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August 29, 2015 9:28 AM   Subscribe

Recovering the Mindset. Three interpretations of a single scene from Manhunter, Red Dragon and Hannibal, in a single edit. Creepy, bloody. Bon appétit.
posted by Cool Papa Bell (69 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
I didn't know Hannibal was covering this bit of story territory...

Manhunter remains one of my favorite movies of all time. Such a beautiful film, so effective and arty and very much of the 80s but also transcends that era because of its use of sound and color. My favorite Lector, too.

This supercut was fascinating. Thanks for sharing!
posted by hippybear at 9:38 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thanks for posting. This is a great side-by-side comparison.

I mean, I don't want to take anything away from Anthony Hopkins, but of the three my hands-down favourite Lecter is still Brian Cox.

The way that was shot - in a cold, clinical setting makes him way creepier. Michael Mann didn't seem to feel the need to set the mood with "Oooh. Spooky dungeon-like cell." Lecter should be all the creepy you need in that scene.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:42 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Full disclosure - I have an innate Brian Cox bias, and I think he was great and highly overlooked when he played another creepy character in L.I.E.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:43 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh hey I did my own side by side comparison for The Toast a while back I specifically mention that Red Dragon's Lecter cell looks like a Halloween haunted house room

The AV Club did a page to screen feature on Red Dragon recently

They also featured Mefi's own Greg Nog's surreal Hannibal puppet videos
posted by The Whelk at 9:45 AM on August 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'd vote Brian too... the others are iconic but he just puts in a great subtle performance as a Lecter that is all flat aspect on the surface but has obvious monstrous hidden depths.

I always thought that Ian Holm would have made a great Hannibal - close to the book description of being small and dapper and fussy and polite but of course deadly when he wants to be.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:48 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Brian Cox, no question. I always thought Mann's take on the whole thing was far better than the Hollywood scenery-chewing of "Silence of the Lambs". Arguably "Manhunter" is what kicked off the techno-procedurals that litter TV today.
posted by Jinsai at 10:02 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wow. Brian Cox is easily the best actor of these three, at least in this movie.
posted by tunewell at 10:02 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


At first I thought they would play all three out in full but this way is interesting because you can figure out which one you like best based on what you want them to cut back to next. (Manhunter)
posted by starman at 10:05 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I personally love Mads Mikkelsen because the series has gone to great lengths to show him as creepy second, and seductive and charming first. Most other incarnations speak of the stuff he did in the past and then show him to you in his infamy, but Fuller has convincingly presented how he got away with it for so long. And even then, after all the terrible things he has done and keeps doing behind bars, there are still unsettling moments when characters reluctantly seem to crave his attention and approval. At least that's how I feel watching him, and it perfectly communicates Will Graham's state of mind: the horrifying realization of being fond of a monster.

There's a sense of underlying menace in Hopkins and of contained wildness in Cox, but Mikkelsen has this otherworldly presence that makes it easy to understand how he sees the rest of the human race as beneath him.
posted by infinitelives at 10:08 AM on August 29, 2015 [18 favorites]


I always thought Mann's take on the whole thing was far better than the Hollywood scenery-chewing of "Silence of the Lambs".

The use of color in Manhunter is striking, but only with about the 4th or 5th time you see the movie. As is the use of music and sound in general. Mann is obviously playing with lessons he learned creating Miami Vice, but he's taken them to a great new level. (He also uses color to great effect in Last Of The Mohicans.)

I'd completely welcome a new Silence of The Lambs and Whatever The Fuck That Other Book/Movie Was directed by Mann in the style of Manhunter.
posted by hippybear at 10:12 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hannibal is the best show on television. Watching the series leaves zero doubt that Mads Mikkelsen portrays the most intriguing, captivating and nuanced Hannibal.
posted by standardasparagus at 10:15 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah Mads is more straight up old school, old world Vampire, neither Cox or Hopkins give the Impression he'd like nothing more then to break the glass and give Will a kiss with teeth.
posted by The Whelk at 10:20 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Cox: Hannibal is Charles Manson's genius cousin.

Hopkins: Hannibal is a time-traveling duke of the House of Borgia.

