Re-Watching Hannibal 3/Red Dragon: AWEsome [Part 1]

A few explanatory words at the beginning: I have no experience with community re-watches, but nevertheless, welcome to my little impromptu and short-notice re-watch of the Red Dragon story arc in Hannibal season 3. I didn’t research whether such re-watch projects work according to a particular formula, or whether I should’ve posted a set questions/criteria according to which the participants watch the show. To be honest, I’d rather keep this regulation-free. Let’s just have a bit of fun by delving into the back catalogue of our favourite actor! For me, the point of this whole re-watch is: I would like to re-ignite the currently rather feeble flame formerly burning brightly for Richard. And thus I deliberately chose this role and show for my re-watch – because I consider Francis Dolarhyde one of Richard’s best performances. Ideal for impressing me once again.

So how is this re-watch going to work as a community project? Having watched the first couple of episodes yesterday, I am going to note down my impressions here in this blog post. I invite you to watch Hannibal and to share your impressions, opinion, ideas, criticisms – anything that stood out to you – too. You can either do so by commenting on this post; or, if you have your own blog/tumblr/Twitter/Facebook, you can theoretically also write a post of your own. However, I’d love to get discussion going, too, so comments are invited and encouraged! As for my own re-watch post: I am going to simply write down what occurred to me and what I find note-worthy. That is going to be entirely subjective – and mostly focussed on the performance of Richard Armitage as Francis Dolarhyde. For reasons.  There won’t be a particular order to the things I write about; they’ll be mentioned in the order they pop up in my mind. And you are welcome to address things that stood out to *you* in the comments, too.

If you are interested in more conventional reviews – I reviewed the individual episodes as they were broadcast in 2015. You can find the reviews for episode 3×08 under the link. It goes without saying that these re-watch posts will contain SPOILERS. So if you haven’t seen the show yet but are planning to, please be aware. From now on I am not going to post individual warnings anymore, so enter at your own risk 😉.

1. Let’s talk about Francis Dolarhyde’s introduction

I noticed it the first time around, but in the re-watch it was even funnier: When we meet Francis Dolarhyde the first time, he is in a company canteen, sitting alone at a table. He’s dressed in a grey/green button down shirt, intensely staring at his hands. There are some co-workers present, and in the background is a row of stained-glass windows that inadvertently spell the word A W E (because they are seen from the reverse, actually spelling the name of the company, GatEWAy!) It’s that kind of attention to detail that I loved about the whole show – and in this introduction of Francis it already refers ahead to the Red Dragon demanding awe..

The AWEsomeness begins. Introducing Francis Dolarhyde in Hannibal 3

But back to the introduction of Francis as a new character. Scriptwise, the show is really clever. It introduces Francis almost like a show in the show. It starts off with present-day Francis in his workplace, then we see Francis as a young man (no tattoos yet) working out. The story arc cuts to Francis in an Asian shop, picking up a set of dentures he commissioned. Then we see the extraordinary macro footage of the tattooing process – incredible and mesmerising really – which leads finally to present-day Francis baring himself (and his tattoo) to the Great Dragon. Having read the book by Thomas Harris before I saw the show, I would’ve preferred to see Francis’ back story fully developed – the events of his childhood are actually essential to understanding (and empathising with) him as a human being. But I do understand that proper exploration of his back story would’ve easily taken up a couple of episodes of the show. The condensed back story is not ideal – but it certainly is done well and a self-contained story like a short-short film.

2. Talking of short shorts…

I still can’t get over those extra tight pants that Francis is wearing as he is working out – or whenever he is experiencing some sort of sexual episode. I mean apart from my warmest thanks to the Hannibal⁄ costume department – there is just something endearing about these pants. I am trying to figure out whether they are comfortable in their snugness? Yet they look as if they cut into RA’s flesh?

