Philippe Halsman/Courtesy of Cohen Media Group
Chris Nashawaty
December 01, 2015 AT 09:48 PM EST

Hitchcock/Truffaut

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
80 minutes
Wide Release Date
12/04/15
director
Kent Jones
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A-

In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock sat for a week of interviews in Los Angeles with the fast-rising French New Wave director Francois Truffaut. The idea was that these two men who lived and breathed cinema would discuss and dissect the Master of Suspense’s movies. The playful and penetrating transcripts of those conversations were published in a 1966 book that would quickly become a sort of gospel for films buffs. Fifty years later, it still is. Now Hitchcock and Truffaut’s historic summit is the subject of this documentary from Kent Jones, who’s also directed lively docs about Elia Kazan and Val Lewton. It’s a terrific primer on an important slice of film history. Narrated by Bob Balaban and featuring insightful testimonials from David Fincher, Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, and of course, Martin Scorsese, Hitchcock/Truffaut is clearly interested in polishing the reputations of its two subjects (as if they needed polishing at this point), but Jones is also quick to point out how much both men had to gain from their conversations — especially Hitch who perhaps saw these chats as an opportunity to boost his reputation from popular entertainer to artiste with the help of his sympathetic interlocutor. It goes without saying that Jones’ well-curated clips from Psycho, The Birds, and Vertigo (which David Fincher admits loving for its total perversion) are pure gold no matter how many times you’ve seen them. But the best part is getting to hear both men talk about their art in exhaustive, almost fetishistic detail. If you’re a classic movie buff, this is a must-see. A-

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