El cine según Hitchcock

ISBN: 8420638560
ISBN 13: 9788420638560
By: François Truffaut

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About this book

Un libro tan clásico como extraño en la bibliografía sobre el séptimo arte es “El cine según Hitchcock”, de François Truffaut. Y es extraño porque muestra a un director de cine hablando con gran claridad y coherencia sobre su propia obra. Pensemos que, en el momento de producirse las entrevistas en que se basa en libro (finales de los años 60), Hitchcock aún estaba en activo, por lo que no se trata de hacer una retrospectiva autocomplaciente de una obra cerrada y finiquitada.El libro nace de la cinefilia francesa. Lo bueno que tiene la “Nouvelle vague” es que sus integrantes –Truffaut, Godard, Chabrol, Rohmer y un largo etcétera- eran críticos de cine, teóricos que decidieron llevar a la práctica sus ideas. Truffaut es un gran entrevistador porque no es pedante (aquí se ve su vertiente de cronista) ni tampoco un ignorante que pregunta sin conocimiento de causa: el diálogo que se establece en “El cine según Hitchcock” es tan convincente que uno acaba el libro convencido de que la teoría de Hitchcock es la única válida para hacer películas.

Reader's Thoughts


One of the essential books for film lovers, and the essential book for Hitchcock admirers. In a book length interview conducted by New Wave critic and director Francois Truffaut, Hitchcock's entire career is discussed and analyzed. Discussions of technique and intentions are fascinating.This also works on a purely literary level, contrasting the magisterial yet jokey voice of Hitchcock with the business-like, humorless Truffaut.Copiously illustrated. Essential

David Rain

There’s a brilliant moment in Truffaut’s introduction in which he explains why suspense, far from being a mere trick or incidental effect, is in fact of the essence of cinema, indeed, of narrative itself: “Suspense is simply the dramatisation of a film’s narrative material, or, if you will, the most intense presentation possible of dramatic situations.” Which is one reason, perhaps, why Hitchcock, the wonderfully perverse genius behind Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, The Birds and a host of other classics, was the definitive film director; and this long, large-format, lavishly-illustrated book is the ultimate celebration in book form of his life and work. Distilled from over fifty hours of taped interviews with Hitchcock, this sustained dialogue between two great directors is required reading for anyone interested in film, and anyone interested in storytelling too. You won’t learn everything about Hitchcock here; you should also read Donald Spoto’s biography, The Dark Side of Genius (1982), for a start. But it’s notable just how many of the best Hitchcock quotes in Spoto come straight from the Truffaut book. The first English-language edition, from 1967, is worth getting hold of, if you can find a copy, because it’s a beautifully designed book. But for content, it’s the 1983 update which is best, featuring additional interviews recorded after 1967, as well as Truffaut’s reflections on Hitchcock’s final years.


This was such a fascinating read, and worked brilliantly as a conversation between one fantastic director to another. It was so interesting to hear not only about the ins and outs of each of Hitchcock's films, but to hear his own personal story, what he thought and how he thought. There are so many themes and tropes analysed and discussed and its refreshing to hear them.I haven't read every single page due to not seeing every single Hitchcock film, but I devoured the pages discussing films that I have watched and become a fan of. A must read for any Hitchcock fan.

Alden Weer

Todo bien, pero no entiendo por qué todo el mundo considera éste un libro fundamental sobre el cine. Parece ser uno de esos libros de cabecera de los comunicadores/periodistas que se quieren convertir en críticos de cine. El libro es básicamente una entrevista larga a Hitchcock (realizada por un Truffaut que se muestra tan chupamedias como cualquier 'buen' entrevistador), en la que se tratan detalles de todas sus películas. Si sos fan de Alfred o al menos viste la mayoría de su obra, creo que es una lectura entretenida e interesante. Si no, leer sobre decisiones como por qué decidió mostrar o editar algo o desde qué ángulo sin conocer el contexto puede resultar futil y medio aburrido. Pero por sobre todas las cosas me parece un libro chato: no es sobre el cine, es sobre un solo tipo de cine, el de Hitchcock. Nunca habla sobre otros directores, y parece no haber visto a ninguno. Y capaz esto me pasó a mí solo, pero después de haber leído la mitad, sentía que ya conocía su visión o forma de encarar al cine, y ya seguir leyendo sobre sus decisiones me parecía redundante.Creo que mayormente se lo recomiendo a fans de Hitchcock o gente que quiera copiarlo.


