I have always wonder: what are you going to do when season arrives?
OLD MAN! (made me giggle)
The Lecter Saga, 2/6
Prior to Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991), an adaptation of the 1988 novel of the same name, Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins was not a ‘name’ actor. But his has become, in popular culture at least, the definitive portrayal of Lecter, the movie being a massive hit and the only notable film in the ‘horror’ genre to be so successful at the Academy awards. A virtual unknown to American audiences at the time of release, his Hannibal Lecter is blessed with more screen time than Cox and paired in a twisted romantic subplot with a subtly powerful actress in the form of Jodie Foster. Their onscreen partnership, ultimately a mere four scenes, is compelling in its depiction of intimacy and manipulation. The character of Hannibal Lecter is reintroduced to us in iconic fashion; the last in a succession of irredeemable criminal madmen, Lecter is secreted away in a virtual dungeon. As our protagonist, Foster’s Clarice Starling, moves into eyeline, he is standing perfectly still in the centre of his cell, expectantly. His voice is monotonous, nasal, said to be inspired by the HAL 1000 of Kubrick’s 2001. He barely blinks, eyes permanently staring and glistening. He casually enquires as to what his fellow inmate hissed at her as she passed the gauntlet of cells, to which she replies, “He said, ‘I can smell your cunt.’” Lecter flares his nostrils at the small ventilation holes in the reinforced glass and admits, “I cannot.” It is a creepy and sleazy opening interaction and invests this Lecter with a misogyny not present in the Manhunter incarnation. His early attempts to rattle and demean Starling are all sexual and repulsive, with accusations regarding her relationship with her uncle. (“Did he force you to perform fellatio on him? Did he sodomise you?”) These are the thoughts of a one-track mind and his subsequent interactions with her are those of a sexual sadist seeking dominance- the wink after he licks his finger to peruse the questionnaire, the sly caress of the finger in the frantic moment of passing back her documents. And all this from a man said to abhor rudeness? This Lecter is vile, a far cry from the disdaining, deceptive iceman Will Graham crosses foils with. Hopkins plays him as explicitly inhuman, a bogeyman with the countenance of Nosferatu. It is a performance without subtlety or restraint and Hopkins’ brief screen time is a blessing. A single ounce more and his overacting would topple the whole venture. For all the acclaim, it is Foster’s picture, giving Starling a pointed sensitivity balanced with an unshakeable resolve. There is a tightrope vulnerability present that keeps us firmly on her side, evoking empathy rather than sympathy. The role of Jack Crawford is this time held solidly by Scott Glenn. Bookish and serious, he fills a gap for the paternally-obsessed Starling, recruiting her in the hope that her fresh innocence will have as much appeal to Lecter as it does to him. Mentoring her through inter-department relations and the ghastly and saddening examination of a corpse, he is sure to challenge her at every opportunity, relishing in how she rises to it. She is not afraid to call him on it, either, when he uses her gender to emotionally manipulate local law enforcement. Though, for the good of the investigation, she plays along. It is his approval she so desperately seeks, holding out for and appreciating that final hand shake at the movie’s end; Glenn’s solid, natural authority, but nurturing gentleness, linking perfectly with her unswerving loyalty and orphan complex. It is a platonic romance of manners, delicately balanced and played. Hopkins is vulgar and ridiculous by comparison. Nevertheless, his Lecter is gifted with opportunities far beyond that of Cox. The fact that he murders a fellow inmate using only his voice hints at a Mephistophelean ability. The savagery and cunning of his escape from custody displays the ability and desire to inflict gruesome harm to even his most courteous of jailers, that sadistic cannibal forever lurking a mere atom beneath the surface, and abilities comparable to that of any action hero, butchering his way to freedom. His superhuman (superinhuman?) powers, coupled with his refined taste places him high in our estimation; he is superior to us and desirable.
Not so Jaime Gumb, the media-dubbed ‘Buffalo Bill’. A loner, possessed of massive self-hatred, Gumb is a misguided and pathetic figure, though lethal in the path of his obsessions. Kidnapping and murdering young women in order to harvest them, he is crafting for himself a dress of human skin to achieve the sex change he has been denied. Not a true transexual, as Lecter points out, he is motivated by the need to change, to escape his own hated identity, and emerge as beautiful and new, like the moths he is so enamoured with. A pure fantasist, he is singularly consumed and, when we first meet him, has killed three young women in order to pursue his fantasy. Ted Levine was another unknown at the time of his casting. Though with few lines in the film, his sheepish demeanour, camp delivery and desperation make him a strange and fearsome killer. His large house is a monument to his pursuits and the abandonment of all else. The reams of fabric and sewing equipment, the squalor, the corpse long-rotten and sprouting in the bathtub, and the thriving clouds of moths. Slim and long-haired at the time of filming, Levine’s performance goes without praise, the double-act of Foster/Hopkins garnering all the acclaim. But it is perhaps because he is so unrecognisable in his later roles that he is unappreciated. A true, shambling, pathetic oddity, his ‘Buffalo Bill’ would be pitiable were it not for the self-aggrandisement and indulgences for which he murders and mutilates. Less obviously threatening than Lecter, though just as strange and deadly, he is finally stopped in his tracks because he permits himself a moment to observe Starling rather than kill her, reaching out, his eyes aided by night-vision goggles, as she stumbles in the dark. And as he cocks the hammer of his handgun, she hears it, twirls and unleashes a hail of bullets of her own, shattering the painted windows, flooding the interior with light and bringing ‘Buffalo Bill’ to an end. But the final scene of Silence is Lecter’s, shifting the focus from our stunned protagonist and the vanquished monster to our predatory antagonist, disappearing into the crowd like a shark, smoothly and effortlessly. We are left with the feeling that he is still ‘out there’, a wolf blending with the herd. It is a perfect end to a legend, the notion that he could be under anyone’s bed, thereafter. It is a shame Hannibal Lecter’s cinematic incarnations did not cease there.
