Monday, March 19, 2007

No, That's Too Big

Jack's last post led me to go sifting for Alfred Hitchcock clips among YouTube's plagiariffic offerings and I have to say that the children's party scene in The Birds, besides being an editing coup, actually is kind of hilarious, at least once it's chopped down to Internet clip form.

Other good stuff, if you're willing to keep adjusting your volume controls: Saul Bass' taut, striking opening credit sequences for Psycho, Vertigo, and North by Northwest, set to equally fine Bernard Herrmann overtures (though that last clip cuts out rather maddeningly right before the music finishes). And, immortal, freshman-film-seminar type examples of The Gaze, playful and plot-advancing in Rear Window and breathtakingly lush in Vertigo.

The big Birds reference in a Simpsons episode that doesn't involve Hans Moleman in a phone booth is out there too -- I find it easy to forget how densely parodic those early episodes could be, but note how they transition directly from taking off of The Great Escape to taking off of The Birds, taking light jabs at Ayn Rand in the background all the while. I think my biggest disappointment when I finally saw The Birds for the first time was that nobody actually says "Uhhhhggghh... birds" in a Homer-like voice.


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