Thanks for sharing this Jason, I always enjoy looking back on Hitch's career for both the good and the bad. While his last 4 films weren't exactly a quality match to his previous 50, I think there's something to be said about the context you and the video touched on, namely with the state of Hollywood at the time. His lifetime achievement award from the Oscars came a decade before his final film--after 40 years of directing--all while squeezing in hosting/producing 350 episodes of tv shows with his name on them.
I'm reluctant to say he couldn't change with the times, as Frenzy proved otherwise near the end, but especially considering that he started in the silent era making title cards for movies, then directed his first feature in his 20s, less than a decade after WWI. He was able to switch to talkies when many struggled to do so, and jumped across the Atlantic to make his most memorable films in the studio system during the golden age of Hollywood. His biggest hits were popular with audiences at the time but critics didn't fully embrace him as an auteur until Truffaut and the other French film writers began acknowledging how groundbreaking his technical and thematic work was in their Cahiers du Cinema, decades later.
By that time, he was already in his 60s, and Hollywood was certainly changing. His longtime collaborators were dying or separating from him, and during his final stretch of 4 films, he was attempting to keep up as indie film was on the rise along with the New Hollywood movement, which as you know was changing the power structure of the industry, and the Vietnam War's ripple effect was shifting what audiences were looking for in entertainment. He still found room to experiment and play in those last films, and the changes with the film ratings board let him do things he had never been able to put on celluloid previously (for better or worse).
Final thoughts and context: his last film was released the year between Jaws and Star Wars, the movies that created and defined the term "blockbuster." Still, he was making films every 2-3 years and he worked up to the end, dying after a long period of increasingly poor health just 4 years after Family Plot was released. To me, what's most telling about Hitch in his "dark ages" as the video calls it, is his determination to keep telling human stories. Some were boring departures to the moviegoing public, some were on a smaller scale than usual or didn't have as many familiar names and faces, but he found them all interesting enough to try to share with the world. His time and energy went into them even when young new filmmakers were finding success riffing on his established style and stories. His friends and collaborators were gone, and his own body was failing him in the process, but he wasn't afraid to take chances when he had the opportunity, even if it risked subverting expectations and disappointing fans.
Looking forward to this, Jason!
Love Lynch's thoughts and encouragements around writing and ideation. From someone whose work is not considered mainstream and often left open to interpretation, it's funny to hear recommendations that include a specific number of scenes to target and a legit story structure. For more from him on storytelling, his book Catching the Big Fish is a quick read with nice insights into his process (and of course some sections on TM, but to him it's all connected).