Es el diálogo entre dos grandes personalidades de la historia del cine. Una de ellas, Trufaut, es representativa de la escuela más ombliguista y autoril del cine europeo. La otra, Hitchcock, un bastión de Hollywood como factoría de historias y que, durante muchos tiempos, fue denostado por el público más culterano y pretencioso. Su encuentro, desde el respeto y la admiración mutua, se traduce en una conversación de varios días en las que se aprende sobre narrativa cinematográfica más que viendo todas las tertulias del programa de Garci. Imprescindible para quien esté interesado en el cine.

Kyle Sullivan

I just reread this book, because it shifted my focus from being an artist to being a filmmaker (and now writer), and I'm not overstating. I was making a living designing and building backdrops for visual merchandising and doing display windows in San Antonio, as well as commissioned works of art, when I found an early edition of Truffaut's interview with Hitchcock and got my first idea of how films were made. In fact, this book should be a primer for all film classes; once you've read it, you've got a good foundation in how to make a movie.Now I'm not talking about the technical aspects of moviemaking -- lighting, sound, working with today's actors unlike yesterdays stars (who weren't really all that less difficult to deal with), things like that. I mean the visual needs and limitations of telling a story on film. Hitchcock and Truffaut do a lot of commenting on how to use images to forward the story and how much more important that in in this medium...and how you can trick the audience but you cannot lie to them.For instance, when he made "Sabotage" in 1936, Hitch has an anarchist give an innocent boy a bomb to carry to another location. The kid thinks it's just a reel of film in a movie canister. The bomb is set to go off at 1pm, during a parade, but the boy's delayed. He gets on a bus to make up time, sits next to a nice old lady and a puppy and plays with it. But the bus is caught in traffic (due to that parade) and the suspense builds and builds and builds until the bomb goes off, killing everyone on the bus. It's a horrifying reminder of what terrorism is all about.The audience was furious and the movie was a flop. Why? Because he'd ostensibly offered up a piece of fun entertainment and then, without warning, shoved the audience's face in the brutality of life. You don't tell someone you'll give them a kiss...then punch them in the face and assume they will accept that. I've seen other movies make this same mistake, and even though they're fine films they crash and burn with the moviegoers. Hitchcock would still toy with the audience's emotions in movies like "Vertigo" (which hurt its box office but not its standing as a work of art) and "Psycho" (where he was a bit more careful in leading up to the famous shower sequence), but he never flat-out lied to them, again.But then, Hitchcock knew film was an odd art form that didn't have the full freedom of true art and shouldn't be taken too seriously. Too many people were involved in its creation, and the audience is too important a part of the final result. This book backs up his assertions about that. His famous quote, in fact, is -- "It's only a movie." But by the time you've finished reading this extended version of the first edition of the book, you'll see that the medium is also one that is fit for artists who truly understand it. Reading this book will help them find that understanding.


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.

Mohamed Elmasry

_ من أهم الكُتب السينمائية اللي قريتها في حياتي، ومن أهم تَجارب القراءة اللي مرَّت عليَّ خلال العامين الأخيرين، وفي آخره.. بيتحوَّل بشكل مُدهش لمرثيَّة عَظيمة عن العَجَز والشيخوخة- أهميته السينمائية: إن من أكتر الحاجات اللي بتعلّم بشأن السينما هو رؤية صناع الأفلام وهما بيحكوا عن أفلامهم، كان بيفكَّر في إيه لما صور المَشهد الفلاني، أو خده بالزاوية الفلانية، ليه قطع القطعة دي هِنا، هيتشكوك شخص غني جداً بالقيمة، الطريقة اللي طوَّر بيها السينما وكان بيكتشفها، في مُقابل حِفاظه الدائم على خط موصول مع الناس، ده كان عظيم جداً ومُفيد جداً- تجربة القراءة: إني كُنت بَشوف الأفلام قبل ما أقرا الأجزاء اللي تخصَّها، أو أرجع للمشاهد اللي هو بيتكلم عنها، ده خلَّاني أقرا الكتاب في قرابة الشهر، بس كمان كان مُمتع لدرجة لا تُوصَف- الحوار بيتوقف في سنة 1964، قبل 16 سنة تقريباً من وفاة هيتشكوك، وفي الطبعة اللي قريتها.. كان في آخره فيه مَقال طويل جداً، قرابة الخمسين صفحة، كتبه تروفو بعد موت الراجل، بيحكي فيه عن السنوات الأخيرة في حياته، اللي كانت الأصعب على المستوى العملي، كيف كان العالم يتغيَّر، والمزاج العام يميل ناحية التلفزيون، والقواعد اللي تعامل بيها وأسسها هيتشكوك طول حياته بيتم نسفها من قِبل الشركات المُنتجة، إزاي كان بيتعرَّض للضغط منهم بشكل أكثر من المُعتاد، وإزاي كان بيحاول يعمل أفلام، وليه الأفلام كانت بتفشل لإن الراجل، ببساطة، بيكبر، وإزاي دي كانت فكرة كابوسية بالنسبة له، وكل فشل مُحْتَمَل هو ألم لا يوصفكنت بفكر وقتها إن الكتاب كله عمل أدبي، رواية مَسرودة بشكل غير مُعتاد، وبعد ما تابعت حياة هيتشكوك على مدار خمسين سنة، دخوله السينما، صعود اسمه، تحوله لأنجح مخرج هوليوودي، لحظات النجاح والفشل، بييجوا آخر 50 صفحة دول كفصل أخير في الرواية، بمُعايشة مُدْهِشَة لكل المشاعر اللي بيمر بيها راجل عجوز في سنينه الأخيرة"كيف كان علينا أن نتعامل مع شيخوخة رجل عظيم؟"ألف رَحمة ونورملحوظة شخصية: ده أول ريفيو أكتبه هنا بعد 8 شهور تقريباً من التوقُّف#فبراير 2014


