In 1966, Francois Truffaut published a series of interviews with Alfred Hitchcock about his career. It became a seminal text among not only the French New Wavers but also the generation of American filmmakers that followed – Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader, Peter Bogdanovich as well as younger directors Wes Anderson, David Fincher and Richard Linklater. Many of these appear in director Kent Jones’ accessible documentary, offering testimony to the book’s influence.
The film also addresses the interviews themselves, which took place over a week at Hitchock’s offices at Universal Studios in 1962 – when the 63 year-old Hitchcock was a household name and Truffant, 33 years his junior, had made only three films. “This is somebody whose mind is racing with ideas, which is why we refer to him all the time,” says Anderson. As the Japanese director Kiyoshi Kurosawa notes, “He portrayed himself as a mainstream figure, but he’s really at the farthest edge of things.”