Johan Grimonprez: Double Take




Dir: Johan Grimonprez
Country: Belgium/Germany/Netherlands
Year: 2009
Duration: 80mins
Official Selection: Sundance
Official Selection: Berlin
Official Selection: IDFA

Johan Grimonprez’s Double Take looks at events around Alfred Hitchcock’s 1962 classic The Birds. Hitchcock, famous for cameos in his own works and his pranks, is rumoured to have come second in a Hitchcock look-a-like contest.

Obsessed with the double throughout his work, Hitch met his doppelganger (or was it his future self?) on the set of The Birds, and as Hitchcock or possibly a skilled impersonator states: “if you ever meet your doppelganger, you’re supposed to kill him, or he’s supposed to kill you.”
While Alfred Hitchcock’s presence defines this wonderful movie, the film also examines the very nature of filmmaking and television, Cold War politics, coffee adverts and the early years of the space race.
A more than worthy successor to Grimonprez’s Dial H-I-S-T-O-R-Y, Double Take shifts from documentary to essay to speculation, capturing the essential stylistic pleasures of Hitchcock’s works: the MacGuffin, mistaken identity, and the chase. Absolutely essential viewing.

“Double Take”
written and directed by Johan Grimonprez
© Zapomatik, 2009

MR. HITCHCOCK WOULD LIKE TO SAY A FEW WORDS TO YOU

HITCHCOCK:
How do you do? My name is Alfred Hitchcock and I would like to tell you about my forthcoming lecture. It is about the birds and their age-long relationship with man.

SENATOR LYNDON B. JOHNSON (voice):
There is something new in the heavens. Something that has never been there before.

REPORTER DOUGLAS EDWARDS, CBS NEWS (voice):
Until two days ago, that sound had never been heard on this earth.

REPORTER DOUGLAS EDWARDS, CBS NEWS (voice):
Suddenly it has become as much part of 20th century life as the whirr of your vacuum cleaner.

REPORTER DOUGLAS EDWARDS, CBS NEWS (voice):
It’s a report from man’s farthest frontier: the radio signal transmitted by the Soviet’s Sputnik, the first man made satellite as it passed over New York earlier today.

RUSSIAN VOICE:
(translated from Russian)
A new moon born of our earth: Sputnik!

THE KITCHEN DEBATE #2
NIXON:
There are some instances where you may be ahead of us, for example in the development of your rockets for the investigation of outer space. There may be some instances, for example color television, where we are ahead of you.

COMMERCIAL (voice):
And here it is! Seven function remote controlled color television. So beautiful it enhances any décor!

NIXON:
But in order for both of us… , for both of us to benefit… , for both of us to benefit….(laughs). You see, you never concede anything!

KHRUSHCHEV:
(addresses Nixon in Russian; taken over by translator)

TRANSLATOR (voice):
In what are they ahead of us? Wrong! Wrong!

REPORTER WALTER CRONKITE, CBS NEWS:
The competition for leadership in space, the race run by rockets, where is the finish line? Do we end up in a nuclear war? Or do we try to live with the constant fear of one?

KHRUSHCHEV:
(addresses Nixon in Russian; taken over by translator)

TRANSLATOR (voice):
I share the enthusiasm of Soviet engineers about the cleverness of the American people, but we too, as you know, don’t kill flies with our nostrils. For forty-two years we’ve gone ahead and when we shall overtake you at the crossroads we shall wave at you.

U.S. SENATOR LYNDON B. JOHNSON (voice):
It took the Soviets four years to catch up with the atomic bomb. It took the Soviets nine months to catch up with the hydrogen bomb. And now, tonight, the communists have established a foothold in outer space.

Info :
info@zapomatik.com
johangrimonprez.be
doubletakefilm.com
zapomatik.com
Category
Film & Animation
License
Standard YouTube License


SVA MFA Fine Arts Department // Spring 2015 Lecture Series
Johan Grimonprez // January 31st, 2015

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