Stylistically, The Silence of the Lambs is a marked contrast to Manhunter, intentional or not. Silence is a tactile claustrophobic experience, by production design and cinematography. In benign scenes, such as Crawford’s first briefing of Starling, his desk and noticeboard are a clutter of photographs, documents and evidence. It is a far cry from Dennis Farina’s gallery-like workspace in Manhunter. Lecter’s cell, a virtual dungeon, has more order but is still a patchwork of ancient brick and foxed paper, his surroundings turned into one overbearing object holding him as if in the centre of a granite fist. Both are exceeded by the hellhole of Jaime Gumb’s abode, a labyrinthine nightmare of fetish objects, squalor, moths and trophies. The film’s colour scheming is decidedly 1970s throwback, with it’s muted caramel-browns and fleshtones, while characters are clothed in a permanent autumn of blacks and greys. The camera is also mercilessly confrontational, foregoing the meditative ambient narrative of Mann to become a character in itself. Once one becomes aware of how often characters look straight into the camera lens, we realise how they have made participants of us, rather than simple viewers. All Starling and Lecter’s confrontations are shot thus, the camera cutting back and forth with their exchanges as she gleans and he delves. But Starling is also the target of a steady barrage of glares and scrutiny. We see from her point of view as male officers, agents and adversaries stare unflinching at her with unguarded aggression, sexual interest or disdain. It makes for uncomfortable viewing, yet draws upon our empathy for her.
Silence has an orchestral score for the most part, Howard Shore constructs an ebb and flow, a slow tempo of menacing and mournful strings that do not seek to frighten us out of our seats, only draw us in with fear and fascination. The soundtrack makes a concession to two pop songs. John Mellencamp’s ‘American Girl’ is sung along to with gusto by a young woman moments before her violent abduction. Q-Lazarus’ ‘Goodbye Horses’ is now synonymous with Jaime Gumb, feminised and naked save for a silk scarf, prancing before his home video camera in a moment of self-worship. Both songs are generic enough, but have been cemented in pop-consciousness, laden with sinister attachment in the same manner as ‘Stuck in the Middle with You’ by Stealer’s Wheel, much to the author’s chagrin. Indeed, so unsettling is the use of ‘Goodbye Horses’ that, though it has been parodied since, the scene still shocks now as a glimpse into a fantasy, the warped root of murder, sadness and loss.
Wow this one is popular.
The original is part of a set by librium.
dontstartbs’ and adiwaheed’s inbox and submit are closed.
I know I should be afraid but the cuteness just lures you in more.
The original post belongs to librium
- ž u d i k a s
Jesus fucking christ. What is up with the reposts in the last few days while I was away???
The original was edited by fuckyeahhughdancy
The Danish version of Hannibal has ‘MADS MIKKELSEN is Hannibal’ on it. National pride much
OMG Netflix on my tv just put these two films next to each other on new releases *hannigram is meant to be*
countdown meme [dec 5]
faourite quote → "caring is not an advantage, sherlock"
This is why you cant trust women, even when theyre mouth is closed theyre still lying to you
you do realize that this is really hurtful right?
i did not do this to show how i am ‘lying’ to men or anyone, it’s not about how you, as a man, should feel about it - it’s about myself.
to me your statement sounds as if the left side of this picture is something awful or horrible. and no, it’s not. it is my face - with and without makeup. and whether i chose to wear it or not is MY AND JUST MY decision. and when i do, i do it for myself - so that i feel good about myself - not for you.
not to mention it’s the fucking patriarchy that demands women always wear make up and look 10/10, but when we go natural we apparently look like shit to them (not that she does in the slightest), and when we show ourselves in make up, these same men call us vain, liars, etc
patriarchy = telling women to look pretty, then tearing them down for doing it
and as she said, makeup is for HER, not for MEN, and not for YOU, fuck you scorpsswimmer
I’m going to interrupt this post and ask what concealer that is
I have always wonder: what are you going to do when season arrives?