Director Johan Grimonprez casts Alfred Hitchcock as a paranoid history professor, unwittingly caught up in a double take on the cold war period. The master says all the wrong things at all the wrong times while politicians on both sides desperately clammer to say the right things, live on TV.
DOUBLE TAKE targets the global political rise of ‘fear as a commodity’, in a tale of odd couples and double deals. As television hijacks cinema, and the Krushchev and Nixon debate rattles on, sexual politics quietly take off and Alfred himself emerges in a dandy new role on the TV, blackmailing housewives with brands they can’t refuse.
The novelist Tom McCarthy writes a plot of personal paranoia to mirror the political intrigue, in which Hitchcock and his elusive double increasingly obsess over the perfect murder – of each other! Subverting a meticulous array of tv footage and using ‘The Birds’ as an essential metaphor, Grimonprez traces catastrophe culture’s relentless assault on the home, from moving images’ inception to the present day.
Director: Johan Grimonprez
(Co-)producers: Cassetes for Timescapes, Volya Films, Zap-o-matic, Nikovantastic | ZDF/Arte
Release Date: 2009
Partners: Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Netherlands Film Fund, Normedia, YLE, Raisat
Length: 80 minutes
Editors: Dieter Diependeale
Festivals: Berlinale 2009 | Bangkok 2009 | Cinéma du Réel Paris | Cinéma du Réel Nyon | Switzerland 2009 | Abu Dhabi 2009 | London 2009 | Era New Horizon Warsaw 2009 | Ghent 2009 | Soa Paolo 2009 | Jihlava 2009 | TATE Artist Room: firstsite 2009 | Taipei Golden Horse 2009 | CPH-DOX 2009 | Torino 2009 | IDFA 2009 | Oslo 2009 | Sundance 2010 | DocFornight/MoMA New York 2010 | Quebee City Biennial 2010 | Cinema Release: Film Form New York 2010 | Melbourne 2010