They certainly display RA’s assets perfectly, especially in the exercise scenes. Those scenes are a thing of beauty. Titillation or not but the play of muscles under his skin is very effectively displayed by Armitage in this scene. His physical fitness is impressive – as we have been told that there was no cheating involved and he actually *does* all those exercises as we see in the film: the slow press-ups, even with one arm on his back; the pull-ups on those flying rings; the muscles stretching and flexing; the handstand press-ups. And the cinematography is just amazing. They are really playing with us here, making us drool over the physicality of the man, while fully aware that he is going to be revealed as a monster later on…

Jeepers. I am drooling again. Francis works out. Richard Armitage in episode 8 of Hannibal 3

3. Colour-coded?

While we are talking cinematography – something that also really stood out to me, is the colour coding of the show. While everything in Hannibal is actually really dark (much to my chagrin – while darkness is atmospheric, it actually means that a lot of things are lost in dusky vagueness. With an actor who excels in subtlety, that is a huge pity… who knows which little twitch and wink we may have missed while have of Francis’ face remains in darkness?); so while the lighting is general very dark, it looks to me as if there is a distinct colour language in this episode. Or is this coincidence?

Not sure what the colours exactly may symbolise but there is a green hue when he is at work, red in China, black in his work-out, and a golden hue when venerating the Red Dragon.

4. Silent movie

Did you notice how Francis basically does not talk in this episode? Well, that is not entirely true. He does attempt to speak, practicing the difficult S sounds in front of the mirror in his attic. I particularly like this scene because here we have the first indication that Francis is a tortured, pitiable soul. And also because dramatically it is just so well shot through the broken mirror: metaphorically and photographically accentuates Francis’ schizophrenia perfectly, with every broken shard giving us a different facet of the man. It also draws the viewers’ eyes separately to the important bits: Francis’ eyes, and his mouth (with his cleft scar).

Cubist Francis.

The most heart-breaking thing occurs in this scene, too: Frustrated with his inability to enunciate properly, Francis emits an eerie, shapeless, high-pitched cry. You can hear the helplessness, frustration and child-like despair in this sound, and I think it is quite remarkable what sound Armitage came up with for this purpose. “HE IS SO GOOD AT THE LITTLE SOUNDS AND GESTURES” is what I wrote in capital letters in my notebook. It’s these details that make the performance outstanding. Despite no talking (at least in the sense of talking as a way of conveying information and meaning to someone else, a tool for communicating) at all in this introduction, Armitage succeeds in telling us a lot about Dolarhyde. He may not have a voice, but there is a characterisation with looks, movements, sounds, alone: Dolarhyde is a man who is kept prisoner by his hallucinations. He is under constant pressure, hyper tense, with either reduced movement or overemphasised movement – staring eyes, spread hands, flexed muscles, slow, deliberate movements… It’s a careful, masterful portrayal imo, and it very much supports my opinion/theory that Armitage acts best when he doesn’t have to speak. (Something I also thought when seeing him live on stage.) And yes, after the first episode of the Red Dragon story arc, I can so feel my admiration for RA return. He is literally a pleasure to watch. No, not just because of an attractive body, but because he acts this difficult character so subtly, so detailed, so quietly and yet so convincingly and so well. Give the man more roles like this, Hollywood!

 

Right, I had a couple more things written down, but this post is long enough. I’ll continue with episode 2 etc. another day. But please let me know in the comment what you think, or leave a link if you have written a blog post or any other publicly accessible contribution as part of the re-watch.

 

 

47 thoughts on “Re-Watching Hannibal 3/Red Dragon: AWEsome [Part 1]

  1. Dans cette série “Hannibal”, la première vision de Francis Dolarhyde, est celle du plan rapproché sur ses mains. Richard Armitage fait travailler ses articulations et ses doigts dans tous les sens possibles, indépendamment les uns des autres. C’est un exercice pratiqué par les violonistes pour faciliter la souplesse et diminuer la raideur des mains crispées sur l’archet et les cordes. Mais ici, il semble imiter les mouvements d’un reptile. Combien d’heures de travail lui a t-il fallu? Le plan est tellement rapproché qu’il présente les pores de sa peau et les poils hérissés de son avant-bras. A t-il placé son bras dans le froid pour obtenir un tel résultat? Le personnage a un comportement anormal, un regard de bête aux abois. C’est bizarre! En tout cas, l’effet escompté est réussi, l’ambiance est à faire froid dans le dos.

