In 1961, François Truffaut sat down in a Hollywood hotel room with Alfred Hitchcock for a week-long chat about Hitchcock’s films. That series of interviews became the landmark book Hitchcock/Truffaut. It came out at a time when American critics dismissed Hitchcock as a genre director, nothing more. He could make a very good suspense picture, but those type of things were beneath people who took cinema seriously as an art form. The French New Wave, led by Truffaut, saw Hitchcock for what he was - a true auteur. That book went a long way to convincing everybody else of that truth.
I’ve read the book once all the way through and pick it up every time I watch a Hitchcock film. It is an absolute must-have for any Hitchcock fan and anybody interested in the art and craftsmanship of making movies. The interviews were recorded and parts of them are often included in home video releases of Hitchcock films.
Those recordings, along with the book, are the basis for the new documentary by Kent Jones, Hitchcock/Truffaut. Along with clips of the actual interviews, Jones has interwoven new interviews with directors who were inspired by the book including Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Richard Linklater, and Martin Scorsese.
Over the last couple of weeks, my wife and I have been watching Hitchcock films during my lunch break. Though I’ve seen some of those films many times, they continue to keep me enthralled. He was a true master and artist. I adore both Hitchock, Truffaut, and that book of interviews. I’m really excited to watch this documentary and am happy to make it my Pick of the Week.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
Sully: Tom Hanks plays Captain Sully, the pilot who glided his disabled plane into the Hudson River in 2009, saving over 100 people's lives. Honestly, I didn’t pay all that much attention to the story after it happened other than noting it was a pretty incredible bit of flying. But this film from Clint Eastwood and also starring Anna Gunn, Laura Linney, and Aaron Eckhart looks really good.
Hellraiser: The Scarlet Box: Arrow has put together another nice-looking boxed set. This time they’ve bundled the first three Hellraiser films with their usual set of excellent extras.
31: Rob Zombie directed this horror thriller about five random people kidnapped and forced to play a deadly game called "31." As it's a Zombie film, I don’t expect it to make much sense (or be all that good) but it should be fun.
The Magnificent Seven: Remake of the really rather good 1960 film of the same name, which itself was a remake of the absolutely incredible 1954 film Seven Samurai. Though this one stars Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, and Vincent D’Onofrio, I’ve not been able to figure out why I’d watch it over the originals.
Storks: Animated film from Warner Brothers where storks are no longer in the baby-delivering business but rather work for Cornerstore.com bringing you regular packages you ordered online. Stars Andy Samberg, Keegan-Michael Key, Kelsey Grammar, Jennifer Aniston, and Jordan Peele. Looks like light entertainment that I’ll likely watch with my daughter when it hits Netflix.