HANNIBAL Recap: Season Three, Episode One – ANTIPASTO

"Yes, Bedelia, you keep eating those snails. Mmmhhhhmmmm you are going to taste so good." - Hannibal, ANTIPASTO.
“Yes, Bedelia, you keep eating those snails. Mmmhhhhmmmm you are going to taste so good.” – Hannibal, ANTIPASTO.

The much anticipated third season of Hannibal begins with the show’s familiar omniscient voice of Mads Mikkelsen informing audiences of what had just happened in the last season/episode through the simple but loaded ‘previously, on Hannibal’. However, viewers of the show clearly didn’t need to be reminded of the bloodbath that was Mizumono, not only because the episode marked Hannibal as, in my clearly non-bias opinion, the best TV show to have graced our television screens from 2013 (and even ever), but also because the opening episode does not even address this episode that left thousands and thousands of people crying, screaming, standing up in their seats with their eyes falling out of their skull (*cough*). Instead, you’d be forgiven for completely forgetting about the Season 2 finale and thinking that Hannibal had randomly turned into an extremely classy, alternate-universe E! reality show that follows the lives of a workaholic husband and his distanced wife.

The tone of the episodes in Paris/Florence is set from the beginning – we see Hannibal Lecter looking scruffy and imperfect for the first time; visual metaphors and conceits are immediately introduced through the motorbike/moon imagery; and, as Matt Zoller Seitz pointed out, the frames and mise-en-scene are a lot less claustrophobic compared to season 1 and 2. Moreover, in the process of mourning the death of Will’s pendulum swings, whilst re-watching this episode it’s noticeable that the opening of season three has Hannibal’s own take of this — when he is entering the building in Paris, we see a quick succession of multiple fade-to-blacks accompanied by the juxtaposition of the scene’s slow-motion with Hannibal walking in. As this is happening, each fade-to-black and fade back to the Hannibal universe reveals something new: first we see the back of Hannibal’s head, next the front of his face, next a glass of champagne, next a person who is inevitably on Hannibal’s dinner menu for tonight, and so on — it’s as if, much like the opening of season one with Will Graham and his pendulum swings, we are being introduced into Dr. Lecter’s world; Hannibal got into Will Graham’s brain, it’s time, Bryan Fuller – the show’s writer/showrunner – seems to say, we got into his. These similarities in introductory shots to the characters can also be read as an introduction to their psychotic makeup: Will recreates murder scenes, whereas Hannibal creates them, this exemplified by the fact that this is essentially an introduction to Mikkelsen’s character. For the first season, audiences – whether they’d watched the films or read the book – knew who Hannibal Lecter was, he needed no introduction. Will Graham, however, is less well-known, and thus season one almost completely revolved around Will and getting a look into his brain. Season two began to introduce audiences to the inner workings of other characters, however as Hannibal entered more and more into his brain and into controlling Will, the show started to become more an examination of Hannibal through Will- but only lightly. In season three, we finally go inside his brain, whether that’s through stories told by other characters, widescreen flashbacks, or the fade-to-black sequences said above.

Comparing this episode with the past two seasons also proves to contrast the verbal nature of season one and two with the visual nature of season three. Whilst the previous two seasons were obviously shot beautifully, season three takes it to the next level, creating an array of oxymoronic visual metaphors and conceits, one in particular being the use of the single drop of blood. We see this first quite early on in the episode during Bedelia’s flashback; the blood, dripping from Hannibal’s body, is prolific. As the camera continues to focus on the blood dripping down, it can’t seem to focus on one particular drop of blood, instead just watching blood poor to the ground in a beautiful slow-motion micro shot. This quickly changes, however, when Bedelia enters the shop in Florence and the camera focus pulls to a rabbit. The camera focuses on the rabbit’s drop of blood, and watches as it falls to the ground, splattering once it hits the surface. This, to me, seems to be much more effective than the previous mass of blood Hannibal was washing off, and perhaps Bedelia can see this too: a drop of blood is much more meaningful, dangerous, and effective than a volume.

