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film review

In 1962, two of the greatest minds in cinema sat down for an intimate and expansive conversation. Based on the original recordings of this meeting used to produce the influential book Hitchcock/Truffaut this film illustrates the greatest cinema lesson of all time and plummets us into the world of the creator of Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo.

In 1962, the young French filmmaker François Truffaut spent a week interviewing his hero, Alfred Hitchcock, and turned the encounter into the seminal film book known in English as Hitchcock/Truffaut. There are only audiotape and a few still photos from the interview, conducted through a translator, so to make a documentary about the project, American critic Kent Jones gets busy with clips from Hitchcock's films, interviews from other directors and a lot of music. In fact, the doc is often too busy as it scurries from Truffaut's quest for a father figure to a deliberation on Hitchcock's art. Jones's thesis is that "Hitchcock had freed Truffaut as an artist and Truffaut wanted to reciprocate by freeing Hitchcock from his reputation as a light entertainer," but mainly the film provides an opportunity for American and French directors (Peter Bogdanovich, Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Olivier Assayas) to analyze Hitchcock's genius themselves. This all-male discussion is fascinating on the topic of the director's visual style., his approach to actors and his Catholicism, but is largely silent about his voyeurism, let alone his misogyny.