Coming to theatres today, Wednesday, December 2: HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT
Kent Jones’ look at the meeting of cinematic minds had its world premiere at Cannes earlier this year. Fest berths followed at DOC NYC, Telluride, Deauvlle, Toronto, San Sebastian, London, Mill Valley, Tallgrass, Chicago, AFI Fest, Tallinn Black Nights, and Denver, among others.
Over the course of a week in 1962, French film critic turned filmmaker François Truffaut conducted an extensive interview with one of his cinematic idols, Alfred Hitchcock, with the stated aim to demonstrate that the so-called “Master of Suspense” was also the greatest filmmaker in the world, not just some cheap entertainer. The resultant book, published in 1966, which came to be known by the shorthand title HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT, made a compelling argument for the British director’s body of work, and has become a classic of film studies, and, as indicated by the participants in Kent Jones’ tribute here, a seminal text for some of today’s master filmmakers, from Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, and Richard Linklater, to Olivier Assayas, Arnaud Desplechin, and Kiyoshi Kurosawa. While offering just enough background on both Hitchcock and Truffaut’s lives and careers up to the point of their legendary interview, Jones generally keeps the focus, like Truffaut’s book does, on Hitchcock’s films. Not an adaptation, and thus not interested in covering each title in his oeuvre, the well-crafted documentary instead continues in the spirit of the book, offering a literate, enthusiastic appreciation of Hitchcock’s timeless classics and of his approach to filmmaking, to inspire a new generation to discover the work and to remind those already Hitch’s fans to revisit old favorites.