"The Double" is based on a short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, but there's a lot more than the sensibilities of the Russian literary giant hanging over this grimly amusing picture. British director and comedian Richard Ayoade's follow-up to his stylized coming-of-age tale "Submarine," the abstract drama owes an obvious debt to "Brazil," but also borrows liberally from the likes of "1984," the labyrinthine plotting of a Kafka story and the outmoded aesthetics eighties computer commercials, while maintaining a deadpan stillness that calls to mind Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki. Yet the familiar elements of "The Double," which Ayoade co-wrote with Avi Korine, coalesce into a unique whole that turns the material into a contemplative nightmare. Read more here.
"Only Lovers Left Alive"
If the fashionable bloodsuckers of the "Twilight" movies traded their frantic stares for expressions of ennui, they might have something in common with Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), the retro cool vampires at the heart of Jim Jarmusch's "Only Lovers Left Alive." But that could never happen. Jarmusch's characters are always too hip for the mainstream, which he reminds viewers by making a welcome return to the realm of deadpan comedies that put his work on the map in the first place. Not that he ever drifted too far from it. Read more here.
With his fourth feature, "R100," Matsumoto merges his outlandish wit with a satiric take on the Japanese ratings system and disorienting tangents that's second only to the impermeable "Symbol" in its riotous absurdity. Yet despite its head-scratching moments, "R100" also maintains an elevated cult movie consistency that's par for the course with Matsumoto, by combining its playful irrationality with an emotional and philosophical core. Read more here.