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Silence Of The Lambs

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The opening sequence of Clarice Starling frantically jogging through the labyrinth-like foggy forest in director Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs (1991), sets the visual design standard for the rest of the thrilling film. The visual design of a movie is comprised of the contents of the frame and how they are used to enhance the viewing experience for the audience. There exists a multitude of visual design elements, each one playing a major role in every motion picture. Visual design elements affect the mood and atmosphere in a film. The mood of a film is the emotion that is evoked when viewing a movie, whereas the atmosphere is external, the physical, sensory qualities of the film. Throughout the duration of the 138-minute masterpiece,…show more content…
Hannibal Lector is not a washed up thug, rather a brilliant, witty and intelligent criminal. Lector’s intelligence and sophistication are displayed at the beginning of the film when he would give Starling hints about Buffalo Bill. He would never tell her an exact location of a clue, rather quiz her with anagrams and scrambled messages. Costume design and makeup contribute to the sophisticated, professional atmosphere in the film. As Starling goes to interview Lector for the first time, she passes through other prisoners in their cells. The inmates are seen wearing ragged clothing, with scruffy hair, or even completely naked. When Lector is first shown in the frame, he is seen wearing a clean, pressed uniform, with hair slickly combed back. His costume in contrast with the other inmates further proves that he is not an ordinary criminal. He is a professional at his craft of deception and his clothing goes to prove that he is unlike…show more content…
The set design in The Silence of the Lambs also adds to the disturbing mood of the overall film. As aforementioned, when visiting Lector at the prison, Starling has to walk past an abundance of cells, almost as if she is descending into more and more evil, deeper into the depths of Hell. When Starling finally arrives at her destination, she sees Lecter behind a thick pane of glass, rather than the standard steel bars of the other prisoners. This distinct choice in set design is made to convince the audience that they should be scared and unsettled for future encounters with Lector. Since the set designers placed Lecter behind maximum security glass, he is no ordinary bad-guy, but a smart mastermind and a brilliant criminal who needs to be treated with extreme
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