When critic-turned-director François Truffaut turned an exhaustive interview he’d conducted with Alfred Hitchcock into a book, it was greeted as an eye-opening achievement. But even Truffaut probably had no idea quite how influential Hitchcock’s notion of ‘pure cinema’ would become.
Fifty years on, critic, programmer and documentarist Jones has drawn on filmmaker friends and acquaintances – from Wes Anderson to Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Richard Linklater to Olivier Assayas – to join in testifying to the enduring import both of that historic dialogue and of a towering body of work. Copious clips from Hitchcock’s films and from the interview itself alternate with an array of uncommonly articulate talking heads, discussing first the cultural significance of the conversation, then the nitty-gritty of what was so special about Hitchcock’s aesthetic: Martin Scorsese and David Fincher, referencing the treatment of time and space in Vertigo and Psycho, prove especially rewarding. Film encounters of a most invigorating kind.