Monday, November 16, 2009

Double Take: Johan Grimonprez

LFF: 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 Wells did for himself in his myth-making 'F for Fake'. Using a zippy assemblage of TV and newsreel material artist/filmmaker Johan Grimonprez muses if Hitcock'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 paranois, but the films' love of Hitchcock - artist, public face, TV clown - is unmistakeable and very infectious.

MGP: The above was the reason this film was selected, alas. It turns out to be an incoherent, badly conceived and even worse edited load of rubbish. Perhaps I should have taken more heed of the ridiculous notion that Hitchcock and Krushchev are look-alikes; even the professional Hitchcock impersonator was only vaguely the same. Next thing will be Sarkozy being compared with Charles Aznavour.

1 comment:

pppatty said...

Yeah... like I was saying...