Monday, 20 February 2017

Thursday, 16 February 2017

"The Birds" (1963)

Fig. 1 "The Birds" Poster
Three years after Alfred Hitchcock’s successful horror film “Psycho” (1960), comes another masterpiece “The Birds”. “The Birds” is an American horror-thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1963. Nevertheless, such great film was also based on “The Birds” novel written by Daphne du Maurier in 1952. The film focuses on sudden and unexplained violent bird attacks, leaving viewer to be shocked from bird scenes. As Joseph Pellegrino writes in his review: "[…] it is Hitchcock we stay, but take away the birds and there is no film left" (Pellegrino, 2011). (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2 Hitchcock with birds
From the very beginning, the audience couldn’t think of birds as enemies, but the film develops birds to seem like serial killers. The first half of the film consists of romantic acts, as the main character Melanie Daniels falls in love with Mitchell Brenner from the first sight.(Fig. 3) As the story of the film progressed from the romantic looking scenes it comes to be a thrilling horror film.
Fig.3 Melanie and Mitchell in the bird shop
Moreover, at the start of the film when Mitchell sees Melanie at the bird shop, the camera moves like eyes. Looking form Melanie's high heels to her face, this not only shows the camera movements, but also provides audience with information that Mitchell relishes her beauty. Later, the camera shots become more sufficiently strict, showings black crows and close-ups of character faces, making the problem more personalised. As Alastair Sooke explains in his review: “Hitchcock makes the malevolent birds seem like manifestations of his character’s mental unease – especially that of Mitch’s mother and his former lover, Annie, now a local schoolteacher”. (Sooke, 2015). In Hitchcock’s film the birds become a symbol of jealousy, envy and possibly hate, which corrupts the city as un-killable disease. Nevertheless, the jealousy is only among women, making this film reveal woman’s emotions toward another candidate to beloved man’s heart. Instead of making women fight for man’s heart, Hitchcock lets the birds to their job.(Fig. 4)

Fig. 4 The birds
Another key element which makes this film more unique is the diegetic sounds. As Schwatz states in his review: "It's also worth noting that The Birds used a synthesized score consisting entirely of bird sounds, not music. This helped create the eerie mood throughout." (Schwartz, 2007). The sounds of many birds flapping their wings give uneasiness to the scene. The noise gives this feeling as if someone is always chasing you and you can’t escape it. 
Fig. 5 Chaos
In conclusion, watching “The Birds” for the first time, it can be hard to understand what Hitchcock tried to represent. He throws everything at viewers and leaves it to their imagination. As Brooks sums up in his review: "The Birds floats free. There is no motor driving it, no music to tether it, and nothing to hold it aloft apart from that up-draft of sensual atmosphere and existential dread. Hitchcock reportedly worried at length over how to wrap things up. He eventually ditched the scripted final scene in favour of a non-resolution, an open ending – the perfect closing image that leaves the world in the balance and its mysteries all intact." (Brooks, 2012). “The Birds” is worthy to be called legacy of cinema and also it should be watched at least a few more times to fully understand the mysterious yet chaotic continent.(Fig.5)
 Brooks, X. (2012)My favorite Hitchcock: The Birds review. At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
Pellegrino, J.  (2011) "The Birds" At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
 Schwartz, D. (2007) "Perhaps only a director of Hitchcock's caliber can mane such a fowl story fly" review At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
Sooke, A. (2015) "The Birds", review :'disturbing'. At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
 Illustration List:
Fig. 1 "The Birds" Poster At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
Fig. 2 Hitchcock with birds (Picture of Hitchcock) At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
 Fig, 3 Melanie and Mitchell in the bird shop (film still) From: "The Birds" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
Fig.4 The birds (film still)  From: "The Birds" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)
Fig. 5 Chaos (film still)  From: "The Birds" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At: (Accessed on 16/02/2017)

“Psycho” (1960)

Fig. 1 "Psycho" Poster

“Psycho” is an American psychological horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1960. This film is based on a Robert Bloch’s novel of the same name, which was inspired by a disturbing real life story of Ed Gein. “Psycho” is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces which left a huge impact to future horror movie directors. As Roger Ebert writes in his review: "no other Hitchcock film had a greater impact." (Ebert, 1998).
Fig. 2 Crane and John

“Psycho” brings out the astonishing feeling though out the whole film's duration. From the very beginning till the end of the film viewer is put in a third person perspective.(Fig. 2) The camera becomes plastic, it becomes one with the viewer’s eyes. For example, as the main character, Marion Crane, steals the money from her job and comes back home. She puts the money on her bed, and starts packing her stuff. While packing, she takes a glance at the money for a few seconds, the camera follows her direction of seeing and shows the money.(Fig. 3) Also, Hitchcock exaggerates this act, he doesn’t show money once, he makes sure that the camera moves between her actions and the money four times. This camera play between the main character and the money provides the audience with clear idea what she might do, without having any dialogue.
Fig. 3 Crane looking at the money

