Bach in the Movies (Goldberg Variations)
Anthony Hopkins is an actor who has appeared in some of the greatest movies of all time, but it was 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs” that made him a household name. The shocking content of the film was a hot topic at the time. But Hopkins In 2001, “Hannibal” was even more grotesque, and Jodie Foster, who had appeared in “The Silence of the Lambs,” may or may not have dropped out of the film because of the brutal content, though it is not clear why. Therefore, Julianne Moore played the role of FBI agent Clarice in the second film, “Hannibal”.
The grotesqueness of “Hannibal” is not easy to describe. A detective is gutted and hung from the window of an old Italian castle, and Clarice’s boss, an agent, is drugged and “dreamy” while having his skull ripped out and his own “brain” cut out and be let it eat.
Dr. Lecter is still traumatizing me to this day. For example, when I hear a piano performance of the aria from Bach’s Goltberg Variations, it reminds me of Dr. Lecter. The reason, of course, is that Dr. Lecter plays this piece “creepily” in the movie “The Silence of the Lambs”. Ever since then, this Bach piece has been “creepy” to me. Especially when I hear its theme played slowly on the piano, it always reminds me of the scene in the movie.
It’s not uncommon for a movie role to “eclipse” the actor. For example when I think of Kiyoshi Atsumi, I think of Tora-san; when I think of David Janssen, I think of Richard Kimble, when I think of Vic Morrow, I think of Sergeant Saunders. Among them, Anthony Hopkins’ Dr. Hannibal Lecter left too strong an impression. Since then, whenever I see Hopkins in any movie, the image of Dr. Lecter flickers in my mind. For example, even if see him as a mild-mannered butler in a quiet, fine film like “The Remains of the Day”, I used to wonder when he will take out a knife and split open the heroine’s stomach.
Recently, however, I came across a film that dispelled such preconceptions: the 2020 film “The Father”. Hopkins plays an ordinary old man who is declining with dementia. The film is a visual representation of the world that the dementia patient creates in his mind. The storyline, which does not add up and does not make sense, deeply convinced me that this is what dementia is all about. As I watched the film, I was reminded of my late mother who had dementia. The world she saw must have been the same as this one. By the way, Hopkins’ acting is absolutely amazing. This is the second time in 30 years that he has won the Academy Award for Best Actor, following “The Silence of the Lambs”. #baroque #bach #片山俊幸