Hitchcock/Truffaut – Film Review by Frank L.
Directed by Kent Jones
Writers: Kent Jones, Serge Toubiana
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Wes Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich
Alfred Hitchcock was born at the end of the nineteenth century in 1899. In the twentieth century he became a master of the new form of entertainment and artistic expression namely film for the big screen. In the hundred of thousands of newly built cinemas, it became the new form of entertainment for millions of people. Hitchcock was always recognised as a master in this world as an entertainer. However in 1966 he was interviewed by Francois Truffaut who was to become a star of the next generation of film makers, and he considered Hitchcock not only to be a great entertainer but a great artist. Truffaut was only 34 years old, a film reviewer and at the beginning of his own remarkable career as a film director. The interviews lasted some fifty hours. Arising out of these interviews a seminal book on cinema was published in 1966 entitled “Hitchcock/Truffaut” which placed Hitchcock not only as a giant as an entertainer but as an artist of the first rank. Hitchcock’s reputation has ever since continued to grow where he is now considered by many to be the greatest film director ever.
Kent Jones in this evocative ninety minute homage to Hitchcock uses excerpts from the films particularly Psycho and Vertigo and from the Truffaut interviews to tell the story of Hitchcock’s genius. However it is not only Francois Truffaut who could see the enormity of Hitchcock’s achievements. Jones has excerpts from contemporary interviews with Scorsese, Schrader and Bogdanovich and younger masters David Fincher, Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson and James Gray. Each emphasises a different aspect of Hitchcock’s skill and genius. Jones concentrates on Hitchcock’s attention to detail in all aspects of the complexity of making a film. His complete command of it all. These successors to Hitchcock talk about him as a film maker who inspired them. Jones has throughout this documentary as the central core the ability of Hitchcock to make a great movie. It is a movie which extols the pursuit of excellence; it is a movie which proclaims the work of a great artist. It is a movie which is a further tribute to the achievement of Alfred Hitchcock.