Living and Giving

The Pamela Positive: Mick LaSalle on Silence of the Lambs: \”It Felt Right\”

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A good lesson from a smart, intuitive film critic, Mick LaSalle.  I so enjoy his commentaries because he is not just about the film but offers insights on people, life, thinking.  How many times have we done the right thing because it felt right, but it was hard to determine the exact reasoning?  For me, it\’s often. It\’s very Malcolm Gladwell-esque, who mentioned in Tipping Point how those with strong experience often can\’t describe the reasoning behind a solid judgment.  But they do know the right thing to do, and follow that inner guidance.

From \”Ask Mick LaSalle,\” Mick\’s column in The San Francisco Chronicle:

Question from Steve Heimoff, Oakland:

There\’s a scene in \”The Silence of the Lambs,\” where Clarice is in a hallway, and a man – who has nothing to do with anything, he\’s just a guy walking around – bends over at the water fountain to take a sip. For some reason, that little act remains indelible, even though it was completely irrelevant. Do you think the director instructed the actor to do that? Why?


Dear Steve: Of course – because it felt right. There are syntheses that elude analysis. You can come up for a reason for that guy being there, but the real reason is that it was right in a way that can\’t be explained. In a sense, the best things escape logic. These things aren\’t good because they\’re without logic. In fact, most things that are illogical and without reason are extraneous. But the things that aren\’t extraneous, and yet aren\’t strictly understandable in their utility, are usually things connecting on a higher frequency.

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Mick LaSalle is a film critic for The San Francisco Chronicle.  He has written two books on early Hollywood, and more than 1500 movie reviews for the Chronicle.

Malcolm Gladwell is the author of several books and a journalist for The New Yorker.  His book, The Tipping Point, explores how small events can have massive social results.