this song is just so beautiful. Makes me feel at home whenever i listen to it. And also was played at my Grandads funeral. Its beautiful. RIP. Miss my family.
Narrative and Narration in The Birds(Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)
To explain the difference, narrative is the way that certain events unfold and are slowly
revealed to help the audience understand any ‘back stories’ or events between scenes that
we as the audience do not know of to begin with.
“a chain of events linked by cause and effect and occurring in time and space” (Bordwell
“what happens in the story…the object or end result of some mechanism or process –
narration” (Edward Branigan, 1992)
Narration is limited to the ‘film time’. It is the process of how the film may show or hide
narrative information. It is the actual presentation of the story and arrangement and the
way in which the story gives out the message. When watching a film, we see and hear the
“concerned with how an event is presented, how it happens, rather than
what is presented or what happens
“addresses issues of procedure: how are we acquiring knowledge
about what is happening in the story?” ( Edward Branigan 1992)
The film ‘The Birds’ was released in 1963 and is a suspense/horror film, directed by the
great Alfred Hitchcock. It is about about Bodega Bay in California, which is suddenly
attacked by the birds, with no explanation. Because of this, as an audience we want to
watch and found out the reasons why these events occur.
Throughout Hitchcocks’ films, the narrative is very slow to let us know; which is a part of
the enjoyment and mystery in Hitchcocks’ films, and in a way is a convention of the genre.
During Hitchcocks’ films, he uses many themes; birds being one frequent theme, not just
the obvious use in ‘Birds’, but also in ‘psycho’, ‘Vertigo’ ‘Sabotage’ and ‘To catch a thief’.
Hitchcock prefers to use suspense instead of the element of suprise in his films. Using
suprise simple tries to scare the viewer, whereas with using suspense, as hitchcock does,
uses the unfolding narrative to his advantage. He tells and shows us things which we
know, and the characters don’t, or they know and we don’t. Tension is then artfully built up
around these ‘things’, until the suspense is built up so much and we and the characters
find out the truth. Hitchcock was fond of showing this point with a short
aphorism;distinction or definition. Staircases are another theme which is present in ‘Birds’,
as well as other films, which assists towards the narrative. At one point, the camera slowly
follows ‘Melanie’ up the stairs, slowly to what she does not know awaits her is the loft full of
birds ready to attack her.
People and relationships are a ongoing theme in Hitchcocks films, especially Birds in
particular. Mitch’s relationships are in a way the centre of the narrative. We want to know
how these people are linked to him, and what their past is. The mother, in this film and as
a theme in other Hitchcock work, is represented as very domineering and intrusive, and
having an important play in the build up of narrative/story. Hitchcock also has a striking
preference for woman who have blonde hair; showing that the audience would have more
suspicion with a woman who is a brunette. These woman, like in The birds, are notably
perfect looking and striking. All these flowing themes are a part of the important build up to
the slow revealing of the narrative. Relating this, more to the film, we as audience
members are attracted to Melonie, and are slightly suspicious of Annie Heyworth, not just
because of her brown hair, but because of the way she acts, especially to the fact that
Melonie is developing a relationship with Mitch. This is when you begin to think that Annie
and Mitch have had a past, which again builds and adds to the narrative and thickens the
There are different types of narration; restricted and unrestricted .Unrestricted is when
there are several characters and we hold more knowledge than the characters. Restricted
narration is when one characters information is only known by the audience. In ‘The birds’
In my opinion, to determine between the two is difficult, as we as the audience do not have
enough information on any of the characters, although we have more about Mitch and his
family life and relationships, rather than Melonie, even though she seems to be more of a
A ‘Macguffin’ is always seen in Hitchcocks films. This is a piece of information or an
object which may be of vital importance to characters but of no interest to the audience or
director. This may motivate the character and thus propels the story but otherwise isnt
important. In ‘The Birds’ , the cage of love birds could be classed as this, or the letter that
was with the bird cage. As a viewer, when I first watched the film, I presumed that this
object would have more important towards the plot, although considering the title of the
film, may be foreshadowing other events. When Melonie travels a large distance to give
these birds to Mitch, in secret, I wondered why she was being so secretive about her
actions, and thought may mean there is hidden information that I am unaware of, but the
characters are; a surprise effect in the hierarchies of knowledge.
Relating to audience expectations, the hierarchy of knowledge is divided into 3; mystery,
surprise and suspense. Mystery, being when the characters and audience know only some
of what is about to occur, surprise being when the characters know more than the
audience and suspense being that the audience know more than the characters. In
relation to this particular film, suspense is the chosen point, as the audience have more of
an idea of what is about to happen than the characters, from piecing the puzzle together
from clues in the film.
