A mainstream film to pair with Certified Copy for a discussion group?
March 9, 2014 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I have a film discussion Meetup group, and I like pairing an artistic and/or foreign and/or independent film with a similarly themed (or connected in some way) more mainstream film to attract people who might otherwise feel by intimidated by the discussion topic. The first part of the discussion is the mainstream film and we then segue into the "less accessible" one. Here are some examples of what I mean: Alien / Cube, Groundhog Day / Run Lola Run. Now I would really like to have a discussion of the Abbas Kiarostami film Certified Copy, but I cannot come up with a mainstream pairing for it. If you have ideas, please share them!
posted by exolstice to Media & Arts (7 answers total)
I haven't seen this film, but if you're looking for movies about ethical issues of art imitating life, how about Neil Labute's "comedy" The Shape of Things.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:46 PM on March 9, 2014

I haven't seen this movie, so I could be way off: Stranger than Fiction
posted by Ideal Impulse at 2:03 PM on March 9, 2014

Before Sunrise (1995 Linklater)
F for Fake (1973 Welles)
What Happened Was... (1994 Noonan)
posted by dgeiser13 at 2:16 PM on March 9, 2014

If you want to explore the "what is reality" trope, there's The Matrix or even Galaxy Quest (if you want to talk metafiction or mise-en-abyme).
posted by kariebookish at 2:18 PM on March 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

It is hard to give advice after only reading the brief summary of Certified Copy on Wikipedia, but Stranger than Fiction is a beautifully art-directed and interesting, but accessible movie. The main idea of the movie (to me) was about control - what controls our lives, whether we control what happens to us, what does it mean when we completely lose control of our lives. The plot turns around a core of "art v. life" or "what is reality", but the central theme is more about "letting go" and finding good things in life (a fairly familiar Hollywood trope, but one that is affectingly rendered in this case).

Before Sunrise is probably more structurally similar (and if you wanted to go really all in, you could do all three "before" films before screening Certified Copy - contrasting the mapping of a relationship in realistic time versus the the less clear timeline in the art film).
posted by jeoc at 3:23 PM on March 9, 2014

Depending on your focus, could make an argument for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Inception.
posted by paperback version at 4:07 PM on March 9, 2014

Movies about con men or undercover cops are easy ways to explore the nature of identity and reality. The cliche of getting lost in an assumed identity -- "I can't tell if I'm a cop or a criminal!!" -- is an accessible way of talking about fluid identities, the way we can discover ourselves by playing pretend, testing your assumptions about what is real, etc. American Hustle and The Departed are good recent examples, but there's a million of 'em.

Inception would also be a good example of ambiguous reality, from the point of view of both the characters and the audience. Both are open to interpretation as to whether the characters are living a lie, and the emotional implications of either choice.
posted by Smallpox at 8:44 AM on March 10, 2014

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