The definitive, film by film dissection of Hitch's films by fellow auteur Francois Truffaut. From his earliest British silent films to the classics Vertigo and Rear Window, down to the final chapters in the master's filmography, Truffaut manages to get the almost preternaturally diffident and private Hitchcock to open up and discuss the demons in his own life that gave notice to all of us of our own inner workings: jealousy, the wrongly accused innocent, obsession, split-personality, evil exposed . . . all of these dark themes pervaded Hitch's work, which still remained, even after the many murders and mayhems, immensely good-humored and fun. How did he do it? Read this book to find out.

Shawn Nuzzo

This book will teach you more about the art of film making than 4 years (and $200,000) at NYU will.

Angrod Mtd

Se necesita conocer bien la filmografía de Hitchcock para este libro. A pesar de tantas referencias, entre comentarios y conclusiones lo que hay de las voces de Truffaut y Hitchcock son auténticas joyas.

Jeffrey Keeten

”To reproach Hitchcock for specializing in suspense is to accuse him of being the least boring of film-makers; it is also tantamount to blaming a lover who instead of concentrating on his own pleasure insists on sharing it with his partner. The nature of Hitchcock’s cinema is to absorb the audience so completely that the Arab viewer will forget to shell his peanuts, the Frenchman will ignore the girl in the next seat, the Italian will suspend his chain smoking, the compulsive cougher will refrain from coughing, and the Swedes will interrupt their love-making in the aisles.” Francois Truffaut and Alfred HitchcockFrancois Truffaut, a renown filmmaker in his own right, convinced Alfred Hitchcock to sit down for an interview that would cover the span of his career up to 1966. They recorded over fifty hours of tape over several days and the result is this book. It is written in interview form lending it a tennis match feel of the reader actually being there swiveling our head from one person talking to the next person replying. It is absurdly good. I lost sleep on more than one night because I just couldn’t bear to put it down...just one more chapter I would reassure the part of brain that was wanting to go to bed. The book is brimming with photographs of his films and also of Hitchcock working on set. Even if someone didn’t want to read the book, which would be a shame, the pictures alone are worth owning this book. ”During a Hollywood press conference in 1947, Alfred Hitchcock stated: ‘I aim to provide the public with beneficial shocks. Civilization has become so protective that we’re no longer able to get our goose bumps instinctively. The only way to remove the numbness and revive our moral equilibrium is to use artificial means to bring about the shock. The best way to achieve that, it seems to me, is through a movie.’” My son is getting ready to start, in a few short weeks, at the University of Kansas majoring in History, and minoring in film. He has always been interested in movies, but mostly recent movies so this summer under the guise of... well of course if you are going to study film you can’t show up to class not having seen at least the most important Hitchcock films. I convinced him to go on a tour of suspense films with me. It turns out he is a chip off the old block. The first Hitchcock film I ever remembering seeing was The Birds.It scared the crap out of me. I don’t know how old I was, but probably the perfect age to have my mind warped ever so slightly by experiencing this terrifying spectacle of birds, these creatures we see everyday that decided for no definable reason to start attacking people. I thought that Tippi Hedren was the most beautiful woman in the world until I saw Grace Kelly in Rear Window.*Sigh*Did anyone else feel the urge to boink Jimmy Stewart on the head every time he was dismissive of Grace Kelly? The joy for me was watching my son watch these movies. That famous scene when Grace Kelly is over at the murderer’s apartment searching for clues and we can see the murderer returning is probably still one of the most tension filled moments in cinematic history. My son pulled one leg up and pressed his face against his knee and put a hand to the other side of his face as if he were shielding himself from a blow. His eyes were of course riveted to the screen. Joseph Cotten’s wife had a similar reaction. Alfred Hitchcock Of course, when the character is attractive, as for instance Grace Kelly in Rear Window, the public’s emotion is greatly intensified. As