AND MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: 'HANNIBAL' REDEFINED HOW WE TELL STORIES ON TELEVISION
Vulture's Matt Zoller Seitz on Hannibal
"The sophisticated aesthetic developed by Fuller (and his many collaborators, whose ranks include a number of visually oriented directors and a few veteran cinematographers, such as Guillermo S. Navarro, who shot numerous Guillermo del Toro films and directed the 11th and 12th episodes of season three). The aesthetic is the reason why, despite being the most gruesome drama ever aired on network TV, Hannibal never felt unacceptably brutal to me. It is, no question about it, ultraviolent, but not in the manner of a cheap slasher film. It is ultraviolent in the manner of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill and The Fury, and Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket and A Clockwork Orange (which Hannibal quotes by scoring Jack's beating of the doctor to Gioachino Rossini's 'The Thieving Magpie') and touchstones of religious painting, such as Tintoretto’s 1565 painting of Christ’s crucifixion. It is 'studied' in the best way, i.e., thoughtful, considered. It is concerned mainly with exploring what violent actions mean (to us, and to the story) rather than simply attempting to replicate the physical experience of suffering (although it does that, too; every wounding and death on the show is viscerally jolting and also often carries an emotional charge)."