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Hitchcock This book will teach youabout the art of film making than 4 years and 200,000 at NYU will. 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 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 muchimportant that in in this mediumand 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 kissthen 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 bitcareful 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 Loved this.I didn t know this book existed It s actually a transcript of a fifty hour interview done over several days which Truffaut conducted with Hitchcock The historical appeal alone was enough to make me WANT the thing, let alone read it Some critics of this book have indicated that Truffaut was too kind to Hitchcock, that he agreed too readily with his opinions, that he couched his questions gently, but what the heck I disagree Because they two often DO disagree on certain points Loved this.I didn t know this book existed It s actually a transcript of a fifty hour interview done over several days which Truffaut conducted with Hitchcock The historical appeal alone was enough to make me WANT the thing, let alone read it Some critics of this book have indicated that Truffaut was too kind to Hitchcock, that he agreed too readily with his opinions, that he couched his questions gently, but what the heck I disagree Because they two often DO disagree on certain points of film making and story telling, but they do so respectfully, without rancor, I mean like gentlemen But the great thing about this record of Hitchcock s opinions, ideas, and thoughts on both the stories he told through film and HOW he did this, including mistakes he felt he made and how he d fix them, if he could, was the fact it even exists at all What a record This was a totally unprecedented and totally unexpected thing Truffaut did, and done at a time when Hitchcock still wasn t given a lot of respect for his work His critics complained he was a mere director of thriller movies, not serious film But Truffaut did take Hitchcock seriously and methodically went through all the films, good and bad, which Hitchcock directed By doing so he created a permanent record of Hitchcock s personal thoughts, ideas, and so on taken directly from the most primary of primary sources, the master of the modern thriller himself Hitchcock died before special effects, computer generated images and sequences, etc came on board, but what he did with what he had was truly remarkable AND influenced and affected directors and writers to this day The way he used the camera, the way he pulled in or back, or shot around shadows or got a lot out of a tiny gesture or movement it s all there There s also a good deal about how he handled dialogue less isand the fact he continually was trying to show the story, not tell it He disdained nothingthan people standing around talking or explaining, and this is something that writers struggle to do today as well SHOW the story Don t TELL it to us We know Hitch s favorite films and the ones he hated He was even quite indifferent about a few We know how he was limited by the film making techniques of his day and how he often overcame those limits We know what he thought and felt about his cold leading ladies, the parade of blondes who came to be so important in his films He thought the perfect and most sensual of women were the English girls who d appear to be so correct on the surface, but could turn into a tiger in, of all places, a taxicab As I already said, Truffaut didn t agree with Hitch on everything, but I enjoyed reading about two men who obviously liked and respected one another, and yet could disagree on certain points and just keep on going talking, discussing, arguing, digressing, etc Anyhow, I loved this book I want to own it, and right now I don t This was a library borrow But I shall get my hands on a copy of my ownsomehow, some way.Five huge big stars 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. 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 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 Alfred Hitchcock is considered to be one of the best directors of all time but that wasn t always the case At the height of his career, many critics saw Hitchcock as a commercial director whose films thrilled audiences with their suspense but weren t meant to be taken seriously All that changed when French director Fran ois Truffaut drastically altered the narrative of how we discussed Hitchcock s work and he did so with this book.This is film school in book form Never have I read a book so f Alfred Hitchcock is considered to be one of the best directors of all time but that wasn t always the case At the height of his career, many critics saw Hitchcock as a commercial director whose films thrilled audiences with their suspense but weren t meant to be taken seriously All that changed when French director Fran ois Truffaut drastically altered the narrative of how we discussed Hitchcock s work and he did so with this book.This is film school in book form Never have I read a book so full of enlightening information about the film making process I learned so much from both directors on how to build suspense, expert use of the camera as storyteller and how stories are adapted This book is chock full of these kinds of insights And for Hitchcock fans, myself included, there are lots of behind the scenes trivia bits that will delight and inform Full review, with photos and lots and lots of quotes, can be found here Always heralded as one of THE great books on cinema and the best, supposedly, on Hitchcock, these documented interview sessions with the great French director Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock is as good as reported This was a revised edition that includes an addendum by Truffaut after Hitchcock s death in 1979 It is full of insights both by Truffaut and Hitchcock and has a great amount of photographs At times Truffaut gets a bit stuffy and opinionated and corrective of the choices Hitch Always heralded as one of THE great books on