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Summary ñ Hitchcock, dition dfinitive · PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Fran ois Truffaut ✓ 0 characters Summary ô PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ Fran ois Truffaut Chapter FRANOIS TRUFFAUT Mr Hitchcock you were born in London on August The only thing I know about your childhood is the incident at the police station Is that a true story ALFRED HITCHCOCK Yes it is I must have been about four or five years old My father sent me to the police station with a note The chief of police read it and locked me in a cell for five or ten minutes saying This is what we do to naughty boys FT Why were you being punished AH I haven t the faintest idea As a matter of fact my father used to call me his little lamb without a spot I truly cannot imagine what it was I didFT I ve heard that your father was very strictAH Let s just say he was a rather nervous man What else can I tell you Well my family loved the theater As I think back upon it we must have been a rather eccentric little group At any rate I was what is known as a well behaved child At family gatherings I would sit uietly in a corner saying nothing I looked and observed a good deal I ve always been that way and still am I was anything but expansive I was a loner can t remember ever having had a playmate I played by myself inventing my own gamesI was put into school very young At St Ignatius College a Jesuit school in London Ours was a Catholic family and in England you see this in itself is an eccentricity It was probably during this period with the Jesuits that a strong sense of fear developed moral fear the fear of being involved in anything evil I always tried to avoid it Why Perhaps out of physical fear I was terrified of physical punishment In those days they used a cane made of very hard rubber I believe the Jesuits still use it It wasn t done casually you know it was rather like the execution of a sentence They would tell you to step in to see the father when classes were over He would then solemnly inscribe your name in the register together with the indication of the punishment to be inflicted and you spent the whole day waiting for the sentence to be carried outFT I ve read that you were rather average as a student and that your only strong point was geographyAH I was usually among the four or five at the top of the class Never first second only once or twice and generally fourth or fifth They claimed I was rather absent mindedFT Wasn t it your ambition at the time to become an engineer AH Well little boys are always asked what they want to be when they grow up and it must be said to my credit that I never wanted to be a policeman When I said I d like to become an engineer my parents took me seriously and they sent me to a specialized school the School of Engineering and Navigation where I studied mechanics electricity acoustics and navigationFT Then you had scientific leanings AH Perhaps I did acuire some practical knowledge of engineering the theory of the laws of force and motion electricity theoretical and applied Then I had to make a living so I went to work with the Henley Telegraph Company At the same time I was taking courses at the University of London studying artAt Henley s I specialized in electric cables I became a technical estimator when I was about nineteen FT Were you interested in motion pictures at the time AH Yes I had been for several years I was very keen on pictures and the stage and very often went to first nights by myself From the age of sixteen on I read film journals Not fan or fun magazines but always professional and trade papers And since I was studying art at the University of London Henley s transferred me to the advertising department where I was given a chance to drawFT What kind of drawings AH Designs for advertisements of electric cables And this work was a first step toward cinema It helped me to get into the fieldFT Can you remember specifically some of the films that appealed to you at the time AH Though I went to the theater very often I preferred the movies and wasattracted to American films than to the British I saw the pictures of Chaplin Griffith all the Paramount Famous Players pictures Buster Keaton Douglas Fairbanks Mary Pickford as well as the German films of Decla Bioscop the company that preceded UFA Murnau worked for themFT Can you single out a picture that made a special impression AH One of Decla Bioscop s most famous pictures was Der mde TodFT Wasn t that directed by Fritz Lang The British title I believe was DestinyAH I guess so The leading man I recall was Bernhard GoetzkeFT Did you like Murnau s films AH Yes but they came later In or FT What films were being shown in AH Well I remember a Monsieur Prince In England it was called WhifflesFT You ve often been uoted as having said Like all directors I was influenced by Griffith AH I especially remember Intolerance and The Birth of a NationFT How did you happen to go from Henley s to a film company AH I read in a trade paper that an American company Paramount s Famous Players Lasky was opening a branch in Islington London They were going to build studios there and they announced a production schedule Among others a picture taken from such and such a book I don t remember the title While still working at Henley s I read that book through and then made several drawings that might eventually serve to illustrate the titlesFT By titles you mean the captions that covered the dialogue in silent pictures AH That s right At the time those titles were illustrated On each card you had the narrative title the dialogue and a small drawing The most famous of these