Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating, unique and very intelligent quasi-documentary
on January 14, 2011
Double Take is well worth at least one viewing, and maybe a few more. It's a truly one-of-a-kind melange, mid-late 20th Century geopolitical documentary merged with a meta-backstory of Alfred Hitchcock and his imaginary double. All of this is turned into a startlingly strange and compelling meditation on fear and how it's used by politicians to manipulate the public of many and maybe all nations.
The film is mostly in black and white, in keeping with the many archival newsreels used from the start of the Cold War, etc. These are cleverly and seamlessly mixed with the Hitch/Hitch's doubles footage, and writer/director Grimonprez's theme of fear is heightened by his juxtaposition of Hitch's genius at creating fear and fright in viewers with Nixon, Kennedy and Reagan et al doing it to the American public.
The score is gorgeous---perfectly malevolent a la Bernard Herrmann at times---and while the film moves slowly, it raises so many vital questions in the viewer's mind that one is grateful for its occasionally semi-glacial pace. I knew nothing of this going in and was surprised in almost all the right ways, but then I don't mind trading crisp plot movement for visual artistry and intelligent, thoughtfully manipulated images. If you need lots of storyline or a boy-girl plot, this is not your film, but then if you needed that all the time you probably wouldn't be reading this.
The masterful editing and use of cinematic devices work perfectly together and by the time the film's 90 minutes are up, I'd done more thinking about politics and film and how they shape our perceptions of reality than in quite a while, and felt better for it, and refreshed in that certain way that only good art can accomplish.
Double Take creates its own special world, and if you like to think while you watch a movie, and are at all interested in Hitchcock, 20th Century history, or how fear is used as the key motivator in global and local politics, you're bound to find this film fascinating.