Francois Truffaut: Are you in favour of the teaching of cinema in universities?
Alfred Hitchcock: Only on condition that they teach cinema since the era of Méliès and that the students learn how to make silent films, because there is no better form of training. Talking pictures often served merely to introduce the theatre into the studios. The danger is that young people, and even adults, all too often believe that one can become a director without knowing how to sketch a decor, or how to edit.
Truffaut: In your opinion, should a film suggest painting, literature, or music?
Hitchcock: The main objective is to arouse the audience’s emotion and that emotion arises from the way in which the story unfolds, from the way in which sequences are juxtaposed. At times, I have the feeling I’m an orchestra conductor, a trumpet sound corresponding to a close shot and a distant shot suggesting an entire orchestra performing a muted accompaniment. At other times, by using colours and lights in front of beautiful landscapes, I feel I am a painter. On the other hand, I’m wary of literature: a good book does not necessarily make a good film.
-excerpted from Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut & Helen G. Scott
Photographer: George Dodge