See Double Take at the Film Forum


Tired of shlocky sequels and franchise films?

Then plunk your money down on something original: Johan Grimonprez‘s Double Take, which is a video installation, a retro montage, a museum piece, and a meditation on the way fear was marketed and manipulated in the ’50s and ’60s to sell the Cold War, Hitchcock films, and coffee.

The flick mixes old footage of Hitchcock slyly promoting his exercises in suspense alternating with shots of a lookalike who uncomfortably provides one too many Hitchcocks. (As we’re told, when you meet your double, you should either kill them or they should kill you. Great advice!)

This is interspersed with footage from the days when TV developed its political power, bringing us anxiety-inducing debates like Nixon vs. Kruschev, Kennedy vs. Nixon, and suburban housewives vs their husbands who didn’t like the coffee they were serving. (Folgers ads were even more weighted with dread than Psycho, it turns out.)

A lot of sociological points are made along the way about the emotional hazards of being an American citizen and consumer.

And even if some of it doesn’t hang together, I recommend you see this thing twice–it’s worth a double take.

(Playing through June 15).