December 3, 2015

Kent Jones’ fleet, sturdily poetic documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut is partly a story about two filmmakers, but mostly it’s the story of a book: in 1962 French director François Truffaut, then 30, sat down with Alfred Hitchcock, 63, for a weeklong chat that would result, four years later, in a near sacred text for movie lovers, one that would influence many of the filmmakers whose work we enjoy today.

Jones draws from the original interview tapes–adding a rigorous selection of film clips–to show how that book, titled Hitchcock in the U.S., took shape. He also rounds up a clutch of filmmakers who have taken inspiration from it, including Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Richard Linklater and Wes Anderson, whose personal paperback copy has been so well loved that it’s now held together with a rubber band. “It’s not even a book anymore,” he says. “It’s, like, a stack of pages.” This is a jewel box of a movie for anyone who loves either Hitchcock or Truffaut–or better yet, both.

This appears in the December 14, 2015 issue of TIME.

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