Daily News header

Double Take Film Review

By     get stories by email

Sir Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) set a stratospheric bar still rarely reached when it comes to the suspense genre. Now, the legendary director gets a chance to star in a psychological thriller, albeit posthumously, courtesy of archival footage interwoven with a dizzying montage of snippets from movie classics, TV commercials and newsreels shot during the height of the Cold War.

This marvelous, multi-media mockumentary is the brainchild of Belgian Johan Grimonprez, a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has cobbled the assorted elements into a chilling feature draped with dread and sheer paranoia which practically defies description.

At the point of departure, Hitchcock announces in his trademark droll fashion that "If you meet your double, you should kill him, before he kills you." After all, "Two of you is one too many, by the end of the script, one of you must die." He subsequently crosses paths with his own spitting image, played by Hitchcock impersonator Ron Burrage, and the tension is gradually ratcheted in the intriguing game of cat-and-mouse which ensues. Thus, the picture's title is a clever play on words which lends itself to a couple of interpretations, given that a "double take" for these purposes can be either a delayed reaction or the response of identical strangers to encountering each other, or both.

Ostensibly inspired by an actual incident which happened to Hitchcock during the production of The Birds, the bifurcated storyline simultaneously revisits the events surrounding the so-called Kitchen Summit Conference, a series of televised impromptu exchanges staged in Moscow in 1959 between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and then Vice President Richard Nixon. And yet another strand of the often mind-boggling mosaic is made up of bits from comical Folger's coffee ads in which American housewives have been edited to look like blithering idiots with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

An impossible to pigeonhole production certain to generate a sense of nostalgia about a bygone era while only adding to the already lofty stature of a revered cinema icon.

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated
Running time: 80 Minutes

Distributor: Kino International

To see a trailer for Double Take, press play:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Prior to the reunion, I was going in the wrong direction ... I didn't realize from whence I came ... By the time I was 16, I had become a lost soul, confused about life.
Kam Williams reviews an awful film that is a misogynistic dramedy, with four, obnoxious, testosterone-fueled slackers venting their bile on unsuspecting victims.
Potable water is becoming increasingly scarce. Water is life, but human misuse of water is causing big problems, according to the Secret of Water documentary.
Don't miss these opening movies of the week including Cinderella, starring Lily James, a live-action version of the classic fairytale.
Working man Darnell Lewis is stuck on the wrong side of the tracks in South Central L.A., living the opposite life to Mr. King who has money all around him.
High-action movies, starting with The Gunman, with Sean Penn, directed by Pierre Morel, plus the sci-fi Insurgent, with Shailene Woodley and Taylor Lautner in Tracers.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

landing page ad

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site