Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4

Cutting Edge Film Review The Birds

Cutting Edge Film Review The Birds Figure 1 The Birds is a film directed by Alfred

Figure 1

The Birds is a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in 1963, a few years after Hitchcocks most famous work Psycho from 1960. Being a film of the same genre, horror and thriller, many consider the film to be a huge step down from Psycho as it arguably lacks sense and believability like his previous works. However Hitchcock does not disappoint with his use of camera positioning and camera tricks.

Plot: Melanie Daniels is a city girl from San Francisco who stumbles upon Mitch Brenner in a pet shop who plays a joke on her so she decides to pursue him to his weekend home in Bodega Bay with his mother and younger sister to return the favour. Shortly after her arrival she is randomly attacked by a gull leaving a large cut on her head. Soon more birds start to attack the citizens of Bodega Bay on random intervals in the street and even breaking into Brenners home in the end scene.

Throughout the film Hitchcock uses the power of suspense and slowly builds the fear of what may happen. The audience is waiting, alongside the characters, for the congregating flocks of birds to attack and the thought of what terrors the birds may inflict builds the scare factor even before any actual attack takes place.

- “The horror lies not in the actions of the birds, but in the waiting for the birds to strike. The idyllic set-up destroyed by animals out of control, the deaths that mount, the terror that builds and finally the slow escape that will either work or is destined for death. The Birds brings the horror to your mind, it’s very much a cerebral horror film from beginning to end.” -B. Thompson, 2009

Figure 2 In a scene where the birds start attacking, Melanie runs into a phonebooth

Figure 2

In a scene where the birds start attacking, Melanie runs into a phonebooth to protect herself and Hitchcock actually places the camera inside with her. The use of the camera inside the phone-booth takes the viewer into the nightmare situation that Melanie finds herself in. You can feel her fear at being trapped in a confined space while fierce, squawking seagulls fly straight into the sides of the booth, shattering the glass in an attempt to get at her. At the same time she can see, on all sides, the attacks by thousands of seagulls on the people of the town, where cars are crashing and bursting into flames and people are being pecked to death as they try to run away.

- “The bird attacks are mounted with superb artistry in the same clipped, droll and immaculately staged style we have come to know from Hitchcock. There is a terrifying sequence with Tippi Hedren trapped inside a phone-booth where Hitchcock places the camera inside the booth sharing the claustrophobia of the assault.” - R. Scheib, 200?

Hitchcock places the camera inside the booth sharing the claustrophobia of the assault.” - R. Scheib,

Figure 3

In the famous schoolyard scene, Hitchcock uses a simple but powerful camera trick to build the tension. The camera alternates between Melanie sitting on a bench smoking a cigarette, to that of the climbing frames behind her in the schoolyard. The tension is cranked up slowly as small groups of crows fly in to sit on the frames, until all the frames are covered with menacingly quiet birds, while the children can be heard singing a brightly repetitive song. The fear is in the anticipation that, while the children are safe inside the school singing their song, they will soon be coming out of the doors to be met by the crows who are sitting waiting for them.

- “Hitchcock’s classic ‘build, release and repeat’ method of creating suspense is made use of to perfection in conjunction with Hedren’s performance. In one of the most famous scenes in cinema, Melanie sits outside the Bodega Bay School listening to a slowly rising round song being sung by the children, while the birds gather menacingly in twos and threes behind her unknowing back. When she realises what is happening, the birds do not attack straight away, but watch her in eerie silence as she goes into the school to try to get the children to safety.” - H. Matthews, 2012

her in eerie silence as she goes into the school to try to get the children

Figure 4