Alfred Hitchcock, Etats-Unis, 1963, Universal


In this sequence, Hitchcock wants to share with us the anxiety of his three characters, locked in a house, subject to birds’ assault. For the main part, soundtrack produces the anxiety and aggression feeling. This soundtrack, just like in Cat People, is a true musical score aiming at invading spectator’s emotions and feelings. Hitchcock mixes real birds and synthetic sounds, completely made up. In this sequence a true sound scenario makes us imagine what Hitchcock doesn’t show us: birds’ arrival, serial attacks, impacts on the house roof, and moments of pause when birds seem to regain strength and gather round for a new fiercer attack.

In this invisible attack, Hitchcock will only show us the consequences: the three characters’ behaviour locked in this flat, facing anxiety that wraps around them feeling surrounded and powerless in front of this violence of which they are the target.

He wants us to believe in this birds crowd so that we share the characters’ fear, Hitchcock will only show us the two seagulls trying to come inside the house through the window but that Mitch eventually pushes back out. This birds’ “will” to come into the house will then be shown through beaks piercing through the door. The really small part shown to us is enough for us to imagine the whole of this aggressive birds’ army.