The Birds/Frenzy

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 tale of nature-gone-amok anticipates a lot of ’70s disaster flicks—and our recent boom in disaster literature, too. (Think of it as the progenitor to the avian flu scare.) In The Birds, based on a story by Daphne Du Maurier, we're left to wonder what the hell has gotten into Tippi Hedren’s feathered attackers. Hitchcock never really explains. Like War of the Worlds, there’s a mysterious aspect to their assault and retreat, which has made some critics call the picture his only science-fiction effort. You can also look back to Cary Grant and the crop-dusting plane in North by Northwest—Hitchcock seems particularly attuned to the threats that come from clear blue skies. Following is his lesser 1972 serial killer movie Frenzy. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Oct. 8-14, 6:30 & 8:45 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 9, 2 & 4:15 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 10, 2 & 4:15 p.m., 2010

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