Critic Reviews



Based on 20 critic reviews provided by
Village Voice
This doc could have been a mess, frankly. But Philippe has put the film together smartly, taking us from the general to the particular.
Even moviegoers who know “Psycho” backward and forward...are bound to learn something new from the movie, which addresses the shower scene from critical, historical, theoretical and technical angles, down to the blinding white of the bathroom tiles.
For a long time now, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” has been two movies, and the hypnotic film-geek documentary 78/52 is an ingenious and irreverent master class in both of them.
78/52 comes to life when riffing on the psychosexual perversity of Psycho, which changed cinema's relationship with sex and violence.
As many note throughout the doc, the best moments that film as a medium has to offer are found in the smallest details. And when you find something truly great, as with this scene, you can just keep looking and looking until you spiral into the same void on which the grisly sequence ends.
Films about single film scenes, however, represent unexplored territory. Which is why 78/52 is such an enticing prospect – a deep dive into one of the most influential moments in cinema history: the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
Screen International
It’s a rare inside glimpse of how a cosmic moment is stitched together.
The film picks up when it gets down to shot-by-shot analysis, allowing editors and other interviewees to break down one of the most famous sequences in movie history.
A resourceful, if rather hyperbolic documentary that devotes 90 minutes to analyzing one of the most famous scenes in film history.
78/52 is at its best in cinema studies mode, examining specific compositional and editing choices made by Hitchcock and his collaborators.

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