About the Film
Everybody knows the scene, even those who have never seen the film. The fast cuts, the running water, Janet Leigh’s shocked face, and Bernard Herrmann’s frantic music.
78/52 is a 90-minute tribute to the iconic shower murder scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. A group of artists discuss the process of filming the scene, dissecting Hitch’s choices—from his camera angles and compositions to the film’s soundtrack—offering not a lesson in filmmaking, but a glimpse into the mind of a notoriously perfectionist director, one who made his sound designer stab endless types of fruit to find just the right sound a knife would make as it pierced human flesh.
Film professionals, among them some who actually worked on Psycho—like Marli Renfro, Leigh’s body double in the shower scene—as well as Jamie Lee Curtis, Leigh’s daughter, acclaimed director Guillermo del Toro, and actor Elijah Wood, in addition to other editors, producers and musicians, all speak of the scene’s significance to them. In their eyes, one can see how those 78 shots (the longest of which was only a few second long) managed to invent a new form of cinematic narration.
You might think films about filmmaking tend to be dull, but thousands of film lovers who have watched 78/52 in major film festivals around the world this year, after its well-praised premiere in Sundance, might strongly disagree.
Directed by: Alexandre O. Philippe
Alexandre O. Philippe holds a master's degree in dramatic writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is creative director of Denver-based Cinema Vertige and Exhibit A Pictures. He has directed several narrative and documentary shorts, including Left, The Spot and Inside, which screened at over 70 international film festival winning a slew of awards. He is credited as writer, director and producer of feature length films including The People vs. George Lucas (2010), The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (2012)
and Doc of the Dead (2014). Philippe is also co-owner and co-creator of Fried Comics.