Hannibal & Clarice

This trailer re-frames Silence of the Lambs as a romantic comedy, brilliantly demonstrating how editing can alter a story so much as to appear completely different from the original. Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite movies, and this trailer hits on two themes that I’m particularly fond of: the male gaze, and the twisted love. In the actual movie, these are played as being appropriately disturbing. Clarice Starling is everywhere being looked up and down by men who wish to prey on her in one way or another, yet Hannibal Lecter, the one man who most literally might wish to prey on her, is the one who would defend her life, noticing her true value as a person and wishing to keep her in the world. There is affection between them, dark and disturbing as it may be. Yet this trailer shows how those same ideas could be played for comedy. If we think about our favorite rom-coms, how many of them deal with problematic themes? How many of them could be flipped on their backs to expose a dark underbelly of objectification and abusive love that is hidden behind a comedy cut?

Movies and TV That You Only Want To See Once



[Note: I refer to the episode of The Walking Dead that aired this past Sunday.  Other than indications of the general impact of the episode, there are no spoilers below.]

My husband is in Switzerland right now, visiting with one of his collaborators after a conference in Germany. He’s missed the last two episodes of The Walking Dead, and he’ll doubtless want to watch them once he gets home.  And he totally should: the last two episodes were great.  I’ll gladly watch the first with him.

But there’s no way in hell I’m rewatching the second.

There are a number of movies in this category of “glad I saw it, never watching it again.” Schindler’s List is a big one. Requiem For A Dream and Trainspotting are in the category for basically the same reasons. (I won’t even rewatch Trainspotting to pay attention to the performance of a young Jonny Lee Miller.  Sorry, Jonny.)  There are some movies that are right on the cusp of rewatchability.  E.T. for instance.  Great movie, but good god, does it tear your heart out and stomp all over it!

Before last night’s Walking Dead, I don’t think there’s ever been an episode of television in that category.  The closest was, interestingly enough, probably the season two episode of the show where they open the barn door (No spoilers: if you’ve seen the show, you know exactly what I mean).  It had a similar punch to the gut, and left me literally gasping for air.

But last night?  Last night had me crying.  And not the silent, tears rolling down my face kind of crying.  I mean actual noisy sobbing.  I’m glad the kids were asleep, because they probably would have been upset by seeing mommy cry like that.  Of course, they would never, ever be in the living room while The Walking Dead was on, but that’s beside the point.

I’m glad I saw it.  It’s a very powerful, very raw and honest, very well done episode.

But I am never watching it again.