The Film Comment Podcast: Movie Doubles

June 15, 2021

This week we sat down with critics K. Austin Collins and Mayukh Sen to talk about one of the most enduring motifs in movie history: the double. We delved into a hand-picked selection of mirroring movies, including Brian de Palma’s underrated Femme Fatale, Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan, Carlos Saura’s Peppermint Frappé, and Bimal Roy’s Madhumati, a film released the same year as—and with some eerie similarities to—that urtext of double features, Hitchcock’s Vertigo

As we discovered, doubles, mirrors, and dubious impersonations can be found in nearly every era and genre of cinema, with the trope generating an apparently endless variety of themes, narrative forms, and interpretations.

Links & Things:

Femme Fatale (Brian De Palma, 2002)
Body Double (Brian De Palma, 1984)
Sisters (Brian De Palma, 1973)
Madhumati (Bimal Roy, 1958)
Phoenix (Christian Petzold, 2014)
Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
Chaal Baaz (Pankaj Parashar, 1989)
Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Alexander Hall, 1941)
Heaven Can Wait (Warren Beatty, 1978)
Down to Earth (Chris and Paul Weitz, 2001)
Peppermint Frappé (Carlos Saura, 1967)
Cría Cuervos (Carlos Saura, 1976)
That Obscure Object of Desire (Luis Buñuel, 1977)

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