View a feature film made between 1970 and 2000
Second Paper Assignment: Film Two
This is essentially the same assignment as Paper One BUT about a film produced between 1970 and 2000.
Part 1: View a feature film made between 1970 and 2000 you have not seen before (or will see later in this class) by a great director or featuring a great actor or actress.
Just as you did in the first paper, comment on the specific film you saw. Pay particular attention to the screenplay, camerawork (cinematography) the editing (montage) and the sound (including music). for this paper, also address special effects. Again, as you did in the first paper, talk about what you like and what you dislike? Why do you like the things you like, and why do you dislike the things you dislike? Is the film a good film, or is it not?
Part 2: Now that you have commented on the specific film you viewed, see if you can draw some general conclusions about the work of the director and one of the main actors or actresses. Be sure to comment on the overall impression you had of the film, including how you see it as an example of the its genre and time period. Remember, this is film review based on your opinions and insights: do not repeat what you have learned by reading up on the film or the filmmaker.
Part 3: Go back to the “My Criteria for Quality in Film” page. Based on your viewing of this week’s film, add four new general conclusions. These statements should be numbered (5) through (8). Be sure to include all of the criteria you created for Paper One.
Silence of the Lambs (1991) by Jonathan Demme
As directed by Jonathan Demme in 1991, the movie Silence of the Lambs is one of the most thrilling and gothic movies of the late 20th century. The movie is mostly good in most aspects of filmmaking, ranging from cinematography, the cast, and editing. The film is alternately driven by tension throughout, making the viewer keep on watching in anticipation for resolution at the end. The film is well-acted, with the cast communicating their roles to give the movie a horrific feeling. I like the movie by integrating the set pieces that are alternatively driven by intensifying the tension, then slowing it, and matching the cuts between the parallel storylines to keep the pace alive. The film has numerous parts that make the viewer feel tensed and willing to follow to know what would happen next. The relationship between Brook Smith and Bill is tense. Buffalo Bill is generally uncontrolled and dreadful, freely preying on women. He torments Ms. Martin well, yet as a viewer, I mistakenly feel that the caged man talking to Agent Starling is terrifying and dangerous. The usage of dynamic mystery makes the film have psychological power over the viewer. The director also employed cinematographic elements that brought well the film’s genre of horror. The camera movements, angles, point-of-view shots, the on-screen and the off-screen shots, shot duration, among other aspects of cinematography, makes the film horrific. The director, Jonathan Demme, used the different angles and other aspects of cinematography to prepare the viewer for a horrific scene or suspense.
Despite the good directorship of Jonathan Demme in the movie, there are some of the things that I never liked, especially towards the end of the film. The final scenes of Dr. Chilton, Lecter, and Starling and Bill’s showdown give an absurd ending. The movie does not support the film’s dread at the end scenes with the unexpected turn of events that makes it have a weaker motion. The movie ended in a weak tone with a high turn of events. Throughout the horror film, Hopkins (Lecter) was believed to be the serial killer, and thus the viewers had deduced that the serial killer must have been among the front cast of the film. Starling, Martin, and Dr. Chilton believe that Lecter is connected to the killings and thus keeps on trailing him. It was expected that, even if it was to be a shocker, the serial killer should have been a common character in the film to create an impact and generate feelings in the viewer. That could have been a real shocker than having a new character known as Jame Gumb, who has less impact in the film.
Generally, the director’s work is superb, having managed to employ all elements of a good film in the movie and make it appear horrific. He made sure that the cinematography played an important role in driving the story and creating tension between different character relationships. He uses low-angle shots numerously in the film to show the superiority of a particular character of the other and indicate the tension in a relationship. For instance, when Agent Crawford is talking to Clarice. The low angle shot in the scene indicates Crawford’s superiority over Clarice, predicting danger within the environment (YouTube).This was a creative and well though cinematographic applications that the film director made use of them. The director ensured that aerial shots were used to give the viewer a complete scene, showing the included environment that is of concern to the viewer. This made the movie generally balanced and enjoyable to watch. Hopkins was the most outstanding character in the film. He largely dominates in the entire film, and not even once does he act boringly. Hopkins acting as Lecter, maintains a strong character throughout the film with the entire tension tied on him. At last, he gives a glimpse of the person behind the killings and kills the guards, and escapes. This leaves the audience wondering about his real contribution to the killings. He behaves like a real criminal throughout the film, confusing the real identity of Bill.