The second film of choice for the ILC’s Movie Club was Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Six souls braved the VIP theatre at the Cinema in Camana Bay to watch the disturbing thriller classic from the master of suspense.
Released in 1963 The Birds is loosely based on a story published a decade earlier by Daphne du Maurier – although anyone who’s encountered the ‘Ching Ching’ yearly ritual of dive-bombing people who come too close to their nests might wonder if the famous director had ever visited this small part of the Caribbean.
Starring Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy and Suzanne Pleshette the drama takes place over the course of a few days where a series of sudden and unexplained violent bird attacks occur on the people of a fictional small coastal town called Bodega Bay, California. The strikes start innocuously at first with a single seagull striking the head of the leading lady before gradually building in numbers and swarming on a child’s birthday party, then the kids as they leave from school before rounding on the whole town leaving havoc in their wake.
The bird-attack sequences are both terrifying and terrifically complex. Apparently, the film maker used a mixture of real and mechanical birds throughout the movie and the absence of a soundtrack rendered the horror more immediate with caws, strident screeches and rustling wings the replacement for a score. At times I could only watch with fingers in my ears – the true horror was the sound.
Just exactly why a plague of birds begins attacking people and ruin a peaceful community is discussed within the movie but never explained. Much discussion can be found from filmgoers and critics as to the reason but the question has never been answered. Unlike most movies of the time the film does not finish with the usual "The End" title because Hitchcock wanted to give the impression of unending terror. And when audiences left the UK premiere at the Odeon in Leicester Square they were greeted by the sound of screeching and flapping birds from loudspeakers hidden in the trees to scare them further. Thankfully, here in Cayman in 2019, we had only the sound of a gentle sea breeze rustling through the palm trees as we left the cinema.
Until next time, Ally – ILC Movie Club
ILC Movie Club
New for this year the Movie club aims to either visit the cinema or watch a movie at a member’s home once a month followed by discussion over a glass of wine. Movie details go out to members on the website, via the weekly updates and monthly newsletter.
Next event: To be confirmed!