Thursday, September 22, 2011

TODAY'S NUGGET: #61 WGA Script of All Time - Silence of the Lambs (1991)

[Quick Summary: A female FBI agent-to-be must elicit information out of the incarcerated psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter in order to find the serial killer Buffalo Bill.]

In this script, I really like how Clarice Starling is introduced to us.  We infer a lot about her personally through her actions.

- She's polite.

ex. In the middle of Crawford's long dialogue: "Claire notices, in the corner of the room, a rumpled cot, a hot plate, soiled dishes. She looks back at him."  (p. 3)

The absence of Clarice speaking here shows us that she's too polite to mention the mess.

- She's vulnerable.

ex. "Clarice flinches as a heavy steel gate CLANGS shut behind her, the bolt shooting home."  (p. 5)

- She thinks fast on her feet.

ex. "CLARICE (quickly blocking him): Dr. Chilton - if Lecter feels you're his enemy, then maybe I'll have more luck by myself. What do you think?" (p. 7)

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Another way to look at "Show, not tell" is to infer.

This allows the audience to put 2 + 2 together for themselves.

Silence of the Lambs (1991)
by Ted Tally

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