Mikkelsen: Hannibal is Lucifer made flesh.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:32 AM on August 29, 2015 [45 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell wins the thread.
posted by Bringer Tom at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cox: Manson's genius Phd-holding clinical-distance-maintaining analytical cousin.

He's always three thoughts ahead of you no matter what path you are thinking along, and he's reading you at every moment, and his manipulation is always coming around an unexpected corner because his chess game is that much better than yours.

I find Cox's Hannibal in Manhunter terrifying because he's someone that could be met at the supermarket, and you'd have no defenses. The melodrama of the others, it's all signaling and flashing lights of "avoid this person" for anyone who has learned any street life lessons.
posted by hippybear at 10:37 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hannibal deserves props here for clearing a very high bar.
posted by Artw at 10:43 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Writing assignment: an AskMe from Charles Manson about his concerns about his cousin, particularly with respect to the holiday season coming upon us.

Please include sample responses.
posted by rhizome at 10:44 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now I want to see a Hannibal movie where Leonardo da Vinci invents time travel and the duke of the House of Borgia steps into it and is transported hundreds of years into the future. But the primitive time machine turns out to only be a one-way trip.

Now he's standing in a Florentine museum, looking at 500-year-old paintings of his own past life. He is both mournful and delighted. A man out of time. But there are so many new and wonderful things to taste...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:46 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Writing assignment: an AskMe from Charles Manson about his concerns about his cousin

"I'm hoping you guys can help me because my Google-fu is failing me right now. I want to take my family into the desert to find the bottomless pit, so we can ride out the impending race war. But my smarty-pants cousin is telling me that it is a foolish idea and I should focus on something more meaningful. I really need to get an answer soon, because my cousin has invited me to a special barbecue this weekend. Also, Tex Watson has disappeared."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:51 AM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]



Now he's standing in a Florentine museum, looking at 500-year-old paintings of his own past life. He is both mournful and delighted. A man out of time. But there are so many new and wonderful things to taste...


kind of a ..cannibal captain america then
posted by The Whelk at 10:59 AM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


cousin is telling me that it is a foolish idea

This is a classic case of Race-War Culture meets Sex-War Culture.
posted by rhizome at 11:01 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Never saw Red Dragon because no one should have to pay money to endure the work of Brett Ratner. Nonetheless, Hopkins is still a force to be reckoned with in those clips. Manhunter is a film that the Bers have seen dozens of times. There's an ongoing argument that the version shown on cable now deletes a very small scene at the end of the movie. I fear my wife is correct. As far as Hannibal goes, I embrace that stag with bloody hands stretched out wide.
posted by Ber at 11:10 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


kind of a ..cannibal captain america then

"You think this letter on my head stands for France? No, it actually stands for Auxerrois, a rare wine grape with plenty of citrus flavors, often with a rich, musky aroma profile."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:11 AM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]




Cox just has acres of subtlety as Lector, watching his scenes is a feast.

(shame Peterson is such a horrible actor, ugh "Didnya! Didnya you sonovabitch!")

Ber: Red Dragon is garbage, it takes the Lector from Silence: look how smart/creepy this guy is, he did this and this and this to get what he wanted, and turns him into: this guy is so smart/creepy we can't even show you or explain how he got what he wanted, but trust us, he's really smart and creepy.
posted by Cosine at 11:19 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really do like Peterson for the quiet scenes with him and Dennis Farina. Like the one toward the end of the movie...

CRAWFORD: You sympathize with this guy?
GRAHAM: As a child, my heart bleeds for him. Someone took a little boy and turned him into a monster. But as an adult... as an adult, he's irredeemable. He butchers whole families to fulfill some sick fantasy. As an adult, I think someone should blow the sick fuck out of his socks. Are you uncomfortable with this kind of understanding?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:36 AM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I watched a DVD of Manhunter a couple years ago that had an extra set of interviews with everybody involved in the film. It amused me greatly that while everyone else was carefully lit and made up, Brian Cox apparently let them interview him sitting outside in a lawn chair looking like he was keeping an eye on somebody's yard sale.
posted by lagomorphius at 11:37 AM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I love Petersons' role. The Alternative ending when he is in some WITSEC, I imagine him getting bored, getting a degree in bugs and moving to Vegas.
posted by clavdivs at 11:45 AM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]




SPOILER:

A literal cliffhanger.




