PRINT May 2014


Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy and Richard Ayoade’s The Double

Denis Villeneuve, Enemy, 2013, digital video, color, sound, 90 minutes. Adam and Anthony (Jake Gyllenhaal).

WHETHER THEY PICKED UP on something in the air or were bitten by the same bug, the creators of three recent films have shown symptoms of “double” fever. Fictional doubles are hardly new in films or literature—one need only think of Shakespeare’s comedies or Poe’s “William Wilson”—but when they break out in clusters, it’s tempting to wonder whether some unconscious cultural anxiety isn’t bubbling up. Perhaps it’s the fear many share that in the digital age, in this culture of the copy, authenticity itself has been lost; or that under the benign mask of communal spirit, so-called social media actually threaten individual identity. But no serious concern over our contemporary predicament lurks behind Arie Posin’s The Face of Love, a potboiler about a widow (Annette Bening) tempting fate, not to mention a nervous breakdown, when she pursues a man (Ed Harris) who is the

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