Daphne du Maurier story: The Birds

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Date(s) - 22/11/2020
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm



SAP Zoom Event – A Virtual Discussion and Q & A

of the 1963 Hitchcock Film Adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier Story: “The Birds”

The fourth SAP Du Maurier film event will be “The Birds” (1963), directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock and based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier. Hitchcock fashioned a major work of cinematic art in which he makes strikingly real the malevolent menace of the birds to seem like manifestations of his characters’ mental unease. Their psychological backgrounds suggest the presence of emotional traumas and fractured histories.

Du Maurier’s inspiration for the story was the sight of a farmer in the next-door farm in the wilds of Cornwall being attacked by a flock of gulls as he ploughed a field. With its dark, elemental tone, she provides no real explanation for the plague of birds and the apocalyptic violence it describes. It seemed to anticipate, with no little prescience, imminent large-scale environmental catastrophe. Rooted perhaps in scientific explanation or cosmic punishment for humanity’s sins, the indeterminancy of the cause of the birds’ aggression contributes to the story’s disturbing potency. In the context of the current Coronavirus pandemic and the increasingly alarming threats of Global Climate Warming, the existential dread depicted in the film remains highly relevant today.

These aspects and more will be discussed in a panel with Dr. Coline Covington (Jungian Analyst), Rupert Tower (Jungian Analyst and grandson of the late Daphne du Maurier) and Christopher Perry (Chair/Jungian Analyst). Participants are requested to watch the film prior to the event. It is available on Amazon Prime Video and many streaming sites including Peacock, VUDU and YouTube

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