People who’ve watched this show for the past two seasons keep telling me they ‘don’t get’ season three. The reason they ‘don’t get’ season three, I think, is because the past two seasons have always been quite conventional in terms of the crime slash horror genre narrative-wise: there is a murder, FBI investigates, find murderer, ends at that episode (Hannibal is obviously a lot more complicated than this, but I’m oversimplifying to make a point). Instead of this, season three has a completely broken and multi-stranded narrative, along with the visual conceits and more dramatic/complex scenarios: this show seems like it’s asking a lot from its audience, but when one returns to Hannibal’s conversation with Gideon in one of the over-saturated widescreen flashbacks, it’s clear this season, or at least the first six episodes in Florence, are meant to be watched as a fairy tale — we are meant to take Hannibal’s ‘once upon a time’ introduction seriously, as we are experiencing his past and present, we are experiencing this show. This is made clear by the closing of Antipasto as Hannibal leaves us with his creation – the visualisation of his broken heart; the visualisation of Hannibal externalising his experiences.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: “Morality doesn’t exist, only morale” – HANNIBAL LECTER

BEST ADVICE: If you are travelling alone and someone asks if you’re travelling alone, don’t tell them you are travelling alone.

 

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a note: what to expect

Hello, my worldwide mass audience that accumulates to a grand total of zero – I am here to tell you that after finding out Hannibal Season 3 has been cancelled, I’m not only in the mood to carve a giant version of my metaphorically broken heart using human flesh, but also to write recaps for each episode. I’ve wanted to do this for season 2, but I just didn’t darn get round to it, and now I’m scared there won’t be another season to review, so I’m going to begin doing it now. TODAY. UNTIL IT’S OVER!!!!!

I know I’m five episodes behind (six for y’all Americans) but I’m planning on posting a recap each day from today (Monday) until Friday, with the last day having two due to the sixth episode having aired the Thursday before. Complicated? I know.

So, today I’ll be posting Season Three Episode 1, called Antipasto. Bonsoir.

Also, #SaveHannibal.

Future Learn Script Week Two

My 30 Second script:

EXT. – DAYTIME – A deceased mansion occupies the entire frame, with the whole area covered in rubble and black charcoal. The entire situation seems bleak – there is leftover smoke from when the firefighter’s – who are currently preoccupied with a broken piece on their fire engine – took out the fire, and a heavy fog covers the area. The only thing that juxtaposes this picture of death is the standing room in the middle, which somehow miraculously survived the fire.

CUT TO: A woman in a long, black coat and black hat that covers her features walks over. The camera TRACKS her as she walks over to a pile of cast-aside rubble and stands on it, her gaze focusing on the room in the centre.

A CU of her face reveals her brown eyes and determined gaze. She checks her watch, clearly telling herself that for some reason, this is the right time to follow through with her goals. She continues to walk to the centre of the destruction, stops as she reaches the door to the lone room, and enters a microcosm of the universe that once existed before the fire.

INT. – Inside the room – it is clearly decorated in expensive wallpaper, with paintings from around the world hanging on the wall. A coffee table, two chairs, and a turntable – quietly playing Le Gazza Ladra Overture – stands in the centre of the room. On old man occupies one of the chairs, his focus clearly on the letters and novel he is holding.

The woman we have come to briefly form a sense of knowing with sits in the opposite seat, the old man not being disrupted by this. Instead, while still focusing on the objects in his hand, he says:

OLD MAN:
You know it was them, who did this.

WOMAN:
Yes. I know. I’ll be quicker next time, I’m sorry.

For the first time the old man looks up. He frowns.

OLD MAN:
It’s not your fault. You’ve been born into this world, there’s nothing you could do to escape being part of this…but there is something you can do to ensure you do not die because of this world, but I think you know that already. Am I correct?

WOMAN:
Yes.

OLD MAN:
I thought so.

He takes the letters and novel in his hand, puts them in a brown bag, carefully, and hands them to the woman.

OLD MAN [CONT.]:
I want you to have these. They are the only things that can save you. Decipher each and every letter your mother and father sent to each other; ensure you understand every page of the book – the notes are just as important as the text itself. I can no longer continue to go on anymore, but I know you can. When you leave this room you will not be in the same place you were when you entered it – physically and mentally – I need you to be prepared for this, do you understand?

