Critic’s Guide: The Birds at Trafalgar Avenue

by Sam Moore, 2022

In his latest show, Garrett Pruter asks what Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) would look like if there weren’t any birds in it. In Pruter’s variation – The Birds, (2022) – the gathering unease of the original takes on a different form. With no visible threat, the townspeople gradually go mad, talking about and looking for something that never comes. The film is a compelling meditation on the power of projection, depicting the characters engaged in the act, but inviting the audience to make the same move, mentally putting the birds back into the frame. Their absence gives this work its strange, hypnotic power. The continually building tension never dissipates, and never quite offers catharsis; a kind of cinematic tease, waiting for something you know will never appear. The Birds creates an emptiness that’s vast, gripping, and just as terrifying as Hitchcock’s original.