78/52 refers to the 78 setups and 52 cuts of one of the most iconic scenes in Horror cinema; the shower scene from Psycho(1960). It’s also the title of the upcoming documentary from director Alexandre O. Philippe (Doc of the Dead). The film will delve in-depth of that shocking scene; wherein title character Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) meets her violent end by a knife-wielding intruder in a motel bathroom.
The documentary explores the technical marvels of Alfred Hitchcock’s filming style and his marketing mastery. And too, the emotional impact of one of the most jarring scenes in cinema history. Filmmakers share their emotional connection to the scene hailed by many; including director Guillermo del Toro, director , actor/producer Elijah Wood, author Bret Easton Ellis, composer Danny Elfman, director Karyn Kusama, daughter of Janet Lee and actress Jamie Lee Curtis, and son of Anthony Perkins plus director/actor, Osgood Perkins.
Director Alexandre O. Phillipe described the film to EW:
78/52 is the result of a lifelong passion for Alfred Hitchcock, and his obsessive search for the ultimate cinematic trick.. The shower scene is a watershed cultural moment, the most important scene in the history of motion pictures, the culmination of decades of experimentation for Mr. Hitchcock, and the purest expression of his absolute mastery of the art and craft of filmmaking. That scene is a joy to discover, and endlessly rediscover, because it contains countless mysteries and secrets, and ceaselessly challenges us to think about film as art in new and exciting ways.
Watch the trailer for the documentary above. 78/52 will be released via IFC Midnight in select theatres and VOD on October 13th.
Not enough? If you’d like a preview of the film, 78/52 was covered in Nightmare on Film Street’s podcast coverage of Fantasia Film Festival. Hear our spoiler-free thoughts on the film, and many more upcoming releases!