I have no idea why today is National Alfred Hitchcock Day. The filmmaker was born on August 13th, 1899 and died on April 29th, 1980. It’s possible one of his many films debuted on this date that, but I have a hunch the answer is even more simple: the date was available, so they plunked it in.
Whatever the case, there are worse occasions for celebrating. For instance, does the world really need a National Cupcake Day? And yet there is one. There’s a Panic Day and a Multiple Personalities Day (that’s a confusing one) and tomorrow is Jewel Day, though I’m not clear if it relates to the stone or the 90s folk/pop icon. But you get the point: as far as National Days go, you don’t have to look far to find sillier ones than this.
Alfred Hitchcock was, of course, the master of suspense and the best of his work remain fresh and completely watchable today. These include such masterworks as Dial M for Murder, To Catch a Thief, Rear Window and the iconic Psycho that, in many ways, altered filmmaking forever.
Stephen Rebello’s book, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, was the basis for the 2012 film, Hitchcock, directed by Sacha Gervasi and starring Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren. In a video interview (below) Rebello points out that Psycho “was guerilla filmmaking and it was unlike anything he’d done before.”
Meanwhile, Bodega Bay, the coastal California community where Hitchcock shot The Birds in 1963, is getting ready for a half century bash. According to The Sacramento Bee, Hitchcock chose his location perhaps even better than he knew:
Now, 50 years later, as the community makes plans for the golden anniversary of this silver-screen classic, an avian invasion once more has taken hold here.
It’s the annual winter migration of all kinds of birds, attracted in large numbers to Bodega Bay by the irresistible geographic combination of open shoreline and diverse flora. The National Audubon Society has called this area one of the nation’s top birding spots.