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All You Want - Or Need - To Know About This Bizarre Movie

9/10
Author: ccthemovieman-1 from United States
1 August 2007

This 76-minute behind-the-scenes documentary is broken into five sections: Development, Production, Special-Makeup Effects, Music and Reaction. They all run anywhere from 13 to 21 minutes apiece to give a comprehensive look at this controversial film dealing with the infamous fictional serial killer "Hannibal Lecter."

PRODUCTION - For Dino DeLaurentis and his daughter Martha, things didn't look too good at the start. They were dying to make the movie but their direction Jonathan Demme, who did "Silence Of the Lambs" didn't want any part of this and neither did the star actor, Anthony Hopkins. Mr. Hopkins during this time, you may recall, announced in 1998 he was through with acting. He also read Tom Harris's' book "Hannibal" and thought it was "too bizarre." Yet, things worked out as Ridley Scott was talked into reading the book and loved it and agreed to director, and Hopkins changed his mind when he knew they had another great director and a tremendous screenwriter in Steve Z, whom DeLaurentis said "is the best writer in the industry."

They weren't able to retain the services of the other costar of "Silence," Jodie Foster, but were pleased to get Julianne Moore for the role. Hopkins favored her among five leading candidates because he had prior filming experience with her, and liked her.

In another interesting note, Hopkins was shown signing autographs as the Italian crowd all swarmed him. "I fee like Mick Jagger or Sting," Hopkins joked.

PRODUCTION - This dealt with the city of Florence is just magnificent, with its centuries-old architecture, Tuscan hills in the background, just a beautiful place. Actress Francesca Neri said it "is really the heart of Italy." Filming there was made difficult because of all the tourists. "There are more tourists there, literally, than residents," someone observed.

They also showed some interesting shots of the infamous scene in which Ray Liotta's character is having his brains eaten. Liotta had to make a body cast of himself, so there was a perfect duplicate of him also sitting at the table which we viewers never saw. It was dummy's brains that were taken, not Ray's, thankfully! Liotta said it was the eeriest feeling ever to sit there and look at himself across the table. It really freaked him out.

MAKEUP - They all had nothing but highest praise for working with Ridley Scott. The biggest challenge, of course, was the character of Mason Verger. "It was tough; everything wee did looked like a zombie until we finally could get something realistic looking." commented Greg Cannom, of special makeup effects

Poor Gary Oldman, who had to endure five hours of makeup each time and another one for clothing - six hours of preparation to look like Verger. Also discussed are some of the other big effects scenes, some of them too disgusting to even talk about, like the pigs eating a human. This film was not for the squeamish, as you know, if you've seen it.

MUSIC - Hans Zimmer, the composer, is the main man interviewed in this segment. He, too, laughs and jokes and remarks how he enjoys working with Scott. Both men explain how they go about their work and how it affects the film. By the way, check out Zimmer's resume. I can't believe how many "name" films he's scored.

REACTION - This a fun, stargazing segment as we saw all the film participants except Scott (who's mom had just died) at a premier screening in Hollywood and then another in New York City. There were tons of recognizable faces and the comments by some of actors, like Hopkins, were interesting.

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