In 1962 Hitchcock and Truffaut locked themselves away in Hollywood for a week to excavate the secrets behind the mise-en-scène in cinema. Based on the original recordings of this meeting-used to produce the mythical book Hitchcock/Truffaut-this film illustrates the greatest cinema lesson of all time and plummets us into the world of the creator of Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo. Hitchcock's incredibly modern art is elucidated and explained by today's leading filmmakers: Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Arnaud Desplechin, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Wes Anderson, James Gray, Olivier Assayas, Richard Linklater, Peter Bogdanovich and Paul Schrader.Written by
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Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015) was written and directed by Kent Jones. The movie is a documentary about the two-week period during which the young French filmmaker Francois Truffaut interviewed the older filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. Truffaut--who greatly admired Hitchcock's work--was writing a book about Hitchcock. It was published in 1966 with the title "Cinema According to Hitchcock."
This long interview was sound recorded, but apparently not entirely filmed. So, often we are watching a still while the words are given as voice-over. We see clips of great Hitchcock and Truffaut movies, but usually I couldn't see the relationship between the words and the film clips.
Also, Hitchcock spoke English, and Truffaut spoke French, so each was hearing the other person's words through a interpreter. (Obviously, the interpreter was a professional. Still, unless you know both languages well, you can't tell whether each man is hearing the essence of the other man's words.)
Most of the movie consists of comments about Hitchcock, Truffaut, and the book given by famous film directors. These include Peter Bogdanovich, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Paul Schrader, and Martin Scorsese.
I'm a movie buff, and I've reviewed over 600 movies for IMDb since 1999. However, I don't understand the intricate technical subtleties that film professors teach, and that were discussed in this movie. I felt as if I were outside, looking inside, watching professionals talk about their magic. I would have preferred less talking and more film clips, but director Jones wanted to give us talking heads instead. Of course, the heads that were talking were highly successful movie directors, so it's hard to complain. However, this is a better movie for highly knowledgeable film people. It was interesting enough for my wife and me, but I won't suggest that you seek it out unless you are really versed in cinema.
We saw this film at the wonderful Dryden Theatre in the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, NY. Naturally, because the movies discussed were meant for the large screen, the film clips work better on a large screen. However, the interviews will work just as well on a small screen.
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