Since 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list grows regularly and is currently more than 1800 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.
At 12 years old, I was old enough to be interested in live-action movies when The Silence of the Lambs came out, but not by any means old enough to watch an R-rated psychological thriller, at least by my parents’ reckoning. My parents watched the film when it came out on home video. I gather my mother thought it was fairly good — she always liked crime thrillers, although she was sometimes put off by gore — while my father wasn’t so fond of it. I’ve been hearing “it’s overrated” for around twenty years. But as Dad and I often disagree on films, I’ve long wondered what I would think of it myself. After all, this is a very highly-acclaimed film; it has a Best Picture win, several AFI rankings, and a top 25 spot on IMDb to its credit. It has a considerable reputation to live up to. Continue reading →
“District 9” director Neill Blomkamp returns with another offering about class warfare and societal segregation, “Elysium”. Only this time, his film is not quite as subtle in its themes, nor as interesting a story.
Making its debut this weekend on Starz was last year’s “Carnage”.
Directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz, “Carnage” is a comedy based on a stage play. After a school yard altercation, the parents of the two boys involved get together briefly to discuss the incident. But what begins as a brief meeting to resolve an issue escalates into a quite a row.
America was a country with a deeply wounded psyche at the time. The President was Gerald Ford, who had been Richard Nixon’s Vice President throughout the Watergate scandal. The sentencings of Nixon’s White House aides, along with John Mitchell, the former Attorney General of the United States, were not even 12 months removed. The summer prior, America had lost a war for the first time. The country watched as Saigon fell, and people scrambled to abandon the US Embassy.
Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, and Anthony Hopkins unleash a tour de force.
“The Silence of the Lambs”.
The movie would sweep the Oscars; Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay (Adapted). It makes AFI’s “100 Years… 100 Movies” on both the original (#65) and 10th Anniversary (#74) editions. AFI honors Hopkin’s Hannibal Lecter with the top spot on their “100 Years… Heroes & Villains”, declaring him the greatest villain of all time. They honor Foster’s Clarice Starling on the same list, at number 6 on the heroes side. She is also the highest ranking female character on said list, which makes her the de facto greatest heroine of all time per AFI.
But most importantly to me, this is the first movie in this series that cracks my personal top ten.