Jonathan Demme left behind a legacy of great films, including arguable crowning jewel, The Silence of the Lambs. Winning Oscars in the top 5 categories, including best director and best picture – an unheard of feat for a “horror” film – its central performances by Jodie Foster (as FBI profiler Clarice Starling) and Anthony Hopkins (as the now iconic Hannibal Lecter) put both actors squarely on the A-list. An adaptation of the second novel in Thomas Harris’ best-selling series, Lambs finds big moments in quiet scenes, allowing Foster and Hopkins to play off each other unforgettably, wringing high-wire tension and rich emotion from something as simple as a probing conversation. It’s a watershed film, one that set the bar for police procedurals and spawned a new sub-genre of serial killer movies – a trend that exploded in the 90s and kickstarted many a great director’s career. With Demme’s sudden passing it’s only right to honor his monumental talent by screening his most celebrated masterpiece, and to hear the screaming of the lambs once again.
Dir. Jonathan Demme, 1991, DCP, 118 min.