Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The bread, butter & jam effect

Recently one of my friends felt cheated by his bank. The result of this feeling, he has stopped transacting with the bank and is doing his best to reach the gospel of the good customer service the bank offers across the UAE.

This bank in question is one of the top banks in the region. I believe, this bank has leadership position when it comes to auto loans. Being one of the oldest banks in the region they also boast a good number of companies being their corporate clients and a good number of influential individual customers.

I was thinking about how long it would take before the public en masse decides to pull out of the bank. I was also thinking about how this would happen.

Obviously this has to be a great snowball effect.

At present it is my friend who is the messiah, assume he manages to convince 50 of his friend's and then the word of mouth spreads, gaining momentum. People would add to my friend's story their own stories and their experience with the bank. Finally there would be a situation when a majority of the banks customers share the same opinion of my friend and pull out of the bank. This can’t happen immediately, for snowballs are not created out of the blue (of course unless they are man made - artificial). It is a process and this process of people (read customers) blacklisting this bank would easily take years before it happens, if at all it would.

For this to happen quickly the bank should do some sloppy work with their corporate customers and their hi-end individual customers (read Platinum customers). This wouldn’t happen in all likelihood as banks normally take special care dealing with these people. Agreed that individuals like you and me join hands to make a corporate but at the end of the day we would also agree that the way the bank treats me and you vis-à-vis our companies is very different.

Hence it is going to be ages before this bank in question is made an outcast by a majority of its customers, unless the bank doesn’t mess up drastically with every customer's monthly statement or some other services they offer.

While thinking about the time this bank would take to be boycotted by public I came up with an analogy.

To understand the anology I have come up with, let us assume every bank has three types of customers (broad based segments)

1. The individual customers
2. The hi-end individual customers (platinum or gold etc.)
3. The corporate customers

The individual customers are like bread.

It is the most essential thing for one to survive. But if one starts to notice that it is getting spoilt, we can afford to pick the spoilt side off and still consume it. And it takes a longer time for the whole loaf to get completely stale.

Likewise if one or some individual customer is dissatisfied or grumpy, the bank can afford to throw him out and still service the rest of the population. It would take a while before this dissatisfaction snowballs to a big issue covering a majority of the individual customers. And another advantage the bank has is that all the customers don’t essentially communicate with each other on a daily basis and hence no big badmouthing happens in a short span. Whereas when it becomes a dissatisfied or a grumpy hi-end or a corporate it becomes a larger issue involving press, PR and new media and hence the effect is immediate.

So I could liken the hi-end and corporate customers to the Jam or Butter that one applies on the bread.

If the Jam or Butter goes stale, the bread loses its taste and at times becomes inconsumable. But people take good care about their Jam or Butter, they refrigerate it or find other means to preserve it.

Hence, whatever my friend does now to blacklist this bank among the general public would mostly go into deaf ears or it might take ages before his efforts bear fruit for him. The best way for him to go about is to find a few Jam or Butter category people and try spoil them, then the effect should be immediate and apparent.

So until this bank's JAM or BUTTER is fresh, they would be under an illusion that all is well with the BREAD.

Business as usual…

Well, the last two weeks of Sir Alfred Hitchcock frenzy comes to an end with today’s review of Psycho.

This means I have finished watching and reviewing all 14 movies from the boxed set of Hitchcock movies I had bought.

Now I shall watch the boxed set again and again. I am going to start my re-viewing process with “Frenzy”.

Psycho (1960)

Actors: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Psycho is acclaimed as one of the best Suspense / thriller / horror movies of all time. It is based on a novel by Robert Bloch. Critics rate this as one of the most effective horror movies ever. Movie buffs, critics and film makers still talk highly about the famous “shower murder” scene in the film. Another reason why the “shower murder” sequence is thrilling is because of Bernard Herrmann’s superb background score.

This film is around the Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) aka. Split personality disorder. That is, a person carrying dual personalities in his mind. This disorder makes a person act like two different personalities at times and the person also suffers a memory loss. While the affected person doesn’t know that there are two personalities in him or what the other personality does to him. At the end the dominant of the personalities win resulting in the person losing his own identity or even death of the person.

Marion Crane embezzles $40,000 from her office. She does this to help her struggling boyfriend, Sam (without his knowledge though) and get him marry her soon. While decamping with the cash and on her way to her boyfriend's place she is faced with heavy rains. She decides to stop for the night a nearby motel, at a deserted road which used to be a highway. The owner of the place Norman Bates claims to be living there with his aged mother all alone. She hears the mother telling Norman to keep away from strange women. In a bizarre turn of events Marion is murdered while she is in the shower of her room. It seems that Norman’s mother is the murderer, Norman like a dutiful son clears up the murder scene and wipes of the remains by drowning them in a nearby swamp.

