In this shot, we can see the opening title, and a black bird, which might connotedeath. Not much is going on in this shot and little is given away about thesignificance of the birds. In this scene the bird seems tame and controllable, howeverthis is right at the beginning of the film, there is a sense of prolepsis here as the buildup of suspense starts here, everything starting from this scene is building up to theshocking climax.
This shot is typically dark and the tree behind Mitch is in silhouette,the lighting is dim and half of Mitch’s face is in shadow creating achiaroscuro effect. His suit is black and the scene generally looksquite mysterious.
There is something unsettling about the lack of light in this shot, the roombehind Annie is pitch black again bringing the usual connotations of death,the unknown and mystery. Hitchcock has deliberately used less light tocreate a shadowy, dark and mysterious effect that brings more suspenseand we don’t know what could be lurking in the shadows.
The birds completely dominate the scene showing that they are completelyout of control and Mitchs mum and the rest of the family are at mercy of thebirds, the humans are greatly outnumbered. The birds have the upper handin this shot and they are clearly attacking Mitchs mum, and the mediumclose up reinforces this.
This scene is highly disturbing and graphic and introduces elements ofhorror, it was zoomed in using an eerie jump cut, the black hollow spaceswhere the eye used to be are extremely spine-chilling, and the close up shotdefinitely reinforces this, we are forced to look at his dead body in moregraphic detail which is terrifying for the audience especially youngeraudiences.
Here, the scene is a stark contrast from the chaos and horror of most of the scenes, it ismade to be calm and relaxing, as a breakaway from the deaths and destruction the birdsare causing as the two ladies have a ‘mutual understanding’, heart-to-heart scene, it ismore cheerful with a background colour of yellow and it gives the audience a falsesense of security, misleading the audience into thinking the storm has past whenactually the worst is yet to come. So when the terror and havoc of the previous scenesreturn the audence may be thrown with surprise, it gives the film spontaneity.
This blurred shot indicates the action and fast-paced motion of the scene, a lot ishappening, the seagull looks threatening as it has managed to scare 5 fully grownwomen, despite the fact that it is only one. The blur of the shot also suggests thehavoc and riot that the birds have caused.
This shot is also blurry and it is a close up of her face, we can see that her coiffedhair has been ruined and despite the fact that she inside a phone box she is stillpanicking and frantically swatting away birds which suggests the sheer extent of thedestruction and capacity of the birds’ to wreck. The fire in the background adds tothe chaos and shows just how powerful and damaging the birds can be. They areliterally capable of destroying the town and all its people. This could possiblyquestion the audiences typical perception of birds, and challenge their so-called‘innocence’.
This scene is sad and sombre and is also when the lighting of the film is at itsdimmest, possibly connoting the gravity and sombreness of the situation. Theblood is convincing and the fact that her eyes are open make her injuries muchmore frightening. We feel grief for Melanie as she is the protagonist, so we feelmost attached to her, this possibly makes her ‘untouchable’ and never in anydanger however the audience are thrown again as the film ends with this strangeunexpected twist. Hitchcock doesn’t favour the audience he forces the audienceto go along with the plot and accept it. He doesnt give them what they want andhence keeps to the mystery of the thriller.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.