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August 1994


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Constance Atwill <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 8 Aug 1994 10:06:55 -0700
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You asked about _The Silence of the Lambs_, and the use of red, white and
I have always felt that Clarise and Lecter share an affinity because
they both pose a threat to the society represented within the film.
Gumb is the less threatening, because he has taken on many female
traits,perhaps filling the void left by Clarise and others like her.  He
also preys only on women.
Then there is the victim that we see, just before she is abducted.  We
learn later that her mother is a Senator, but while we see _her_ for the
first time, she is listening to Tom Petty's, _American Girl_.  She is
strong and unrepentant, stronger in many ways than her captor. I  take that
as a message from the director about, "women in America today."
The conclusion I draw from all this is that characters like Gumb are the
particular legacy of an American culture that has allowed women into
posistions of power.  What do you think?
Constance Atwill
[log in to unmask]
On Mon, 8 Aug 1994, Jeff wrote:
> Hello,
> I was re-watching _the Silence of the Lambs_ this weekend and came up with a
> theory and wanted some feedback from others concerning it.
> Mr. Demme uses the colors red, white and blue a lot during the film.  First,
> the car in the storage room is draped with a huge American flag.  Second,
> when the guards in Memphis are killed, the bunting used to drape them is
> the red,white and blue of the flag.  And lastly, when Clarice kills Gumb,
> some stray bullets break the window.  On the window ledge is a soldier's
> helmet and a small American flag.  This is way to much not to be planned.
> I think that Demme is trying to say that there is something in the American
> culture that "makes" people like Gumb.  We routinely think that serial or mass
> killers grow up in a different society than we, but the reality is that all
> of us have a hand in creating these people.
> I would be interested in what others think about this or if they have another
> reason why this color scheme is used in the film.  You can write me via the
> list or to my personal e-mail address:  [log in to unmask]
> [log in to unmask]