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From one of the most versatile and masterful american directors, a powerful film that is also a cinema lesson
on 20 September 2015
Jonathan Demme is such an incredible director, so able to work on different genres and always so great in refreshing them with a personal touch.
It is not a matter of turning each genre upside down, but to reinforce it, being at the same time faithful and innovative.
That's what he did with comedies (Something Wild and Married to the Mob), drama (Philadelphia), romance (Rachel getting married, maybe his masterpiece). And with documentaries, which represent his alter-life (Man from Plains, Caroline Parker, Swimming to Cambodia, The Agronomist) and, by looking at films like Silence of the Lambs, they seem to be made by another director.
Silence of the lambs is one of the best thriller and serial killer films ever done. Not as fascinating and disturbing as Manhunter (which belongs to the same saga) or Peeping Tom, but it is definitely the best Hollywood could do. Under his masterful direction, Demme transformed an apparently genre film in a oscar winning success, relaunched Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins who found in this film the turning point of their career, and marked the imagination and collective consciousness of the last 25 years. This film is a diabolique mix of ancestral fears, intriguing plot and twist, and a constant subtext about the struggle of a woman in a man's world. Demme does not show off but wisely uses photography, acting and editing (the twist in the sequence of the final irruption is a perfect example of refreshing use of parallel editing) to engage and drag us into the story. No special effect: just great cinema.
On a pretty good blu ray, which only lacks of some video definition, but it is watchable and enjoyable anyway.