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: The Alfred Hitchcock Discussion Thread  ( 187852 )
dave jenkins
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« #330 : December 31, 2012, 12:47:33 PM »

But with The Birds, it's nothing to do with a positive subtlety or ambiguity or whatever. It's plain and simple seeing a calamity happen over and over -- completely unexpected and unnatural, nobody knows why its happening -- yet at the end, we don't know either. Not one drop. Not a hint or a clue.
Not true. In the diner scene various characters weigh in with their interpretation of events. The viewer is free to adopt any of these. Or none. Or create their own based on the evidence presented. Or to conciously forego explanation entirely, as a surealist would.

Your suggestion that we be given some neat explanation--that the town of Bodega Bay was built on an Indian burial ground, for example, OR that nuclear testing at sea has affected the birds, OR that a collective avian Omni-mind is now martialing revenge strikes on the humans, OR a hundred-other-Hollywood-bullshit-reasons--wouldn't make the film better, just make it seem more like a lot of other films. But we have those other films in abundance. I personally prefer a lot of variety in cinema, and I'm glad The Birds is the unique experience it is.



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« #331 : December 31, 2012, 01:01:20 PM »

a "brave decision"? How about a "lazy decision"? or an "uncreative one"?


Yeah, we're all waiting for this big revelation at the end, and as the minutes tick away (especially if you are watching on dvd, rather than in a theater, and you check the timer, and see the minutes ticking down and wondering, WHEN ARE THEY GOING TO TELL US THE BIG REVELATION?") yes, I guess you can say it's in it's own weird way "innovative" or "groundbreaking" or "new" or "original." But I don't believe that any of those things are good per se'; it's great to be "innovatively good," or "groundbreakingly good." We've seen a millio times where filmmakers seem to believe that being different or unconventional is good just for the sake of beoing different or unconventional.

Being different is always a good thing, but does not necessarily make a good film.

And no idea is "per se" good, it always depends on the context. What I love in one film I will maybe hate in another one. Depends on the film ...

And a certain idea is automatically innovative as long as no one else did it before.

But I have no clue how any kind of whatever explanation could have turned The Birds in a better film. Imo every explanation would have cost some quality.


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« #332 : January 07, 2013, 04:56:14 AM »

after seeing The Birds, I now just saw Marnie, and I gotta say, Tippi Hedren was a great actress. If her story about Hitch being obsessed with her and destroying her career out of spite are true, then -- in addition to it being sad, most importantly, for Hedren, having a career and life screwed up -- it's also sad for us that we didn't get to see her more.


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« #333 : February 10, 2013, 01:12:34 AM »

just saw Shadow of a Doubt (1943) for the first time, gets a 6/10

Hitch's daughter Pat says, "This was my father's favorite movie, because he loved the idea of bringing menace into a small town."


SPOILERS:  I guess it was disappointing for me in the way the story develops, there really are almost no surprises, almost no SUSPENSE. We know there is something mysterious about Uncle Charlie, the only question is WHAT, the most suspense in the movie is when Young Charlie finds it out after making it to the library just on time. So he is wanted for murder, and that's it. We're waiting for some big surprise that never comes.

When the other suspect is killed, it really makes no sense that the cops stop going after Uncle Charlie; there was no mention that they ever found any proof that the other guy was guilty. So Uncle Charlie is still  the guilty one -- 99.9% if not 100% - the shadow of a doubt.

So it comes down to this: mysterious uncle comes to town, men are after him; Young Charlie (and the viewer) find out what it is that he is wanted for, he is wrongfully exonerated, he tries several times unsuccessfully to kill young Charlie who knows the truth, then he gets killed at the end.

This movie really has no suspense -- unless you say that waiting for a twist that never happens is suspense (which is kinda what happens with The Birds -- we never do find out wtf the animals were attacking, and IMO that diminished from the movie


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« #334 : February 10, 2013, 02:28:43 AM »

What twist did you expect?

As far as I remember it it was clear from the first scene on that Cotten was a woman murderer. As always by Hitch the suspense is not about things we have to guess, but is build around things we know. The tension between the 2 Charlies makes this film great. This is one of Hitchcock's abysmal films. And one of his best.


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« #335 : March 01, 2013, 10:50:14 PM »

My favourite of his would probably have to be Rear Window (1954), I remember watching it when I was about 9 or 10 and got so tense during the scenes when Lisa was in Thorwald's apartment and when Thorwald was coming to Jeff's apartment. The man really knows how to direct suspense.


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« #336 : March 02, 2013, 08:26:54 AM »

Yes, but more to the point, the suspense is never usually an end in itself. At least, not in his later films. Certainly not in RW.



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« #337 : March 25, 2013, 05:29:20 AM »

Just saw I Confess for the first time. This is a damn good movie. 8/10.


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« #338 : March 27, 2013, 12:42:21 AM »

I wish more trailers like Hitchcock's intro to The Birds were made today.


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« #339 : March 28, 2013, 04:05:56 AM »

Just saw I Confess for the first time. This is a damn good movie. 8/10.


Nah.



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« #340 : March 28, 2013, 11:31:28 PM »

Nah.

Yeah.


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« #341 : March 29, 2013, 06:27:33 AM »

Don't make me come over there.



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« #342 : March 29, 2013, 06:20:24 PM »

Don't make me come over there.

Please do, you'll enjoy it here in the land down under :)


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« #343 : May 05, 2013, 12:35:50 PM »

The Lady Vanishes (1938) 5/10

The first half of the movie is enjoyable, until this turns into a silly comedy/mystery/thriller.

Margaret Lockwood is pretty.


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« #344 : July 03, 2013, 06:27:19 AM »

A great introduction to Bernard Herrmann, so well done that even tin-eared Groggy should get something out of it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipo5Lgz4GFQ

(a tip of the hat to DVD Savant for publicizing the link)



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