inside Out is one of the most beautiful movie experiences of my life and easily my favorite Pixar film.

      Delete
  2. The only way you could make your last double feature better is to shoehorn Network between those two movies and make it a triple feature.

    All three are near-perfect skewerings of the news industry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. LOVE THESE. Both of your original pairings have very interesting points of connection and the pairings would probably make both films stronger, which is the mark of a good double feature (if you ask me). I can think of a TON of movies that would pair well with both Eternal Sunshine and Inside Out. Such strong, rich films.

    That Castro double feature seems like a good one, although shamefully I've seen neither Ace In The Hole NOR Nightcrawler. I KNOW I KNOW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, man. I really like the idea of personality crumbling, memories erasing, and seeing that visually. Gondry and Docter just nail that with their respective films.

      Sounds like you should do that double feature with me then. Not sure when I'm gonna get to it. I may just buy Ace in the Hole on Criterion and be done with it. Nightcrawler is superb.

      Delete
  4. I really need to see Apartment one of these days...especially since you paired it with Almost Famous which I love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes!! Please see The Apartment. Jack Lemmon is one charming motherfucker in that thing. And I'm in love with 1960 Shirley Maclaine.

      Delete
  5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind & Inside Out would be an excellent double feature.

    Haven't seen The Apartment, Ace in the Hole, or Nightcrawler (though I really want to watch it soon).

    Of course, you know how much I love Almost Famous.

    I thought of a few double features:

    Logan & Mad Max: Fury Road - They're both excellent modern action Westerns that redefined their respective genres.
    Traffic & Sicario - They both deal with the War on Drugs in excellent fashion. And they both have Benicio Del Toro.
    20th Century Women & Beginners - They're both in my 3 favorite films of all time, they're both directed by Mike Mills, & they're both semi-autobiographical, based on each of his parents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love all of your picks! Great pairings!

      Delete
  6. I haven't seen Inside Out so not sure how it would go with Eternal Sunshine (a movie I'm sorry to say I hate) but the match up and thread of connection of The Apartment & Almost Famous is great. Both are excellent films.

    Those last two do share a commonality of focus so it's so strange that I adore Ace in the Hole so much and absolutely loathed Nightcrawler. Ace in the Hole is a magnificent film far ahead of its time, Kirk Douglas couldn't be better.

    I picked films that shared a common thread as well.

    Filmmaker Double Feature
    Bride of Frankenstein (1931) Scientist Victor Frankenstein having survived the assault of the original film is forced by the evil Dr. Pretorius to assemble a mate for his monster. Using an electrical storm to bring the creature to life (an iconic looking Elsa Lanchester) he starts a chain of events that lead to much tragedy when it turns out the bride isn’t having any of the monster. Quintessential horror film that with the first set a prototype for many years and started a trend that made its studio, Universal a mint churning out pale imitations of other creature features.

    Paired with:
    Gods and Monsters (1998)-James Whale (Ian McKellan), esteemed director of Frankenstein and many others, is living a wealthy genteel retirement in California tended to by his faithful housekeeper Hanna (Lynn Redgrave). Lonely and unbeknownst to most ill with a condition that causes a slow diminishment of his faculties he strikes up a friendship with his handsome gardener, ex-Marine Clay Boone (Brendan Fraser). As they share stories Whale recalls making The Bride of Frankenstein among other things as his thoughts scattered and re-form. Deliberately paced but with brilliant acting, both McKellan and Redgrave were Oscar nominated.

    War Double Feature
    So Proudly We Hail (1943)-In December 1941 a group of Army nurses lead by Lt. Janet “Davey” Davidson (Claudette Colbert) and including Lts. Joan O’Doul (Paulette Goddard) and Olivia D’Arcy (Veronica Lake) are headed to Hawaii for their tour of duty but plans change radically when Pearl Harbor is bombed and they are diverted to the battle sieged island of Bataan. Once there they are confronted almost hourly with bombardments, attacks and masses of wounded calling for enormous sacrifice and resolve. Strong drama headed by three great stars with Veronica being a standout as a bitter woman hell-bent on revenge.

    Paired with:
    Bataan (1943)-Looking at the male side of the same battle. The Japanese have just invaded the Philippines and the US Army in hopes of holding them back assigns a group of 13 under the direction of Sgt. Bill Dane (Robert Taylor) to destroy a key bridge and prevent its rebuilding. Tense and grim with an excellent cast including Thomas Mitchell, Robert Walker and Desi Arnaz.

    Drive-In Double Feature
    The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)-A group of scientists on an expedition for fossils in the Amazon stumble upon the previously unknown Creature from the Black Lagoon on their journey. Not having the sense to leave well enough alone they capture the mysterious gill man but he breaks free returning later to take the beautiful Kay (Julie Adams) for his own. The surprisingly hunky and scantily clad remaining scientists (Richards Denning & Richard Carlson) take off in pursuit. A mix of suspense and hilarity ensues.

    Paired with:
    The Thing from Another World (1951)-Stationed in the Arctic a team of scientists along with a crew from the US Air Force find a crashed spacecraft in the ice as well as the frozen body of the presumed pilot. Again not having the sense to leave well enough alone they extract the body from the ice and then pay a heavy price when it thaws out and becomes THE THING!! Though he’s unrecognizable under the makeup the Thing is played by James Arness before his decades long career on TV’s Gunsmoke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats, man! You are the first person I've ever known that hates Eternal Sunshine. Sad! (lol) I would say that Inside Out is a different animal than that one, but you'll see the connection. I think you might get something out of it, even though I know your distaste for animation.

      What did you not like about Nightcrawler? Gyllenhaal's performance in absolutely mesmerizing. It's a tough watch, to be sure, but that's what I loved about it.

      I like your paring of Bride of Frankenstein with Gods and Monsters. Cool to see a movie and then a movie featuring the making of the earlier movie. That would work nicely!

      Delete
  7. I haven't seen The Apartment and Ace in the Hole, but I feel like I really need to see them. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Inside Out pair is brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. And definitely see those. Billy Wilder is a director everyone should see. He made some of the best American movies and worked for decades.

      Delete
  8. I have seen the Apartment and Almost Famous and that is a great pairing that I would not have thought of. I haven't seen the others but would love to. Great pairing and thought went into this

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've seen all of these except Ace in the Hole. Since you're pairing it with Nightcrawler, I think I have to. I would never have thought of the other pairs either, but they make tons of sense. Great work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, man! Definitely see Ace in the Hole. Classic.

      Delete
  10. Ohhhh Ace in the Hole and Nightcrawler. I can see how those two go together. I loved The Apartment for the reason you said, so I may check out Almost Famous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? And yes! See Almost Famous. Great great movie.

      Delete
  11. Inside Out is such an amazing movie. One of the best animation flicks I've ever seen.

    ReplyDelete