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    • I love this observation of yours, Squirrel – and it mirrors mine, too. (I had a few notes about it written down but chose to postpone it to the next blog post on Hannibal.) I hadn’t actually considered that the hand-stretching was reptile-like, but it is a good point – that slow, economical movement is very characteristic of cold-blooded animal like a reptile. Particularly the cramped gesturing with his hands made me think of claws (> birds > winged creatures > dragons).
      Like you, I would love to know more about his preparation process for this role – how much was his own interpretation and research, how much was prescribed by the script.

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      • Birds, yes of course I was thinking of them too. Il y a un lien entre toutes ces créatures. Le mythe des dragons est universel et remonte aux origines de la vie terrestre. Si on inclut les espèces disparues, les dinosaures descendent de l’ancêtre commun des reptiles et des oiseaux.

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  2. this is such a well written post! I really enjoyed reading it. Francis was a role that pulled me back in when I was floundering, once upon a time, so it doesn’t surprise me that it’s working for you in the same regard. Richard is so good in this role. as you stated above, his body acting really has a chance to stand out. oh, and I never noticed the ‘awe’ in the window before! that is funny but really cool too 😎

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    • (Oh-oh – if this was the post that reeled you back in, yet you eventually lost the major interest in RA, then I wonder whether I am heading down the same path 😉 )
      I really think RA’s body acting is outstanding – on a general basis. Whether it is movement or gesture and facial expression, he really knows how to use his body to characterise a role. He doesn’t need words to convey a message. And even though I really love his voice, I do think he is better when he doesn’t have to say much…
      The windAWE is just one of those details that make the whole show stand out…

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    • Votre choix de pointer sur le vocabulaire, renvoie à mes propres choix. “Awe” est un terme ancien pour “dread”. Dans la même veine, j’ai été tentée d’utiliser des termes de chasse à courre ” bêtes aux abois” ; voire le terme: “sonner l’hallali” c’est à dire sonner au cor de chasse l’ordre de la mise à mort de la bête pourchassée, pour qualifier la dernière scène de la fin de la série. Son jeu de scène est splendide lorsqu’il parvient parfaitement à rendre cette impression d’homme fragile (que l’on peut comparer à une bête traquée à la chasse à courre)

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  3. Just watched it now. Interesting seeing it now that I’m an Armitage fan compare to watching it as a original Lecter fan. I wasn’t sure about rewatching as even though it is beautifully filmed -it it incredibly gruesome. But I’m a brave lass!
    As previously -RA is outstanding already and we don’t even have the sympathy vote yet! Feeling the worry for Will mostly at this point as we know it’s a slippery slope for him.
    Love all the memory palace references and the decor and music is to die for 😂
    RAS body is sublime and I’m well impressed by his fitness. ..I can just about do 2 planks!
    Never noticed the AWE reference before -very neat

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    • I think RA definitely has the most challenging role in that season of Hannibal – the speech impediment, the distinctive movement, the abnormality of the character, the sheer intensity of it all.
      I have to confess that even at first viewing (when I *did* actually watch the *whole* episode, not just the RA bits), I never focussed much on Will or Lecter. Partly because I didn’t know much of the backstory. I liked Will in the book better than in the show…

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  4. This role is one in which I think RA truly “lost himself” in, as we’ve heard him express his desire to do that when he acts…in other roles it’s sometimes very easy to recognize his familiar expressions, gestures etc but here the physicality, emotion, and scary fierceness comes thru to the point that when I watch FD, I have to work to remember that it’s RA! Until the “brief” scenes, anyway…! I also love the use of lighting and hue, and, along your idea of the very cinematic aspects of this series, believe it creates a distinct atmosphere of tension and confusion/hallucination. I’m also not a fan of constant dark shots but it works well here to keep the viewer on her toes, watching for danger or clues (or RA!). Thanks for your post and the rewatch idea!

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    • Completely agree with you Monica. That’s exactly what I thought: in terms of movement, gestures, facial expressions he really looks completely different and there is NO Richard in Francis Dolarhyde. (In fact, I remember really distinctly that tehre was only ONE scene in the whole show where I saw a typical RA mannerism – the nervous eyelash flutter. Unfortunately it stood out the more for it…
      And that is such a good point you are making re. the darkness of all the shots, making us lean in and concentrate harder in order to see what is happening. What a clever strategy. The other thing is that the show is very desaturated, and with the almost-black-and-white look reminds me of a b/w film, or a film noir, something classy, and aesthetic, and elegant. In any case, it is clear that it is not a coincidence but a very deliberate decision by the makers of the show.

