7:30 PM, 24th October, 2014
Simon James (Eisenberg) is a painfully shy, introverted nobody in a bureaucratic nightmare of a parallel universe, reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. The only light in his life is colleague Hannah (Wasikowska), whom he admires from a distance, unable to summon the courage to strike up even a real conversation with her. Life is pretty miserable.
But when Simon comes to work one day and meets the latest employee, life takes a decided turn for the strange. James Simon is everything Simon is not – confident, successful, charismatic, outgoing. They only have one thing in common – their face. A fact which only Simon seems to notice. Is he imagining the resemblance? Is James in his entirety a figment of Simon’s imagination?
Loosely based on a short story by Dostoyevsky, The Double is a film that has divided audiences and critics (as you can see from Dave and Marg’s scores). Some find its slow, introspective pace a failure, others have lauded it as an imaginative, original dark comedy which is another step up from Ayoade’s brilliant debut Submarine (conveniently screening right after this film). Come along and see which camp you fall into.
9:13 PM, 24th October, 2014
Those fond of contemporary British comedy know of “The IT Crowd” and “The Mighty Boosh’s” Richard Ayoade. We know he is extremely intelligent and funny, we know he can do awkward and sweet to perfection. Submarine was his first film as a director. And, just like him, it is exceptional.
Quirky and Wes Anderson-esque, with a hint of Woody Allen and Spike Jonze, Submarine is an intelligent, funny and awkward coming of age film, following precocious and acutely self-aware teen Oliver Tate (Roberts).
The aloof and deadpan Oliver attempts to manipulate those around him, with very logical yet unintentionally cruel strategies, in a bid to win and keep the affections of angsty and anarchic Jordana (Paige) and save his dysfunctional and neurotic parents’ relationship (Taylor and Hawkins).
Submarine is visually enticing, very cool and sharp. Filmed in the style of French New Wave; with creative and dynamic jump cuts, playful and stunning cinematography, sublime sets contrasting gritty industrial areas, bland 1980s wood panelled interiors and picturesque nature-scapes; heightened by the voguish score from Arctic Monkeys’s singer Alex Turner, the film cleverly portrays the complexity of growing up, through the highs and lows, the joy, drama, angst and confusion.
The end result is a multi-award winning, edgy and stylish, independent comedy, oozing with talent and an impressive directorial debut for the wonderful Richard Ayoade.