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Hitchcock-Truffaut doc finds backers

New French-US documentary is based around the interviews conducted by the French film-maker with his British counterpart.

Cohen Media Group, Artline Films and Arte are backing the new French-US feature documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut to be directed by Kent Jones.

The project is to be launched today (Saturday) in a reception at the Unifrance Pavilion.

The film is based around the famous interviews conducted by French filmmaker François Truffaut with legendary British counterpart Alfred Hitchcock in 1962. These formed the basis of Truffaut’s later book Alfred Hitchcock: A Definitive Study (1967). At Hitchcock’s instigation, the interviews were recorded by a sound engineer at Universal.

In total, the interviews lasted around 27 hours.

“It is going to be a film about film-making,” Jones said of the feature doc. “It is about the practice of film-making as a translation of emotion into images.”

Alongside the Hitchcock/Truffaut interview material, the doc will be filled with interviews with contemporary directors reflecting on themes raised by the celebrated by the two filmmakers. Prominent among these will be Martin Scorsese.

“Marty is very excited about it,” Jones said.

Other directors already confirmed include Arnaud Desplechin. “He is so impassioned about Hitchcock and Truffaut – and he speaks more beautifully about Hitchcock almost than anyone I know,” Jones said of him.

Olivier Assayas is also expected to participate.

The film is scripted by Jones and Serge Toubiana (co-author of an acclaimed biography of Truffaut). Jones said there will be “a heavy but pointed” use of clips. The project has been given its blessing by the families of both Hitchcock and Truffaut. The aim is to complete the doc in the next 10 months or so.

Jones revealed that Scorsese is continuing a second “Voyage To Italy” documentary about his love of Italian cinema.

Meanwhile, Jones (a leading critic, archivist, programmed and documentary maker) is also plotting a dramatic feature debut of his own. Titled It Never Entered My Mind, this will be produced by Andrew Fierberg and is likely to shoot in Pittsfield, Massachusetts next year.

It is billed as “a story of a couple and the brother of the husband - and a terrible act that happens between the three of them and how they don’t talk about it.”

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