29th October 2012, and it was time again for our 2nd Halloween Demon-ocracy!
So the first edition of the Becca-less Wednesday Review comes from me I’m afraid!
I hope all the nerves have settled after our tense Halloween screening of The Birds!
So, yes, once again congratulations is in order to our supreme leader, who influences us even from foreign lands (it was Becca’s nomination… again! She knows what the people want it seems). However, you may like to know that Edward Scissorhands was a VERY close second, and the Shining in 3rd. Each film got at least 1 vote… except Hocus Pocus… Adam may have to save that one for a night he hosts solo!
So we all gathered round in a drizzly Halloween MNFC to watch Hitchcock’s film, based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story. Wilful young socialite Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), like many other Hitchcock heroines, takes destiny into her own hands and pursues rugged Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) to his home in Bodega Bay on the California Coast, reversing the conventional male/female roles. In doing so she appears to trigger an inexplicable ttack by hoardes of malevolent birds on the Bodega Bay community, culmintating in a horrific assault on Melanie herself by the birds.
We all found things a lot scarier than anticiapted, even for those that had see The Birds before. There was classc Hitchcockian use of point-of-view in the scene in which Melanie, motivated by curiosity and dread, moves towards the stairs and the attic door behind which the birds are massing. And the use of sound and counterpoint with sinister ravens on the school climbing frame whilst the children innocently sing a (really annoying) song was very creepy indeed.
Thank goodness we had some light relief to ease the tensions. Including Lucy’s visions of a big bird coming through the ceiling, which for me brought about memories of this… a very scary bird indeed!
Lucy also seemed to be expecting an evil penguin at one point too. Which, I can only imagine must be this one.
We all marvelled at the special effects, not as bad as we were expecting! Apparently, the climactic scene of the Birds too 7 days to shoot. The birds were attached to Tippi Hedren’s clothes by nylon threads. The actress described it as ‘the worst week of my life’. In other scenes, the birds were fed wheat and whiskey, which is why they were so chilled out/menacing.
It would seem that the Birds has been very influential in other movies/popular culture in it’s depiction of menacing ornithology. I suggest to you the following evidence:
Finally, the cast. Well, with Tippi Hedren so named because of her tight skirts and thus tendency to fall over (along with her unique way of saying “Yes…”), we also have a previous film club appearance as spotted by Lucy from her own film the Children’s hour – Veronica Cartright (also from Aliens fame). Plus Jessica Tandy, from one of my favourite all time movies (coming to an MNFC near you soon!)
And, lest I forget, we had the delights of Adam’s herby balls, and Jon’s anal warts… you really had to be there (pictures may follow)! Sam seemed to change his mind very quickly at the offer of cake for dessert. Some people really can’t handle their aortas… I was glad our Comrade Richards was able to attend tho, even though she did repeatedly request that she wanted a poo. And then let me know how chocolatey and tasty it was.
(PS. Becca – add in Doodles Weaver to your list of amazing cast and crew names! Score!)
That’s all folks. I’ll just leave one last link to click on should any of you need help and support following the horror: http://www.stevegjones.com/poweryourmindtoovercomefearofbirds.htm
And for additional chin stroking: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2012/jul/31/my-favourite-hitchcock-the-birds
See you all at Matt’s on November 26th.
THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY… It’s the end of the world