Kent Jones has made a gripping documentary in Hitchcock/Truffaut. That’s some achievement because it’s basically a film about a meeting, or an interview at least.
It happens to be a very famous interview, though, done in 1962 and the book based on the interviews eventually became one of the touchstones of film journalism and criticism.
In his doc, Kent has access to the 27 hours of audio tapes, in which Hitchcock talks Truffaut, via a translator (Helen Scott), through all his movies. Wisely, Kent decides to only use fraction of the audio and defers to a stellar line up of film makers for their opinions – Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, James Gray, Richard Linklater, Olivier Assayas, Arnaud Desplechin and David Fincher. All of them are excellent contributors.
But the main fun is in watching some superbly chosen Hitchcock clips and sequences (as well as some good Truffaut ones) and being talked through them, by the master himself, or by some other great directors. The resulting film is fun and informative, for experts or the uninitiated.
I sat down with Kent Jones, programmer of the New York Film Festival in his other job, to discuss how he made it.