cinema and the best, supposedly, on Hitchcock, these documented interview sessions with the great French director Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock is as good as reported This was a revised edition that includes an addendum by Truffaut after Hitchcock s death in 1979 It is full of insights both by Truffaut and Hitchcock and has a great amount of photographs At times Truffaut gets a bit stuffy and opinionated and corrective of the choices Hitchcock made in his great work and at times, it appears, that Hitchcock gets a bit politely annoyed The reader is treated to the reason why Hitchcock featured mostly blondes in his films and the answer was quite sexually surprising Hitchcock cared ONLY about the visual and the set pieces, while the actors were just there to move it along Even so, his work is some of the most memorable pieces of cinema experience in history Any book length interview with Alfred Hitchcock is valuable, but considering that this volume s interlocutor is Fran ois 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 inwhen 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 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 printRaphael Shargel Exhaustive and detailed interviews of Hitchcock by Truffaut, where the director explains his vision and technique A must read for all Hitchcock fans Truffaut proves himself as a brilliant interviewer, in addition to being a terrific filmmaker. Good evening, students of the macabre Hitchcock is a comprehensive study of the films of the great British American director Alfred Hitchcock, which explores every one of his films from the beginning of his career up to Torn Curtain 1966 After Hitch s death, Truffaut apparently updated the work to include Hitchcock s final films The book, like Objects of Desire Conversations with Luis Bu uel or such works as Godard on Godard or Fellini on Fellini, is a collection of interviews What make Good evening, students of the macabre Hitchcock is a comprehensive study of the films of the great British American director Alfred Hitchcock, which explores every one of his films from the beginning of his career up to Torn Curtain 1966 After Hitch s death, Truffaut apparently updated the work to include Hitchcock s final films The book, like Objects of Desire Conversations with Luis Bu uel or such works as Godard on Godard or Fellini on Fellini, is a collection of interviews What makes it unique, however, is that Hitchcock s interviewer is not just a film critic though he was that, too , but a great director in his own right Fran ois Truffaut, the director of such classics as The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim and Shoot the Piano Player.Although the two directors have linguistic and cultural differences and though they each have different directorial styles, they both speak the language of cinema And one gets the impression that they both value one another s work, with Truffaut a greater admirer of Hitchcock for obvious reasons likely because of Hitchcock s influence on filmmakers like Truffaut and his contemporaries and on cinema in general, for Hitch had already at the time of these interviews worked in cinema for nearly 50 years as a title maker and assistant director, then as a director of films in both America and Britain and of both silents and talkies The interviews took place over the course of a week in an office at Universal Studios and due to a language barrier there was a translator Helen Scott who served as the communication bridge between the two great directors In these interviews Hitchcock comes across as a relatively easy interview subject at least muchso than was the case in similar books on directors that I ve read , eager to discuss his films and his methods and style as a director Perhaps this is partly owed to the fact that he madecommercial films than did many of those other directors who I refer to, and knew, thus, how to accept criticism though Truffaut offers muchpraise than negative criticism and play the publicity game Nearly every page of the text is sprinkled with pictures from Hitchcock s many films 472 photos in total , particularly to illustrate images that are discussed in the course of these interviews In over 250 pages the Master of Suspense tells some very funny jokes, gets a childlike excitement when discussing technical aspects of his films, lays out certain rules for filmmaking particularly when it comes to suspense , and theorizes on what factors led to the weaknesses in some of his pictures As for the last point, amusingly, very rarely does he assume responsibility for a film s flaws, but rather blames these weaknesses on casting, poor performances from his actors or on weak scripts But I assume that many of us would try to find justifications for our deficiencies, for it s easier than accepting full responsibility and sometimes indeed there are what we perceive to be causal factors for our flaws Fifty four of Hitch s films are discussed 29 of which I ve seen to date , some in greater detail than others, but all at least somewhat interesting One of Hitchcock s favorites Shadow of a Doubt And Truffaut also two of my favorites Notorious interestingly both Hitchcock and Ingmar Bergman comment on the female lead of that picture Ingrid Bergman being an exceptionally difficult actress to work with and Rear Window I m also very partial to both North by Northwest and Psycho, probably at least in part because those were the first two Hitchcock films to which I was exposed.It s a very interesting study, sure to be appreciatedby other Hitchcock admirers than anyone else And while I like to think that everyone is or at least should be a Hitchcock fan I do know a few Hitchcock detractors I just can t see their perspective, for Hitchcock had a unique vision and approach like none before him though like his early contemporaries he admits that he was greatly influenced by directors like D.W Griffith and also, to a lesser degree, Fritz Lang and FW Murnau and which has been mimicked by many after, someeffectively than others


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