The Thin Air

Cinema 16 For ’16: Hitchcock/Truffaut


An alternative guide to this year’s cinematic offerings, we trawl through the dilapidated rows of seats in the back alley ‘art’ cinemas and crumbling picture palaces so you don’t have to. Rescuing gummy Venus de Milos from sticky crevices and fishing midget gems out of cold cups of tea. Diaries at the ready cinephiles.

Hitchcock. You barely need to say anything else. In fact, you don’t need to say anything at all, you could just scribble Hitch’s nine stroke signature line drawing – a caricature of the director in profile. No director has cast such a long shadow over the history of cinema, nor cast such a spell over their audience.

Alfred Hitchcock was unique in cinema, the perfect balance between artist and entertainer. An icon, the first film director to become a celebrity in their own right, and the ‘first auteur’. It was for this very reason that Francois Truffaut pursued Hitchcock for the infamous 1962 interview that formed the basis of his book Hitchcock/Truffaut, and now Kent Jones’ documentary of the same name. Truffaut was part of the French New Wave, the most cinematically knowledgeable filmmakers that ever picked up a camera – inspired by Hollywood mavericks like Hitchcock, they would in turn be a huge influence on the infamous ‘movie brats’ of New Hollywood like Coppola and Spielberg.

For all these reasons and more, Hitchcock/Truffaut is perhaps cineastes’ most anticipated film of the year. Just the thought of a roster of modern day auteurs like Scorsese, Wes Anderson and David Fincher fawning over the ‘Master of Suspense’ as he unpacks the art of cinema across his oeuvre from Blackmail to Vertigo, is enough to drive film fans to frenzy. Hitchcock/Truffaut will remind audiences that Hitchcock’s legacy is as rich and vast as it ever was, as if there was a shadow of a doubt. Richard Davis

Hitchcock/Truffaut  is showing from 4th March at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin and at QFT in Belfast.