Next vacation, break away to beautiful Bodega Bay, CA, where the welcome is warm, the sun is shining, and the gulls want to peck your eyes out. Don’t order the fried chicken.
With no new genre release in the theaters, the Spotlight gang takes a fiftieth anniversary look at Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic of nature in revolt (and psycho-sexual tension), THE BIRDS. Having all undergone the same, formative (some would say traumatic) childhood experience when the film debuted on broadcast TV back in the sixties, Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons return to one of Hitchcock’s most enigmatic works, placing the film into the context of his long and impressive career, discussing whether its impact still holds (short answer: Oh my God, yes), and trying to sort out its myriad puzzles. Board up the windows, block the fireplace, and click the player to hear the show.
Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies present a nationwide screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS (1963) – flying back into theaters on Wednesday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. local time, with special matinees in select theaters at 2:00 p.m. The screening will feature a newly restored version of the films created by Universal Pictures in celebration of its 100th Anniversary. There will be an introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne, who will take audiences behind the scenes for a look at what went into making Hitchocock’s classic.
THE BIRDS screens as part of the “TCM Event Series,” which uses new digital cinema projection systems in select movie theaters around the country. Other screenings in the series include a double bill of FRANKENSTEIN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN on October 24, and a 50th anniversary screening of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on November 15. Screening Date: September 19 at 7pm (2pm matinees in some locations).
Tickets to the series are available at presenting theater box offices and online at www.FathomEvents.com. Click here for a complete list of theatres screening THE BIRDS.
From the press release:
“The Birds” event on Sept. 19 will bring back Alfred Hitchcock’s chilling 1963 masterpiece, telling the tale of modern rich socialite Melanie Daniels and the strange behavior of birds north of San Francisco. As birds in the hundreds and thousands are attacking anyone they find outdoors, there is no explanation, and survival becomes the priority. Osborne will share an exclusive interview he conducted specifically for this special presentation with the film’s star Tippi Hedren filmed earlier this year at the Classic Film Festival in Hollywood. Hedren reveals how “Hitch” hand-picked her to play the part of Melanie Daniels, and also how the movie that launched her career also practically ended it. Osborne will reach deep into the TCM Archives to share more on-set stories from Hedren’s co-stars Rod Taylor and Suzanne Pleshette.
As part of Universal’s 100th Anniversary this year, a commemorative 50th Anniversary release of “To Kill a Mockingbird” is currently available on Blu-ray™/DVD. Coming to Blu-ray™ for the first time, “The Birds” will be released as part of the “Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection” on Sept. 25. Also premiering on Blu-ray™, “Frankenstein” and “Bride of Frankenstein” will be included in the “Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection” available Oct. 2.
One of the nice things about living in Hollywood is that, even in the era of home video, there are still plenty of opportunitiies to see classic movies on the big screen. The latest example of this is the American Film Institute’s upcoming 40th anniversary celebration, during which eleven great movies will screen on a single night. Festivals of this type typically overlook genre films, but that is not the case here; horror, fantasy, and science fiction are all represented, thanks to the presence of THE BIRDS (1963), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1990), and STAR WARS (1977).
As an extra added enticement, each screening will have a guest introduce the film: actress Tippi Hedren for THE BIRDS, actress Angela Lansbury for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and director George Lucas for STAR WARS.
The screening takes place on October 3 at 7:00pm in the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. Tickets are $25, available at the ArcLight box office at AFI.com, beginning Wednesday.
UPDATE: Speaking of the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood (www.arclightcinemas.com), Victor Crowley himself – that is to say, actor-stuntman Kane Hodder, who plays the unstoppable villain, will appear at the Friday 10:00pm screening of HATCHET at the theatre. Writer-director Adam Green will be there, along with actress Tamara Feldman, who plays the gun-toting Mary Beth. Last Friday’s special screening (with Green and other members of the cast and crew) sold out, so you might want to buy tickets ASAP if you’re interested in attending. Click here if you want to read Adam Green’s announcement of the screening.