Double Take

Film Review by Chris Buckle | 30 Mar 2010
  • Double Take
Film title: Double Take
Director: Johan Grimonprez
Starring: Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Nixon, Nikita Krushchev
Release date: 2 April 2010
Certificate: TBC


In the unclassifiable tradition of Chris Marker and Guy Maddin, Johan Grimonprez’s enigmatic feature is a puzzling flurry of ideas: Alfred Hitchcock meets a doppelganger from the future, Krushchev and Nixon tussle on television for hearts and minds, while generations of America’s housewives look to Vogler’s Coffee to satisfy their husbands’ caffeine-needs. A dizzying mosaic of historical footage, vintage advertisements, contemporary interviews and a fiction strand adapted from Jorge Luis Borges combine and proffer multiple delights. The sharp intelligence of these editorial juxtapositions offer intellectual stimulation, while the sight of Fidel Castro and Nikita Krushchev larking around in the Moscow snow offers less cerebral pleasure. Attempts to untangle this plethora into anything so prosaic as a plot would no doubt prove frustrating, its essaying instead exploring a series of uncanny twins, from the fictional (Hitchcock’s time bending self-confrontation) to the scarily actual (the twin superpower standoff of the age of Mutual Assured Destruction). Double Take is a humorous and thought-provoking concoction.