The Birds is a 1963 move created by Alfred Hitchcock. It is a film that has raised a number of questions about why it was made. Filmsite.org talks about the symbolism in the film: “It is about three needy women (literally 'birds') - and a fourth from a younger generation - each flocking around and vying for varying degrees of affection and attention from the sole, emotionally-cold male lead, and the fragile tensions, anxieties and unpredictable relations between them.” (Filmsite.org, 2015). It's seems like the multiple motives of blindness show that the character is not able to grasp what is happening to them. The birds, somehow, the birds that attack are constantly aiming for the eyes of a person, causing them to be blind.
The attacks bring a sense of paranoia and chaos, highlighting the realistic representation of the neurotic woman in the restaurant. (Figure 2.). In this specific scene, there is a very accurate representation of how people are in distress, pushed to far and their mind is pressured to have a complete denial of what just happened. Therefore this restaurant is a symbol of a persons mind, which is also displayed when the religious believer starts to rant at how the apocalypse is upon them. As it was a small enclosed space, the element of claustrophobia causes emotions to push the people to their extremes, their fear rapidly escalating to absolute terror.
(fig. 2 – movie still)
Alfred Hitchcock's ability to misdirect audience is featured within this film. Heavily when the films as a playful romantic drama, which you can watch on a afternoon and then ends up redirecting itself towards a apocalyptic scenario and a symbolic representation of woman. Bosley Crowther states in his review in The New York Times ''Whether Mr. Hitchcock intended this picture of how a plague of birds almost ruins a peaceful community to be symbolic of how the world might be destroyed (or perilously menaced) by a sudden disorder of future's machinery is not apparent in the picture. Nor is it made readily clear whether he meant the birds to represent the classical Furies that were supposed to pursue the wicked on this earth.'' (Crowther, 1963). He also states in a later review. “Notice how clear and naturalistic the narrative elements are: a plausible confrontation, beautiful scenery, a literal enactment of a playful intrigue—all very nicely arranged. Then, sneakily, Mr. Hitchcock tweaks us with a tentative touch of the bizarre. The plausible is interrupted by a peculiar avian caprice. A seagull attacks the young woman. Flocks of angry gulls whirl in the air. A swarm of sparrows swoops down a chimney and whirrs madly through a living room. And, then, before we know it, he is flying in shock waves of birds and the wild, mad, fantastic encounter with a phenomenon of nature is on.” (Crowther, 2015). This film, the way Hitchcock has directed it, have pre-cured a rare quality of provoking its audience, not to look, but to try and see, to observe and ponder. It makes the views want to think and what is really important for its legacy to live on.
(Fig. 3 – movie still)
In conclusion, it does not provide us with any answers, it leaves the audience lost, but at the same time absorbed in the world as it presents them with a thought that puzzled and astounded them.
Fig. 1 - Impawards.com, (2015). The Birds: Extra Large Movie Poster Image - Internet Movie Poster Awards Gallery. [online] Available at: http://www.impawards.com/1963/posters/birds_ver3_xlg.jpg [Accessed 20.03. 2015].
Fig. 2 - 3.bp.blogspot.com, (2015). [online] Available at: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CRBK_oJYQOo/SwDTLnC64VI/AAAAAAAAAyE/JyWhIOcvcgk/s1600/cap691.bmp [Accessed 20.03. 2015].
Fig. 3 - 4.bp.blogspot.com, (2015). [online] Available at: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-74fZuyl3vlk/TVfm4Gm00UI/AAAAAAAAAuA/2aNAamjKdb0/s1600/birds+3.png [Accessed 20.03. 2015].
Brooks, X. (2012). My favourite Hitchcock: The Birds. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2012/jul/31/my-favourite-hitchcock-the-birds [Accessed 20.03.2015].
Crowther, B. (2015). Movie Review - The Birds - Screen: 'The Birds':Hitchcock's Feathered Fiends Are Chilling - NYTimes.com. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9D05E7D9143CEF3BBC4953DFB2668388679EDE [Accessed 20.03. 2015].
Filmsite.org, (2015). The Birds (1963). [online] Available at: http://www.filmsite.org/bird.html [Accessed 20.03. 2015].