“Sleepy Hollow” Review

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Sleepy Hollow (1999)

‘A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere’ (Washington Irving, ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’). 

‘Sleepy Hollow’ is Tim Burton’s seventh major film based on a short story by Washington Irving ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’. The film is about Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp), a young police inspector who, equipped with his progressive scientific expertise, arrives to a small village, Sleepy Hollow, filled with superstition and paranoia. There, Ichabod encounters old wealthy family, Van Tassels, who, like the rest of the village, is in fear of the Headless Horseman, who terrifies and commits gruesome murders in the village. Upon arrival, Ichabod promises to restore peace in the village and to discover the identity of the murderer. However, Ichabod is up for surprises as in order to complete his task he has to start questioning not only his scientific beliefs, but also matters of the heart, as he slowly falls for Van Tassel’s charming daughter, Katrina (Christina Ricci).

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“The Double” vs. “Enemy”

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The question of personal identity and its duplication have been fascinating people for centuries. From Edgar Allan Poe’s “William Wilson” to Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake”, the theme has been pervasive in almost every form of art. When it comes to movies, such films as “Sommersby” (1993), “Face/Off” (1997), “The Prestige” (2006) or “Black Swan” (2010) may immediately come to mind. However, just recently, scriptwriters/directors have decided to approach the topic more directly, and we now see two films – Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy” (2014) and Richard Ayoade’s “The Double” (2013) gracing cinema screens in the hope to awe. Although these two movies have their share of differences, e.g., “The Double” is far wittier and more satirical than “Enemy“, these two films share the same theme, and, therefore, it may be interesting to make a brief comparison between the two. Also, besides the “doppelganger” theme, what these two films also have in common is the relative novelty of the directors’ productions. “The Double” is Ayoade’s directional debut and for Villeneuve, ‘”Enemy” is only his second truly mainstream movie after “Prisoners” (2013), also starring Jake Gyllenhaal (“Donnie Darko” (2001), “Zodiac” (2007)).

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