Film Rec: The Birds

Wow. My computer really must be on a vacation. I'm back in Germany again by way of NJ after a brief stint in China also by way of NJ. Now, I know I haven't left the country, and I doubt the computer is logging in frequent flier miles. Keep it classy, Verizon. Film Rec: The Birds There is a major caveat to this recommendation. I feel it is a disservice to the material this Hitchcock classic is based on to not read Dame Daphne du Maurier's masterful novella before and after watching the film. Hitchcock made a wonderful film based off the premise, but it pales in comparison to the darkly suggestive narritive penned by du Maurier. I know I recommend a lot of horror films, or films with a horror sensibility to them. It is a reflection of my interest in cinema, but also of the intention of this blog. It's a blog about writing. In my opinion, the hardest type of film to write is a horror film. Fear is such a personal thing that finding mass appeal with quality writing is almost impossible. People constantly scrutinize the genre for its flimsy material or cheap tactics, but I see it very differently. The Birds is a perfect example to disprove the widely held beliefs of horror. Intelligent, darkly humorous, and violent, the fim never seems gratuitous. The mystery driving the film - why are the birds attacking? - is not answered to let the mind wander. Hitchcock gives the viewer free reign to see the film however they choose, except for one detail: birds are attacking humans. You can hate the Hitchcock blonde and love the school teacher. You could dislike every character but the woman at the diner preaching the Bible. It does not matter. The film has something for everyone to relate to, even if that something is just the fear of losing control. The dramatic arc of the film is near flawless. With so many major action sequences: the gas pump, the school yard, the house attack, among others, it never becomes predictable. Since we don't necessarily learn why the birds are attacking, we don't know how, where, and when they will attack. The characters don't know anymore than the audience, which is key for accepting an us versus them mentality in horror. For those who argue that the effects are dated an Michael Bay really needs to remake the film, I honestly suggest you watch the film again. Those birds look real. There is no way CGI bird could look better unless they made it an animated film. Please watch it. The film doesn't bite, I promise.

Labels: film rec

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