“The Silence of the Lambs” essay

“Well, Clarice – have the lambs stopped screaming?”

“The Silence of the Lambs” is by far one of the best films that were ever made in the horror/thriller genre and is also a monumental in the cinematic scene due to the perfect camera angles and music. Jonathan Demme has mastered showing the terror, fear that surrounds Hannibal along with the suspense and constant feeling of danger for Clarice as she races against time to find buffalo bill in the film. Throughout the film we see the constant usage of manipulation from all characters and this film shows you must be careful who you trust and who you get close too.

Throughout the movie Hannibal is shown with close up shots where he takes almost the entire screen. The shots that have close ups of Hannibal face are to show how harsh his facial expressions are with his pure blue eyes and a smile that will only give you cold chills. These constant shots serve to show the terror and fear but also that feeling that deep down maybe you could trust Hannibal makes him a triple threat and dangerous. In these shots we get dark blues and grays to really create that feel of solitary for the inmates and also create that feeling that they are condemned to their own personal hell for what they have did to get them there. So it would only makes senses that Hannibal would try to reach out to Clarice and help her but not in a way to where she can do it all in one shot but where she would eventually have to come back to Hannibal and ask for his help again and maybe she could have sense a trust in him to where he can take advantage off.

Another great scene in this film is where we see Clarice talking to Hannibal in his cell and the camera goes to Hannibal side to where we see Clarice face perfectly but in the window we see Hannibal’s face as well next to Clarice and this is to show they “need each other” to accomplish their agenda and they both need to be careful of each other because one them is bound to fall to mutilation. This is a very important shot as Hannibal will tell information about Buffalo Bill in exchange for Clarice’s sensitive pass about her things about her unfortunate childhood which includes the death of her father and being orphan child. During this scene the camera shots gets closer to Hannibal’s and Clarice’s face with each question again back we again have the this harsh lighting in a room where there is only dim/soft lighting on the two character as they are sharing this moment they are battling for their end game goals. Hannibal is digging deeply into her life and the deeper he gets, the closer the camera gets between the two of them.

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