Episode 106: The Birds (1963)

The guys take the coast highway to Bodega Bay with pockets full of birdseed on this week’s podcast on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film, The Birds. The Bit Players discuss the interesting ways the film subverts audience expectations around every bend, with Tippi Hedren’s Melanie Daniels character playing the coy d├ębutante taking things into her own hands, meeting various characters like love interest Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), schoolteacher Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), and Hitchcock’s umpteenth reimagining of Jacosta in Jessica Tandy’s Lydia Brenner in very unique and interesting ways, to the fact that those character interactions somehow take center stage in a film about killer birds dive-bombing into eyeball sockets left and right. The guys talk about their first experiences with the classic film and other of the director’s iconic works, how it both conforms to and rejects what could be considered a typical Hitchcock narrative, and the cultural relevance of the film today given recent controversies around other predatory male Hollywood figures. They try to make sense of the art vs. artist discussion in terms of Hitch the man and Hitch the director.

The Birds (1963)
Director
Alfred Hitchcock
Stars
Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright

Selected By
Clark

4.6

what movies are
About

Aired Monday, October 23, 2017

The guys take the coast highway to Bodega Bay with pockets full of birdseed on this week's podcast on Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 film, The Birds. The Bit Players discuss the interesting ways the film subverts audience expectations around every bend, with Tippi Hedren's Melanie Daniels character playing the coy d├ębutante taking things into her own hands, meeting various characters like love interest Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), schoolteacher Annie Hayworth (Suzanne Pleshette), and Hitchcock's umpteenth reimagining of Jacosta in Jessica Tandy's Lydia Brenner in very unique and interesting ways, to the fact that those character interactions somehow take center stage in a film about killer birds dive-bombing into eyeball sockets left and right. The guys talk about their first experiences with the classic film and other of the director's iconic works, how it both conforms to and rejects what could be considered a typical Hitchcock narrative, and the cultural relevance of the film today given recent controversies around other predatory male Hollywood figures. They try to make sense of the art vs. artist discussion in terms of Hitch the man and Hitch the director.

Featuring "The Wee Cooper O'Fife"

03:07 Number-Crunching
13:18 The Birds Introduction
13:50 First-Time Viewing Experiences
16:50 What Does the Film Do That Isn't Done Today?
18:00 The Melanie Character
22:00 How The Film Subverts Expectations
26:00 How We Would Take Down the Birds
27:20 The Restaurant Scene and the Ornothologist
30:00 Sparse Human Interactions
31:48 The Sound of The Birds
40:00 Does Hitchcock Ask Us To Think Critically About the Film?
42:00 The Environmental Themes in the Movie
49:39 The Art vs. The Artist
57:25 Clark's Corner: Recasting the Remake, Blu-Ray Combo Pack, Shyamalanian Twist, and More
1:07:00 Ratings

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Episode 71: Alien (1979)

The Bit Players venture into the dangerous unknown of outer space for this week’s podcast on Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic sci-fi horror movie, Alien. The guys unpack the film’s horror elements as they blend so well with such authentic science fiction, along with the ways that Alien serves as the perfect bridge between classic and modern horror, both drawing upon past conventions and beginning new ones for films to follow. They also break down the ways in which the science fiction allows Scott to examine morality in dire situations, and how he juxtaposes that firmly human trait with the synthetic beings that lurk in the film’s shadows. Much is also made of how the Xenomorph managed to pack those pounds on so quickly with such a sparse diet, as well as the ways that Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley broke new ground for female protagonists in horror.

Alien (1979)
Director
Ridley Scott
Stars
Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt

Selected By
Jarryd

5.0

what movies are
About

Aired Monday, October 3, 2016

The Bit Players venture into the dangerous unknown of outer space for this week's podcast on Ridley Scott's 1979 classic sci-fi horror movie, Alien. The guys unpack the film's horror elements as they blend so well with such authentic science fiction, along with the ways that Alien serves as the perfect bridge between classic and modern horror, both drawing upon past conventions and beginning new ones for films to follow. They also break down the ways in which the science fiction allows Scott to examine morality in dire situations, and how he juxtaposes that firmly human trait with the synthetic beings that lurk in the film's shadows. Much is also made of how the Xenomorph managed to pack those pounds on so quickly with such a sparse diet, as well as the ways that Sigourney Weaver's Ripley broke new ground for female protagonists in horror.