“They say that if you meet your double, you should kill him. Or he should kill you. I can’t remember.”
Doubles and doppelgangers abound in the films of Alfred Hitchcock, the legendary director who is almost as famous for the self-promoting media image he shaped for himself as he is for his cinematic creations. Double Take, Johan Grimonprez’s quasi-experimental meditation on (among other things) the Cold War tension of the late fifties, the space race and the culture of commercial television, turns Hitchcock into the main character of an abstract thriller about the director meeting his own double. Grimonprez “casts” Hitch from his various TV appearances as host of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and master of ceremonies in the trailers to Psycho and especially The Birds, and supplements his archival appearance with look-alike Ron Burrage and voice impersonator Mark Perry. Taking a break from shooting The Birds, this alternate reality Hitchcock is (we are told by Perry in a lazy Hitchcock drawl) confronted with an older version of himself from 1980 and offered sobering (if enigmatic) news from the future.