Monday, September 24, 2012

everyday is halloween

the birds [1963]

masterful storytelling.  lots of silence.  pauses.  punctuated by violent action.  the sleepy hamlet of bodega bay is attacked by birds of all species.  no reason is given.  it just happens.  like life.  the soundtrack, music and bird effects are situated by large spaces of eerie quiet.  one of the great scenes in horror cinema are the moments in the diner when the townsfolk of every imaginable stripe and persuasion, from the apocalyptic inebriate foretelling the end of the world to the woman of science with her calm rationale, sit inside attempting to make sense of the behavior of the birds.  the build up is fantastic.  the personalities of the sea-side community are a study of contrasts.  yet when the birds make their largest attack yet and tippi hendron and rod taylor return to the diner they find all of these people huddled inside a narrow corridor of the diner.  the shiteth had hiteth thy fan. 

this is one of hitchcock's most satisfying movies.  dread and non-purpose [why are the birds attacking] weave into the narrative of a playgirl who fancies a man and follows him to his home in bodega bay.  the final images of the birds massed by the hundreds of thousands on the hamlet as the survivors drive into an uncertain future is one of the finest pieces on celluloid. 




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