78/52

USA 2017. Dir: Alexandre O. Philippe. 91 min. DCP

“A gloriously obsessive deep dive into an unforgettable moment ... The results are hypnotic.”
BILGE EBIRI, VILLAGE VOICE

It took Alfred Hitchcock 78 camera setups and 52 cuts to realize the legendary, 45-second shower scene in Psycho (1960), his landmark of modern horror. This new, absorbing documentary from Alexandre O. Philippe digs into the intention behind those numbers, to make sense of how a single, shocking sequence of technical bravura could affect an entire generation’s bathing habits, and yield a new kind of horror film. Weighing in are scary-movie heavyweights Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro, and Eli Roth, editor-sound designer Walter Murch, film scholar David Thomson, second-gen actors Jamie Lee Curtis (daughter of Janet Leigh, aka Marion Crane) and Oz Perkins (son of Anthony Perkins, aka Norma[n] Bates), among other well-versed shoptalkers. Not unlike Rodney Asch’s captivating fan-theory rabbit hole Room 237, which analyzed Kubrick’s The Shining, Philippe’s close-read doc is as much about the ways we engage with, and obsess over, cinema as it is about cinema itself.

See 78/52 in a double bill with Psycho January 5-6, 11

 

REVIEWS

"A film nerd’s paradise ... A semester or two's worth of film theory packed into an hour and a half of expertly paired imagery and insights."

Chicago Reader | full review

"Obsessive but accessible, the deepest dive imaginable into one of the most celebrated scenes in movie history."

LA Times | full review