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Silence Of The Lambs-camera Work

             The introductory sequence of director Jonathan Demme's Silence of the Lambs (1991) introduces the struggle of a charismatic female FBI student trying to make it into the FBI. The film begins in the woods of Quantico, Virginia. The female student, Clarice Starling, is shown running through the woods for her FBI academy training. The camera uses lots of medium close ups of Clarice's face and feet as she is running. Besides the instrumental music you hear in the background, you can also hear Clarice grunting and breathing heavily. This gives the viewer more of an effect of what is going on. Clarice is wearing a sweatsuit that is wet around the collar to show that she is obviously working hard. Later as Clarice is shown walking into the building to meet with special agent Jack Crawford. The camera seems to be only focusing on Clarice. She is surrounded by a majority of men. This is to show irony depicted through the film of a woman being the hero without showing her in any kind of sexual scene. The camera alternates with close ups of Clarice and then medium close ups so that the viewer can see her surroundings. Then the camera begins to follow Clarice from behind so that you see the back of her head. This lets the viewer see things in the eyes of Clarice, which is what is done through most of the movie. When Jack Crawford is introduced close ups and medium close ups are used with high key lighting. Using a low camera angle allows the viewer to see the conversation between Clarice and Crawford. When Dr. Chilton is introduced high key lighting is still being used with the camera angle being through what Clarice sees. Close ups are alternated between Clarice and Dr. Chilton as they converse. As Dr. Chilton describes to Clarice about the terrifying things Hanibal Lecter did to the last woman he was around eerie music begins to play. A close up of Dr. Chilton's face is shown from a low camera angle with low key red lighting making him have a more ominous appearance.

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