During this time of year, as we finally move into the early weeks of fall, the studios typically start releasing their awards season films.
Not this year. That is, not really.
A handful of films, such as Aaron Sorkin’s excellent new movie The Trial of the Chicago Seven, are being pushed directly to streaming services.
Regardless of having limited options, fall remains my favorite time to watch movies.
I’m someone who thinks of movies, film, books, fashion, and food in terms of season.
Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and the first Outkast album, for example, are made perfect for the summer months while Sam Raimi’s A Simple Plan and Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans are made for snowed-in December nights. Wonder Boys and Days of Heaven, for example, scream fall.
That being said, here are four of my favorite fall season double features to watch after an afternoon spent kicking around in the crunchy leaves ...
Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs
director: Wes Anderson
I picked these two for the kids, for the art students, for the stop-motion fans, and of course, for the Wes Anderson fanatics (myself included).
Most of Anderson’s films have a fall-time vibe about them, but none so purposefully as these two. One is a creature-filled adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1970s children’s novel, the other is an original story about a bunch of adorable cast-off dogs.
They are cute, warm, fun, and breezy — and, of course, disgustingly charming and precious.
Good Will Hunting and Finding Forrester
director: Gus Van Sant
I’ve written about these two movie many, many times. My pick for one of the great double features of all-time, these brother films both tell the story of a brilliant young mind finding a mentor figure at the perfect time in their lives. One about a janitor/mathematician, the other about a basketball player/writer.
Both films largely take place in the fall (one in Manhattan, the other in Boston) and both feature very fall-friendly color grading and music.
All the Real Girls and Snow Angels
director: David Gordon Green
Like his hero Terrence Malick, David Gordon Green likes to make slightly off-center films shot largely during magic hour.
Better known for movies like Pineapple Express and Halloween (both great, by the way), my favorite Green films are the ones he writes himself, these two perhaps being my favorites. I can just hear the leaves crunching on the Rust Belt now.
Be on the lookout for Sam Rockwell’s brilliant Snow Angels performance and Zoey Deschanel’s breakout performance in All the Real Girls as the anti-Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
The Ice Storm and Brokeback Mountain
director: Ang Lee
These are two of the great modern films in my book. One is set over the Thanksgiving season, when it’s first starting to get seriously chilly, and the other features men in the mountains, wearing flannels and keeping warm at night.
One is a tragic love story, the other is a family tragedy. Something tells me you already know which one is which.
Hal Ashby’s Being There and Harold and Maude.
John Carpenter’s Christine and Halloween.
David Fincher’s Panic Room and Zodiac.
Mike Leigh’s Another Year and Life Is Sweet.
Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs and Rachel Getting Married.
David Cronenberg’s The Fly and Videodrome.
Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale and Margot at the Wedding.
Send your fall viewing favorites my way by emailing email@example.com.
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