AFI FEST Review: A Legendary Conversation Turns into an Uneven Documentary with ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut’

GameStop, Inc.

hitchcock-truffaut-0002

In 1962, François Truffaut was a rising star in the world of cinema. Having written extensively for Cahiers du Cinéma, the legendary French film criticism publication, and directed three features, Truffaut was at the forefront of the French New Wave, which would revitalize cinema in both form and thought. At the same time, however, Alfred Hitchcock was among Hollywood’s most successful filmmakers, though he wasn’t universally revered as a master of the art form. Instead, Hitchcock was seen as a showman that churned out violent crowd-pleasers devoid of substance. While the elder filmmaker was in the process of editing The Birds, François Truffaut and his translator Helen Scott sat with the filmmaker on the Universal Studios lot for a week’s worth of interviews, examining the craft and work of a legendary filmmaker. Years later, Truffaut would publish Hitchcock/Truffaut, which would become a quintessential book about cinema – it still is to this very day.

The conversation between the two filmmakers and the ensuing book is now the subject of a new documentary by Kent Jones, simply titled Hitchcock/Truffaut, which examines the contents of the book as well as its impact on a number of filmmakers. The film features interviews from a number of prominent filmmakers, including Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, and David Fincher. But the resulting film works best when it’s focused on the two directors and their conversations, and falters when it becomes a prolonged video essay with filmmakers dissecting the work of Alfred Hitchcock.

Using archival footage, photos from Phillippe Halsman, private correspondence from both men, and the actual audio conversations, when Jones’ film is focused on these aspects it’s a lively film with a number of good humored moments rising from the dry wit of Hitchcock. Many of these moments are paired with scenes from multiple Hitchcock films, illustrating the veracity of the legendary filmmaker’s technique and obsessions.

At first, the stories from the varied (all male) filmmakers assembled are interesting, but when the film drifts away from the relationship between Hitchcock and Truffaut and examines heavily on Psycho and Vertigo, the film itself kind of drags. It is pretty much just a video essay featuring famous faces. Their insights are much more interesting when it’s of a personal variety and not analyzing why Hitchcock is great.

For those unaware of the Hitchcock/Truffaut book, the film will be a welcome primer into one of the essential film texts, one that sheds light on the filmmaking process and the personality of one cinema’s finest craftsmen. But for those who have scoured the pages of Truffaut’s book, Hitchcock/Truffaut will come across as an entertaining but uneven examination of what made Hitchcock great and what made the book a must-read for cinephiles for decades.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

FanboyNation
Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Lim Kay Siu Talks About His Role as Gyatso in Netflix’s ‘Avatar’

International Star, Lim Kay Siu talks about his role as Gyatso...

Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap’ Season Two – Interview

Legendary Actor, Ernie Hudson Talks ‘Quantum Leap‘ Season Two, 2-Hour Season...

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby’

Morgan Jon Fox Talks About his Card Collecting Documentary ‘The Hobby‘...

Event News Event Reviews
Aiden Sinclair and Michael Rangel Talks ’57 Ghosts’ Aboard the Queen Mary Séance

Aiden Sinclair and Apparitionist, Michael Rangel Discuss their new Theatrical Séance...

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open ‘Slashers Axe Throwing’ – Interview

Luke and Madison Rhoades Open Orange County’s first ever horror themed...

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Ent. Host Immersive Christmas Experiences Across the U.S.

Charity Hill and Steve Sheldon, EPIC Entertainment Group Host Immersive Christmas...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Olympic Runner Colleen Quigley ‘On The Road to Paris’

Team USA Olympic Runner, Colleen Quigley is On The Road to...

Paralympian Swimmer Ahalya Lettenberger On The Road to Paris

Team USA Paralympian Swimmer, Ahalya Lettenberger is On The Road to...

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre – Interview

Ultimate Women of Wrestling Comes to the Globe Theatre on Sunday,...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Pahrump Saga! Back to the story!

Alright you monkeys, back to work!

Fantoy Comics Presents: Valentine’s Special 2024: pt 2

Happy Valentines day, Sugar Beet!

Cultural Junkdrawer: I’m not a Swifty, but…

CULTURAL JUNKDRAWER I‘M not a Taylor Swift fan but…     This...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs & Sketches’ – Interview

Joe Kwaczala Talks About His new Comedy Album ‘Funny Songs &...

Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her Career in the Arts

First Generation Assyrian-Chaldean, Songwriter and Poet, Tamara Mechael Talks About Her...

Louden Swain Headlining Los Angeles Show at The Echo

Press Release – Louden Swain are headlining Los Angeles show at...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League Gameplay Trailer

The first Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League gameplay trailer was revealed during...

Wonder Woman Game
Wonder Woman Game Announced By DC and WB Games

Wonder Woman game will feature the iconic hero in a 3rd...

MultiVersus
MultiVersus brings Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny, and More

MultiVersus is bringing Shaggy, Harley Quinn, Jake, Batman, Arya Stark, Bugs Bunny,...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Gary Morgenstein Talks ‘A Dugout to Peace’ the Final Installment of his Trilogy

Gary Morgenstein Talks About ‘A Dugout to Peace‘ the final installment...

Chris Clews Is ‘Raised on the 80s’ and Shares Those Life Lessons

Chris Clews was ‘Raised on the 80s‘ and Shares Those Life...

Roye Okupe Brings Authentic African Representation to HBO Max and Cartoon Network

Nigerian-American, Roye Okupe brings authentic African representation to HBO Max and...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand Demo

The new ‘Harry Potter: Magic Caster Wand‘ is ready to ship...

Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the ‘Good Flour’

Canadian Super Chef Jen Peters and Matthew Clayton Bring us the...

Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide
Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

The Pop Insider 2021 Holiday Gift Guide is now available to help...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Episode 38: Hamid Rahmanian

Join Whitney Grace as she speaks with artist Hamid Rahmanian, who...

No Preview
Toon-In Talk Episode 37: Niki Smith

Whitney Grace interviews graphic novel writer and artist Niki Smith about...

Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...