:)
posted by Fizz at 12:30 PM on August 29, 2015


Mikkelsen is by far the best Hannibal Lecter for me. I second every single word of infinitelives's comment - I think Mikkelsen & Fuller do the best job of making Lecter an incredibly seductive character, somebody who you still root for and are attracted to on some level even though you absolutely hate him and just watched him kill one of your favorite characters. He's not just charming and brilliant, he's incandescent, gorgeous, at the very peak of his performance.

The Lecter stories have always run with that vampire theme - the seductive veneer of perfect civility overlying a murderously exploitative monster - but Fuller and Mikkelsen have created the first Lecter that really makes the audience complicit in the sense that they participate in being attracted to him (no offense to anyone who is revved up by Cox or Hopkins!). Some of this is purely structural; to tell the prelude to Red Dragon, they have to show Lecter in his element, out in the wild, fooling everybody. Fuller even goes so far as to make Will Graham complicit, forcing the audience to explicitly confront this theme instead of just feeling mildly uncomfortable about finding Lecter to be somewhat charming and eloquent (I'll leave that here so as to avoid too many spoilers though).

Basically, Fuller and Mikkelsen made Lecter beautiful and alluring, not just brilliant and charming. Not just because Mads Mikkelsen is beautiful, but also because they made Hannibal's murders so beautiful. Fuller allows the audience to see what Lecter sees, to understand the abstract aesthetic appeal of his murder art while simultaneously experiencing the crushing emotional toll as we relive each murder through Will. It creates an amazing emotional effect - in awe of Lecter's artistry, finding his work abstractly beautiful, but feeling so complicit and guilty and disgusted by that reaction as I watch Will relive the raw horror underlying its creation. These incredible juxtapositions (and the fantastic performances from Mikkelsen and Dancy) make it a beautiful, amazing show, and I almost cried when it ended last night.

That said, this (still really great!) video doesn't showcase Mikkelsen's Lecter especially well, if only because the lines in this scene mean something so different for Fuller's Lecter and Graham than in the other adaptations. To understand the power of Mikkelsen's Lecter, you have to see him outside of his cell, too. Although even Fuller's cell for Lecter is a good example of what I mean; even when he locks Lecter up, he puts him in an otherworldly perfectly fitted jumpsuit inside a cell that looks like the Starbaby bedroom from 2001 - which creates the effect that Lecter isn't locked away deep inside the institution, but instead he's somehow hovering above all the other characters like some horrible god, only restrained because he is generously allowing it. God, I am going to miss this show.
posted by dialetheia at 12:44 PM on August 29, 2015 [24 favorites]


It should be noted that Anthony Hopkins was 53 years old when he made "Silence of the Lambs" and 64 when he appeared as Lecter in "Red Dragon". "Red Dragon" actually takes place several (5-10?) years before "Silence" within the novel's continuity. I would dearly love to see what Hopkins would have done with the character in his early/mid forties. That was the age he played Frederick Treves in "The Elephant Man".
posted by TDavis at 12:49 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


cried when it ended last night.

It only ended in Canada and online last night! US viewers are still waiting to have thier HEARTS RIPPED OUT tonight
posted by The Whelk at 1:07 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


It only ended in Canada and online last night! US viewers are still waiting to have their HEARTS RIPPED OUT tonight

So true! Which is the only reason I'm holding back on my super-spoilery final paragraph about how the the ending (?) of Hannibal represents a near-perfect resolution to that attraction/revulsion tension that I described...
posted by dialetheia at 1:14 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fanfare awaits you!
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on August 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cox definitely plays him as a real person. Both Hopkins and Mikkelsen have the handicap of playing a character that everyone knows and thinks of as 'Super-powered Evil Creep Monster'; Cox gets to just play the guy he sees on the page.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:31 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like how ... dismissive? Cox is, like he's not even going to try to seduce you cause your not worth it, the purity of his arrogance is wonderful
posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on August 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


* Spoiler Alert *

I love Cox in Manhunter, but Mikkelson will always have my heart for what he says (and how he says it) to Bedelia after she withdraws the ice pick that Hannibal just placed in Sogliato's temple:
"Technically, you killed him"
posted by fatbird at 1:54 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cox definitely plays him as a real person. Both Hopkins and Mikkelsen have the handicap of playing a character that everyone knows and thinks of as 'Super-powered Evil Creep Monster'; Cox gets to just play the guy he sees on the page.

