Friday, 11 March 2016

REVIEW - HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT (KENT JONES)


When an old text, set for adaptation to the screen, has maintained its relevance, its vitality, its healthy stock of inspiration over the years since its creation, the temptation is often to produce a dry, straightforward adaptation. Not so with Hitchcock/Truffaut, a film already suffused with the history of cinema, and intent upon dwelling on that past only as tribute, and as its own source of inspiration for the future. A discussion between two of the all-time great filmmakers was enough for Francois Truffaut's book, and enough for today's filmmakers, who appear here in impressive number to proffer their interpretations of it. Their contributions are enough for director Kent Jones, when added to the material from the book, thereby securing the theory established by Truffaut and his brethren that Alfred Hitchcock's mastery was unrivalled, his influence undying. Hitchcock/Truffaut the film is thus immensely engrossing, expounding upon the technique of the former director in a level of detail that the book could never hope to achieve (and with yet further analysis, courtesy of informed voices like Olivier Assayas, David Fincher and Kurosawa Kiyoshi), and too upon the technique of the latter. Jones appreciates both the essentiality of his source text and the inadequacy of it through a dry, straightforward adaptation - in commenting upon both its contents and its creation, he creates his own text for tomorrow's crop of cinephiles. Not only enlightening, Hitchcock/Truffaut is also most entertaining, as editor Rachel Reichman selects the choicest cuts from Hitchcock's back catalogue, shaping a new work out of old ones, both for analytical and pleasurable purposes. This year, Hitchcock/Truffaut turns 50; here's to 50 years from now, and the ever-enduring legacy of true genius.