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  5. Plus qu’une pure démonstration de ses capacités physiques, ce qui transperce l’écran est une recherche poussée à l’extrême, (à travers la danse butoh), de trouver les mouvements de désarticulation, de reptation les plus fidèlement proches de ceux d’un reptile qui se déplace. Cette trouvaille, à elle seule, mérite les éloges qu’il a reçues pour ce rôle. Ce travail avait peut-être été abordé, débuté dans la comédie musicale: “Cats”, mais ici il touche la perfection.
    Il ne faut pas oublier le rôle de la musique, qui accompagne parfaitement les mouvements. Je pense surtout aux percussions africaines quand il se redresse. On semble entendre le craquement des vertèbres, comme le bruit des écrous d’un engrenage mécanique grippé.

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    • These are points that really stood out to me, too, when I watched the show for the first time. There is something eerie and almost scary about the stylised movement of the butoh exercises that RA is performing. Definitely very creature-like, unhuman. And somehow it also reminds me of the movement of Smaug in the Hobbit films (would be interesting to know whether RA thought of Smaug while filming Red Dragon…)
      The music is extremely fitting for the show – rather than African, it reminded me of Asian music. But yes, I thought Brian Reitzell’s scoring was pretty genius.

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  6. Great post, Guylty. It’s fascinating to see this through your photographer’s eye.

    For myself, I agree that this was a wonderfully crafted example of body acting. Even down to the wide staring pupils and the tiniest twitch of the facial muscles. And the absence of dialogue was even more effective in coordination with that awful, eerie animal cry.

    The tensed crossed hands with the bones visible reminded me of the illustrations you see of dragon wings. And the way he moved during the floor exercises gave the impression of the creature inside him, about to break through the skin.

    And the tattooing scenes – the punch going in and the liquid pooling, black so you couldn’t tell whether it’s ink or ‘blood in the moonlight.’ Either way, it was as if the humanity in him was bleeding out and the dragon coming in.

    I too would wish there’d been more of his past life to show what made him what he was. However if I remember the book correctly, it was the old, old story — a woman’s fault. Probably the same in Hannibal’s case as well, says cynical me, though I’d love to be put right.

    My conclusion: I’m really glad this has prompted me pluck up courage and watch at last, but aside from the Dolly arc and the fangirl cut, this is so not the show for me. I can see what they were trying to do all right, but when art detracts from story, especially with this kind of theme, it begins to look pretentious, even a little unpleasant and it sets my teeth on edge.

    Heretical of me, I guess, misguided perhaps, and apologies in advance to all Hannibal fans, that’s just my personal view!

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    • It’s funny because I was a massive Hannibal fan wheb i wa younger but circumstances and life experiences over the last few years have had a massive impact on my world view. Thomas Harris gives us many reasons to like Hannibal but I’m am less forgiving of people’s terrible pasts being an excuse for their behaviour -same goes for Dolerhyde. Plenty people have devestating trauma inflicted upon them but it doesn’t give rise to them inflicting trauma on others.

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      • Je pense qu’ici FD relève du cas psychiatrique, il est un malade. L’étude de sa responsabilité devrait passer par l’étude de son état mental pathologique, le filtre de sa folie. Même s’il semble être conscient de la gravité de ses actes, après les avoir commis, je ne pense pas qu’il soit en possession de son libre arbitre, lors de leurs réalisations. Une maladie mentale latente peut être provoquée suite à d’évènements traumatisants, ici de l’enfance et ensuite évoluer vers une folie totale.

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    • You are right re. “woman’s fault” as Francis’ backstory. I hadn’t thought about that. And in that sense I am glad that the show didn’t dwell on it. Plus, I did find the backstory (and thus the whole premise for Francis) rather clichéd and stereotypical.
      BTW, I am with you when it comes to your general attitude to the show. As much as I really enjoyed the aesthetics of it, as well as RA getting the opportunity to sink his teeth in a really challenging, interesting role – but the whole horror genre is just not my cup of tea. Even though the glamorisation of the show meant that the actual crimes became more abstract in tone, I still had to look away in some scenes. And there is, as you point out, also a problem with overaestheticising potentially making the whole thing look pretentious. But yah, I was glad RA took on the role – for his own development.

