Even if they are not viewed on cinema screens, and have had hours between each, double bills you’ve had will be intriguing when you look back at them. Even if a film is bad or average, it’s quite amazing what juxtapositions you get when you match it to (hopefully) a great film. TV, music videos and other motion picture works can have the same effect. This list below is a jotting of the examples I’ve had. No real depth explaining why each double billing worked as of yet, but my habit of putting together films randomly to watch for one day could lead to some surprising results.
Isole Di Fuoco (Vittorio Seta) & My Nightmare (Richard Kern)
A “tasteful” film but, for me, a little hollow against a “lurid” but more honest short
The Edukators (Hans Weingartner) & Pigsty (Pier Paolo Passolini)
An average film on left wing politics collides head on with a master one from a director steeped in Maxism and liberal thought.
Ninja Scroll (Yoshiaki Kawajiri) & Zu Warriors From The Magic Mountain (Tsui Hawk)
Fantasy warrior battles of the supernatural kind = Japanese ultraviolence anime against Chinese magical-based kinetic cinema
Venus in Furs (Jess Franco) & Gozu (Takashi Miike)
Unconventional sexuality and protagonists lost in a world where the person they obsess over continually shifts and the reality is up to question.
Capitalism: A Love Story (Michael Moore) & A Man Vanishes (Shohei Immamura)
Bad documentary that coasts by against what a true documentary should be.
The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy) & Dead Man (Jim Jarmusch)
The power of a film’s soundtrack.
The Land Before Time (Don Bluth) & Apocalypse Zero (Toshihiro Hirano)
Two animations about youth having to go on a trip that is filled with life threatening danger. One happens to be a Steven Spielberg produced children’s film, the other making you unable to view the human genitals the same way again.
Son of Man (Mark Dornford-May) & Born On The Fourth Of July (Oliver Stone)
Two stories of men who fight against political corruption despite obvious disadvantages. One of Christ himself, one of a man raised in God given America who is disillusioned.
Poem (Akio Jissoji) & Room In Rome (Julio Medem)
A film can still be engaging, even if you don’t understand what is being said, just through visuals, acting and music. Poem is such a film. A film can be awful, even if you can understand what is being said, through bad content, plotting or music. Room In Room is such a film.
Pacific Rim (Guillermo Del Toro) & Meshes Of The Afternoon (Maya Deren)
Where does current cinema go, even if you liked Pacific Rim, as it is seen in the mainstream? What can we learn from cinema’s history – Meshes Of The Afternoon – can we used it as influence as Del Toro uses anime and kaiju as influence for new films, and what does viewing Meshes Of The Afternoon on YouTube do to a dreamlike film when the technology allows more dreamlike presentation to happen?
Orphee (Jean Cocteau) & Lizard In A Woman’s Skin (Lucio Fulci)
Acclaimed artists and cult directors can share the same head space for dream logic and both deserve some recognition for it.
Le quattro volte (Michelangelo Frammartino) & The Halliday Brand (Joesph H. Lewis)