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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

We Read the Same Gossip Columns

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller "The Birds" is about a well-known heiress, Melanie Daniels, who secretly follows her new love interest, Mitch Brenner, to the seaside town of Bodega Bay. While she is there, the birds begin their attack. Historically, film scholars have interpreted the birds psychoanalytically, as a manifestation of Mitch’s mother’s dislike of Melanie. But after the death of Princess Diana at the hands of the paparazzi, we can see the birds as a metaphor for paparazzi and Melanie as the stalked celebrity. While in the city, she is safe from the birds because she goes about her daily routine. By leaving San Francisco to follow Mitch, Melanie sparks the attention of the paparazzi/birds because she becomes involved in a relationship. This paper argues that the birds represent a critique of the paparazzi, who will go to any lengths for a great shot of a celebrity.

Presenters: Brian Boger (Undergraduate Student)
Jennifer LaMarsh (Undergraduate Student)
Jonathan Mannhaupt (Undergraduate Student)
Emily Wilkins (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Film Studies
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 3:15 pm (Session IV)