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  7. I’ve really enjoyed reading your post and the comments which have hit on so may great observations. I agree that this is one of RA’s best performances. His ability to reveal to the viewer the multiple layers of his character and what drives him; obsession, fear, paranoia, sensitivity, self-loathing, euphoria, physical power and hallucinatory delusions with such intensity, and all without uttering any dialogue simply astounded me. He is a master at the suble facial tic or gesture to convey what his character is feeling. No easy task when your wearing prosthetics (as he was so adept at with Thorin as I remember) and need to express so much by acting with only your eyes and body. The physicality of his body movement during his workout was impressive in its unflinching focus,strength and gracefulness. It left the viewer no doubt Francis is a determined and powerful man who is also vain about his physical appearance (which he enhances with a humongous tattoo so you know he’s totally committed) and has a beautifully sculpted body. I am amazed by the mental focus and physical stamina RA must possess to have prepared for this role. I think I recall that RA sat in and observed BC performing Smaug in the sound/mo-cap studio during TH filming. RA must have absorbed much and taken note and used it for inspiration on his own dragon-like interpretation which he does so well here. I thought the cinematography was gorgeous if a bit too dark at times. I also loved the music score in this series as it was so ominous and eerily toned as to be almost unnerving. I’ve never heard anything like it before.
    In this episode I don’t think we know much yet about the FD backstory (unless you’ve read the book) but RA has given us a glimpse that FD is a creepy yet tortured soul who is capable of despicable acts. This is not my favorite genre but I have to say this was a great dramatic opportunity and I’m so pleased he took on the challenge to portray such a complicated character. Personally I don’t much like the idea of the glamorized presentation of serial killing as an art form, but I suppose even uncomfortable dark stories should have the chance to be told.
    A little personal side note: I was the lucky bidder of 2 items from a Hannibal prop charity auction. One of the items I won was the screen worn athletic pants from the Asian shop scene. It was cool to see them on screen again. I’ll reveal the other prop when it shows up in another episode 😅

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    • You have expressed it all really well, Donna – “unflinching focus, strength and gracefulness”. I really liked your interpretation that the huge tattoo is a sign of complete commitment – so true!
      When I was thinking about how RA performs the dragon physically, I was also wondering whether he had remembered Cumberbatch’s performance in the mo-cap studio.
      BTW, I didn’t even notice that he wore sweat pants in the Asian shop scene 😂

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  8. Ich habe nun (durch deine Schuld 😉) tatsächlich angefangen, mir Francis Dolarhyde anzuschauen. Und es hat sich bis jetzt definitiv gelohnt. Richard liefert eine herausragende Vorstellung. Ich stimme Monica zu, in dieser Rolle kann man vergessen, dass er es ist. Ich kenne das Buch und damit seine Vorgeschichte nicht und empfinde (bis jetzt) keine Emphatie für Francis, auch wenn bereits deutlich wird, dass er eine Kreatur ist, die extrem mit ihren inneren Dämonen zu kämpfen hat. Für die Vorgeschichte hätten sich die Serienmacher aber doch mehr Zeit nehmen sollen, finde ich.
    Über die Sportszene besteht wahrscheinlich allgemein Einigkeit: ästhetisch unglaublich gut umgesetzt (und dabei höchst erotisch). Ich hab mich in dieser Szene (insbesondere vor den Liegestützen) an einen Panther erinnert gefühlt. Anmut und Kraft perfekt vereint. Seinen Körper konnte Francis selbst genau so formen, wie er ihn als perfekt ansieht und wie er sich selbst sieht. Damit steht der Körper im Gegensatz zu seinem Gesicht, das diesen Makel hat.
    In der Szene, in der er die Zeitungsausschnitte von sich einklebt, ist mir seine Kleidung besonders aufgefallen. Wie ein kleiner unscheinbarer Buchhalter, der sich den ganzen Tag in seinem Kabuff über die Abrechungen beugt. Fand ich bemerkenswert, kann aber auch nur Zufall gewesen sein (oder nur ich hab seltsame Assoziationen 😉). Buch führt er ja, nur die Art der aufgeführten Posten ist eine andere…
    Außerdem ist Francis das totale Gegenteil zu Hannibal Lecter, im Auftreten, im sozialen Umgang, im Äußeren. Hannibal ist, soweit ich weiß, sehr intelligent, eloquent, gesellschaftlich integriert. Ich bin noch nicht durch mit dem Fangirlcut, weiß aber, das Francis Kontakt zu ihm sucht. Kann mir nicht vorstellen, das Hannibal sich davon geschmeichelt fühlt oder ihn als ebenbürtig ansieht.

