Double features are like a film lover’s dream come true! It’s all about pairing up two movies that, on the surface, might seem like an odd couple but instantly click when watched back-to-back. Sure, the classics are there, like bingeing on the first two movies of a franchise or indulging in a director’s double dose. But the real fun kicks in when you find those hidden gem combos that are strangely perfect together.
That’s the beauty of the double features – any two films with a common theme or plot can create a seamless movie marathon. Whether they’re from different genres, directors, or even decades, the right connection makes it work. So, here are a few movie double features that team up like old pals.
Scrapper and Aftersun
Two British films explore the father-daughter relationship, but they stand poles apart in their narrative intentions. Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun starring Paul Mescal delves into the daughter’s poignant yet haunting memories of her father, a man she knew but didn’t fully comprehend. On the other hand, Charlotte Regan’s Scrapper takes on an antithetical approach as it unravels the evolving bond between an estranged father and the daughter he never had the opportunity to know after the passing of her mother.
Anatomy of a Fall and Marriage Story
Though Justine Triet’s Anatomy of a Fall and Noah Baumbach‘s Marriage Story may not seem like an obvious pair in terms of genre or tone, what ties them together is their profound exploration of marriage. Both films lay bare the secrets within a relationship, all while a child silently bears the brunt of the turmoil. It’s a flawless double feature for those seeking two exceptional dramas with intricate storytelling and breathtaking filmmaking.
Past Lives and Blue Jay
In the realm of the “we belong in another life” narrative, Celine Song’s Past Lives and Alexandre Lehmann’s Blue Jay share a common theme of unrequited young love. Both films, marked by their poignant, melancholic, and heart-wrenching beauty, showcase exceptional performances and masterful direction. These brilliant tales of love, nostalgia, and the what-ifs are sure to leave you reaching for the tissues after a back-to-back viewing.
May December and Persona
After watching Todd Haynes’ May December, the immediate film that pops in mind is Persona. It’s not just the shared name of the actresses, Elizabeth, but also the thematic exploration of duality and personal identity that connects the two. With intriguing central plots, both films delve into the realms of sexuality and identity, offering a slightly uncomfortable yet ultimately rewarding double feature experience.
The Holdovers and Dead Poets Society
Much like Dead Poets Society, The Holdovers is also a period film that focuses on a teenage boy’s experience at a Catholic, all-boys boarding school. Both films explore themes of adolescent angst and self-loathing creeping up a boy’s mind in a rigid school system. Both films focus on a complex yet emotional connection between a teacher and his student.
Priscilla and Elvis
Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis and Sofia Coppola’s Priscilla present starkly contrasting depictions of the famous couple. Luhrmann’s portrayal is flamboyant and extravagant, while Coppola’s is subdued and internal. Watching these films as a double feature offers a unique opportunity to gain insight into both Elvis and Priscilla‘s perspectives through the distinct lenses of two very different filmmakers.
Aattam and 12 Angry Men
Finding a companion film to Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men can be challenging, but Anand Ekarshi’s Aattam emerges as the perfect match. In both films, a group of men passionately debates the innocence or guilt of an individual, with emotions running high and tensions escalating. “Aattam” can be viewed as a contemporary take in the post-MeToo era, featuring hypocritical characters and a dark-comedic tone that serves as an ideal foil to the intensity of 12 Angry Men.
Dumb Money and The Big Short
Craig Gillespie’s Dumb Money and Adam McKay’s The Big Short are both finance-bro films, characterized by rapid, kinetic filmmaking and stellar ensemble casts. Both movies delve into real-world phenomena that had widespread impacts. If you have a penchant for films centered around finance, the economy, and the stock market, this duo makes for an ideal double feature. Start with The Big Short to familiarize yourself with the intricate terms, then venture into Dumb Money to put your newfound knowledge to the test.
After Hours and Good Time
In Martin Scorsese’s After Hours, a regular word processor from Manhattan has a terrible night when he agrees to meet a girl from a Soho coffee shop. In the Safdie brothers’ Good Time, Connie Nikas goes on a chaotic journey through New York City’s underworld to free his jailed brother after a failed robbery.
Despite a 30-year gap, both films depict the dark side of New York City at night. Paul Hackett encounters strange characters during his frustrating Manhattan odyssey, including getting stuck in a sculpture mold and kidnapped in a van. Connie Nikas hides in a random apartment with a teenager to escape the police, eventually running from them in a closed amusement park. Both characters have horrifying nights in NYC.