Alexandre O. Philippe's documentary 78/52 (2017) explores the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) from multiple perspectives. Named after the 78 camera setups and 52 cuts that made the scene, the doc takes a look at everything from the German expressionist films that influenced Hitchcock to detailed storyboards, music (stabbing sounds), historical context, sociological effect, and lots more. By the end it's clear why the scene is one of the most pivotal in film history, and a turning point toward graphic violence and the slasher films of Italy and later from Hollywood. Parts of 78/52 are fascinating and remind us how meticulous Hitchcock was in his filmmaking. A couple of the interviews were a bit bland, I felt, but on the whole the doc is packed with interesting tidbits and has several "no way!" moments. Overall it's a good documentary that dissects the creative drive and painstaking efforts that went into a cutting-edge scene which is ingrained in the minds of so many.
- May 6, 2019
- 1 min read