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New Acclaimed Doco Invites You to Take a Shower with Hitchcock


Monster Pictures will release the DVD of 78/52 on October 18. Directed by Alexandre O. Philiippe, the documentary is a tribute to the now infamous shower scene sequence from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.

The title refers to the number of set-ups and cuts in the two minute shower scene in the Bates Motel that shocked audiences on release in 1960. Philippe, known for his other pop culture inspired docos such as The People vs George Lucas, offers an impassioned, fan boy-in-overdrive take on the masterful set-piece, depicting, in manic detail, how the now legendary sequence changed cinema forever.

“It was actually the first time in the history of movies,” says acclaimed filmmaker and film historian Peter Bogdanovich, one of the film's high profile interviewees, “that it wasn't safe to be in a movie theater.”

Other luminaries alongside Bogdanovich include star of Halloween and daughter of Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis, director of The Devil's Backbone Guillermo del Toro, film composer Danny Elfman, American Psycho novelist Bret Easton Ellis, Neil Marshall, masterful sound artist Walter Murch, director Richard Stanley and actor Elijah Wood.

Despite only existing for a few minutes on screen the whole sequence took a week to shoot. The implications of it range far and wide, changing the landscape of cinema and the expectations of cinemagoers. In short Hitchcock made murder an acceptable part of entertainment.

Flavorwire calls it “a thoughtful celebration of film and what it's capable of.”

Bilge Ebiri writing in the Village Voice calls it “a gloriously nerdy deep-dive into the infamous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.” He adds, “The results are hypnotic.”

Perhaps del Toro says it best. “[Hitchcock] has broken the covenant of filmmaker and audience, and the audience cannot wait to see more.”