Arbogast, a private detective hired by Marion’s employer also faces the same fate when he goes in search of Norman’s mother to have a word with her about Marion’s disappearance. Fortunately Arbogast speaks to Marion’s sister Lila just before he is murdered about his suspicion on Norman and his mother. Sam and Lila approach the local sheriff for help. The sheriff laughs off at the complaint saying Norman’s mother had died years ago, commiting suicide and Norman was all alone.

Sam & Lila embark on finding the truth. After the usual Hitchcockian moments it is revealed that Norman is suffering from MPD. He takes his mothers identity to kill people who get close to Norman’s identity. And Norman thinks the murders have been committed by his mother and destroys evidence to save her.

An amazing movie and a must watch for all thriller / horror movie lovers.

Trivia: Sir Alfred appears four minutes in to the film. As Marion comes back to her office after meeting her lover Sir Alfred is seen behind the glass door of Marion’s office, wearing a cowboy hat

Monday, November 20, 2006

Vertigo (1958)

Actors: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

A psychological thriller, it is one of the best movies of Sir Alfred. This is a fantastically designed movie right from the title sequence, where Sir Alfred has used some graphic elements to drive the Vertigo name through the viewers mind.

Given all that, the fact that Vertigo was recognized as a culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant film by the National Film Registry (USA) in 1989 is not at all surprizing. This monumental film had to be restored in 1996 and if you watch it now (like I have) you wouldn’t even believe that this film was made way back in the 50’s.

John Ferguson (aka) Scottie is a San Fransisco detective retires from the force because of an acrophobia (fear of heights) he has developed. While he is contemplating what he should do post retirement, he meets one of his old classmates, Elster. This man is now the husband of the last living heiress of a large business family. The man believes his wife is now being possessed by her great grandmonthers spirit and she is being forced to commit suicide by the spirit.

This man wants Scottie to follow his wife and prevent her from commiting suicide. Scottie reluctantly agrees to trail his wife and even falls in love with her. He manages to rescue Madaleine once from drowning but couldn’t the next time when she climbs on top of a tower to plummet to death, because of his acrophobic tendencies. Because of the death of Madaleine, Scottie becomes mentally depressed for a while.

Later Scottie finds a girl called Judy who resembles Madeleine in every aspect. This is when Sir Alfred’s master directorship comes into play. The story then takes a complete U-turn. It turns out that Elster had hired Judy (who resembled his wife) to kill his Madaleine, threw her body from the top of the tower making Scottie a witness. He makes Scottie the witness by making him first believe about the sprit story and exploiting Scottie’s acrophobic tendencies.

It is amazing to see the way Sir Alfred produces twists and turns to keep you at the edge of your seat throughout the movie. A must watch.

Trivia: Sir Alfred makes his cameo 11 minutes into the film. He is seen walking in the street dressed in a gray suit.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Vertigo will have to wait

A busy last couple of days at office has ensured that my review on Vertigo by Sir Alfred Hitchcock has to wait till this weekend.

I would have this review posted soon.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rope (1948)

Actors: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

I would rate this the best of all Hitchcock movies I have seen till date. A small house, 9 characters, 10 reels of film, minimal or almost zero editing leaving alone the opening establishment shot in the street.

In those days when a reel of film measured up to 10 minutes in running time, this should have been quite a task moving the camera around a small house, filled with characters. There is not a moment when one would feel a jerk in camera movement or the scene progression.

It is believed that Sir Alfred wanted to shoot a play real time and make it a movie, this gave birth to the idea of having a film shot like a play, without any editing. But because of the constraint that one reel of film could only run 10 minutes on screen, Sir Alfred divided his shots into 10 segments and then linked them up on the table. He employed techniques like ending a reel up in a close up shot and then panning off to the next character or close the reel with a pan and start the next one with a close up.

And now the story, two young men kill their friend. They kill because they think superior humans are justified killing their inferior counterparts, just to prove this point. They plan this a perfect murder, meaning they wouldn’t by caught by any chance. They dump the dead man in a chest, put that in the middle of their house and convert it into a dining table for a party. This party is attended by the dead boys parents (his aunt turns up in place of his mother along with his father), his girlfriend, a classmate and their high school master. The whole movie is how they try to cover-up their anxiety and the crime and then finally they are caught by their high school master, the person who implanted the superior humans theory in their minds.

