78/52

****1/2

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

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.
"Essential viewing for anyone with an interest in the craft of filmmaking."

In 1960, a single scene changed the rules of filmmaking forever. It terrified audiences by breaking down the accepted bounds of terror, and it did so with a style that still infliuences filmmakers today. 78/52 explores the secrets behind the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

If an hour and a half long documentary focused on a three minute scene seems excessive, prepare to be surprised. Every minute of this film is packed with insight, information and surprises. Old myths aboout Hitchcock's approach to filmmaking are overturned, whilst a dazzling cast of contributors shares thoughts on the technical work involved. The simple placing of the scene in social context will intrigue many viewers today. It helps to be reminded that seeing a naked woman in the shower - albeit silhouetted through a blurry curtain - was shocking enough at the time that nobody expected it was simply setting the stage for something more extreme.

Premièred at this year's Fantasia, this documentary is essential viewing for anyone with an interest in the craft of filmmaking, and Hitchcock fans will love it.


Editor's note: a full review of this film will be published here shortly before it goes on general release later this year.

Reviewed on: 21 Jul 2017
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A documentary about the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.


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Hitchcock/Truffaut