This evening we followed our schedule of films related to our summer US coast-to-coast trip by watching The Birdman of Alcatraz. Now, for my Uncle M., in the Pyrénées, I should immediately stress that probably nowadays nobody would contest the fact that the original birdman, Robert Stroud, was a surly and nasty piece of work. But Burt Lancaster nevertheless, through sheer dramatic genius, turned his character’s dreary life into a depiction of a zen transition from violence to serenity. From our point of view, it was interesting to see how Lancaster’s character’s escape inwards, contrasted with Clint Eastward’s more plodding escape outwards.