78/52

DVD Rating: ****1/2

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Read Jennie Kermode's film review of 78/52
78/52 - an unprecedented look at the iconic shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the "man behind the curtain," and the screen murder that profoundly changed the course of world cinema.
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Alexandre O Philippe's brilliant documentary is the sort of film you will need to watch multiple times to absorb all the information it contains, and if you have any interest in filmmaking yourself, you'll find it useful to keep around and learn from. It's supported here by a mixed set of extras which, whilst they don't attain quite the same standard, provide a good deal of additional interest.

The best material here is in the extended interviews, which give Guillermo Del Toro and Walter Murch time to share their thoughts about Psycho at length. Del Toro also takes the opportunity to speak up for some of Hitchcock's less celebrated films. The interview with Alexandre O Philippe is entertaining but has less insight to offer, his thoughts being largely contained within the film itself.

The melon featurette, which explores the production of sound effects, ought to be more fun than it is. It's unfortunte that the incidental music swells each time fruits are being stabbed, making it hard to hear the sounds that are ultimately the point of the exercise. The musical featurette, meanwhile, provides a pleasant opportunity to enjoy Bernard Hermann's famous score as performed by an Estonian string quartet, but offers little in the way of visual interest beyond the occasional repositioning of the cellist's cup of tea. Why does he have a cup of tea when the others don't? Why does he take off his jacket? If you've watched the main feature properly, you'll find it hard not to ask questions like this.

Reviewed on: 07 Dec 2017
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A documentary about the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

Product Code: B073ZTH555

Region: 0

Ratio: 16:9

Extras: Director Alexandre O Philippe in conversation with Danny Leigh; extended interviews with Guillermo Del Toro and Walter Murch; melon featurette; recording the 78/52 score; theatrical trailer


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