The subject matter—the 1962 conversations between directors Alfred Hitchcock and François Truffaut that became a 1966 book, one of the seminal texts of filmmakers talking about their art—offers so many fascinating avenues for exploration that it’s not too much of a problem that director Kent Jones samples from all of them without ever really finding a single focus. Jones effectively sets up the context of the Cahiers du Cinéma writers who were championing American genre filmmakers like Hitchcock, and makes use of his access to the original audio recordings of the Hitchcock/Truffaut interviews to add some spark to the nuts-and-bolts explorations of directing movies. Occasionally, it feels like a cinematic adaptation of the book, offering shot-by-shot breakdowns of some of Hitchcock’s greatest work, which tends to shove the context for the book’s creation—and the subsequent professional friendship between the two men—into the background. But with plenty of commentary from present-day directors like Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese and James Gray, Jones smartly conveys the significance of this text in the history of movie-making being taken seriously as an art form.
Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Hitchcock/Truffaut