Silence of the Lambs (1991) Director – Jonathan Demme
Not just in my room but in all our rooms, am I right? Am I right? Well okay then, most of us prancing in front of the mirror are not skin wearing cross dressing serial killers but what’s remarkable about this scene as directed by Jonathan Demme and played out by A fearless Ted Levine is how it evokes sympathy for what is on paper a despicable fiend. Not only does it tap into the psyche of Buffalo Bill, the aforementioned serial killer being pursued by Jodie Fosters capable yet haunted FBI agent but it taps into those private moments of self exploration, dancing or singing in our rooms, dressing up and posing in front of the mirror lost in our own private fantasy. Those moments so private that to even reveal themselves to anybody, even a loved one risks shame. Here we have a damaged man expressing his own fantasy and yet somehow Demme chooses not to mock or laugh at him. At first, we feel revulsion switching to pity and empathy as we realize that this monster is almost too human, this raw display of narcissism and sexuality shaped by the world he inhabits, that we inhabit , that we recognize.