narrative titles was Came the dawn You also had The next morning For instance if the line read George was leading a very fast life by this time I would draw a candle with a flame at each end just below the sentence Very naveFT So you took this initiative and then submitted your work to Famous Players AH Exactly I showed them my drawings and they put me on at once Later on I became head of the title department I went to work for the editorial department of the studio The head of the department had two American writers under him and when a picture was finished the head of the editorial department would write the titles or would rewrite those of the original script Because in those days it was possible to completely alter the meaning of a script through the use of narrative titles and spoken titlesFT How so AH Well since the actor pretended to speak and the dialogue appeared on the screen right afterward they could put whatever words they liked in his mouth Many a bad picture was saved in this way For instance if a drama had been poorly filmed and was ridiculous they would insert comedy titles all the way through and the picture was a great hit Because you see it became a satire One could really do anything take the end of a picture and put it at the beginning anything at all FT And this gave you a chance to see the inside of film making AH Yes At this time I met several American writers and I learned how to write scripts And sometimes when an extra scene was needed but not an acting scene they would let me shoot it However the pictures made by Famous Players in England were unsuccessful in America So the studio became a rental studio for British producersMeanwhile I had read a novel in a magazine and just as an exercise I wrote a script based on this story I knew that an American company had the exclusive world rights to the property but I did it anyway since it was merely for practiceWhen the British companies took over the Islington studios I approached them for work and I landed a job as an assistant directorFT With Michael Balcon AH No not yet Before that I worked on a picture called Always Tell Your Wife which featured Seymour Hicks a very well known London actor One day he uarreled with the director and said to me Let s you and me finish this thing by ourselves So I helped him and we completed the pictureMeanwhile the company formed by Michael Balcon became a tenant at the studios and I became an assistant director for this new venture It was the company that Balcon had set up with Victor Saville and John Freedman They bought the rights to a play It was called Woman to Woman Then they said Now we need a script and I said I would like to write it You What have you done I said I can show you something And I showed them the adaptation I d written as an exercise They were very impressed and I got the job That was in FT I see You were then twenty three But didn t you direct a little picture called Number Thirteen before that time AH A two reeler It was never completedFT Wasn t it a documentary AH No There was a woman working at the studio who had worked with Chaplin In those days anyone who had worked with Chaplin was top drawer She had written a story and we found a little money It wasn t very good really Aside from which it was just at this point that the Americans closed their studioFT I ve never seen Woman to Woman In fact I don t even know the storyAH As you said I was twenty three at the time and I d never been out with a girl in my life I d never had a drink in my life The story was taken from a play that had been a hit in London It was about a British Army officer in World War I On leave in Paris he has an affair with a dancer then he goes back.

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Hitchcock, dition dfinitive

Summary ñ Hitchcock, dition dfinitive · PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Fran ois Truffaut ✓ 0 characters Summary ô PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ Fran ois Truffaut To the front He is shell shocked and loses his memory He returns to England and marries a society woman And then the dancer turns up with child Conflictthe story ends with the dancer s deathFT Graham Cutts directed that picture You did the adaptation and dialogue and were assistant director as well AH More than that My friend the art director was unable to work on the picture I volunteered to serve as art director So I did all of this and also helped on the production My future wife Alma Reville was the editor of the picture as well as the script girl In those days the script girl and the editor were one and the same person Today the script girl keeps too many books as you know She s a real bookkeeper It was while working on that picture that I first met my wifeThen I performed these various functions for several other films The second was The White Shadow the third was The Passionate Adventure and the fourth was The Blackguard And then there was The Prude s FallFT As you recall them now would you say all of those pictures were about the same or do you have a preference AH Woman to Woman was the best of the lot and the most successful When we made The Prude s Fall the last one of this series the director took his lady friend along on location We went to Venice It was really uite expensive The director s girl friend apparently didn t approve of any of the locations so we came back to the studio without shooting a single scene When the picture was finished the director told the producer he didn t want me any I ve always suspected that someone on the unit had been political FT How long did it take to turn out these pictures AH Each one took six weeksFT I suppose that one s