Because, neither the characters or the audience obtain full knowledge of the ending
events, this is what makes the suspense more efficient and effective. The anticipation and
obscurity of the future creates even more interest and curiosity towards the film and its
Narrative goes through clear stages of character motivation and transformation.
1.Equilibrium 2. Disruption 3.Restoration of equilibrium; although in The Birds the audience
is unsure whether the equilibrium is restored, because when The family leave Bodega Bay,
the birds are still outside, as if waiting still.
The meaning behind the film, is not centred around the fact that the birds attack. I
believe that it is more of a metaphorical meaning and the birds represent other stories and
conflicts in bedded in the film. A possible interpretation for the film is that the birds could
represent the tensions and need to protect ‘territory’. For example, Lydias maternal instinct
to protect her territory of Mitch and attacking any woman who tries to invade it.
It seems that Melonie has a perfect life and has everything she could want. Until she
meets Mitch, and nature seems to turn into her enemy; right from the second she tries to
obtain the bird from the cage in the shop to show Mitch, the bird escapes and flies off.
Mitch seems to have control of the situation and takes care of it, by catching the bird in his
hat and putting it back. This has relation to how he deals with the entire situation of the
birds at the end of the film. He seems to act up to the stereotypical heterosexual man,
rescuing the ‘damsels in distress’, being Melonie, Lydia and Cathy.
In the narrative, the birds could be actually showing/representing her fear of emotions or
relationship and her fear of getting close to Mitch. The birds could be a manifestation of
her struggles. The first gull attacks Melonie when she first realises that she was succesful
in manipulationg Mitch to follow me. The next gull attacks Annie Hayworths door when
Melonie agrees to go to Cathys birthday party. The more serious her emotions get, the
more angry the birds seem to get and the more they attack the people involved around
The third attack is at Cathys birthday party and is the most violent attack. This occurs
after Melonie has a conversation about her anger of being abandoned as a child, proving
the fact that the more emotionally attached Melonie gets, the more violent the attacks get.
Each time the birds attack, her ‘cool exterior’ is broken down. Each attack wears it away
slowly, again building on the suspense, until Melonie is completely lost by the end of the
story and is no longer in control, as she was at the beginning of the narrative.
Hitchcock uses other ways to build up the narrative and the knowledge that the audience
and characters gain throughout. Some scenes, just create shock and not suspense, just
like when Melonie is attacked the first time by the gull in the boat, this was unexpected
from the audience and shocks. Some of the shocks hold suspense also; the school attack,
when Annie is dead, the farmers eyes being pecked out, the petrol station scene and the
attack on Melonie. We are shown the lead up to these events, although they still shock us
and suspense is created.
The camera usage is also important to the way the whole narrative and suspense is
digested. For example, when Melonie is sat outside the school, sitting on a bench, a
medium long shot is used and she is calm. After the long shot is used we see the
surroundings, and the constant flow of birds landing on the climbing frame. Hitchcock
builds suspense by doing this to show one bird at a time landing slowly on the climbing
frame. After a cut, we see more and more birds, until it is full and Melonie looks behind and
sees them. This develops the shock. High angle shots are used as she rushes into the
school. These shots make her seem more vulnerable. Low angle shots are used in
opposition, on the birds, to show who has the power in the situation.
Alfred Hitchcock is known as the ‘master of suspense’ and shows this throughout ‘The
Birds’. Building up our knowledge of the narrative slowly, feeding us snippets of
information, to get us asking questions and letting the audience be their own ‘detective’.
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Fashion darling Azealia Banks works the camera in the video for “Fierce,” which was released as part of the ASOS #BestNightEver holiday campaign. The purple-haired raptress sprawls across a couch and holds a rose while rocking a fur coat in the stylish clip for her Fantasea mixtape cut.
“Back at it again, my only bad habit my addiction to win/ She only mad at it, did it better than her friend,” raps Yung Rapunxel, who is also readying a video for “Atlantis.”
Rihanna returned to “SNL” for the fourth time as musical guest this weekend. Wearing an oversized camouflage jacket, camouflage camisole, and Timberlands, the pop princess delivered the first televised performance of her hit single “Diamonds” using a green screen backdrop. As computer graphics of peace signs, palm trees, and planets flashed across the stage, RiRi belted out the epic tune.
For her second performance, she debuted “Stay,” one of the cuts off her new album Unapologetic, which features Mikky Ekko. Paying homage to her idol Bob Marley with her dress, RiRi put her voice on display during the simple set.
“click click bang bang we in the murda business”
i am supposed to be writing an essay on this film. I watched it, enjoyed greatly! then wrote half. Got bored, starting posting funny cats on tumblr.
watched american reunion last night. was actually really good! Finch got sexier.
the art of creepy, absolute STILLNESS.
whats with my attraction to cats today? theyre just so friggin funny..