While it’s not much more than a celebration of two cinematic giants, Hitchcock/Truffaut does a decent enough job at teasing out the details of one of the more important interviews ever conducted in the history of film. With a gang of filmmakers ranging from the usual (Bogdanovich, Schrader and Scorsese) to the younger generation (Assayas, Fincher, Linklater) fleshing out their own love of Hitch, we get clips and insights into some of the greatest hits from Hitch’s career.
The interview itself takes a back seat for a big chunk of the film, making manifest the challenge in bringing the deep insights and musings elicited during the chat to the big screen. We get the usual tidbits about how important Alma is, we hear the quote about how cast are like cattle and so on. What we don’t get is truly deep examination of the myth-making going on at that stage of his career, and are teased mercilessly by some “off the record” moments when the tape was turned off.
It also probably would have behooved the filmmakers who were providing their own thoughts on the master to perhaps elicit the opinion of a female filmmaker, as the representation of women becomes a central focus of part of the running time. Director Kent Jones has worked with Scorsese before, and one can’t begrudge him just having the maestro pontificate about Hitchcock’s cinema. This isn’t supposed to be that movie, and thus it feels a bit week in the grand scheme of things.
As a tease for those getting into Hitchcock it’s serviceable, but it’s hardly a definitive take of either Hitch or the remarkable conversation he had with one of the scions of the Nouvelle Vague.