Back to All Events

THE BIRDS (1963) DC Film and Book Club



(£4.50 conc.)

Doors 2:00pm

Film 2:30pm

A film and book club for avid readers and cinephiles. Every second Sunday afternoon of the month, we meet to watch a film adaptation of a book or a writer’s biopic.

dir. Alfred Hitchcock

year. 1963

country. UK

run-time. 119min

starring. Tippi Hedren, Rod Taylor

rating. 15

DC Film and Book Club is back in October with a pre-Halloween special, pairing Hitchcock’s classic avian horror-thriller The Birds with its lesser-known source material, Daphne Du Maurier’s short story written in 1951.

Although the Cornish author has often been de-valued as a writer of ‘romance’, ‘popular literature’ or ‘melodrama’, the twisted plot lines, sexual intrigue and suspenseful atmosphere that characterise her fiction have proved endlessly inspiring for filmmakers. With 12 du Maurier film adaptations and more than 40 television dramatisations, notable examples include Nicholas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (1973) and more recently, Roger Michell’s My Cousin Rachel (2017). As film critic Iris Versey explains, ‘Her novels The Birds and Rebecca provided the perfect blend of moral complexity and Gothic drama.’

In Hitchcock’s adaptation, he re-locatesThe Birds from rural Cornwall to a Californian resort, playing up the on-screen violence but redressing the pessimism and ambiguity of du Maurier’s original ending. Re-visiting this horror in the wake of #MeToo and the controversy surrounding the director’s abusive treatment of lead actress Tippi Hedren (exposed in her 2016 autobiography), perhaps the film’s famous climax carries new layers of meaning in relation to its gender politics.

Join us to discuss these themes and more after the screening.

Tea, cake and other refreshments available.

Full of subterranean hints as to the ways in which people cage each other, it’s fierce and Freudian as well as great cinematic fun...
— TimeOut
Every time I watch it, I find myself more impressed with its daring, audacity and command of its material. I love the way Hitchcock juggles shrill B-movie histrionics with chill arthouse gloss.
— Xan Brooks, Guardian