This Friday night I went to see the film “Double Take” at the Wexner Center for the Arts. The movie is very difficult to describe because it’s essentially drawing a bunch of parrellels between different things. The film is centered around Alfred Hitchcock but it’s not really about it…it uses him to make certain points (he’s more a mirror through which we are meant to see other truths). There are three main themes running throughout the film. The first is based on an essay by Jorge Luis Borges called “August 25, 1983” in which he describes meeting his “double” and being faced with the decision of killing him. In the essay he talks about a rule that states that one must kill the other because there can’t be two of the same person in the world. In the film this essay is portrayed with Alfred Hitchcock meeting his double and being faced with the same decision. This essay sets up the theme of doubles not being able to live in harmony. From this point the governments of the Cold War are introduced with actual footage of certain debates and speeches made by Nixon, Krushev and Kennedy during the war. The parrellel has to do with not being able to live in harmony with one another. The third theme throughout the movie is the idea that television is taking over the film industry. The movie itself has Folger’s coffee commercials throughout it, which provide comic effect but also force the viewers to realize that this essential aspect of television has crept its way into film already.
There are several great lines in the movie and ties between these themes. One tie is the fact that Kennedy wrote a letter to Hitchcock the day before he was shot requesting to meet him after he’d seen “The Birds” for the first time…very interesting. Hitchcock makes several appearances in the film…quite a few from his television show and he makes quite a few observances. One of these is that movies evoke the feeling of guilt and that a good movie does that. I think that is actually quite true but I’d never thought about it before. There are several lines that Hitchcock has that are very funny throughout the movie. All in all it was very interesting and well made but it felt a lot longer than it was. I think I’d have to see it again to get everything out of it that we’re meant to.