If you’re a film buff (as I am not), you will want to see Hitchcock/Truffaut, currently playing in Kendall Square, Cambridge. I went with a couple of friends who are film buffs, as I had assumed (correctly) that they would enjoy this documentary about the relationship between two of the most distinguished filmmakers/movie directors in history. I went along because I have liked Hitchcock’s films and Truffaut’s films, so I figured I would learn something and would be entertained.

More the former than the latter, it turned out. There were clips of conversations between the two directors, clips of interviews with other directors who were influenced by the two, and clips from their movies. This documentary clearly has a lot to offer those who are knowledgeable and interested, but I was not the intended audience. For a well-informed and balanced analysis, see the review by Brian Camp on IMdB. Here is a brief excerpt, but read the whole thing:

In many ways, the film plays like excerpts from a master class on Hitchcock’s career. Often we hear Hitchcock’s voice describing how he approached a particular scene as the film shows us the scene he’s talking about. For instance, we see the overhead long shot from THE BIRDS showing the burning of the gas station and the spreading of the fire to the rest of the town while Hitchcock explains his decision to shoot it that way. He describes the trouble he had convincing Montgomery Clift to look up from the crowd in a scene in I CONFESS in order to justify a cut to something happening above the crowd. We see the famous shower murder in PSYCHO while he is heard describing in detail his approach to composing the scene. Some of the interviewees devote this kind of attention as well, as when Scorsese describes the components of the scene in THE WRONG MAN when the wrongfully accused Henry Fonda first adjusts to his prison cell and we see the scene unfold. The most screen time is devoted to VERTIGO and PSYCHO. Not only do we get Hitchcock’s revelations about his working methods and aesthetic decisions on these films, but we get expert commentators such as Scorsese, Bogdanovich, Fincher and Gray.


Categories: Movies & (occasionally) TV