Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho receives the obsessive documentary it deserves with 78/52. Alexandre O. Phillippe’s new film broadly explores the making and legacy of Psycho, but also devotes a large portion of its running time to one infamous moment: the shower scene, where Hitchcock changed cinema forever with 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits.
Phillippe has assembled a who’s who of talent to wax poetically on Psycho and its shower scene, including Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, writer Bret Easton Ellis, Walter Murch, Danny Elfman, Elijah Wood, and Jamie Lee Curtis and Oz Perkins, the respective children of Psycho stars Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins.
See the film’s trailer below.
The screeching strings, the plunging knife, the slow zoom out from a lifeless eyeball: in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho changed film history forever with its taboo-shattering shower scene. With 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits over the course of 3 minutes, Psycho redefined screen violence, set the stage for decades of slasher films to come, and introduced a new element of danger to the moviegoing experience. Aided by a roster of filmmakers, critics, and fans-including Guillermo del Toro, Bret Easton Ellis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eli Roth, and Peter Bogdanovich-director Alexandre O. Philippe pulls back the curtain on the making and influence of this cinematic game changer, breaking it down frame by frame and unpacking Hitchcock’s dense web of allusions and double meanings. The result is an enthralling piece of cinematic detective work that’s nirvana for film buffs.
78/52 opens on October 13.