Lazy Luddite Log


Living Room Double Feature

Lately I have been watching a lot more videos (in disc format) than I have for a long time. It is partly the result of having fewer things to do overall here in Canberra and partly because home cooked dinner followed by a movie is a fun thing to do with ones live-in partner. Also this has got me thinking of a lot of the old movies I have seen and would love to see again. And it has got me thinking of the concept of the double feature.

Petra and I have been watching movies by ourselves - usually one of an evening. But if I were to host a video night for guests (as I have done in the past) I would want to see more than one in a sitting. One leaves you wanting more. Three leaves most guests too tired. Two is the right number of movies to see. But then I also think that movies should be selected to compliment one another while also presenting some contrast. With that in mind I have put together the following list of double features. I have avoided the easy way of simply playing sequels (which in any case too often exceeds just two movies). So here they are. You will notice that some genres and eras are rather over-represented...

* The Wizard Of Oz (1939) with Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971)

* Casablanca (1942) with The Third Man (1949)

* War Of The Worlds (1953) with The Time Machine (1960)

* Rear Window (1954) with North By North-West (1959)

* The Pink Panther (1963) with The Party (1968)

* Jason And The Argonauts (1963) with Clash Of The Titans (1981)

* Barbarella (1968) with Flash Gordon (1980)

* Cabaret (1972) with The Boys From Brazil (1978)

* Alien (1979) with Predator (1987)

* The Blues Brothers (1980) with The Commitments (1991)

* The Dark Crystal (1982) with Labyrinth (1986)

* Ghostbusters (1984) with The Golden Child (1986)

* Terminator (1984) with RoboCop (1987)

* Real Genius (1985) with Better Off Dead (1985)

* Lady Hawk (1985) with Highlander (1986)

* The Breakfast Club (1985) with Heathers (1988)

* Back To The Future (1985) with Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

* The Abyss (1989) with Contact (1997)

* Stargate (1994) with The Fifth Element (1997)

* City Of Lost Children (1995) with Dark City (1998)

* Sleepy Hollow (1999) with The Brothers Grimm (2005)

* Pitch Black (2000) with Serenity (2005)

* Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) with Down With Love (2003)

* Pirates Of The Caribbean (2003) with Stardust (2007)

* Deja Vu (2006) with The Prestige (2006)

Hopefully my pairings will make sense. Of course one could do all sorts of different combinations and I have only listed a fraction of the movies that would be worth seeing at a video night. I am sure other suggestions could be made...



  • I love making lists like this, although in my foolishness, I somehow always wind up with more than two feature-length films in the same bag. A classic example:

    The "Brad Pit Loses The Plot" Mix:
    Twelve Monkeys (1995), Fight Club (1999), Snatch (2000)

    Or there's Descarte's extra-long "Really Real World" Film Festival:
    Dark City
    The Matrix
    The Truman Show
    The Thirteenth Floor
    A Scanner, Darkly
    with the 6am Sunday special:
    Total Recall

    I suspect the similarities I'm looking for are a little different than yours though; too many Valhalla-24-hours Sci-fi experiences have left me numb to the jarring discontinuity of rapid shifts in era, genre and style...

    By Blogger Unknown, At 04 September, 2009  

  • Oo you have named some extra movies I considered. Like Twelve Monkeys with Deja Vu (clever use to time travel) or The Truman Show with Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless MInd (Jim Carey in serious and trippy mode).

    Good to see you only list the original Matrix (which can stand-alone nicely). Personally I think Dark City does everything the Matrix trilogy did but with fewer big explosions.

    I only went to one Valhalla 24-hour movie marathon and think I only lasted (hmmm) maybe 14-16 hours.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 05 September, 2009  

  • Excellent post, and great discussion following.

    When making a "double feature" (notably, The Astor is one of the few remaining cinemas near me that still does this), it's common to pair-up films by the same director or original-and-sequel...but I really like the thematic pairings you've done.

    I don't have a lot more to add; you've covered a whole lot of my favourte films and omitted some of the cringeworthy pitfalls.

    PS: today's CAPTCHA non-word for the day is "gootel".

    By Blogger Damien, At 05 September, 2009  

  • I'm copying and pasting comments to this same post from LiveJournal (complete with messy formatting text). See below...

    From: nitedula
    Date: September 3rd, 2009 07:35 pm (local)
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    I like these - very neatly matched!
    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: September 5th, 2009 10:28 am (local)
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    Some took a bit of thinking to match (and I still wonder if they could be better) while others (like the Henson ones) are obvious (indeed you can get Dark Crystal & Labyrinth as a boxed set).
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    From: sjl
    Date: September 3rd, 2009 09:27 pm (local)
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    Triple header! Constantine with Dogma with Life of Brian!

    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: September 5th, 2009 10:29 am (local)
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    Interesting. One fits two and two fits three but (to my mind) one and three are totally different. I suspect I would be asleep by the time Life Of Brian came on...
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    From: sjl
    Date: September 5th, 2009 11:07 am (local)
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    Yes, you're right, Constantine and Life of Brian are very different films. But I have to admit, I like the thematic decay from serious to out and out comedy.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    From: aeduna
    Date: September 3rd, 2009 10:45 pm (local)
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    * Barbarella (1968) with Flash Gordon (1980)
    Flesh Gordon, surely :)

    * Alien (1979) with Predator (1987)
    I'd go Alien & Aliens...

    I like some of the other matchups, some of them because they go well together, others because they provide a break from a heavy tone.
    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: September 5th, 2009 10:34 am (local)
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    Flesh Gordon? Personally I find Flash Gordon to be sufficiently tacky and dodgy (also it has Queen music).

    Alien with Aliens works well - and we can just forget the third and fourth movies.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 09 May, 2017  

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