Last night Julie and I watched the last half of The Birds, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock movie set in Bodega Bay, California. This movie came out in 1963, when I was 1 year old. And yet, I know that I saw it several times (and was terrified by it) before I was 10.
The Birds was a revolutionary film in terms of concept, special effects, and story. And yet, viewed from our thoroughly modern viewpoint of 2008, the special EFX are downright laughable. Same with the patrician accents in which all the actors speak.
But The Birds also, unintentionally, set bird watching back as a socially acceptable behavior by at least two decades. This happened on two levels. First, by elevating birds to Potential Monster Status (there are billions of them and they could attack at any moment). And secondly by placing, smack in the middle of a riveting horror film, a memorable stereotypical characterization of a dowdy bird watcher: Mrs Bundy—complete with beret, long face, über-serious mien, and tact-free know-it-allness. She even mentions the Christmas Count!
Also starring in Hitchcock's avifaunal classic were Jessica Tandy, Rod Taylor, Suzanne Pleshette, and the ever blond and perky Tippi Hedren.
We were enthralled once more by The Birds. And we were amazed that we could recall each scene in great detail—almost like watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show! where you scream things at the characters on screen. "No Tippi! You DITZ! DO NOT take the convertible into town! The birds are attacking! They will SERIOUSLY mess up your bouffant!"
I momentarily came out of my flashback to grab a digital camera and snap off a few shots of the TV screen. Here's YOUR flashback, my friends.
a flock of common ravens hangs around like a gang of juvenile delinquents.
and does not know the proper Latin names of the members of the Corvidae family.
Why, if that happened, we wouldn't stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?"
They returned to Bodega Bay to found the Point Reyes Bird Observatory.
You know, the irony is that Bodega Bay is one of the very best birding spots in the West. You've GOT to go birding there. Just don't take the convertible.