Director: Riley Stearns
Origin: USA (2021)
Language: English

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In his latest provocation, satire master Riley Stearns (The Art of Self-Defense, MIFF 2019) asks: if you had to duel your own clone to the death, would you win?

In a drab near-future, Sarah learns she’s terminally ill and commissions a clone of herself to ease the impending loss for her mother and boyfriend. Trouble is, they end up preferring the clone – and when Sarah unexpectedly goes into remission, her clone won’t go quietly. The legally mandated solution: a televised death match in one year’s time. So, in the world’s most existential training montage, Sarah hires an eccentric coach and prepares to fight an opponent who knows her inside out. May the best Sarah win!

Aficionados of Stearns’ deadpan style will recognise his sardonic approach to skewering everything from combat to egocentricity to human naivety in fear of what the future holds. In the case of Dual, an absurd premise that gives way to metaphysical contemplation offers plenty of fun for fans of Yorgos Lanthimos, particularly Alps (MIFF 2012) and The Lobster (MIFF 2015). In the lead role(s), Karen Gillan (Jumanji, various MCU films) doubles down on her action-cinema credentials to offer two delightfully different performances, while veritable comedic support is lent by Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as madcap sensei Trent.

“Both [Stearns’] most successful and most eccentric yet … A rewarding and gut-busting film [whose] lingering ideas are nearly as strong as its humorous, thoughtful construction.” – Paste Magazine

Please note: MIFF’s full program will launch on Tuesday 12 July. Tickets will be available to MIFF Members from Tuesday 12 July and to the general public from Friday 15 July.

If you require any access service, such as wheelchair/step-free access, for any MIFF session, please email boxoffice@miff.com.au to book your ticket.

Key Cast
Aaron Paul, Karen Gillan
Riley Stearns
Lee Kim, Maxime Cottray, Nate Bolotin, Nick Spicer, Riley Stearns
Riley Stearns
Michael Ragen
Emma Ruth Rundle
Sarah Beth Shapiro
Costume Designer
Janne Karjalainen
Production Designer
Sattva-Hanna Toiviainen
Premiere Status
Australian Premiere