Trivia: Sir Alfred appears during the title of this movie, walking down the road along with a lady

His caricature also appears as a neon sign behind the window of the hall

This was supposed to be a bold movie (at that time) with a very strong homosexual theme, but it is hardly noticeable in the movie.

Sir Alfred shot one segment (reel) a day

He had to re-shoot the last 4-5 segments because he was dissatisfied with the color of the sunset

Hitchcock has been credited both as director and producer of this film

Rope was Sir Alfred’s first movie in color.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Hitchcock on leave

I couldn't catch-up with Mr Hitchcock yesterday night because of some unavoidable circumstances.

I would be back with his Rope tomorrow...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The trouble with Harry (1955)

Actors: John Forsythe, Edmund Gwenn, Shirley MacLaine
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Considered one of Hitchcock’s unusual films, it is a black comedy. An amazing watch, this film is a little ahead of its time in terms of some of the racy dialogues it contains. It was not a big box office success when it was released.

This film is set in a small town, Vermont. The film follows the quirky residents as they deal with a dead body found in the local mountain side. Everyone thinks they killed Harry (the dead man) and tries to cover up. Finally as they all team up to discuss who killed Harry and who would take the blame, the local doctor announces that Harry died due to a heart attack and was not murdered.

A simple movie set in a small town. I thought this was a brilliant Hitchcock comedy. I was particularly happy that it didn’t have any of Sir Alfred’s favorite spy & espionage elements in it.

Trivia: 20 minutes into the film, Sir Alfred appears walking past the parked limousine of an old man who is looking at paintings

Music composer Bernard Herrmann’s successful collaboration with Sir Alfred started with this film

Torn curtain (1966)

Actors: Paul Newman, Julie Andrews
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

This is a political thriller by Sir Alfred (it can also be classified as a spy thriller). Though this film is not accepted as a Hitchcock hit, it was a minor box office success.

Michael Armstrong, an young nuclear scientist defects to East Germany. His young fiancée & assistant, Sarah Sherman trails him to East Berlin and confronts him. The twist and turns of the story reveal that Michael is actually no defector but is helping his country to unearth the East German and Soviet nuclear ambitions. Now Michael has to take with him the secret formula of the East German nuclear plan and his fiancée safely out of East Germany with the staci and the police chasing them.

The best scene in this movie is probably the murder of the East German staci by Michael and the farmers wife. Hitchcock rates this as one of his favorite sequences. In this sequence Sir Alfred actually demonstrates how difficult it is to kill a man. One of the best murder sequences I have ever seen.

Trivia: Sir Alfred makes an appearance very early in the film, sitting at the lobby of Hotel d'Angleterre with a blond baby on his lap

This film was produced by Sir Alfred Hitchcock (uncredited)

Topaz (1969)

Actors: Frederick Stafford, Dany Robin, Claude Jade, John Forsythe
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

One of Sir Alfred’s movies without an American star cast, this movie is full of international actors. With a Czech actor Frederick Stafford in the lead. This is one the many Hitchcock spy thrillers.

A French agent André Devereaux agrees to help his American CIA friends in unearthing a missile program the Cubans are developing with the assistance of the Soviet Union. André’s French superiors are not very happy with his helping the Americans and he gets recalled back to Paris, it makes matters worse when André finds about a counter intelligence spy ring headed by some of his own French counterparts in high places to help the Soviets.

The film follows André’s journey through New York, Cuba and Paris before he exposes the plot of his own intelligence people. This film features a uncredited appearance by the Cuban leader Fidel Castro (Sir Alfred has used some footage of the leader to lend some credibility to a Cuban rally scene).

A trademark Sir Alfred Hitchcock spy thriller. But was not a success in the box office. And was criticized by many in the US for not featuring any known American faces.

Trivia: Sir Alfred appears half an hour into the film in the airport. He is being pushed in a wheelchair to a flight. He gets up at one point, shakes hand with a man and walks off into a gate.

Shadow of a doubt (1943)

Actors: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Young Charlie suspects that her beloved uncle Charlie is a murderer. She sees that the police are trailing her uncle and he could well be the cold blooded “Merry widow murderer”. One who targets rich new widows, seduces them and murders them for gain. Charlie wishes she is proved wrong and her uncle is clean.

But as the story unfolds uncle Charlie even tries murdering his beloved niece young Charlie to escape law.

