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The Birds (1963)

The Birds (1963)

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Published by kinblob
The Birds Alfred Hitchcock
The Birds Alfred Hitchcock

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Published by: kinblob on Feb 09, 2013
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06/08/2014

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The Birds (1963)
Alfred Hitchcock
 
Cast
Tippi Hedren ... Melanie Daniels
 
Suzanne Pleshette ... Annie HayworthRod Taylor ... Mitch BrennerJessica Tandy ... Lydia BrennerVeronica Cartwright ... Cathy BrennerEthel Griffies ... Mrs. Bundy - OrnithologistCharles McGraw ... Sebastian Sholes - Fisherman in DinerDoreen Lang ... Hysterical Mother in DinerRuth McDevitt ... Mrs. MacGruder - Pet Store ClerkJoe Mantell ... Traveling Salesman at Diner's BarMalcolm Atterbury ... Deputy Al MaloneKarl Swenson ... Drunken Doomsayer in DinerElizabeth Wilson ... Helen Carter
Figure 1. Film Poster
 
There was King Kong, Godzilla, Jaws, and then there was Birds; like the other 3 films Birds at its exterior is a nature verseshuman film, what separates each films from one another is their subtext, they all have a separate message. The Birds is wellrecognised as
Hitchcock’s’
best, and it
s no wonder as the film was released at the peak of this career.As a film to modern audiences on a wide scale, the film
doesn’t
hold up and isn
t as enjoyable as it would be if it was viewed on theyear of release, this is mostly down to the outdated visual effects and how long it makes you wait, the film uses a lot of cameraangles and long silences to create suspense, when really nothing
s happening, having birds as a threat isn
t really believable andthough not explained properly, Hitchcock drops little hints that the film isn
t in fact about the birds, some say they signifyMelanie
s sexual desire, but it could in fact show natures slow eruption of rage. After looking into the film and studying it furtheronly then can
Hitchcock’s
intensions be clear, if a film isn
t clear from the first viewing, maybe the director wasn
t successful.The film is very character driven, the viewers get a glimpse into the character
s lives as the film goes on, at its core this is whatthe film
s about;
“     
We get glimpses of people leading lives of quiet desperation 
”     
 
(Ballard, 2012) the characters in the film haveissue which aren
t that big but to them it
s everything, these unresolved issues become insignificant when the town is attacked byBirds, most characters introduced are female and the film has one main male character but focuses on Tippi Hedren
s character,Ballard describes these issues as demons and every character is consumed by them until the big attack happens, and as the filmis opened to interpretation, it could very well be about what society has turned into and Hitchcock
s fulfilling some fantasy ofwaking up the public in this fictional world, if everyone had a common enemy they
ll be more communication and less conflict,people will be less engulfed in their tiny issues.The film follows Melanie on her journey to the Bodega Bay and due to the way it
s structured and the timing of the attack, theattack could be easily blamed on her, just like one woman did after the children were attacked, Brooks talks about this momentand states that
“     
this implies that the birds are a manifestation of sex 
”     
(Brooks, 2012), again this could be Hitchcock giving theviewers a till piece of the puzzle to understand, but again a crazy man at the diner she was at quotes the bible and talks about theend of the world, this
ll make sense for theory that the it was nature simply attacking the humans simply because of how selfishand contained everyone was, here Hitchcock is yet again playing God and smiting down the people of Bodega Bay.There
s an attack which happens when Melanie is outside the children
s school, this is interesting because it isn
t clear whatdraws the birds to the location, and what
s really odd is the children are singing an old Scottish Ballad which is very sexist and isabout wife beating,
 
“     
She wadna bake, nor she wadna brew 
”     
(Wee Cooper o' Fife - Robert Watson, 2009), the attack could bespurred on by the song or the female, either way this scene is edited and put well together every time behind the female
Figure 2. Birds Attack the school
 
character is shown more birds appear, it
s slow but effective tension builds because not happens as they begin to pile and theviewers are left waiting till the apparatus is thick with birds.The ending of the film seemed abrupt, it was as though there was a final act left to go, and this is because there actually was, butHitchcock felt it this was a fitting ended, he didn
t want the typical The End ending, but
“     
he wanted to imply a never-ending terror 
”     
 
(Gugie, 2007), because though these characters have now conquered demons and now free from the Birds, the ending impliesthat the attack is wide spread and though their safe, other places are still in dangerThe Birds is a film very much about a mother who resents every woman, her son bring home as it is about a socialist woman whowent on a very elaborate yet flirtatious quest to play a simple prank and end up falling in love. At its core Birds is about thepeople, their relationships, it
s about family and though the birds pose as a threat it was a means to which people were forced todropped their issues and focus on the important things.
Figure 3. The Final scene

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