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    • Das gefiel mir als Observation besonders gut: Mit einem perfekt durchtrainierten Körper setzt Francis einen deutlichen Gegensatz zu seinem entstellten (naja) Gesicht und seiner unvollkommnen Aussprache. Das klingt irgendwie logisch – mit Obsession das nach seinem eigenen Willen zu formen, was man ändern kann.
      Mist, und jetzt kommst du hier schon mit der Kleidung an 😉 – das ist ein Thema, was ich unbedingt auch noch ansprechen will, denn diese Buchhalteruniform (nicht nur diese fiese braune Opa-Strickjacke bei der Scrapbook-Szene, sondern auch das bis nach oben geschlossene petrolgrüne Hemd in der Kantine) schwächt sich interessanterweise im Laufe der Serie immer mehr ab. Ich habe mich schon damals bei der Erstausstrahlung gefragt, ob das Zufall war oder von den Machern beabsichtigt ist. In der letzten Folge ist Francis fast schon eine 8 auf der nach oben hin offenen Richard Armitage-Skala der Hotness: mit Belstaff-Lederjacke, tighty-tighty black jeans und marginal längerem Haar macht er plötzlich eine wirklich attraktive Figur. Das traut man ihm zu Anfang der Geschichte jedenfalls noch nicht zu…

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      • Ich denke schon, dass es Absicht ist. Sein äußeres Erscheinungsbild passt sich mehr dem “Normalen” an, während seine Psyche immer weiter abdriftet oder so was in der Art? Unter normalen Umständen würde man sowas mit dem positiven Einfluss einer Frau erklären.
        Du kannst das Thema Kleidung gern später noch ausführlich beleuchten. Auf dem Gebiet bin ich defintiv keine Expertin. Auf einer bis 10 reichenden RA-Kleidungs-Hotness-Skala erreicht er allerdings bereits in seiner zweiten Szene mindestens eine glatte 12 😉.

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        • Hatte ich nicht gesagt, dass die Richard Armitage-Skala der Hotness nach oben offen ist??? *grins*
          Jou, dann kommen wir später nochmal auf die Klamotten zurück, spätestens in Folge 13. Denn wie gesagt, da ist er echt sehr nett gestylt – aber muss dann ja auch schon gleich ins Gras beißen. Hmph.

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  9. Pingback: Re-Watching Hannibal 3/Red Dragon: Child’s Play [Part 2] | Guylty Pleasure

  10. This was such a great post Guylty ( and the comments from others) . Thanks for suggesting a rewatch. I’ve seen Hannibal probably 6 or 7 times now (mostly fast-forwarding non-RA scenes and re-winding RA’s ) and never noticed your wind-awe before – or the different colour scenes – perhaps I was too single-minded in my focus! With b&w films, I think it was in an interview for Hannibal that he mentioned something like he would be best as a silent film star . Here, he really does have the look of Ivor Novello in the Lodger or Valentino, and it is mostly unlike his other performances. Although he does remind me, in the first episode, of John Standring – he has a similar virginal, inhibited quality. Yes in this he is missing a few familiar characteristics but Armitage does clap his hand over his mouth in the later tiger scene. ( He does this often in his performances as if he is vomiting, and I can’t help thinking of the number of times he has mentioned throwing up when acting – I don’t know if this is common with actors. )
    I do find Hannibal infuriating: the dark lighting depriving us of Armitage beard-less gloriousness, the po-facedness, the tedious mannered speech. Yet, I was beside myself with excitement after seeing the first trailer showing the Red Dragon. It looks sumptuously beautiful, the music is great, it is seductively decadent, Mads is wonderful and I adore RA in it. It is one of his greatest performances, at his magnificent bad best and I loved reading all the surprised praise in reviews. I don’t have much to add about the first episode , except I hope he didn’t make his injured back worse. Oh, and on the DVD, he and Brian Fuller do the commentary for that first episode and in the scene where he is naked in the snow, RA jokes that he asked for a fluffer, which now always makes me laugh when I see this scene, rather than giving me the chills

