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Hitchcock by François Truffaut
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» See also 28 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Am reading in and out of this book in preparation for a film course. ( )
  paakre | Apr 27, 2013 |
Interesting and informative discussion sessions with Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock. There are a few humorous moments but I wouldn't exactly call this a fun read. It can be dry reading at times especially in the beginning and when they engage in technical talk.

The book is divided into sections covering different periods of Hitchcock's career. You get a little insight -- not a lot -- into some of Hitchcock's methods and thought processes. There are bits of information on just about all of Hitchcock's films -- certainly the better known ones -- ranging from casting choices to production anecdotes to film techniques and even Hitchcock's personal opinion as to why a particular film did or didn't work for the audience.

I particularly liked when the discussion went to casting choices. In many cases (mostly some of his less successful later films) Hitchcock did not get the people he wanted in major roles and he discusses why he believes some of these actors and actresses simply did fit the role. This is done in a matter of fact way, not in a gossipy or snide manner.

Truffaut as interviewer (and obvious fan) seems to want to turn everything into a pontification on symbolism and the deeper meanings of everything. That can get wearying at times.

If you're a even a casual fan of Mr. Hitchcock and his films you're almost certain to get something useful out of this book. If you are a devotee of the master I can almost guarantee you'll love it. ( )
  Mike-L | Apr 8, 2013 |
Film director Mat Whitecross has chosen to discuss François Truffaut’s Hitchcock: the definitive study of Alfred Hitchcock, on  FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject – Film Directing, saying that: 


“…Hitchcock is a great artist, but he hides his art behind these thrillers. So hearing Truffaut, who is another one of my favourite directors, talking to Hitchcock and having this conversation where they start to talk about his career in terms of art, rather than just entertainment, is fascinating. It is one of the best books on film ever written..…”. 



The full interview is available here: http://thebrowser.com/books/interviews/mat-whitecross ( )
  FiveBooks | Mar 1, 2010 |
Truffaut's book-length interview with Hitchcock, while a fascinating self-examination of the director's career, succeeds far more in its exploration of the technical details of Hitchcock's work than the underlying meaning of the works.

Hitchcock is surprisingly candid here, often telling lengthy tales with minimal provocation from Truffaut, whose questions tend to guide the discussion more than it directs them.

Truffaut's own interjections, which attempt to elucidate a deeper significance to particular shots, are often trivialized by Hitchcock, who lets the Frenchman theorize but never certainly agrees or disagrees. At moments when Truffaut gets insistent on these points, the exchange tends to feel uncomfortable, but fortunately these subside quickly.

The truly inspired moments are those when Hitchcock relishes in divulging details of trick-shots and complex scenes, such as the infamous shower scene from Psycho. During these sequences, Hitch's technical wizardry shines and we see that his true skills lie in the creation, not the interpretation, of what we see on screen. It's a refreshing and informative perspective.

If nothing else, the book reveals two great cinematic minds engaging each other with a depth and respect that seems unfortunately old-fashioned but is nonetheless remarkable. Certainly a must-read for Hitchcock fans and film buffs alike.
1 vote dczapka | Apr 15, 2008 |
A series of interviews with Hitchcock by one of his greatest fans: the director Francois Truffaut. The organization is chronological, and most of Hitch's films are covered. Hitchcock provides extensive personal and technical details about each one. The book includes many excellent photographs which make even Hitch's lesser efforts look interesting. ( )
  fernald | Jan 22, 2008 |
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François Truffautprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Truffaut, Françoismain authorall editionsconfirmed
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It all began when we broke the ice. (Introduction)
FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT. Mr. Hitchcock, you were born in London on August 13, 1899.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671604295, Paperback)

Any book-length interview with Alfred Hitchcock is valuable, but considering that this volume's interlocutor is François Truffaut, the conversation is remarkable indeed. Here is a rare opportunity to eavesdrop on two cinematic masters from very different backgrounds as they cover each of Hitch's films in succession. Though this book was initially published in 1967 when Hitchcock was still active, Truffaut later prepared a revised edition that covered the final stages of his career. It's difficult to think of a more informative or entertaining introduction to Hitchcock's art, interests, and peculiar sense of humor. The book is a storehouse of insight and witticism, including the master's impressions of a classic like Rear Window ("I was feeling very creative at the time, the batteries were well charged"), his technical insight into Psycho's shower scene ("the knife never touched the body; it was all done in the [editing]"), and his ruminations on flops such as Under Capricorn ("If I were to make another picture in Australia today, I'd have a policeman hop into the pocket of a kangaroo and yell 'Follow that car!'"). This is one of the most delightful film books in print. --Raphael Shargel

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:55 -0400)

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