Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Silence of the Lambs Review

Typically if I am fascinated by something, I want to see it up close, experience it in an intimate, memorable way. I want to be outdoors and feel the power of a tornado as it approaches, and the fact that this is clearly dangerous doesn't diminish the urge to step into the storms path. While I doubt I will ever have the opportunity to travel into outer space and look down on our planet from above, I still quench the thirst for knowledge on the subject by using a telescope to look up at the wonders of the galaxy.

I am totally, completely fascinated by serial killers, yet I wish they didn't exist and I would never want to be close enough to see one, not even with a telescope. I want to read about them, all of them, both the fictional characters derived from a human mind and the all too real monsters that took innocent lives, yet when I consider that the fun I have studying their habits and their motives is due to the unspeakable acts they committed, I can't help but feel guilty.

I just watched The Silence of the Lambs for roughly the 30th time (random, realistic guess), and just like the previous 29 times I feel cinematic bliss right now. No moment of this masterful work ever gets old, nothing feels dated, nothing is diminished. No amount of guilt can change that. Adapted from the words of novelist Thomas Harris, this film exists because people like Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill have walked this earth before and will continue to do so. Scary as hell? No doubt...but I love every second of it.

The direction of Jonathan Demme, the screenplay by Ted Tally, the swift but never rushed pacing that flows effortlessly between one memorable scene to the next, the casting which brought us the amazing performances of Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith, Diane Baker and, of course, Ted Levine, across the board everything about The Silence of the Lambs feels flawless.

"You still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs?"

Serve me this film with some fava beans and a nice chianti. Delicious.


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