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The Silence of the Lambs

Critical Essays on a Cannibal, Clarice, and a Nice Chianti

Edited by Cynthia J. Miller

One of only three films to-date to win Academy Awards in all five major categories, The Silence of the Lambs marked a sea change in horror films when it debuted, shifting the genre from teen slasher fare of the 1970s to the sophisticated psychological horror that characterizes acclaimed films today. Praised by some as the first true feminist thriller, it has drawn criticism from others for perpetuating narratives of crimes against women and demonizing its queer character. Regardless of the controversy, this film is a perennial favorite and even made it into AFI’s list of top 100 movies of all time.

In The Silence of the Lambs: Critical Essays on a Cannibal, Clarice, and a Nice Chianti, editor Cynthia J. Miller compiles fifteen essays, contributed by authors from a wide range of disciplines, which are divided into three sections, each approaching the film from a different vantage point: “Situating the Silence” looks at the film in its cultural and historical context—as an adaptation, popular culture icon, and as an element in genre and character history; “Dissecting Evil” takes a closer look at portrayals of evil in the film, in both Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill; and “Minds, Hearts, and Body Parts” offers critical explorations of gender, patriarchy, class, Orientalism, and humor as lenses for continued contemporary analysis of this classic film.

Written accessibly, this collection of essays also introduces readers to forensics, semantics, and the psychology of serial killers. The Silence of the Lambs: Critical Essays on a Cannibal, Clarice, and a Nice Chianti will be of interest to scholars and fans of horror, thriller, and crime drama films, as well as those interested in film history and the legacy of “Hannibal the Cannibal” in popular culture.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 244Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-7785-4 • Hardback • October 2016 • $80.00 • (£52.95)
978-1-4422-7786-1 • eBook • October 2016 • $76.00 • (£49.95)
Cynthia J. Miller is a cultural anthropologist, specializing in popular culture and visual media. She is the editor or co-editor of ten scholarly volumes, including the award-winning Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology; Undead in the West: Vampires, Zombies, Mummies, and Ghosts on the Cinematic Frontier,Horrors of War: The Undead on the Battlefield, and The Laughing Dead: The Horror Comedy from Bride of Frankenstein to Zombieland. She also serves as the series editor for Rowman & Littlefield’s Film and History book series and National Cinemas series.