I think that is a very apt observation. Michael Mann had directed crime thrillers before, but Thomas Harris had not written the Silence of the Lambs yet. So, between Mann and Cox, they likely approached it from the lens of it being a crime story.

It was the next book that went "horror story supervillain."

Although, I think it was Red Dragon where it said Lecter had maroon eyes and six-fingered hands. But I remember that as being more "circus freak," and not "alluring devil."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2015


Hopkins is really chewing the scenery . He's playing "Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter", not the character
posted by thelonius at 2:56 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


In Red Dragon? Sure. Apparently Ratner never did second takes and you can TELL, everyone is half asleep in the movie (although the Reba/Francis stuff is good but those are such juicy roles for actors I can;t imagine not wanting to relish them)
posted by The Whelk at 3:04 PM on August 29, 2015


Well Red Dragon the movie was a pretty pointless exercise in getting Anthony Hopkins more big-screen time as Lecter, and he obviously knew they wanted him to dial it to 11. Hopkins' take on Lecter in SOTL was interesting but not really sustainable with too much screen time. Before the last season of Hannibal I'd have said Cox was my favorite Hannibal, but Mikkelsen has now had enough time to make his mark on the character in a way that couldn't possibly done in a single 2 hour movie.

One could imagine making a movie where Cox got a lot more time as Hannibal without screwing it up though. His version was also a character that could sustain screen time because as noted above he was a real person, not a supervillain or demon.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:23 PM on August 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


It took me a long time to figure out why the headmaster in "Rushmore" seemed familiar.
posted by thelonius at 4:09 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


inside a cell that looks like the Starbaby bedroom from 2001

Thank you! It was driving me crazy as to what that cell's decor reminded me of.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:40 PM on August 29, 2015


And to be fair Mikkelsen (via Singer) is very much doing a lot of stuff with audience perception, anticipation, familiarity with the narrative & characters, etc., so I agree that he definitely holds his own as giving a fantastic interpretation of the character; but it's very much informed by that history, those expectations, and while it's intentional and I love it his Lecter is not very Real-Persony.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:30 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, Hannibal finale airs tonight, right?
posted by Ber at 5:43 PM on August 29, 2015


Yes! Ten pm est.
posted by The Whelk at 5:45 PM on August 29, 2015


Whew, thought I missed it. The DVR is set but ya never know with these damn networks.
posted by Ber at 5:49 PM on August 29, 2015


In half an hour as I post this. I did watch the Canadian livestream but I'm looking forward to seeing it in better rez, and also I checked out before the post-credit stinger D'OH.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:32 PM on August 29, 2015


im so excited to revisit the gloriousness of the finale from the perspective of nauseated head injury from the charred shell of my home

this is how hannibal would want it i think
posted by poffin boffin at 6:34 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


i meant to put that in the fanfare thread but what of it i ask you WHAT OF IT
posted by poffin boffin at 6:35 PM on August 29, 2015


It's dhakespherian's fault I starting watching the TV show and now I've overhauled my wardrobe, apartment decor, and plating skills.