a matter of fact, I happened to be sitting next to Joseph Cotten’s wife at the premiere of Rear Window, and during the scene where Grace Kelly is going through the killer’s room and he appears in the hall, she was so upset that she turned to her husband and whispered. ‘Do something, do something!’I can’t think of a better compliment to a director than to see an audience so caught up in your movie that they feel they are IN the movie. Hitchcock was famous for his blondes. I mentioned already Tippi Hedren, and Grace Kelly, but there was also Janet Leigh in Psycho. There was discussions about filming that movie in color instead of black and white, but lucky for us Hitchcock decided to stick with black and white. He filmed a scene that made the whole world afraid to take a shower. The details are spectacular and would have been lost in the garish splash of blood if color had been present. His leading ladies were elegant and sophisticated which lent more tension to the plot as their circumstances became more perilous. Hitchcock explains his views of his leading ladies.Hitchcock: Sex on the screen should be suspenseful, I feel. If sex is too blatant or obvious, there’s no suspense. You know why I favor sophisticated blondes in my films? We’re after the drawing-room type, the real ladies, who become whores once they’re in the bedroom. Poor Marilyn Monroe had sex written all over her face, and Brigitte Bardot isn’t very subtle either. Truffaut: In other words what intrigues you is the paradox between the inner fire and the cool surface.Hitchcock: Definitely, I think the most interesting women, sexually, are the English women. I feel that the English women, the Swedes, the northern Germans, and Scandinavians are a great deal more exciting than the Latin, the Italian, and the French women. Sex should not be advertised. An English girl, looking like a schoolteacher, is apt to get into a cab with you and, to your surprise, she’ll probably pull a man’s pants open.Hitchcock and Truffaut discuss every film. One point in one film moves them to another point in another film. Hitchcock is very candid about what he did wrong and when he was right and when everyone else was wrong. They discuss nuances that even though I’ve watched a film several times I’ve never noticed. For instance: in Shadow of a Doubt when Joseph Cotten is arriving in town on the train, the smokestack is boiling out black smoke as if to herald the arriving of the Devil. At the end of the film when the train is leaving the station the smoke is white. Reading this book will increase your enjoyment when you rewatch his films. If you have not seen many of his films be sure to avoid the footnotes discussing the plots of the films being discussed. Watching these films with my son has been to quote the Mastercard commercials...priceless. TCM is devoting the month of September to Hitchcock and I wish that Caleb was still going to be at home to watch them with me, but we will be coordinating what films to be sure to watch with his school schedule and my work schedule and the discussions we have afterward will still be...priceless.

Nicholas Kobach

a conversation with two masters.

Mr. Gutiérrez

Me ha gustado mucho, muy humano, muy Hitchcock.Desconocía parte de la filmografía hitchcokriana y este libro ha sido para mi un acercamiento y ampliación del conocimiento y su tratamiento en las películas.La verdad es que la manera en la que trabajaba era magistral, por eso me ha gustado mucho el libro, descubrir de su propia boca como había trabajado con todas estas películas todo este tiempo y leer como era su forma de trabajar, es muy inspirador.Sin duda alguna, un libro del cual volveré a releer para contrastar mis impresiones como público de algunas películas que me quedan por ver y la opinión de un gran maestro del cine "Alfred Hitchcock"


François mainly plays interviewer role in this book, which is about all Hitchcock movies. They go chronologically from his first work to the last one and Truffaut asks questions. Although Truffaut sits in a dirver's seat of the conversation and jumps in with his opinions sometimes, there shall be no mistake, this book is NOT about Hitchcock and Truffaut movies, it's about Hitchcock movies.Personally I would prefer visa versa. I've been enjoying "400 blows" and "Jul et Jim" more then any Alfred Hitchcock movie (which I also love). But for someone who wants to get suspense basics in terms of constructing a scene, working with literature source, editing, this book is a must.

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