Synopsis: Filmmakers discuss how Francois Truffaut’s 1966 book “Cinema According to Hitchcock” influenced their work.
Director: Kent Jones
It is a documentary based on the book of the same name, originally published in 1966. The book was essentially a transcript of a week-long interview/conversation between directors Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut.
This documentary is mostly about Hitchcock, and at times it feels that the book simply serves as an excuse to examine Hitchcock. But we admittedly also get a clear understanding as to why the book was much more than just a book for Truffaut and that it was as important as any film he made. While Hitchcock’s entire career is looked at (including the very early days), the documentary spends more time on two Hitchcock films than any other: Vertigo and Psycho.
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.
If you are a movie aficionado, you are in for a finger-lickin’ good time, as two of the giants in movie history dissect Hitchcock’s oeuvre in a manner that we have not seen before, and along the way we also get a fresh and better understanding of Truffaut’s work.