Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2015 2:57 am 
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A must for any Hitchcock-fancier's library

This is a celebration and discussion of François Truffaut's famous week-long series of interviews with Alfred Hitchcock and subsequent book, emphasizing reactions of some notable current directors and briefly noting the life-long friendship between Hitch and Truffaut that resulted. There are detailed discussions/analyses of Scottie's unnatural obsession with Judy in Vertigo and the intentional betrayal of audience expectation in Psycho. The filmmakers we hear from are:

Wes Anderson
Olivier Assayas
Peter Bogdonovitch
Arnaud Desplechin
David Fincher
James Gray
Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Richard Linklater
David Fincher
Martin Scorsese

Anyone must admit this is an impressive list, and as presented here they speak wisely and cogently. The narrator linking segments is Bob Balaban. A major purpose of the film of course is to illustrate visually everything that is said, whether by the subjects or the commentators, with clips of Hitch and Truffaut with the interpreter, Helen Scott, and of the techniques and specific films mentioned by them or the commentators.

So this is a very valuable little film, elegantly executed, that is both an opening up or visualization of the interviews/book and a demonstration of how important they have turned out to be to directors who came after, perhaps more so than you may have realized. The only "criticism" of the film is that it cannot replace but only supplement the book -- and, best of all, if you have the time, the actual interviews, recordings of which are accessible to us (I've linked to them previously; find that HERE). Or consider this an appetizer, introduction, or reminder to go back and watch Hitchcock movies again (and study the book and the tapes again).

This film debuted at Cannes May 2015; also shown in nine other international festivals including Telluride, Toronto, Chicago, and London. Not shown at the New York Film Festival perhaps because that might seem inappropriately incestuous, since Kent Jones, the filmmaker, is the director of the NYFF. US theatrical release begins 2 Dec. 2015 (Film Forum and Lincoln Plaza NYC), 4 Dec. Los Angeles. Showing at major US markets and at Landmark theaters in the Bay Area briefly starting 11 Dec. Screened as part of the London Film Festival 17 Oct. 2015. US theatrical release 4 Dec. 2015, UK 4 Mar. 2016.

©Chris Knipp. Blog:

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