78/52

3 Stars

A documentary for the obsessive cinephiles among us, 78/52 dissects the watershed film moment of the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Filmmakers, critics, actors, and family members lovingly break down the brilliance of that short but transformative sequence with a breathless fascination that is both credible (in its sincere geekdom) and incredible (for its unabashed admiration). The title refers to the frenetic 78 shots that Hitchcock, his film editor George Tomasini, and composer Bernard Hermann packed into a 52-second scene from the 1960 film. Filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe cleverly shoots this documentary in black-and-white, though his strange use of newly shot Psycho-like footage ill serves his paean to the artistry of the Master of Suspense.

Also at Theatre N in November: Lucky, the great Harry Dean Stanton’s last film (11/17 weekend); Dina, a documentary about a couple with psychological and development issues seeking connection (11/17 weekend); and In Between, a feminist drama about three very different Palestinian roommates (11/24 weekend). For specific dates and times, visit theatren.org.

Mark Fields
Mark Fields has reviewed films for Out & About since October 2008. In addition, he has written O&A profiles of documentarian Harry Shearer and actress Aubrey Plaza. Mark also has written on the movies for several publications in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and his home state of Indiana, where he also served as on-air movie critic for Indianapolis’s public radio station. Mark has been an adjunct instructor of film history at Rowan University since 1998. A career arts administrator, he is the executive director of Wilmington’s Grand Opera House and now lives on Market Street. Mark spent the fastest 22 minutes of his life as an unsuccessful contestant on Jeopardy…sadly, there were no movie questions.