By: Shahbaz Khayambashi
Hitchcock/Truffaut is a perfect example of a book-to-film adaptation that has been made to relieve viewers from having to read. It’s a SparkNotes version of the eponymous book, taking bits and pieces of the writing and spacing it out with interviews so movie goers will be distracted from the lack of attention in the production.
Director Kent Jones decides to forgo any substantial research into the lives of the title directors, and neglects to ask any hard questions (such as: why the writers of the Cahiers du Cinema wanted to severely pretend that they were outliers when their words alone turned Hitchcock into an auteur). Instead, Jones opts for hero worship and a tame talking head format with Hollywood directors who shouldn’t be this boring. In the year 2015, Hitchcock/Truffaut (the book) serves no purpose to theory. Auteurism is dead, and most of the interviewed directors (in the film) have nothing new to contribute. If that wasn’t bad enough, those same modern directors spend the last act of the film talking about how awful modern cinema is without a hint of irony.
If you have any interest in blind-watching this doc, exchange your curiosity for a library card. You’re better off just reading the book.
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Shahbaz Khayambashi: @Shakhayam