About a week ago Film Detail‘s Ambrose Heron began posting a series of 25 mp3 recordings containing about twelve hours‘ worth of the original interview tapes between Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut that were recorded in 1962, and later used as the basis for Hitchcock/Truffaut, the definitive “Hitchcock speaks” book that every film buff in the world has read.
Truffaut’s English was fairly nonexistent so he hired Helen Scott (of Manhattan’s French Film Office) to act as translator. It’s quite irritating to listen to, frankly, with Scott, looking to keep pace with both, constantly talking over (i.e., concurrent with) Hitchcock and Truffaut as they listen to and answer each other. Listen to the embedded recording above and you’ll realize it’s a wonder that Hitchcock was able to stand it for so many hours. He had to listen to sentence fragments and then reply in sentence fragments while Scott spoke French at the same time. I understand why, of course — it would have taken much longer if she hadn’t. But what a process.
I was just thinking how cool it would be if Ambrose Heron’s last name was Chapel.