Tag Archives: Thomas Harris

Hannibal

Hannibal: Ridley Scott’s post-modern, hyper-stylized sequel to Jonathan Demme’s 1991 Academy Award winning film is enjoyable, yet quite different from The Silence of the Lambs. Whereas The Silence of the Lambs is a psychological serial killer thriller, juxtaposing a traditional looking FBI film with a macabre and intimate look at a serial killer’s abode, Hannibal takes a much different approach. It is about lust; the lust for the chase, for money, for revenge, and also for redemption. I remember seeing Hannibal in theaters about ten years ago and was warned by the ushers the film is extremely violent; they were even handing out barf bags in the lobby – a move I felt unnecessary for an R-rated film. Back in those days I watched a great deal of violent films (it’s around this time I first saw Deodato’s Cannibal and Jungle Holocaust) and thought their warning was gratuitous. I still do. Hannibal is a very violent film but it doesn’t compare to the output of other filmmakers. Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, or even Robert Rodriguez’s latest offering, Machete, features more gore than Scott’s sequel. However, I don’t believe it’s the visual gore which marks Hannibal a violent film. Rather, I believe it’s the intentions of the murders (both by Hannibal and others) and the lust for carnage and revenge filling Hannibal’s antagonist which makes Hannibal a particularly violent piece of cinema.
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The Silence of the Lambs

Warning: There are potential spoilers ahead (thanks MacTingz)

Until last Saturday night I hadn’t seen The Silence of the Lambs in at least a decade. My uncle, who foolishly took me to countless films as a child, especially R-rated films unsuitable for adolescents, introduced me to Jonathan Demme’s adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel, bringing me to the local multiplex, buying me popcorn, and establishing my familiarity with transsexuals and serial killers. I was probably nine or ten years old. Luckily my parents didn’t care and even encouraged my viewing of subversive films and books – they were hippies.
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