The Under the Sign of Fincher program (Jan 1-4) offers audiences the chance to see several unique double features chosen by director David Fincher himself. It got us to thinking about unique pairings and so we asked friends and contributors to come up with their own “fantasy double features.”
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Paris, Texas (1984)
Compare the perpetual motion of Leatherface with the almost static (and leathery) features of a forlorn Harry Dean Stanton. They are loosely-defined family men, in broken-family films, struggling with the transvaluation of family values. (The “female question,” in both cases, is a tough one.) While on seemingly opposite sides of the stylistic spectrum (Tobe Hooper versus Wim Wenders) the two gents are, nonetheless, part of an existential continuum of angst. Get out your handkerchiefs for Harry; but you’ll more likely need a bucket and mop for the guy with the power tool. You will feel the pain.
–Chris Chang, Senior Editor, Film Comment magazine
10 Rillington Place (1971) and Alien (1979)
Sure, at first it’s just a coupling of John Hurt’s most contagious performances, from the “JFK”-like refrain “Christie did it” in Richard Fleischer’s 1971 serial crime story to the ultimate John Hurt moment eight short years later. But together this double feature of British-made thrillers provides a master class on on-screen dread–achieved mostly
through atmosphere and uncertainty–as well as a potent sense of the country’s gloom on the eve of the Thatcher-era.
–Arthur Ryel-Lindsey, Editor, Film Society
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) and Network (1976)
Perhaps no two films are as prescient and relevant when making a commentary on our media-saturated society, and no two films can better exemplify the integrity our news media has potential for…. and the three-ring circus it has truly become. Even more fascinating: these are movies representative of our past, yet both are keenly observant of the perversions and self-important altruism at the hand of the television news networks broadcasting today.
-Tom Treanor, New York Film Festival Correspondent
Kids (1995) & Y Tú Mamá También (2001)
Maybe it’s just the cold weather, but who doesn’t like two smart, raw, fun and sometimes dark teen flicks set during summertime? This selection offers an interesting and unique look at teens from Mexico City and NYC that will radiate warmth—at least temperature-wise. Both are about being young, rebellious, careless, and free spirited—so 2009—and there’s not a glove, scarf or mitten in sight.
-Christian Del Moral, Cine Latino en Nueva York
Me, I’d like to see Five Easy Pieces (1970) and Wendy and Lucy (2008) together. Both are Pacific Northwest-set dramas that grapple with class in an interesting way. In Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson returns to his upper class family after years doing manual labor in the oil fields, and in Wendy and Lucy, Michelle Williams leaves the safety of family in the hopes of finding a good-paying job in Alaska that will save her from destitution. Both show how powerful simple stories and strong central performance can be in terms of conveying core human dramas.
Check out David Fincher’s picks (and see two films for the price of one!) all the rest of the week. And tell us your fantasy double features in the comments!