With the typical Hitchcock style of story telling and the staple suspense elements, this movie is worth a watch. But as any other Hitchcock movie you might want to watch this movie a second time before you like it.

Many critics and historians consider this movie a classic and one of Sir Alfred's best American films, and this movie was one of Sir Alfred’s all time personal favorites.

Trivia: Sir Alfred is seen in the train to Santa Rosa, playing cards.

The name Charlie (name of two characters in the movie) is repeated 170 times in this movie

This film was nominated for Academy awards in two categories – Best writing and Best original story

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Saboteur (1942)

Actors: Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings and Norman Lloyd
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

A wartime movie about war. A typical Hitchcockian plot, where the hero is wrongly chased by police and law for a crime he didn’t commit. The hero is constantly on the run while he investigates and finds the real culprit to get his name cleared.

Aircraft worker Barry Kane is accused of causing fire in the factory which kills his best friend and injures many. While Barry says the fire could have been caused by a fellow called Fry, the police don’t believe because there is nobody called Fry in the factory. Barry becomes a fugitive to unravel the mystery and clear his name.

The movie is much ahead of its time. Unbelievable camera work and action sequences make you wonder if the film was really shot in 1942. the famous being the climax action sequence atop the Statue of Liberty.

Trivia: Sir Alfred makes an appearance by the end of the first hour of the movie. He is seen standing in a shop in New York, with his back facing the camera as the saboteurs car pulls up.

Sir Alfred’s cameo was supposed to be a slightly bigger role. He and his secretary at that point in time, Ms. Carol Steven were supposed to walk through the streets as a deaf and dumb couple. In this scene Sir Alfred was supposed to make some gestures (sign language) to his partner to get slapped by her (because the gesture was supposed to be an indecent proposal). Later this act was dropped by Hitchcock as he feared it might be construed derogatory by the deaf and dumb community.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rear Window (1954)

Actors: James Stewart, Grace Kelly
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

Billed by many film critics and scholars as one of the best and most thrilling movies of Sir Alfred, this is a fine movie and a must watch.

A simple story line that reflects everyone's life. Voyeurism, spying, espionage and gossiping, these seemingly big words are something which everyone of us do on a daily basis, knowingly or unknowingly. People trying to peep over your shoulders to see what is on your desk, what mail you are typing or what you are surfing or eating. We do this for adding some excitement to our lives at the expense of another man's freedom and space. That is the plot of this story. Add to this the classic Hitchcockian thrill, suspense element and a masterly camera work, Rear Window is born.

L.B. Jefferies a press photographer is confined to his bed due to a fracture in his leg. With the irritation of having been confined to his wheel chair and bed, and having to stay put at his house for an extended period of 6 weeks makes him long for some excitement in his life. From his rear window he tries spying on what the other people in his colony are up to.

His philandering eye sets on a salesman's house. This salesman's invalid wife is a nagging woman who at times irritates her salesman husband engaging him in arguments. One night Jeff sees the salesman in action walking in and out of his home a couple of times armed with a big suitcase. He comes to a conclusion that the salesman has murdered his wife and sets out to unravel the mystery with the help of his girlfriend Lisa, his nurse Stella and his detective friend Doyle.

What happened? Does Jeff manage to untie the mystery knot? That is the movie.

The viewer sees everything happening from the Point Of View of the wheelchair bound Jeff. This means that the camera is used in a narrative style following what Jeff sees with his voice directing the camera. At some places the camera also follows Lisa (Jeff’s girlfriend), Doyle (Jeff’s detective friend) and Stella (Jeff’s nurse)

Superb camerawork, amazing direction, a superb set and some great acting makes this a must watch.

Trivia: Sir Alfred appears in the movie at one of Jeff’s neighbors house. This gentleman in the neighborhood is a struggling music composer. Sir Alfred is seen working with him on some tunes.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Marnie (1964)

Actors: Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren, Diane Baker
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

A psychological thriller based on a Winston Graham novel. For me this is one of Sir Alfred’s best movies I have watched till now and many critics are of the same opinion.

The protagonist Marnie Edger is a kleptomaniac, a thief and a liar. She carries a bunch of social security cards and a assumes various names and identities to get a job. Once she does she vanishes, wiping off the cash box. Mark Rutland a wealthy widower employs Marnie knowing her past, out of curiosity. Soon Mark falls in love with Marnie and is out to reform her.

In the process Mark finds out the darker side of Marnie, her phobia for colors, red in particular. Her aversion towards thunderstorms and lightning & her disturbed sleeping habits and her distrust on men. Mark investigates to find her difficult childhood and her longing for the love of her mother.