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    • Oh, interesting, I never knew that he said himself that he was suited for silent films :-)). Well, I mean, his voice is too beautiful to actually ignore it, but his physical acting is a notch above everything else.
      “Virginal” – I think that describes it better than innocent or child-like. Especially since Reba really is the first (living) woman with whom he has had any sexual contact, iirc from the book.
      I had only thought about the nervous eyelash flutter that I find very characteristic for his acting, but you are right – the hand on mouth gesture is there, too. I had never associated it with vomiting, but you are making an interesting point.
      “Infuriating” yes! For all the reasons you have mentioned. The darkness really got old after a while, as does the over-emphasis on everything in the show, whether it is music, movement, fashion, speech, etc etc. I suppose it is down to individual preferences. It’s not really my cup of tea, either, but I have to admit that the show really tried to push the limits in terms of subject matter and dramatic realisation. From that POV I think the show was absolutely great, and it is a pity that it was not extended after season 3.

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    • 🙂 I agree with you: ” Yes in this he is missing a few familiar characteristics” . But I think he was creating a few new characteristics. Often now, to look like a monster, he opens his mouth as he did playing FD. (in Halloween selfies for example).

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  11. Pingback: Wanna talk about Francis Dolarhyde? #richardarmitage | Me + Richard Armitage

  12. I’ll make an attempt to rewatch Hannibal. The main issue is time at the moment … am even trying to fit in Berlin Station. At the time of release, I listened to all the audio novels and had also watched the first couple of series. I can’t say I ‘enjoyed’ them,but appreciated the artistry and acting. I was therefore prepared to ‘meet’ Francis. Fabulous performance by RA. The downside for me here in Australia were all the spoilers on twitter and the fact we were completely ignored as an audience. This still holds true today, and one of the reasons I struggle with my fangirling. All publicity aimed at fans in the US. 😦 That aside, a great performance from RA … I even coped with the US accent. (Hides behind sofa). Sorry, but I really hope he can do some work without that accent getting in the way. His hard work at trying to get the accent right just seems to result in those annoying postures of his returning. His acting for Frances was quite different imo!

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    • LOL, you are totally preaching to the choir here, Mulubinba. I couldn’t agree more – that accent is a big NO NO! Nothing against American accents, but it really grates with me when I SEE *him* and HEAR something that is so *not him*! Honestly, he just needs a role where he can speak in his own accent again.

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  13. In preparation for this scary character I have watched the film with Ralph Fiennes and read the book at that time prior to looking at RAs Dolarhyde. And today, after rewatching, the differences in
    the portrayal still strike me. RAs FD is in every shot a sick and tortured schizophrenic man whereas RF shows an insane, but coldblooded murderer. Seems to me that this is also reflected by the cinematography, leaving RA in the dark and RF often in bright light, somehow depicting the last one as a two-dimensional character driven only by hate…
    The first scene of RAs FD shows it all. He looks around himself, feels observed by his inner creature, the dragon. In every situation he is not alone, there is somebody watching and controlling him. I don’t particularly like the exercise scene, but his distraught look after the effort is really great, I can feel his struggle. The mirror scene is quite ingenious, full stop.
    Some parts are over-the-top, in my eyes. To name is the weird part with the projector and the film strips wrapping around him and the glowing eyes, huh. I only asked myself why does he listen to this schmaltzy music while watching the footage. The downfall in front of the mirror showing his huge tattoo belongs to the same category.
    The scrapbook scene is fine, again. His disdainful look at the photo with him and Grandma and turning it upside down is just masterful. Was ist already discussed back then if the writing in the book is RA’s own?
    Altogether, the re-watch is rewarding, thank you for initiating it. I think, too, this is one of his finest performances without the typical RA gestures (which I generally like but not at the umpteenth repetition…Berlin Station, I am thinking of you!)

    Like

  14. Just for fun!
    After watching FD screaming on moon nights, here dear fan you can discover an other specialist creature of such activity:

    Thanks to National Geographic Channel !

    Like

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