Two artists from two different generations and two different cultures come together to share, discuss and free each other to celebrate an art form they both love and live for. While François Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock were not in the same league as filmmakers when they met – Truffaut being 30 years younger than Hitchcock – the one thing they bring to each other is admiration and respect.
Hitchcock/Truffaut is a documentary that traces the years that led up to the writing of one of the most famous interview books in Western cinematic history. When François Truffaut, a 30-something French filmmaker, wrote a letter to the giant of American cinema Alfred Hitchcock requesting him for an interview, who knew what this meeting would bring to the world? Truffaut/Hitchcock is a must-read and must-see for anyone who loves or is passionate about the medium.
The documentary brings together filmmakers from the United States, France and even Asia (David Fincher, Richard Linklater, Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assays, Wes Anderson et al.), as they discuss the genius that was Hitchcock and his discussions with Truffaut. While the film attempts to somewhat parallel the two and what Truffaut really learnt from the master, it does remain true to being a voyeur to Hitchcock’s work and his relevance to the period of cinema, when it went through a great transformation.
Alfred Hitchcock was a master filmmaker who was tasked with directing a film when he was only 21. That was the first time he got behind the camera and he never looked back for the next sixty years. He made classics that gave cinema its language, structure and form. Hitchcock’s contribution to cinema is unparalleled, but through Truffaut questions/comparisons we get to peek into the inner workings of this solitary artist who never compromised with anything when it came to his filmmaking.
With considerable access to archival footage and interviews with a range of contemporary filmmakers, director Kent Jones gives us a great snapshot into the life and craft of Alfred Hitchcock, seen through the eyes of Francois Truffaut. Without a doubt, I recommend owning the book as one of the best learning tools that I have read in my years as a student of cinema.
Cinema du Parc is hosting a month long Hitchcockian retrospective in 15 films from December 4, 2015 – January 7, 2016. With the best of Hitchcock’s work from the 50s and 60s returning to the big screen, this festival is surely not something you should miss.
This film Hitchcock/Truffaut will be screening tonight at 6:30 at Cinema du Parc, followed by a discussion.