Masterclass by the book
TWO of the most influential film directors in history with vastly different styles got together for a week-long chinwag about a shared interest: movies.
The master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock and young European art-house sweetheart Francois Truffaut were both in their prime but mainly covered Hitchcock’s influential career to that point in 1962; a career that continues to influence.
The conversation became the contents of the 1966 book Hitchcock/Truffaut, which in turn became the movie-making bible for generations of filmmakers.
Hitchcock/Truffaut the documentary, which contains excerpts of the audio-recorded conversations and interviews with contemporary directors such as David Fincher and Wes Anderson, plays like something that would be screened in a film course lecture.
Simple, straightforward and at times extremely dry, it leaves us wanting more, with the juiciest stuff left off the record (at least twice Hitchcock asks the recording device be turned off).
It builds a mystery that is never satisfied.
There is plenty of insight into Hitchcock’s work and his theories on storytelling that would serve budding filmmakers, though one would suspect none of this is new for those who have already devoured the book.
It works nicely as a love letter to both directors and the art of film and storytelling that any movie buff would not mind indulging in.
Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut.