ñDOCS D: Kent Jones. U. S./France. 80 min. Sep 10, 6:30 pm Scotiabank 14; Sep 11, 11:30 am Jackman Hall (AGO); Sep 19, 9:45 pm TIFF Bell Lightbox 2. Rating: NNNN Soon after The Birds was completed in 1964, François Tru faut sat down with Alfred Hitchcock to discuss the master of suspense’s ilmography. Jones uses footage of their week-long encounter as the basis for a riveting documentary that captures the personalities of the two men, as well as the impact Tru faut’s subsequent book on Hitchcock’s ilms, had on other ilmmakers. (Martin Scorsese found the book “revolutionary,” and for Olivier Assayas it was “essential.”)
The doc o fers up the unique experience of rediscovering Hitchcock through the perceptive and eloquent voice of Tru faut and being in the same room with two masters of cinema as Hitchcock unspools a seemingly endless stream of bon mots.
SP D: Natalie Portman. Israel/U.S. 97 min. Sep 10, 7 pm Winter Garden; Sep 11, 9:45 am Bloor Hot Docs Cinema; Sep 20, 9:30 am Isabel Bader. Rating: NNN A vignette-laden biopic based on Israeli writer Amos Oz’s autobiographical novel, Portman’s a fectionate portrait of the artist as a young boy verges on hagiography.
Her own performance as Oz’s loving mother is the real thing, though, a compassionate character who was also a romantic fantasist, and she fully brings it to life. The ilm is illed with voice-overs from Oz’s book. The description of how he learned to consider the meaning and connectivity of words from his austere father while life lessons came from his mother may be poetic, but it’s not cinematic.
Still, there’s much to admire in this irst feature set in 1947, a pivotal moment in Israel’s history, when Oz’s leftist humanism was also taking shape.
Natalie Portman directs and stars in A Tale Of Love And Darkness.