Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending Watch: Trailer For 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' Unrated Blu-Ray Edition, Will Also Feature An Alternate Ending New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Watch: First Teaser Trailer For 'Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation' With Tom Cruise Arrives, If You Choose To Accept It Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey & Jason Momoa Join Ana Lily Amirpour’s Cannibal Love Story ‘The Bad Batch’ Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far 13 Cult Films About Cults 13 Cult Films About Cults The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Director Richard Ayoade Shares The 5 Films That Influenced ‘The Double’

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist May 8, 2014 at 12:30PM

Similar to his excellent 2011 debut feature, “Submarine," quick comparisons to past classics have flown frequently with Richard Ayoade’s sophomore effort “The Double." This time Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” has been elected the overriding influence; however, don’t ask Ayoade to verify such a claim. As the actor/director said when he sat down with us recently in Los Angeles, “I don't remember ‘Brazil’ well enough to even know whether that's true.”
2
Richard Ayoade

Similar to his excellent 2011 debut feature, “Submarine," quick comparisons to past classics have flown frequently with Richard Ayoade’s sophomore effort “The Double." This time Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil” has been elected the overriding influence; however, don’t ask Ayoade to verify such a claim. As the actor/director said when he sat down with us recently in Los Angeles, “I don't remember ‘Brazil’ well enough to even know whether that's true.”

Based on the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella, “The Double” indeed riffs on a recognizable dystopian sci-fi tone, but it swiftly and effortlessly forges its own path of dark humor, existential themes, and wonderful performances. The film stars Jesse Eisenberg as Simon James, an invisible office drone in a nameless office, whose only source of happiness comes from his interactions with co-worker Hannah (played by Mia Wasikowska). However, his sense of identity and self worth takes a hit when James Simon, an exact doppelganger, shows up for his first day and promptly unravels everything that Simon holds dear.

We called Ayoade’s pitch-black comedy “special and singular filmmaking at its best” when we caught it at TIFF last year, and you can watch our festival interviews with both Ayoade and Wasikowska to gain insight into the origins and production of the project. But as “The Double” hits theatres this week, we thought we’d ask the director to graciously run down a few of his actual influences for the unique project.

After Hours

“After Hours” (1985) - Martin Scorsese
Richard Ayoade: It's Stephen Merchant's favorite film and he gave it to me to watch, so I ended up seeing it rather recently. I love it partially because it's all done at night, and that kind of mounting subjective paranoia was really interesting—my favorite of Scorsese's films are the more subjective ones. And [Griffin Dunne’s] linen suit in that may have subconsciously factored into Jesse’s wardrobe, where we wanted him to feel slightly overwhelmed by his clothes.

“The Trial” (1962) - Orson Welles
There’s actually a scene in “After Hours” that directly quotes Franz Kafka’s “The Trial”—the one when Dunne’s character can't get into the club where Scorsese is operating a spotlight. But I mostly took note of the opening of Welles’ film, in the small apartment with a very low roof. We never did anything in “The Double” as long as that in terms of a take, because it's a very long take and the dialogue's very fast. But the great verbal misunderstandings, said as mistakes and taken as facts—it's just very funny. All of Welles’ films are funny, I think. 

This article is related to: Features, Feature, Richard Ayoade, The Double, Alfred Hitchcock, Roman Polanski, After Hours, Orson Welles


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates