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.