Truffaut or Hitchcock? How about both. Kent Jones’ Hitchcock/Truffaut, premiering in Cannes Classics and sold by Cohen Media Group, will be a must see for any true cinephile in Cannes.
The film is inspired by Truffaut’s classic 1966 book Cinema According To Hitchcock, and goes behind the scenes of the epic 27 hours of audio recordings of the two great directors. Also, filmmakers from Wes Anderson and David Fincher to Martin Scorsese and Arnaud Desplechin talk about how influential the book has been to their lives and careers.
Jones, the director of the New York Film Festival, co-wrote the film with Serge Toubiana, director of Cinematheque Francaise.
Jones first read the book when he was 12, and said yes immediately when he was asked to take over the project.
“I decided very early that I didn’t want to have interviews with experts or actors, I juts wanted filmmakers because it’s a passionate book about filmmaking.
Showing clips of the masters’ films was essential. “With Hitchcock and Truffaut, here are two people who are reticent about expressing themselves emotionally through conversation, they do it through their films. In certain cases. I wanted to concentrate on films like Vertigo and Psycho. With every part of the film I saw where people’s passion lay.”
At the time of the interviews, Hitchcock looking for validation in a period when the US critics didn’t rate him as an artist; Truffaut looking for a father figure and willing to give up several years in his directing prime to write this book.
The dynamic between the two great filmmakers was what made the possibility for a documentary viable. “If it were just about one of them it wouldn’t be an interesting film,” Jones says. “The encounter between the two of them is the core of the movie, and what they gave to each other.”