The director then takes us through the thrilling journey of how Mark marries and reforms her. Sir Alfred, as usual excels in his trademark narrative style of camera usage. The camera leads the way to make the viewer explore the world of Marnie and her exploits.

Sean Connery and Tippi Hedren excel in their roles and make this movie a very interesting thriller.

Trivia: Sir Alfred appears very early in the movie. He is seen walking out of his hotel room as Marnie is being lead to her room by a bell boy, after her first loot in the film (at Strutt’s)

Grace Kelly was supposed to play Marnie but declined at the last moment

Sean Connery was fresh from the success of his latest bond movie Dr. No

Monday, November 06, 2006

Continuing with education

The IDM course apart, I am also trying to arm myself with some knowledge on Account Planning. This was till about a month ago happening online, thanks to Russell Davies and the other online sources.

I have since managed to source a couple of good books on Account Planning and other related subjects. I am finding them interesting and it is worthwhile buying them in case one wanted to seriously pursue an Advertising / Account Planning / Marketing career.

I would soon post a list of books (I own) what I think would be useful from an advertising / direct marketing / account planning / marketing perspective.

Back to school

Raja is back to school after a long break of 8 years...

I have joined a diploma course on Direct & Interactive Marketing with The Institute of Direct Marketing as of September 2006. I am pursuing this one year course in distance education mode.

God willing I shall be a IDM certified direct & interactive marketing professional in another one year's time. Wish me luck!

The man who knew too much (1956)

Actors: James Stewart, Doris Day
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

A remake of an old Hitchcock movie (1934) of the same name, this is a fascinating thriller. The 1934 movie was made by Sir Alfred in England. In his own words the 1934 movie was the work of a talented amateur and the later was the work of a professional. In other words the director considered the later version as a superior movie, a point of view many critics differ with.

Whatever said the 1956 version I watched seemed to be one of the best thrillers I have seen till date. You have a gripping plot, the kidnap of a young boy whose parents are vacationing in Morocco and his rescue in England.

Music plays an inseparable part in making sure that the viewer sits on the edge of his seat. The highlight being the performance (the climax) of the London Symphony Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall, London where the assassination attempt is supposed to happen.

James Stewart & Doris Day have done a fine job playing Dr & Mrs. McKenna and not to forget the performance of the little boy and the other members of the cast. Doris Day’s performance especially is impeccable, the scene when she knows that her kid has been kidnapped and the climax where she renders the famous song "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Qué Será, Será)".

The story is simple but the way the director has taken it forward is gripping and not to forget the suspense element Sir Alfred is known for. A couple on vacation to Morocco with their kid are witness to the death of a French spy. The spy dies in the lap of the vacationing doctor and utters something of paramount importance to him, about an impending assasination of a high ranked diplomat. The couples kid is kidnapped to keep their mouth shut, so that they don’t divulge the assasination plot to the authorities concerned.

Will the parents get the boy back? Would they be able to foil the assasination bid? How would the parents secure the release of the boy?

Trivia: Hitchcock appears in this film while the family of Dr McKenna is touring the markets of Marrakesh. He is seen watching the acrobats in the market place, with his back facing the camera

During the making of this movie Sir Alfred, due to the Sub-Saharan temperatures of Morocco appeared on location in his T-shirts. Normally Sir Alfred is only seen on location or the sets prim and proper, in his suit

The music composer of the movie Bernard Herrmann appears as himself, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in the climax scene

This film won Oscars for Best Music and Best Original Score for the song Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Qué Será, Será)

The song “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Qué Será, Será)” even topped the UK and US pop music charts

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Strangers on a train (1951)

Actors: Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

This is a gripping crime thriller by Hitchcock.

Tennis star Guy Haines meets Bruno Anthony on a train while he is going back to his town Metcalf. He is in the messy process of finalizing his divorce with his unfaithful wife, Miriam. While on train, Bruno comes up with a proposition of swapping murders. While Bruno has long wanted to finish his father off, Guy has trouble getting his wife agree for a divorce so that he could marry his sweetheart, a senator’s daughter.

While for Guy this goes off as a passing conversation, Bruno takes things seriously and kills Miriam. Police suspect Guy because of some circumstantial evidences & his suspect behavior and Bruno starts to blackmail Guy to return favor by killing his father.

Does Guy kill Bruno’s father? Is Guy caught by police for murdering his wife? Does Bruno succeed in his blackmail? Does Bruno get away?

