When Francois Truffaut sat down with Alfred Hitchcock in 1962, the former was in his early 30s with few films to his name, the latter was in his early 60s, and was the undisputed master of suspense. Hitchcock was not, however, given proper respect as an artist, at least not as far as Truffaut, and his fellow filmmakers in France’s New Wave, were concerned. During a week-long, 27-hour conversation Truffaut conducted an extraordinary interview with Hitchcock, during which they examined every film Hitch had made up to that time. The resulting book, published in 1966 complete with extensive stills from those films, became a classic, still in print, and still prized by filmmakers and film buffs who now have instant access to those films. Jones does more than just report on that interview, he also includes contemporary filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Richard Linklater, and David Fincher discussing the influence that the book had on them as cinematic artists in their own right. My conversation with Jones on November 30, 2015, included his thoughts on why it was that the French were the first to recognize Hitchcock as an artist, what we can learn from listening to the audio of the two filmmakers, and the film that he >didn’t< want to make.
HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT is his documentary that translates the indispensable book of the same name into a documentary that expands on the genius of Alfred Hitchcock while also celebrating the influence he continues to have on filmmaking and filmmakers. Using the audio recorded during those 27 hours, the film allows us to hear the emotion and the wit behind the words. Jones is a film historian and the author of “Physical Evidence: Selected Film Criticism” and co-author of “The Hidden God.”