Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Challenge #4 - The Birds

I've never seen The Birds because I honestly couldn't believe that birds could be scary. The whole premise seemed sort of silly. In fact, it always made me think of a Far Side cartoon in which a farmer and his wife are sitting in their house looking scared and saying, "Oh no! The chickens have cut the power!".

They're birds.

But, I get a lot of; "YOU haven't seen THE BIRDS?" So, fine. I watched it.

My overall impressions is that it has not aged well and it is not one of Hitchcock's better films. However, I did like it more than I expected to, and probably because he is such a fine director. I did get a little bored though (it is just not that scary), so here are my notes taken while watching:

- I had no idea this was based on a story by Daphne Du Maurnier
-Ahh... San Francisco
-I spy Hitchcock!
-Tippi Hedren... she talks funny. I'm surprised they didn't do re-takes for some of her lines.
-the lack of a constant soundtrack

This was actually the thing I noticed most in watching the film and I really enjoyed it. There's a lot of silence. There isn't a constant score playing, trying to ramp up your emotions. It actually does a better job of letting the audience tense up on their own than if there were screeching violins in the background.

-Ah, painted backdrops. You look so silly.
-Man, pecked out eyes. Way gorier than what I would have expected for something this old.
-I'm sorry. I find this romance utterly unconvincing.
-Ok. The birds on the playground is pretty creepy.
-The kids running away? Not so much.
-Tippi is actually a pretty strong heroine. Surprisingly.
-Bitchy old ornithologist FTW.
-Crazy Irish drunk FTW.
-The birds looking down on the explosion might be my new favorite camera shot.
-Wrestling with a seagull? Not. Scary.
-but those live ones sure looked painful.
-Oh my god. Stop standing there and help.
-Some of those sound effects are not birds. They sound like lasers.
-Oh my god. The birds cut the power!
-I take it it back about her being a strong heroine. Open the fucking door!
-Wait, WHAT?!? That's the end? Abrupt much? Sheesh.

There you go. The Birds in 60 seconds. 2/5 stars.

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