Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Birds - TCM Fathom event

Many thanks to Raquelle at Out of the Past!  Through her recent contest, I won two tickets and took my boyfriend to see The Birds last night on the big screen.  The Birds has always been up in my top five Hitchcock films, mostly because of Rod Taylor, and the fact that I grew up twenty minutes from Bodega Bay.  Seeing this movie is like revisiting my youth!  We used to stop by the building used for the schoolhouse quite frequently (it is actually not near the bay, but a fair bit inland and was an antique shop last time I was there... a long time ago), we would eat at The Tides restaurant, and we'd drive around the bay past where the Brenner house would have stood.  I also really love how the bird attacks grow in scale throughout the movie, how there is zero explanation of what sets them off, how those birds are pretty darned frightening in their sheer quantity and mindless inexorability.  I also loved the subtle, wary, and complex relationships between the characters.

My favorite scene has always been the very last one of the movie, as they get warily into the car and drive away, surrounded by the temporarily quiescent birds.  My second favorite scene has always been the attack on the house at the end, watching those bird beaks slowly break through the wood of the door, Rod Taylor rushing about to prevent them from breaking in.  Loved that!  The most frightening scene for me was always finding out what happened to the farmer.  Egads!

I think I also always liked this movie growing up because -- and this will sound really odd -- but it seemed like one of the more realistic Hitchcock films to me.  The characters are caught up in their own lives, dealing with love and loss without another care in the world but their own, and into their world comes this unexplainable force of nature that wreaks havoc and forces them to rethink what is important.  I loved that collision of nature with daily human life.


Last night was the first time I've seen the movie in probably fifteen years.  I found that I appreciated the dialogue and subtext between the characters a lot more now than when I was younger.  I particularly liked Jessica Tandy now, where I didn't like her character when I was young. 

The image was not the sharpest, but other than that, I had no real complaints about the technical side of the viewing.  I really hope they continue releasing films; however, I really wish they'd do it on a Saturday instead of a Wednesday.  Weekdays are impossible for my family to attend due to work schedules.  Very frustrating.

6 comments:

  1. I have never seen this movie, but I love the fact that you had an opportunity to attend the big screen showing. What a generous gift from Raquelle!

    I'm with you on hoping they continue to release classic films for big screen showing. Here's my wish/hope...next year is 60 years since 1953, which means, how about a 60th anniversary showing of Stalag 17!! Can you imagine Bill Holden on the big screen?! I'm also hoping that since From Here to Eternity was such an iconic film of 1953, that a 60th anniversary showing of that will occur. (As I recall, you, like my daughter, don't care for that film. But I would love it on the big screen.)

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    1. I really hope they do show "From Here to Eternity" just so you can go see it! You're right, in that I would pass on that one, but they really should show it. And Stalag 17 would be most lovely. I'd be there!!

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  2. I'm glad you have fun watching the film. I'm jealous that you got to see some of the filming locations. I didn't quite catch the complexity of the character relationships. Maybe it was too subtle for me. I think this needs another viewing!

    I do love how the birds become more encompassing and how there are more and more of them. It's quite frightening! And even though I had a million questions after the showing I'm really glad there was no reason for the birds attack. As you say, it adds to the mystery.

    Love the post!

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    1. Thanks! I often wonder how differently I would approach certain movies if I saw them for the first time as an adult instead of as a child. We ask such different questions at different ages.

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  3. This is one of my least-favorite Hitch movies. I think maybe I just don't like Tippi Hedron much, cuz I don't care for Vertigo either. I've seen both of those twice, and nope, don't care for them. Too bleak? No characters I want to be friends with? Both, I expect.

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    1. I can see that about both movies, our revelations and all! :-D Kim Novak is in "Vertigo"; Tippi's in "The Birds" and "Marnie." I love Tippi in both, though "Marnie" creeps me out as a movie, and I really have no desire to see it again. I still saw it at a young enough age that Tippi heavily imprinted on me, more as Marnie than as her character in "The Birds." Of course, I want to be Rod Taylor's character in "The Birds," so that's another reason it works for me personally, besides the reasons I listed in the post. :-D "Rear Window" and "To Catch a Thief" are my top two favorite Hitchcock movies.

      You know which Hitchcock movie I've never been able to get into? "North by Northwest." That one bores me silly, and it's one I definitely don't want to be anybody in it.

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