Double Take

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Double Take

Johan Grimonprez (2009)

82min
12A Certificate
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Review

Our Score
This mischievous documentary examines the work of Alfred Hitchcock against the backdrop of the Cold War. Cunningly conceived by Belgian visual artist Johan Grimonprez and British novelist Tom McCarthy, the montage of existing footage and new material is thematically linked by Hitchcock's obsession with doubles. The film effortlessly shifts between news reports from the launch of Sputnik to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Master of Suspense's impish introductions to his TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and a Jorge Luis Borges story that's been tweaked to encompass Hitch meeting his doppelganger on the set of The Birds. There's even room for some coffee commercials and encounters with lookalike Ron Burrage and soundalike Mark Perry. But, for all the originality of the concept and the ingenuity of the assemblage, this says less about media-generated paranoia (both then and now) than it does about Hitchcock's teasing attitude to his work and how badly American cinema currently needs somebody of his genius.

Summary

Drama-documentary exploring paranoid attitudes that became prevalent in Cold War-era America and how this was reflected in the films and television programmes of Alfred Hitchcock. The exploration of the era is presented through a fictional story, in which the master of suspense meets his exact double on the set of The Birds.

Cast & Crew

Hitchcock double Ron Burrage
Hitchcock voice Mark Perry
Tippi double Delfine Bafort
Director Johan Grimonprez

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Soda PicturesReleased on: 2 Apr 2010
Drama Documentary