Greetings internet. Before we begin, yes, I am actually alive. My life has been fairly hectic as of late, what with a trip to New York to do some work for a family member, another job that I worked full-time on and now preparation for my return to school in a few weeks. As a result of that craziness, I am going to attempt to diversify this blog’s content a bit. I will not have as easy access to Mann’s work at school as I will here (one of the cons of going to college in rural Vermont, but there are many more pros, so it evens out.) Instead of writing about Mann week in/week out, I am going to focus on film in general, since that is what I love and what I am studying. Be it a review of a work I’ve stumbled across or trekked into Brattleboro to see, I hope to cover quite a lot of cinema here. I would also like to give my thoughts on television and literature when the time to examine them is appropriate.
But I digress, I massively digress. We are here to talk about Michael Mann and his films, and this entry in the series brings us to his third work, 1986’s Manhunter. Manhunter is an adaptation of Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon, and as a result of being so, the first time Hannibal Lecter (Here spelled Lecktor, and played by Brian Cox) appeared on screen. But while Lecktor’s presence in the work is quite strong, and through Cox’s performance quite memorable, he is not the focus of the film. Instead, Manhunter chronicles the battle of wills between William Petersen’s dangerously good FBI profiler Will Graham and Tom Noonan’s methodical serial killer Francis Dollarhyde. As an adaptation, it is mostly faithful, and certainly captures the spirit of Harris’ book well, but as a film I find it to be really, really excellent. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that of the Mann films I have covered, Manhunter is the first one I would call a really great film.