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“The Double’ is World Cinema Classic #218

The Double is a 2013 dark comedy written and directed by relative newcomer Richard Ayoade, starring Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and Mia Wasikowska. The film is based on the novella The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It is about a man driven to mental breakdown when he is usurped by a doppelgänger.

“Ayoade has cited Orson Welles’ Kafka adaptation “The Trial” as a key influence, with its similarly labyrinthine sense of entrapment, along with “Alphaville,” “Eraserhead” and the dry Nordic comedies of Roy Andersson and Aki Kaurismaki; the latter’s imprint is particularly apparent in “The Double’s” regular eruptions of deadpan humor and its rich, almost Sirkian color palette. And so long as there are cinematic references to be footnoted, it’s hard not to flash back to “Rear Window” when Simon uses a telescope to spy on Hannah in her apartment — at first with longing, then with frustration as he bears helpless witness to her trysts with James.” –Justin Chang [1]

The Double is World Cinema Classic #218.