Video Picks Archive

August 16, 2000
This Week's Video Picks
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Reviews by Matt Heffernan <>

This week my picks are Titus (1999 - ) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991 - ).

As I am in a very Shakespeare mood -- what with the upcoming re-issue of Kurosawa's Ran and my current involvement in a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream -- my first pick this week is Titus, Julie Taymor's adaptation of Shakespeare's first tragedy, which happened to be released on video this week. Taymor took Titus Andronicus, already an orgiastic feast of sex and violence, and kicked it up with some daring visuals and whimsical anachronisms. Anthony Hopkins stars in the title role: a Roman general caught in the middle of a dispute for the leadership of Rome. Some of the film's idiosyncrasies grow tiresome, but overall it is an entertaining look at a nearly forgotten play.
Full review from January 15, 2000

There is one scene in Titus where Hopkins serves Goth queen Jessica Lange some meat pies that were made from her freshly killed sons. This can only bring up fond memories of the second film. Hopkins won his first Academy Award for playing Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a former psychiatrist who was imprisoned for the murder and cannibalism of his patients. In Silence of the Lambs (which, as few people realize, is a sequel to Manhunter, where Brian Cox played "Hannibal the Cannibal"), FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster, who also won an Oscar) questions Hannibal about a similarly demented killer on the loose. Jonathan Demme's film, based on Thomas Harris' novel, is a brilliantly psychological yarn, highlighted by the intense exchanges between Hopkins and Foster. It pretty much cleaned up at the Academy Awards, also winning for Best Direction, Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally), and Best Picture. No other film has won the "Big Five" since -- not bad for a February release. Hopkins will return to the role next year in Hannibal, but Foster will be replaced by Julianne Moore.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Titus (1999)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Titus (1999) -- VHS
Titus (1999) -- DVD
Titus Andronicus, a play by William Shakespeare -- Hardcover
Titus Andronicus, a play by William Shakespeare -- Paperback
Titus Andronicus, a play by William Shakespeare -- Audio Cassette (performed by Anthony Quayle, Judi Dench, et al.)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) -- VHS
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Criterion Collection -- DVD
The Silence of the Lambs, a novel by Thomas Harris -- Hardcover
The Silence of the Lambs, a novel by Thomas Harris -- Paperback
The Silence of the Lambs, a novel by Thomas Harris -- Audio Cassette (read by Kathy Bates)
The Silence Of The Lambs: The Original Motion Picture Score -- Compact Disc Home
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