The old man had adopted a worrying expression on his face, and was growing paler and paler by the second. The woman nodded, understood this was their last conversation, and, with no words being said – just a simple nod from one to the other, showing their mutual respect, they parted ways.

EXT. LONG SHOT of the door. It opens, and the woman’s face is shocked. The camera PANS OUT SLOWLY to reveal that she is in the middle of an ocean, with an ambitious jump between wear she stands at the edge of the door and a ship opposite. She makes the leap, the bag containing the documents intact.

END

My storyboards (my drawings are so bad and so is my handwriting please don’t judge me I am not gifted):

scan 6Scan 6

An Ode to the BFI at Southbank

The ethereal home of every cinema lover.
The ethereal home of every cinema lover.

Picture this: you feel lost in life, never finding any place/destination/space you can occupy in which you truly feel you. One day, while looking on the BFI site, you realise they have a public building in which any old soul can wonder into and read books about film at their library and buy books about film and films in their shop and watch films and talk to like-minded people about the downfall and sudden resurgence of Justin Bieber…JK, obviously *stands on a mountain, snow falling around me, shouts into the void distance* FIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLLMMMMSSSS.

This is what walking into – actually just being outside it – felt like when I was in Southbank last Friday (the 3rd) at the holy temple of cinema that is the BFI, which I think stands for the British Film Institution, but I could also extend my incredibly deep conceit of the Biebster here and say it stands for Bieber Forever Inside (our hearts), but…I’ll digress from this and take a serious, David-Foster-Wallace-talking-about-post-modernism-stance here to express how much this place, AKA ~~~~~HOME~~~~~ is everything I love.

First of all, besides the ridiculously expensive costs of the tube, it was easy and 100% unstressful to find — if you’re arriving at Victoria Station, just go to the Victoria tube station, get the District line to Westminster, then get the Jubilee line to Waterloo. The walk from here is about 10/15 minutes to the BFI, but – word of warning – if you’re looking for lunch, DON’T!!!!! EAT!!!! AT!!!! SOUTH BANK!!! unless you are willing to pay £6 just for a small cheeseburger (there is a McDonalds and loads of other fast food chains at Waterloo station, and I’d wished I’d eaten there. There’s also a café in the BFI but I don’t know how expensive it is because I didn’t go in, so, take the risk if you wish). Anyway, the point is I had no trouble locating the BFI on the way there and back home…it’s pretty accessible and also very pretty.

The inside of it is even prettier…it honestly felt like I was entering into something that wasn’t real because I’d heard of Richard Ayoade and other directors and famous film people going there so it didn’t feel real that this same thing could be open to…me? A self-conscious teenager? It was amazing.

CJePYWWWIAAVXGj

The reason I went there was to see The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949), which was just as life-changing as the BFI was, but I’m going to be doing a review on this film when the special edition DVD comes out so I can analyse to my heart’s desire. So, blah, blah, blah, I got my tickets and went straight to the shop as I had half an hour to spare, and oh. my. god. there are so many DVDs that aren’t, like, the latest Cameron Diaz ft. Tom Cruise etc. films (no offence Cam Di and T Cruise if you’re reading, I do actually kind of enjoy Knight and Day in an I-hate-this-but-it’s-kind-of-entertaining way). Instead, there were rows upon rows and stacks upon stacks of French Nouvelle Vague films; Japanese films; Italian Neo-Realism films; early cinema films; just every film movement/era you can think of, they had at least one DVD to represent this. They also had a lot of books on film, for example they had a Gothic history on it which I need to get when I go back there, as well as magazines, such as Sight & Sound, but…

It was time to go in to prepare for the film, and the theatre (it feels too fancy to be called a cinema) was beautiful. Here is a picture to prove it:

I don't know if I'm allowed to upload this please don't arrest me BFI.
I don’t know if I’m allowed to upload this please don’t arrest me BFI.

It was extremely comfortable and the seats I was allocated were perfect and I honestly have no complaints about the whole thing.

To part ways with you, reader, I will leave you with this message: go to the BFI if you want your love for film to be heightened/emancipated/taken to a new world…because I can guarantee that watching a film at the BFI will fill a film-shaped hole in your heart you didn’t even know was empty.