DVR Hindsight #20 (2/15/21): “Clarice” Premiere

“Clarice” – “The Silence is Over” – Season One, Ep. 1 (CBS)

For her performance as FBI trainee Clarice Starling, the hardscrabble West Virginia orphan who, while on special assignment with the Bureau’s Behavioral Sciences division, used her intuition, cunning, and self-belief to face down two notorious serial killers – bringing the second to justice after surviving a harrowing ordeal alone in the lair of the beast – Jodie Foster won the 1991 Academy Award for Best Actress. It was the zenith of Foster’s career, making her a two-time Oscar winner with a third nomination yet to come, and part of a near-unprecedented sweep of the evening’s highest profile categories for what is perhaps simultaneously the quintessential modern police procedural, true crime, and horror film, Jonathan Demme’s peerless, practically perfect The Silence of the Lambs. Dissatisfaction with the tone and script of Ridley Scott’s 2001 sequel would cause Foster to bow out of reprising her most famous role, though her replacement, estimable fellow Oscar-winner Julianne Moore, did exceedingly well with what little she was given. I don’t actually have a clear preference between the two in terms of performance Continue reading “DVR Hindsight #20 (2/15/21): “Clarice” Premiere”

DVR Hindsight #12 (6/12/15): iZombie finale, Hannibal season three

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Though I obviously wield and write from a position of considerable (imaginary) power with this blog, I’m not typically in the business of assigning pop culture homework to my readership, or at least when I do, it’s well-considered. If, by this point in our relationship, you’ve stubbornly discounted my delightfully subtle recommendations, and are not, for example, either already caught up with FX’s The Americans, well into the process of doing so, or at least in strong consideration of taking that plunge (seriously, it’s thirty-six episodes…that’s not even a long weekend!), then I have probably reached the limits of what I can do for you. I feel, however, that it’s time to offer a rare exception in the case of two extraordinary, macabre police procedurals – one just ending its first season as the other begins its third – that glide below the radar of most viewers and settle (or unsettle, as the case may be) comfortably into some of the darkest corners of the television landscape Continue reading “DVR Hindsight #12 (6/12/15): iZombie finale, Hannibal season three”

On Dr. Hannibal Lecter: The Man, The Myth and the Icon Reborn

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Sir Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of cultured but cannibalistic Baltimore psychiatrist and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Jonathan Demme’s macabre 1991 classic The Silence of the Lambs is one of cinema’s all-time great sniper attacks by a talented but criminally undervalued actor, a singular, stunning star turn that announced Hopkins, then a meandering sort of Shakespearian journeyman, as a talent deserving, nay demanding, of the love of masses both popular and critical. His psychotic doctor was so charming, so calculating, so insidious, so unknowable, so alien and yet strangely relatable, equally capable of thoughtful commiseration and unspeakable acts. Audiences, who had never quite seen a character such as this on screen, were spellbound. Continue reading “On Dr. Hannibal Lecter: The Man, The Myth and the Icon Reborn”