Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Essays on THE BIRDS by Ken Mogg

(1) The Day of the Claw: A Synoptic Account of Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS by Ken Mogg (Senses of Cinema, "Towards an Ecology of Cinema," Issue 51, July 2009)
In this brilliantly imaginative piece, Ken Mogg takes several literary texts and uses them to synoptically illuminate Hitchcock’s intentions behind The Birds. Don’t for a second believe that Daphne du Maurier’s short story is the only literary influence.
- Senses of Cinema Online Journal

... Mogg is not interested in implying plagiarism but, rather, in demonstrating the underlying philosophical and cultural influences which these works all shared to a lesser or greater extent and also in highlighting the very deliberate and considered genius of Hitchcock.
- Martin Westlake

(2) Will and Willfulness: Recent Commentary on Hitchcock's THE BIRDS by Ken Mogg (Screening the Past, Issue ?, March 2001)

(3) Ken Mogg's devoted Hitchcock page, 'The MacGuffin'

Recent, excited finds: two quite lengthy and thoroughly philosophical analytical accounts for Hitchcock's THE BIRDS by Melbourne-based scholar Ken Mogg. The fascinating "Day of the Claw" monograph extensively explores the highly obscure, highly suspected "secret source" to Hitchcock and Evan Hunter's treatment that I've long wondered about (and is impossible to find): the 1936 novel The Birds by British novelist Frank Baker, which seems to have attributable transcendentalist and symbolist qualities (as well as some seemingly blatant narrative ones) that seem highly influencing of Hitchcock and his film.

Anyone with a love for Hitchcock's film will find these essays more than insightful, illuminating, and rewarding. They are long and detailed, so I myself haven't spent the time with them they call for, which is why I'm not saying anything particularly substantive about them. But I'll join the likes of David Sterritt and deem Mogg's writings, in his words, "top drawer stuff" (testimony at Mogg's website), and, in my words, "Omfg so essential"! So there you go, blogosphere, or at least you The Birds fans out there, anyway.