Monday night my boss Dara and I went to see Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds at the Portage, as the Time Travel Toys group (including my friend Paul, who works maintenance at the library I work at) kicks off their full week of horror movies. They have a good deal with Universal, and thus can show just about anything in their catalog. (I pointed out that this includes The Car…maybe next year.)
To make the evening perfect, Dara and I were joined by our department mate Laura for dinner at Superdawg, which conveniently is right on the way to the Portage. This is one reason the Portage is a perfect set-up for me. It’s only about 25-30 minutes from the library, even with traffic. (And a fairly quick drive home in the hours after the shows are over.) There’s a nice, well-lit parking lot about half a block away, that has very affordable parking rates; $3.00 to 4.00, generally, depending on length of stay. And the Superdawg thing.
Laura maintains that she’s REALLY easy to scare, and thus won’t go to even mildly spooky movies. Still, it was nice to share a Superdawg with the ladies and yak a bit. I dropped Laura off while Dara headed to the theater, then followed there myself. By this point I was running a bit late and thus was quite annoyed by traffic and stopping at lights every half block, but luckily the movie started a bit late, so no worries.
The Birds is a pretty good film, if not great (in my opinion), but I’d never seen it on a screen before so that really helped make it a satisfying screening. Hitchcock really knew who to milk suspense; there’s a reason that scene of crows silently congregating on the school playground equipment is such a classic. Nobody really gives a great performance–Hitchcock wasn’t too interested in actors–but everyone was a pro and does well enough, even the still Tippi Hedron.
While watching the film it was hard not to think about the idiots talking about making a remake (per Dread Central): Mandalay Pictures’ new president, Cathy Schulman, points out both the difference between the original and the remake and how clueless Hollywood is from top to bottom: “In the original, the birds just showed up, and it was kind of like, why are the birds here?” she, like, totally told the trade. “This time, there’s a reason why they’re here and (people) have had something to do with it. There’s an environmental slant to what could create nature fighting back.”
Gee, it surely is scarier when everything is explained. And a horror movie with an overt environmental theme! What a novelty! Nobody’s ever made one of those before.
And, of course, it will probably be in 3-D. So it’s got to be good!
Anyway, we didn’t hang around for Psycho, for myself because that I have seen on a screen and also because I was going back the next night to see They Live and The Thing.
Coincidentally, the very next morning my Birds Barbie (see previous blog note) arrived, and it was indeed hilariously cool. They even copies Hedron’s dress.
By the way, Hedron’s character was named Melanie. Does anyone know if her daughter Melanie Griffith was named after the role?