Middleburg Film Fest '15: "Hitchcock/Truffaut" Review

Alfred Hitchcock is a legend in film, but he didn’t start out that way. In fact, not all of his “classic” films that we think of today were box office hits. It was after French director, Francois Truffaut penned the book Hitchcock/Truffaut that his work as an auteur was appreciated on a deeper level. Unfortunately, the film “Hitchcock/Truffaut” doesn’t do much to expand what fans already know from the book.

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Part of the issue with the film is that it’s more of a gushing text message than a love letter to the book/meeting of Hitchcock and Truffaut. Director Kent Jones interviews numerous directors (Martin Scorcese, David Fincher, James Gray, Olivier Assayas, and more) to have them weigh in on Hitchcock’s work as highlighted in the book. In short, it’s a fanboy geek out session which is great for the fan, members of the film community, or newcomers to Hitchcock’s work.

Some of the nice touches of the film come in seeing the photos from Hitchcock and Truffaut’s meeting, hearing some of the audio recording of the interviews, and the way Jones brings them together with footage from the films. It’s as though Hitchcock and Truffaut become one of the talking heads commenting on the film’s footage we’re seeing within the documentary. The voices of the past become voices of the present under Rachel Reichman’s editing.

“Hitchcock/Truffaut” is a must see for any cinemaphile, filmmaker, and Hitchcock fan. If you’re looking for a serious education on the book, their meeting, and their work, the film leaves much to be desired. A love letter would have been nice, but I guess these days a quick text will have to suffice!

Grade: B-

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.