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The Birds Alfred Hitchcock 1963 The Birds is a film that could be considered very misleading to the audience

from the first act. The film starts off as a romantic film, where a guy and a girl are besotted with each other after one visit, and as the girl chases the guy down to bring him some Lovebirds for his younger sister; the audience is treated to a very pleasant and nicely paced romantic film. However, certain clips throughout the first section indicate to the changing genre; as the main lady, Melanie Daniels is attacked by a seagull and a few other scenes involving birds helps to create a certain mystery around what is going to happen next. The Birds has numerous interpretations around it. Around the time that The Birds was released, there was a lot of political issues floating around in the news, it has been said that certain scenes in The Birds has depicted certain aspects of the news such as the scene where the birds attack the fleeing school children. Its been said that this particular scene depicts the Vietnams Napalm attacks, and is suppose to resemble the children fleeing from the Americans Napalm strike. Richard Brody from The New Yorker says; Hitchcocks nature nightmare, which he filmed during the Cuban missile crisis, also reflected the political terrors of the age: the besieged locals call the assault an act of apocalyptic war, and shots of screaming school kids fleeing down a lonely road disturbingly presage the iconic news image of Vietnamese children escaping from American napalm attacks (Brody, N/A)

Much like Richard Brody says, the film has interesting connections to the popular news stories at the time. To modern audiences, this association might not be made so easily due to the ever changing news; however, it seems very coincidental that these depictions have been put into the film at the same time as the stories were popular.

Another interpretation that can be seen in previous films from Hitchcock, is the ever present mother, who, in each of his films, seems to complicate the storyline and for one of the first times in cinema she has created a dysfunctional on-screen family, telling the world that their family is far from perfect, something that was rarely done on-screen. The mother, Lydia, is someone Melaine has to content with to get the affection of her lover, Mitch. Lydia is portrayed as a catty, possessive mother who dislikes the thought of someone stealing away her son, she feels as though if he leaves then shell have no one to care for and no one to care for her anymore. Leo Goldsmith, an online reviewer says; Certainly, one of the major forces Mitch and Melanie must contend with is Lydia, Mitchs skittish, deeply sceptical mother. Hitchcock toys with this idea knowingly, and even lets us revel in Lydias timid attempts at catty gossip about Roman fountains and Melanies profligate highsociety hi-jinks. (Goldsmith, 2012) The image below shows how Lydia is willing to accept her sons lover now that she is relying on her for comfort.

What separated The Birds from Hitchcocks previous films, like Psycho, were the suspense and the lack of explanation that the film had. Psycho was a film that shocked audiences because of its dysfunctional family, dead corpse of a mother and a transvestite son who was slightly crazy; the film ended with a long explanation into why this happened to the son which ultimately ruined the ending. However, The Birds was much different from this and left the interpretation to the audience. There were certain sections of film conversation that indicated towards possible reasons for the attacks, but nothing concrete was said, not logical explanation or reasons involving Freudian theories that ruined the suspense of the film. Leo Goldsmith says; The Birds also proposes its share of rational explanations, but they offer neither satisfaction nor comfort.(Goldsmith, 2012) Throughout the film, numerous characters come up with some sort of explanation to the attacks, whether its revenge, pr the end of the world, neither of these answers satisfies the audiences because they are both uncontrollable reasons.

Bibliography Images Figure 1 - Figure 2 Figure 3 (Screenshot - 1:52) Figure 4 - Quotes Brody, Richard. In: [online] At: (Accessed on: 02/02/13) 2 quotes - Goldsmith, Leo. In: [online] At: (Accessed on 02/02/13)

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