Double Take

Johan Grimonprez, Belgium / Germany / The Netherlands, 2009, color / black and white, 35mm, 80'
Synopsis

The Cold War, Hitchcock, and the rise of television are ingeniously interconnected in this collage of space-race news footage, hilarious coffee ads, and excerpts from Hitchcock's thrillers. Was the Cold War just one huge MacGuffin? Double Take is a cinematic elaboration of the installation "Looking for Alfred," which features a series of Hitchcock lookalikes. The film itself is a search for significance in coincidental events that echoes the mechanism of paranoia. Johan Grimonprez, who caused a furor with his documentary Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, uses this elegantly composed essay to say a great deal about the rise of television and the way we view historical events. Starting with Nixon and Khrushchev's famous "kitchen debate" in 1959, television came to exert an ever-increasing influence on politics. Meanwhile, Hitchcock watched his TV show Alfred Hitchcock Presents get interrupted by advertisements for the first time. He liked to joke about the medium, saying, "Television is like the American toaster: you push the button and the same thing pops up every time." Double Take was inspired by Jorge Luis Borges's essay August 25, 1983. Placing mirrors next to mirrors, it allows a young Hitchcock to meet his older self, and is also a portrait of his doppelganger Ron Burrage.

IDFA 2014 presents theme program Of Media and Men September 23, 2014 | A theme program investigating the mediated interaction between the people and their governments will be presented at IDFA 2014. Of Media and Men encompasses a film program, several new media projects in IDFA DocLab and a Paradocs program curated by visual artist Aernout Mik.
In Memory of George Sluizer September 22, 2014 | With great sadness IDFA has learned of the death of Dutch cineast George Sluizer at the age of 82. Sluizer was a prominent voice in Dutch and international film culture, working both in documentary and in fiction.
IDFA relocates festival heart to Amstel September 16, 2014 | This year’s IDFA will for the first time be focused around the Amstel river. The main festival locations Pathé Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, EYE and De Brakke Grond remain, but the festival buzz will move to Café de Jaren and Café Swych on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Doelenstraat.
IDFA Bertha Fund introduces European program September 1, 2014 | The IDFA Bertha Fund is launching a new program: IDFA Bertha Fund – Europe. The new program will support the production and distribution of documentaries realized through co-productions between European producers and producers from developing countries.

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