Video Picks Archive
Reviews by Matt Heffernan <email@example.com>
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.
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:
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Guide to Star Ratings
Capsule Reviews © 2000 Matt Heffernan