By: Henry J. Fromage (Two Beers) –
It can’t be overstated how influential Psycho was, but it can be easy to forget out paradigm-shifting it was at the time.
Horror movies were a bit different before this point…
78/52 is a star-studded, meticulous examination of Psycho, and more specifically, the 78/52 setups & cuts employed by Alfred Hitchcock in the famous three-minute shower scene that, as this documentary posits, changed everything.
Director Alexandre O. Philippe does a stunning job of gathering together so many luminaries across the scope of Hollywood history, so many unique and insightful viewpoints, to each give their own personal contribution to contextualizing what this seminal moment in filmmaking history meant at the time, to the people making the film, in reference to the films that preceded and would follow it, and to the many, many filmmakers it inspired or imprinted itself on in some indelible way.
I shudder to think of a universe without Hitchcock.
While I wouldn’t call this approach entirely unprecedented, it’s still interesting to see Philippe rely almost entirely on talking heads and create the thesis for his documentary around their multifarious contributions. He probably hit on the perfect way to highlight just how influential this film was by letting those who were influenced tell its story.
I saw one review tag this film as ‘hyperbolic’, and if the shoe doesn’t fit all the way, you can get most of your foot in it. Certainly some voices are more perhaps overly effusive than others, and we probably didn’t need to bring Gus Van Sant’s Pyscho remake into it, either…
“Nope” – all of film-dom.
78/52 is an exhaustive, engaging peek into the filmmaking craft and psychology behind Psycho‘s infamous shower scene and the outsized effect it had on future filmmakers.
78/52 (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every famous director, actor, or screenwriter interviewed
Take a Drink: for each Hitchcock film referenced
Take a Drink: whenever the shower scene is shown
Do a Shot: whenever Hitchcock himself comes off a tad creepy