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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Weekend Watchlist: Double features to fill the Barbenheimer-sized hole in your life

Five dynamic doubleheaders to kill some time with this weekend

This summer, moviegoers experienced a resurgence of the double feature: Barbenheimer —  the crossover between “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” that audiences across the world became obsessed with.

In the wake of Barbenheimers’ record-breaking success, The Eagle has come up with a list of equally satisfying double features. Whether similar thematically, plot-wise or aesthetically, here are five pairings of movies that will keep you glued to your couch for hours.

High and Low” (1963) and “Parasite” (2019)

Directed by the legendary Akira Kurosawa, “High and Low” tells the story of a wealthy executive (Toshirō Mifune) at a shoe company whose chauffeur’s son is kidnapped and held for ransom. A gripping, noir-esque thriller, “High and Low” is one of Kurosawa’s finest films. The film balances its suspense with profound social commentary on the class system in contemporary Japan. 

Another political thriller, which pairs well with “High and Low,” is “Parasite” — Bong Joon-Ho’s four-time Oscar winner that launched foreign cinema into the American mainstream. “Parasite” is about an impoverished family from Seoul who begin to form a complex relationship with the wealthy family that employs them.

Both heavy on twists and turns, and emphasizing differences between the rich and the poor, “Parasite” and “High and Low” would make for an enthralling double feature.

“High and Low” and “Parasite” are both available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.

Persona” (1966) and “Mulholland Drive” (2001)

“Persona” and “Mulholland Drive” are two iconic pieces of forward-thinking, avant-garde cinema that dive into the surreal and the sensual. 

Directed by the iconic arthouse-filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, “Persona” is hailed as one of the greatest films of all time. It explores the psyches of a nurse (Bibi Andersson) and an actress (Liv Ullmann) who are sent to a cottage by the sea after the actress stops speaking. Across 83 minutes of perfectly composed shots, Bergman explores the duo’s complex relationship to produce a haunting and unforgettable film. 

Taking great influence from “Persona,” “Mulholland Drive” also focuses on the layered relationship between its two lead characters. Whereas “Persona’s” story exists in isolation and simplicity, “Mulholland Drive” is set in Hollywood and carries several overlapping plots. It is surrealist director David Lynch’s magnum opus, diving into dreams, desire and the politics of Hollywood.

While definitely not a light-hearted double screening, “Persona” and “Mulholland Drive” would couple for a disturbing, dreamlike and thought-provoking couple of hours.

“Persona” is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime. “Mulholland Drive” is available to stream on Showtime.

Duelle” (1976) and “Heat” (1995)

“Duelle” and “Heat” are two films from completely opposite ends of the film spectrum. “Duelle” is a 1970s arthouse film from experimental French New Wave director Jacques Rivette, while “Heat” is crime thriller-specialist Michael Mann’s mid-90s masterpiece. These two are, nonetheless, more similar than most would think. 

They both offer audiences stories of dueling, opposite forces, each similar to a cat-and-mouse situation. “Duelle” is set in Paris, as the Daughter of the Moon (Juliet Berto) and the Daughter of the Sun (Bulle Ogier) fight over a diamond that has the power to allow one of them to stay on Earth. 

“Heat” is set on the crime-ridden streets of Los Angeles, and follows the chase between a detective (Al Pacino) and the head of a crime gang (Robert De Niro). Pairing these two films together mirrors each of their central conflicts: both opposites to one another, yet when put together can make for a great cinematic experience.

“Duelle” is available to rent on Amazon Prime. “Heat” is available to stream on Netflix.

The Ascent” (1977) and “Come and See” (1985)

“The Ascent” and “Come and See” are two Soviet anti-war films that take place during the Second World War. However, the films share a more intimate bond: “The Ascent” was directed by Larisa Shepitko, wife of Elem Klimov, the director of “Come and See.” This married pair seem to have quite a knack for crafting harrowing cinema; both films contain horrifying imagery and deeply troubling storylines. 

Yet the brilliance of these two films comes from these elements. Unlike most American war movies, neither of these films glorify war, and function perfectly as anti-war pieces of cinema. While they would be a dense and unnerving duo to watch back to back, this double feature would surely open up any audience member to the horrors of war and violence.

“The Ascent” is available to stream on The Criterion Channel. “Come and See” is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.

Do The Right Thing” (1989) and “La Haine” (1995)

“Do The Right Thing” and “La Haine” are stylish, politically-charged dramas that each take place over the course of one day. Both of these films tackle racial tension and police brutality in their respective countries of America and France. 

“Do The Right Thing” is director Spike Lee’s most praised work to date. It takes us through the lives of those living in a Brooklyn neighborhood on the hottest day of the year. Cultivating a sweltering atmosphere and building up to an incredible ending, “Do The Right Thing” carries a message that still rings true in modern-day America. 

“La Haine” tells the story of Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui) and Hubert (Hubert Koundé), three friends living in urban Paris in the mid-90s. In the midst of a wave of riots against the police, the film takes us through the trio’s day and ends as an emotional, hard-hitting social thriller. For a double feature that combines pure entertainment, masterful cinematography and profound social commentary, it may not get better than “Do The Right Thing” and “La Haine.”

“Do The Right Thing” and “La Haine” are both available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime.

This article was edited by Bailey Hobbs, Patricia McGee and Abigail Pritchard. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis and Olivia Citarella.

life@theeagleonline.com 


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