Hitchcock Truffaut (Cine)

ISBN: 8446000466
ISBN 13: 9788446000464
By: François Truffaut

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About this book

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

Reader's Thoughts

Nacho

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.

Jon Boorstin

One of the few absolutely essential books about the movies. Hitchcock, through Truffaut, explains the idea of point of view in movies, and how that determines how movies are written and directed. If you absorb this book, and study the films they're talking about, you have the tools to make a first rate film.

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.

Mark

What a treat! I knew that this book would be really interesting but was afraid it might be kind of dry or technical. Not the case at all. Truffaut's genuine respect and affection for Hitchcok permeate these interviews and they come off as informal and informative. What's particularly interesting is Hitchcock's alternative pride and occassional indifference to his work. Allowing Hithcock to speak in his own works gives the reader some genuine insight into the man and his metier that doesn't always come across in biography. I'm now an even fan or Truffaut and Hitchcock (is that's possible)!

Mike

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.

FiveBooks

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: The full interview is available here: http://thebrowser.com/books/interview... 

Robert

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.

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.

Ken French

One of the most important books on film ever published.

Ethan Rosenberg

I don't even know how many times this book has come up in conversation since I finished it. I cannot stop referring to it. It truly is the definitive study of Alfred Hitchcock's films, and when you understand the films you understand the man. Heaps of insight into moviemaking, but not necessarily about life. (Unless you want to live like Alfred Hitchcock. And while I love the man and his movies, I wouldn't want to walk in his shoes.) I came to find out quite a bit about Truffaut, as well. Essential reading for Hitchcock fanatics, but otherwise it is indeed skippable.

Roberto Hernando

Si te gusta el cine, tienes que leer este libro

Pavel

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.

Kenny

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.

Lynne King

This book is about the two film directors Hitchcock and Truffaut. It is a wonderful book and Jeffrey has written a superb review today on this.So my advice is to read Jeffrey's review and then purchase this book. It is an historical document of the film world.A gem to have.

Elvon Coleman

Hitchcock proves itself to be a very good biography and interview of the life and successful career of one of the proclaimed, greatest filmmaker of all time, Alfred Hitchcock. It starts from his childhood and goes along the ups and downs of his occupation in directing and producing. Mr.Hitchcock chooses not to be vague when he informs us of what he enjoyed as later on in his career, he finally got to make movies that felt like true Hitchcock movies. He is also specific about what he didn't like about the job from not wanting to do certain film to the actors he felt were bad and did not want to work with. This is a great book for people that keeps Alfred Hitchcock's movie in their head and spread on his legend by looking back on his films.

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