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Explore the Power of Sound in Hitchcock's The Birds

Monday, April 15, 2013

Visiting film scholar Richard Allen explores the innovative role of electronic sound in Hitchcock's 1963 film, The Birds with a free presentation at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17 in King Hall Auditorium

For Hitchcock, stylistic innovation was always tied to technological innovation, and his readiness to use an electronic soundtrack in The Birds was part of his self-conscious effort to push the boundaries of his art. Hitchcock's use of electronic sound is experimental, expanding the representational and expressive possibilities of sound in cinema. Electronic sound allowed Hitchcock to create the dense layering of sound effects that he wanted for the film, one that anticipates modern sound design.

Allen is Professor and Chair of Cinema Studies at New York University. He writes on film theory and the poetics and aesthetics of film. His books include Projecting Illusion, Hitchcock's Romantic Irony, Islamicate Cultures of Bombay Cinema (with Ira Bhaskar), and three edited volumes on Hitchcock. He is also editor of the Hitchcock Annual. In addition to Hitchcock, his current research is on Indian Cinema and Melodrama.