22 October 2011

The Birds



How the plainest creatures can become the things of nightmares. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller The Birds is the story of the most unlikely killers in Northern California, birds. The film starts off with the protagonist Melanie Daniels going to visit her boyfriend Mitch Brenner’s family for a short weekend in hopes to play a small prank on him. Once she arrives at Bodega Bay strange happens begin, first being her attack by an average sea gull. Without an explanation the birds in the town seem to gather together and lead massive attacks on the local civilians. These attacks become serious when neighbors are found dead outside their homes. Scared and unaware of the reason for the birds’ madness survival becomes the key to getting out of this town and finding safety. Melanie, Mitch, and the rest his family try to survive as long as they possibly can within the town, until they come up with a plan to safely leave this dangerous town.
The Birds is an enticing thriller due to its unanswered question for why these birds are such killers. For who would ever suspect that the birds would gather within the thousands and attack humans without a cause or a reason. There is one scene that shows exactly how dangerous the situation is within Bodega Bay. While Melanie is walking down the road she hears the children singing inside the schoolhouse. As she walks closer to hear more she realizes a few crows gathering in front of the schoolhouse. Minutes pass and the schoolhouse has a thousand Ravens squeaking and flying all around. Scared of what may happen to the children she runs into the schoolhouse to inform the teacher. Calmly the teacher instructs the children to quietly leave the schoolhouse and run home. Well once the children go outside the Ravens begin to swarm around and attack them. Seeing the children run and scream with terror is absolutely freighting. This makes you paranoid as you begin to wonder what would happen if the birds near you acted in such a way.
When examining this scene you can see it was Hollywood cinema style. For example in the schoolhouse scene you see a lot of invisible style, this is shots close up to the characters facial expressions and gestures. As the children run out of the schoolhouse, you see close ups of their faces full of terror as they run screaming down the street. All the characters are shown are center in each scene as if it was framed. As the children run down the streets you see each child in the middle of the shot and the houses and fences all around them. The director created the film keeping in mind the costumes, music; characters were heading towards the camera so that it creates a thriller mood. Allowing these techniques, his audience to be quite nervous when seeing the birds attacks the people in the town so close up.

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