Moreover, the movie is made in white and black which adds up uneasiness for viewers to watch. The most perfect scene of this film was the shower scene. When Crane’s vulnerable body was exposed to the killer, which was standing behind the bath curtains.(Fig. 4) Also, the sounds of violins high note hitting only one note for some period of time lets the audience experience shock which Crane had when she noticed the killer. As Dustin Putman writes in his review: "Psycho" terrified audiences in 1960 and, surprisingly, still holds up today” (Putman, 1998)
Fig. 4 Crane taking a shower
Furthermore, in “Psycho” film Hitchcock plays with his audience. He kills off the main character in the middle of the film, leaving viewer wonder “is that it?”. As if the main character never existed. Nevertheless, the film doesn’t become dull, it becomes more intriguing, leaving more questions for the viewer to think. As the Felix Vasquez explains in his film review: "Hitchcock is the puppet master in this film and keeps the audience on baited breath throughout the entire story which leads up to the haunting final moments of the film in which we stare into the face of the monster."(Vasquez, 2013).
In conclusion, “Psycho” is one of the greatest Hitchcock’s films, which will continue to leave the best expression of horror films in history.

Ebert, R. (1998) "Psycho" review. At: (Accessed on 15/02/2017)

Putman, D. (1998) "Psycho" review. At: (Accessed on 15/02/2017)

Vasquez, F. (2013) "Psycho" review. At: (Accessed on 15/02/2017)
Illustration List:
Fig.1 "Psycho"
Poster At:
(Accessed on 15/02/2017)
Fig.2 Crane and John (film still) From: "Psycho" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At:
(Accessed on 15/02/2017)
Fig.3 Crane looking at the money (film still)
From: "Psycho" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At:

(Accessed on 15/02/2017)
Fig.4 Crane taking a shower
(film still) From: "Psycho" Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Released: United States At: (Accessed on 15/02/2017)

Monday, 13 February 2017

Maya #47 - Key Frames & Curves | Bouncing a Ball On the Spot

“Rope” (1948)

Fig.1 "Rope" Poster

“Rope” is an American thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1948. Nevertheless, the film is based on real life murder, which took place back in the 1920’s. The real-life story of the Leopold and Loeb case was turned into a play by Patrick Hamilton, but later the story of murdered boy was adapted in Alfred’s Hitchcock’s film. As Vincent Canby describes in his review:  „Hitchcock was interested in seeing whether he could find a cinematic equivalent to the play, which takes place in the actual length of time of the story” (Canby, 1984).  As Hitchcock was experimenting with his films at that time, the “Rope” came out to be one of his successful films.

Fig. 2

From the very beginning till the end audience is put instantly into the film scenery. The camera becomes one of the key elements in Hitchcock’s film. The camera adapts smooth movements, letting the viewer experience film as a witness in the action of the film. As Bosley Crowther explains in his review: “His camera stands back and takes them in, singles them out on occasion and even moves in now and then for close looks." (Crowther, 1948)

Moreover, the manipulation in the scenery with the camera brings out nice suspense, which leads from one act to another without any cut in-between. As Hitchcock explains his technique “Ticking Bomb” or just “Bomb” -  Instead of giving 15 seconds of unexpected surprise at the moment of explosion, he provides 15 minutes of suspense which leads to the explosion. This technique not only add suspension to the film, but also in additional it gives tension to the act itself. Making viewer shake in their seats and warn the characters on the screen before something destructive going to happen.
Fig. 3 Background

Furthermore, in the background audience can see New York City’s skyscrapers. This background adds the busy feeling of a city. Also, Hitchcock links up his background with time lapse, as the film progresses from morning till night the back also ground changes.  Not only it shows how time passes by fast, but it leads to the mystery solving when it gets dark. Hitchcock’s action to have such background wasn’t only to show the beauty of New York skyscrapers, but the colours were symbolizing the mood in the film. And as it got dark, the scene got more intriguing as the Stewart was coming close to the mystery solving.

In conclusion, “Rope” has amazing set, which swirling mood, and hidden secret, which audience witnessed at the beginning of the film. As Roger Ebert describes this film in his review: "Rope remains one of the most interesting experiments ever attempted by a major director working with big box-office names" (Ebert, 1984). Although this film has lack of action and different angle shots, the “Rope” still stays one of the best Hitchcock’s experiments.
Candy, V. (1984) "Rope": A Stunt to Behold review. At: (Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Crowther, B. (1948) "Rope": An Exercise in Suspense Directed by Alfred Hitchcock review. At: (Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Ebert, R. (1984) "Rope" review. At:
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 "Rope"
Poster At:
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Fig. 2
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Fig. 3 Background
(film still) From: "Rope" Directed by:
Alfred Hitchcock Released: New York City At:
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)