I imagine that was the plan all along.
posted by The Whelk at 6:37 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well the show tempted me to start learning how to cook but I suspect my wife would call 911 if that happened.
posted by Bringer Tom at 6:44 PM on August 29, 2015


I also tricked you into buying a whole living room.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:47 PM on August 29, 2015


It's a very good living room set, it's very threatening chic
posted by The Whelk at 6:53 PM on August 29, 2015


remember when our luncheon was buzzed by an airship
posted by shakespeherian at 7:14 PM on August 29, 2015


were you menaced by rapscallions in a dirigible
posted by poffin boffin at 7:40 PM on August 29, 2015


The Chums Of Chance!
posted by hippybear at 7:50 PM on August 29, 2015


when a ratty rough pack of ruffians rolled me after a revue of ill repute
posted by aydeejones at 7:57 PM on August 29, 2015


As someone born in 1980, I somehow frequently conflated Manhunter with the song Maneater and also figured Rutger Hauer had to have something to do with it, because I was too young to see it in its prime and never circled back to give it a fair shake.
posted by aydeejones at 8:00 PM on August 29, 2015


It's worth it if you can ignore the EXTREAMLY 80s SYNTH SCORE
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love this edit (and this thread)! As a young film geek, somehow I ended up being...not an expert, but someone obsessively interested in the nuances of adaptation of Thomas Harris's books and, coincidentally but further strengthening that vampire motif The Whelk and dialethia mention upthread, Stoker's Dracula. I still haven't seen Red Dragon, because fuck a Ratner (although the plainly mercenary motivations behind the film were offputting enough without him), and was spared Hannibal Rising in all its forms, but Hannibal-the-show hooked me in a big way.

I'm still catching up (restarting Season 2 tonight, after trying and failing to keep up with it on Hulu while it was airing), but shakespeherian notes one of my absolute favorite things about the show- the complicated intertextuality with other Harris adaptations, and its willingness to play with the expectations of viewers who are familiar with other versions of the story. Both in large ways (spinning Graham's briefly-mentioned stay in a mental hospital into an inversion of the Lecter/Starling relationship in Season 2 is a seriously brilliant move) and small (the "ship on the bottle" line from Red Dragon, which you can see in the clip in both Manhunter and the Ratner film, appears in Season 1 in a totally different context, as do countless others). But one of my absolute favorites is Eddie Izzard as Abel Gideon (that name!), who plays it like a half-affectionate, half-vicious parody of both Hopkins's scenery-chewing in his later movies and all the Lecters manqués that followed SotL.

Agh, I have too much to read this semester already and this is making me want to dig out the first three books again :(
posted by Merzbau at 8:11 PM on August 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah there are shots in Season 3 that are direct references to Stoker's Dracula and other adaptations of Dracula.
posted by The Whelk at 8:13 PM on August 29, 2015


aydeejones, Mads Mikkelson is the new Rutger Hauer.
posted by cazoo at 8:14 PM on August 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, speak of the devil...just ran into another recontextualized line from this scene in S2E1 ("You want to know how he's choosing them, don't you?") <3 this show
posted by Merzbau at 9:13 PM on August 29, 2015


I like how ... dismissive? Cox is, like he's not even going to try to seduce you cause your not worth it, the purity of his arrogance is wonderful
The scene where he gets Will Graham's address is one of my favorite scenes in film. Gleefully charming his way through a succession of telephone calls as he engineers the butchering of a family from his cell. Using the kindness of others and a veneer of civility to exploit his complete and utter lack of humanity.

"Save yourself kill them all" indeed.
posted by fullerine at 1:29 AM on August 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's worth it if you can ignore the EXTREAMLY 80s SYNTH SCORE

Nah, luxuriate in it! Of course it's dated as all hell... but I'd much rather have a score like that than some sub-par rip-off attempt of a Elfman/Williams orchestral score.

I've no idea how Hannibal's utterly bonkers score is going to date... but I'm very glad they went all out with it
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:47 AM on August 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I've no idea how Hannibal's utterly bonkers score is going to date... but I'm very glad they went all out with it
Very well, I'd guess. I mean, it's not like there's a rash of mid-2010s mainstream cultural product whose opening credit themes are just twenty seconds of terrifying drones.
posted by Merzbau at 7:55 AM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


These incredible juxtapositions (and the fantastic performances from Mikkelsen and Dancy) make it a beautiful, amazing show, and I almost cried when it ended last night.

You almost cried? Almost? I admire your astounding fortitude and rationality. I've been puffy-eyed and dehydrated since Thursday.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:31 PM on August 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


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