Hitchcock/Truffaut

I got out to the office and graded some tests. I went over to the record store and bought a DVD set of the animated Star Trek series. I took a walk over to the theatre to see the documentary “Hitchcock/Truffaut.” Some of the directors who were interviewed for the film were Wes Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Richard Linklater, Paul Schrader, and Martin Scorsese. They didn’t say that much that I didn’t know already from reading several books about Hitchcock. I haven’t seen any of the films that came before “The Lodger.” It helps to appreciate the movie if you have seen every one of the films from “The Lodger” through “Family Plot.” You see that there are good visual ideas even in a film like “Topaz.” I could see how Hitchcock could view the actors like cattle. How many of them contribute anything but clichés and nonsense? They talk about the arc of a movie, and how the concept of it has changed over the years. Instead of leading up to a dramatic turn, we get those turns every few minutes as the attention span of the audience seems to decrease quickly and pathetically with each passing year. They discussed key shots in “Notorious” and “The Wrong Man.” I was a bit surprised that they didn’t go into “Shadow of a Doubt.” There wasn’t much about the repeated Hitchcock themes, like the domineering mother. We didn’t get to hear from any of the surviving stars of the movies, like Kim Novak, Sean Connery, Bruce Dern or Tippi Hedren. Quite a bit of attention was paid to “Vertigo” and “Psycho.” They both had unusual stories. “Vertigo” is rather hard to believe, with everything leading to the church. There was also Scottie somehow encountering Kim Novak again. I always liked Janet Leigh. The audio from the Truffaut interview of Hitchcock was not easy to listen to. I’m not sure that Truffaut interpreted things in the movies correctly. I would have thought that after the pretty good “Frenzy” that Hitchcock would have more than one movie left in him. It must have been tough for him to close down his office at Universal. What would a Hitchcock movie with Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, or Jack Nicholson have been like? I think I could imagine what “Marathon Man” would have been like with Hitchcock directing. I don’t know why people like Bernard Herrmann weren’t discussed in the movie. I wouldn’t have minded if the entire movie was about the making of “Vertigo,” because it seemed that a lot went into it. Why is it that countless directors imitate Hitchcock, but no one comes close to his ability? Hitchcock made a lot of films before “The Lodger.” Most directors struggle to get each and every one of their films made, and they end up not making very many of them. After the interviews, Hitchcock and Truffaut wrote letters to each other. I would like to know what Hitchcock said about movies like “Stolen Kisses,” “The Wild Child,” “Day for Night,” and “Small Change.” I don’t think this is an essential film. You can go to the bookstore and buy a used copy of “Hitchcock/Truffaut,” and you will learn much more than you can watching his film. The best thing you can do is sit down and watch all the Hitchcock films from “Rebecca” to “Family Plot.” Some of the great Truffaut movies are “The 400 Blows,” “Shoot the Piano Player,” and “Jules and Jim.” Watching this movie reminded me how great that period of movies was. It’s a shame that it wasn’t made when people like James Stewart and Cary Grant were still alive. I went out to Barnes and Noble and bought a Beatles book. I asked for “Beatlebone” but was informed that I would have to go to Walnut Creek to get it. I also bought some items from Target. Back at home, I watched the Partridge Family episode called “My Son, the Feminist.” The featured song was “I Think I Love You.” I also watched the NUMB3RS episode “Arrow of Time.” I briefly saw Will Smith on the Jimmy Fallon show. Adam Sandler was on the Jimmy Kimmel show, and he talked about Nick Nolte. I wondered if he was still functioning normally. I didn’t feel like staying up for James Corden. I always feel that he is trying too hard to be funny. Some people are just not natural entertainers. I really didn’t want the rain to return. I hate it when my feet get wet. Some of the people who died on December 12 include Tallulah Bankhead (1968), Jack Cassidy (1976), Anne Baxter (1985), Joseph Heller (1999), George Montgomery (2000), Peter Boyle (2006), Ike Turner (2007), and Van Johnson (2008). Today is a birthday for Sheila E. (58), Cathy Rigby (63), Tom Wilkinson (67), Dionne Warwick (75), Connie Francis (77), and Bob Barker (92). The Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for December 12 noted that Frank Sinatra was born 100 years ago today in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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