Trivia: Alfred Hitchcock appears early in this movie as Guy gets out of the train at the Metcalf railway station. He is seen boarding the train with a double bass fiddle.

Frenzy (1972)

Actors: Jon Finch, Barbara Leigh – Hunt
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock (his penultimate film)

This is a crime thriller based upon the novel Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square by Arthur La Berne. This film is set and filmed in London.

A sex maniac serial killer is rocking London. He finishes off his young women prey using a necktie to be nicknamed “The necktie murderer”. Circumstantial evidences point to an innocent Richard Blaney.

So does Richard manage to escape? Is the real necktie murderer caught?

One comes to know who the necktie murderer is pretty early in the film. But what is thrilling is to watch how the innocent Richard is on the run being chased by police, arrested and even prosecuted to be finally set free when the real necktie murderer is held.

Trivia: Hitchcock appears in two scenes in this film. First when the minister is addressing a crowd in the banks of river Thames near the Tower bridge (in a bowlers hat). And next when the crowd flocks to see the latest prey of the necktie murderer being washed ashore in the Thames.

Family Plot (1976)

Actors: Karen Black, Bruce Dern, Barbara Harris, William Devane
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock (his last movie)

This is a typical Hitchcock black comedy thriller. A fake psychic healer cum con artist and her taxi driver boyfriend try to find the long last nephew of her wealthy client. The nephew disowned by this lady at one point of time would get the con artist and her taxi driver boyfriend $10,000 as fee if they manage to find him.

The nephew by now is a jeweler of some repute but has a dark past and a horrifying present. He, with the help of his girlfriend kidnaps people for ransom. With police on close trail, he and his girlfriend are a bit too careful about their dealings and the people they know.

Does the con artist and her boyfriend find the nephew? What challenges do the duo face while they are on the trail to find the nephew?

Trivia: Hitchcock doesn’t appear in this movie physically. But his shadow is seen in one of the registrar office window panes.

The Birds (1963)

Actors: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren
Dir: Sir Alfred Hitchcock

This horror movie is based on Daphne du Maurier’s short story of the same name.

Bodega Bay, a Californian seaside village experiences a strange phenomenan of violent bird attacks on its residents. This happens while Melanie Daniels visits the village from downtown San Francisco for handing over a surprise gift of lovebirds to Mich Brenner’s sister. The peaceful seaside village turns into a battlefield battered by the bird attacks.

Why do the birds attack? Is the attack got to do something with Melanie’s visit? Who is behind this?

The director never explains the phenomenon or tries answer any questions about the strange happenings. It is all left to the viewers imagination. As someone used to the conventional endings in movies, this kind of an ending seemed to be a little bland and disappointing, but only for the first time I watched it. That said you would never miss the gripping storytelling abilities of the director in any scene of this famous movie.

This horror movie made its name for its special effects, music and the usual Hitchcockian suspense.

Trivia: Hitchcock appears early in the movie walking two dogs out of a San Francisco pet shop as Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren), walks in to the shop

Falling down (1993)

Actors: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall
Dir: Joel Schumacher

The story of two people Bill – The vigilante, who feels cheated & rejected by the world and thinks he could set things right in a wrong world and Sgt. Prendergast – The police officer who is struggling to balance his life between a mentally ill, domineering wife and his fellow departmental colleagues who see him as a meek, misfit in the force.

Bill chances upon various kind of arms, from a baseball bat to a butterfly knife to an assortment of firearms. And Sgt. Prendergast on his last day sets out to stop Bill.

So how does Bill react, how many does he kill, does he achieve what he wants?

Does Sgt. Prendergast manage to change his colleagues perception on him at his last day in office?

DVD cover image from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Alfred Hitchcock mania!!

I have lately beome a huge fan of Sir Alfred, the master of suspense. I have bought a boxed set of about 14 movies of Sir Alfred and have also managed to watch three of them in a span of 2 days.

This boxed set would occupy a special place in my library of movies.

Favorite movies

I was looking at my blog profile a couple of days ago. I thought the favorite movie(s) section where I have put up 4 of my favorite movies doesn't exactly reflect on my preferences.

I realized that I watch a minimum of about 6 – 9 movies a good week and at least once in two weeks I have a new movie that joins my list of favorites. This means that at the end of every year I must have about 26 movies that have entered the favorite category.

Remembering this ever growing 26 would be a improbable task. And threfore, from here on I am planning to put up the names of the movies I watch and the details like actors / director and a short note on the movie on my blog.