The idea of Alfred Hitchcock as anything but a master of cinema is foreign to film lovers in 2016. And yet once upon a time, the Master of Suspense was looked down upon as a mere ‘entertainer’. A big moment in changing that perception was the publishing of Hitchcock/Truffaut, a book that saw François Truffaut chart his conversations with Hitchcock as they explored his filmography and has since become a guide to filmmakers the world over.
A lot of whom pop up in this documentary, which boasts one hell of a collection of talking heads. From Scorsese to Linklater and from Kurosawa to Fincher, these are filmmakers who know what they are talking about and are without exception, delightfully enthusiastic to talk about Hitch.
Which is what this film really is, a discussion about Hitchcock and his place in the canon of cinema. The interview is more of a starting point, a framework for them to work around and use to discuss the great man’s work. Which in some ways is a shame, there are a million pieces of work already dedicated to that subject, including the very book this film takes its cue from, and more of a focus on Truffaut may have allowed it to stand out from that.
Despite that, this is still a joy to watch. If nothing else it is filmmakers talking about films they love and that is always a pleasure. The snippets of the original interviews and the look into the lives of both of these men is enough to make this essential for any cinephile.