Last Friday attended a Musso & Frank luncheon for Kent Jones‘ Hitchcock/Truffaut (Cohen Media, 12.2), which is vying, naturally, for a Best Feature Documentary nomination. Which it fully deserves. Just as I fully deserve to eat free food occasionally. (Actually that analogy doesn’t work — scratch that.) Jones’ doc is as good and scholarly and reverential as films of this sort get. If you don’t know your Hitchcock, you will after seeing it.
I first saw Hitchcock/Truffaut in Paris last May, a week prior to its 5.19 Cannes Film Festival debut. I called it “a sublime turn-on — a deft educational primer about the work and life of Alfred Hitchcock and, not quite equally but appreciably, Francois Truffaut. Efficient, well-ordered, devotional.”
(l.) Kent Jones, director and co-writer (with Serge Toubiana) of Hitchcock/Truffaut as well as the top programming dog at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and (r.) Cohen Media’s Daniel Battsek at Musso & Frank — Friday, 11.6, 1:40 pm.
Kent was his usual cool, erudite, laid-back self. Dressed in a Stanley Kubrick-like dark blue suit.
I asked him again about getting screen-capture images of some Psycho images of Hitch shooting the Phoenix hotel room scene (Janet Leigh, John Gavin) — images I’d never seen before. Apparently they’re under some kind of copyright lock and key or whatever. Jones had nothing to tell me about these images last May, and he still doesn’t. I’ll never see these images up-close.
Hitchcock/Truffaut “didn’t tell me anything about Hitchcock or his many films or Truffaut’s renowned ‘Hitchcock/Truffaut‘ book (a feature-length q & a interspersed with frame captures from Hitch’s films) that I didn’t already know, but that’s okay — almost every detail of the book’s material was absorbed into my system decades ago.
“The bounce, if you will, comes from the talking heads — David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Olivier Assayas, Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater, James Gray, Arnaud Depleschin, one or two others — each enthused and semi-aglow in their own way. Memories, associations, gratitude.
“To me Hitchcock/Truffaut seems good and wise enough to seduce the novice as well as the sophisticated cineaste. It’s a fully absorbing, excellent education. As you might expect, it made me want to read the book all over again.”
I decided to order some real Musso & Frank food — a nice steak, mashed potatoes, cheesecake, etc. You would die if you ate this stuff any more than once or twice a year. But it was nice while it lasted.
Jones, Battsek, publicist Bruce Feldman.