talent was measured by the ability to make a picture reuiring the fewest titles AH ExactlyFT Still weren t many of the scripts adapted from stage plays AH I made a silent film The Farmer s Wife a play that was all dialogue but we tried to avoid using titles and wherever possible to use the pictorial expression instead I suppose the only film made without any titles at all was The Last Laugh with Emil JanningsFT A great picture one of Murnau s bestAH They were making it while I worked at UFA In that film Murnau even tried to establish a universal language by using a kind of Esperanto All the street signs the posters the shop signs were in this synthetic languageFT Well some of the signs in Emil Jannings house were in German but those in the Grand Hotel were in this Esperanto I imagine you were by then becoming increasingly interested in the technical aspect of film making that you were studyingAH I was very much aware of the superiority of the photography in American movies to that of the British films At eighteen I was studying photography just as a hobby I had noticed for instance that the Americans always tried to separate the image from the background with backlights whereas in the British films the image melted into the background There was no separation no reliefFT This brings us to Following the shooting of The Prude s Fall the director doesn t want you to continue as his assistant And that s when Michael Balcon suggests that you become a directorAH Balcon said How would you like to direct a picture and I answered I ve never thought about it And in truth I had not I was very happy doing the scripts and the art direction I hadn t thought of myself as a directorAnyway Balcon told me that there was a proposal for an Anglo German picture Another writer was assigned to the script and I left for Munich My wife Alma was to be my assistant We weren t married yet but we weren t living in sin either we were still very pureFT This was The Pleasure Garden from the novel by Oliver Sandys As I remember it there was lots of actionAH Melodramatic But there were several interesting scenes in it I want to tell you something about the shooting because that was the very first picture I directed and it was natural for me I suppose to have a sense of dramaSo at twenty minutes to eight on Saturday evening I m at the station in Munich ready to leave for the location shooting in Italy In the station waiting for the train to start I m saying to myself This is your first picture Nowadays when I leave on location I have to go with a crew of a hundred and forty people But then there was only the leading man Miles Mander the cameraman Baron Vintigmilia and a young girl who was supposed to play a native woman who is drowned There was also a newsreel cameraman because we were going to do a ship departure scene in Genoa We were going to shoot the ship s departure with one camera on the shore and another on the ship s deck And the ship was going to stop outside the harbor to allow us to get the actors and the newsreel cameraman back to the dock to photograph the characters as they waved their farewellsThe next scene was to be shot in San Remo This scene has the native girl wading out to sea to commit suicide and Levett the villain in the story is to rush out and make sure the girl is dead by holding her head underwater Then he s to bring the body back to shore saying I did my best to save her The following scenes take place at Lake Como in the hotel of the Villa d Este Honeymoon love scenes on the lake beautiful romance etc My wife to be is there on the platform at Munich that evening and we are talking together She s not coming with us Her job you know she s only as tall as that she was twenty four then was to go to Cherbourg by herself to pick up the leading lady who was coming in from Hollywood She was Virginia Valli a very big star at the time Universal s biggest and who played Patsy My fiance is to pick her up from the Auitania at Cherbourg take her to Paris buy her a wardrobe there and then meet us at the Villa d Este That s allThe train is scheduled to leave at eight o clock It is now two minutes to eight The actor Miles Mander says to me My God I ve left my makeup case in the taxi and he runs offI shout out after him We ll be at the Hotel Bristol in Genoa Take the train tomorrow night because we re shooting on Tuesday I should remind you that this was on Saturday evening and we were to arrive in Genoa on Sunday morning to get ready for the shootingIt s now eight but the train hasn t left A few minutes go by Eight ten The train begins to move And suddenly there s a great row at the barrier and I see Miles Mander leaping over the gate with three railway officials chasing him down the platform He had found his make up case and just manages to hop into the last carThe first bit of film drama is over but this is only the beginning The train is now on its way We have no one to handle the accounts and I must take care of them myself The accounting isimportant than the directing I m terribly concerned over the money We are in sleeping cars As we reach the Austro Italian border Vintigmilia says Be very careful We re not to declare the camera Otherwise they will charge duty on every lens What do you mean The German company told us to smuggle the camera through he tells me When I ask him where the camera is he tells me it s under my bunk As you know I ve always been afraid of policemen and I begin to sweat And now I am also informed that the ten thousand feet of unexposed stock in our baggage is not to be declared eitherThe customs men come into our compartment Big suspense for me They don t find the camera but they discover the film And