Previously at the ICA - Films

Double Take, dir Johan Grimonprez, Belgium/Germany/Netherlands 2009

Double Take

19 Oct 2009

An ingenious hybrid, Double Take is part mock-documentary, part conceptual provocation, and altogether a thought-provoking, hugely entertaining piece that does for Alfred Hitchcock what Orson Welles did for himself in his myth-making F for Fake. Using a zippy assemblage of TV and newsreel material, artist/filmmaker Johan Grimonprez muses on Hitchcock's persona and humour, reading his films of the late 50s and early 60s against the climate of Bomb-era political anxiety. The film especially mulls on Hitchcock's preoccupation with doubles, a theme that recurs not just in his films but in the portly auteur's jokey intros to the vintage TV series Alfred Hitchcock Presents; the theme is further expanded on in an apocryphal story about the maestro meeting his own future self. Interwoven with all this is a mass of newsreel material, dealing largely with US-USSR Cold War relations, and focusing on America's relationship with that other famous Hitchcock look-alike Nikita Krushchev. Grimonprez leaves viewers to draw their own conclusions about identity, filmmaking, power and paranoia, but the film's love of Hitchcock - artist, public face, TV clown - is unmistakeable and very infectious.

dir Johan Grimonprez, Belgium/Germany/Netherlands 2009, 80 mins

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