Here in Austin, we have just a handful of theaters, including of course the Paramount. Before I left, I caught my final summer classic film, The Birds.
It's interesting when you watch classics like this, because you have to remind yourself that what you've now seen many times over was being done for the first time. When we watch these kinds of movies now, we're coming from a place of awareness and cynicism that audiences just weren't back then. So you end up mentally shouting at the screen, 'Don't go in there!' while the blonde wanders into a situation that should be obviously avoided. You have to appreciate that this is the foundation of what made Buffy the Vampire Slayer so cool, and just enjoy the show.
While others did it for decades after him, no one does it quite as deftly as Hitchcock. Because you still end up with moments, like when the crows gather on a school playground, when you are still totally, uncynically, scared of the birds. I found myself eyeing the pigeons of London very suspiciously, I can tell you.