since we haven t declared it they confiscate itSo we land in Genoa the following morning with no film And we spend the whole day trying to buy some On Monday morning I decide to send the newsreel man to Milan to buy some raw stock from Kodak And I m still busy with the bookkeeping lire to marks marks to pounds it s all terribly confusing The cameraman returns at noon bringing with him twenty pounds worth of film And now we are advised that the ten thousand feet of unexposed film that had been confiscated at the border has arrived and I must pay the duty So I ve wasted twenty pounds a very large amount in our small budget We have barely enough money left for the shooting of the location scenesOn Tuesday the boat is scheduled to leave the dock at noon It s the Lloyd Prestino a large ship that is on its way to South America We have to rent a tugboat to go out of the harbor That s another ten pounds Well everything is finally settled But at ten thirty when I take out my wallet to tip the tugboat man I find it s empty There isn t a sou Ten thousand lire gone I run back to the hotel look under the bed everywhere No sign of the money I go to the police to report that someone must have entered my room while I was asleep It s a good thing I didn t wake up or I might have been stabbed I think I m very miserable but the work must go on And in the excitement of directing my very first scene I forget all about the loss of the moneyBut when the shooting s over I m very depressed again I borrow ten pounds from the cameraman and fifteen from the actor Since this doesn t cover our needs I write a letter to London reuesting an advance on my salary I also compose another letter to the German company in Munich saying I may need a littlemon.

Summary ô PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ Fran ois Truffaut

Summary ñ Hitchcock, dition dfinitive · PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Fran ois Truffaut ✓ 0 characters Summary ô PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ Fran ois Truffaut Ey But I don t dare to mail this reuest because they might say How do you know you may needmoney so early So I only mail the letter to LondonThen we go back to the Hotel Bristol where we re to have lunch before setting out for San Remo After the meal I go out in the street And there is my cameraman Vintigmilia with the German girl who is to play the native who throws herself into the sea With them is the newsreel operator who has now completed his work and is about to return to Munich The three of them are standing there with their heads together talking very solemnly I go up to them and say Is anything wrong Yes they answer The girl She can t go into the water I ask What do you mean she can t go into the water And they insist saying That s right she can t go into the water You know Bewildered I reply No what do you mean So then and there on the sidewalk with people walking back and forth the two cameramen tell me all about menstruation I ve never heard of it in my life They go into great detail and I listen very carefully to what they have to say When they re through with their explanation I m still cross All I can think about is the money I ve wasted in bringing the girl with us all those lire and marks Very irritated I mutter Well why couldn t she have told us about it in Munich three days ago Anyway we ship her back with the cameraman and we proceed to Alassio We manage to find another girl but this one was somewhat plumper than her ailing predecessor and my leading man was unable to lift her At each attempt to haul her out of the water he lets her drop to the delight of a hundred onlookers who are howling with laughter And just as he finally succeeds in carrying her out a little old lady who had been uietly gathering sea shells nearby saunters right across our scene staring straight into the camera Next we board the train on our way to the Villa d Este And I m very nervous because Virginia Valli the Hollywood star has just arrived I can t let her know that this is my first picture The first thing I say to my fiance is Have you any money No But you had enough I point out Yes but she brought another actress Carmelita Geraghty I tried to take them to the Hotel Westminster on the Rue de la Paix but they insisted on the Claridge So I tell my fiance all about my troubles Eventually we start the shooting and everything works out all right In those days of course we shot moonlight scenes in the sun and we tinted the film blue After each shot I d turn back to my fiance asking Was it all right Only now do I work up the courage to send a cable to Munich saying that we needmoney Meanwhile I have received the advance on my salary from London The actor being a very mean fellow demands his money back When I ask him why he tells me that his tailor insists on being paid Which wasn t true you know And the suspense continues I get some money from Munich but am still fretting over the hotel bill the rental of motorboats and all sorts of incidentals On the night before we re to leave for Munich I m terribly nervous You see not only don t I want the film star to know it s my first picture but I don t want her to know that we re short of money either that we re a very impoverished unit So I do a really mean thing I manage to twist the facts and put the whole blame on my fiance for bringing the extra girl Therefore I say you ve got to borrow two hundred dollars from the star She tells the star some story and returns with the money enabling me to pay the hotel bill and buy tickets for our sleepers We are to change trains at Zurich in Switzerland to arrive in Munich the following day At the station they make me pay for