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Paul Jensen

THE BIRDS (1963) 4 stars

One of Hitchcock's greatest films. It's surreal and horrific, mainly due to its creepy sound design. This paved the way for the "disaster" films. It actually traumatized me as a kid. (Goddamn crows!) The sexual subtext is quite interesting. Tippi Hedren represents the modern woman of the 60’s. Strong, independent, sexually confident and aggressive. The birds represent the old-fashioned dogma of keeping feminism in its place. The only birds that don't turn vicious are the lovebirds in the cage. They represent traditional man and woman playing their roles in society. The fact that Hedren gets almost killed and turned into a docile child again is true "horror". The film also takes its time with the characters, making us truly care about them. Hitchcock loves throwing us red herrings in the first half of his films and then the story takes a nasty turn. Psycho and Vertigo are also two great examples of this. The Birds remains a masterpiece.

 

Genre: Horror
Director: Alfred Hitchcock