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Obsessive but accessible, the deepest dive imaginable into one of the most celebrated scenes in movie history, the documentary "78/52" looks at a brief three minutes of cinema the way it's never been looked at before.
The calibre of interviewees and the level of their insights in Alexandre O. Philippe's film is on the distinctly variable side, closer to one of those I Love... nostalgia-fests that are used to pad out the television schedules than to something valuable.
Alexandre O. Philippe's close reading of the Psycho shower scene is as refreshingly fun and perceptive as his documentary's name (referring to Alfred Hitchcock's 78 camera setups and 52 edits over three violent minutes) is eggheaded and clinical.
Who doesn't remember where he was when Leigh shed black bra and slip, unwrapped a bar of complimentary Bates Motel soap, and washed away her sins? ... Unfortunately doc's scholarship feels sketchy, arbitrary.
Philippe's geekiness is infectious. His passion for film shines through most when he invites some of his interviewees-like horror nerd Elijah Wood and his friends-to watch the film on camera and comment on its foreshadowing and subtle motifs.