excess baggage because the two American girls have trunks this high By now we ve almost run out of moneyI must begin my scheming again always those damned accounts And as you know I always make my fiance do all the dirty work I tell her to go and ask the two Americans whether they want to have dinner And to our relief they reply that they won t eat the food on these foreign trains they have brought sandwiches from the hotel This means that the rest of us can afford to have dinner I go back to my calculations and notice that in transferring lire into Swiss francs there is a loss of a few pennies The train is late and there is a connection to make in Zurich At nine PM we see a train moving out of the station it s our train This means that we will have to spend the night in Zurich But there s so little money Just then the train comes to a stop The suspense is almostthan I can bear The porters rush up but I wave them away too expensive and I start to haul the bags myself On Swiss trains as you know the windows have no frames The bottom of one of the suitcases hits a window and there is the loudest noise of falling glass I ve ever heard in my life A railway official dashes up to us saying Monsieur this way please I m taken to the office of the stationmaster where I m informed that the broken window will cost me thirty five Swiss francs So after paying for that I landed in Munich with one pfennig That was my first location shootingFT That s uite a story in fact it sexciting than the scenario But it raises a point I m curious about You claim that at the time you were ignorant about sexual matters and totally innocent Yet in The Pleasure Garden the two girls Patsy and Jill really suggest a couple the one dressed in pajamas the other wearing a nightgown In The Lodger this same inference is evenexplicit with a little blonde who is shown sitting on the lap of a masculine looking brunette in a loge In other words from your very first pictures on there is a distinct impression that you were fascinated by the abnormalAH That may be true but it didn t go very deep it was rather superficial I was uite innocent at the time The behavior of the two girls in The Pleasure Garden was inspired by something that happened when I was assistant director in Berlin in A highly respectable British family invited me and the director to go out with them The young girl in the family was the daughter of one of the bosses of UFA I didn t understand a word of German After dinner we wound up in a night club where men danced with each other There were also female couples Later on two German girls one around nineteen and the other about thirty years old volunteered to drive us home The car stopped in front of a hotel and they insisted that we go in In the hotel room they made several propositions to which I stolidly replied Nein nein Then we had several cognacs and finally the two German girls got into bed And the young girl in our party who was a student put on her glasses to make sure she wouldn t miss anything It was a gemtlich German family soireeFT I see At any rate I take it that the studio work of The Pleasure Garden was shot entirely in Germany AH Yes in Munich We showed the finished picture to Michael Balcon who came over from London to see itAt the end of the picture there was a scene in which Levett the heavy went berserk he threatened to kill Patsy with a scimitar and the doctor arrives with a gun What I did was to have a shot with the gun in the foreground and we placed the madman and the heroine in the background The doctor shoots from a distance and the bullet hits the madman For a moment the shock returns him to sanity The wild look leaves his face as he turns to the doctor and says in a completely normal manner Oh hello doctor Then noticing that he is bleeding he says Oh then collapses and diesDuring the showing of this episode one of the German producers a very important man got up and said It s impossible You cannot show a scene like this It s incredible and it s too brutal At the end of the screening Michael Balcon said The surprising thing is that technically it doesn t look like a continental picture It slike an American film Anyway it got a very good press The London Daily Express ran a headline describing me as the Young man with a master mind FT The following year you made your second picture The Mountain Eagle It was filmed in the studio and on location in the TyrolAH It was a very bad movie The producers were always trying to break into the American market so they wanted another film star And so for the part of the village schoolmistress they sent me Nita Naldi the successor to Theda Bara She had fingernails out to there Ridiculous FT I have the scenario here The story is about a store manager who is after an innocent young schoolteacher She takes refuge in the mountains under the protection of a recluse whom she eventually marries Is that right AH I m afraid it is Copyright copy by Francois Truffaut and ditions RamsayEnglish language translation copyright copy by Franois Truffaut Ce texte fait r f rence l dition BrochPhillip Lopate The New York Times Book Review One is ravished by the density of insights into cinematic uestionsTruffaut performed a tour de force of tact in getting this ordinarily guarded man to open up as he had never done before and never would againIf the Hitchcock Truffaut can now be seen as something of a classic this revised version is even better Ce texte fait r f rence l dition Broch.

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  • Hitchcock, dition dfinitive
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  • 07 October 2020
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