I am completely in love with the art direction of Hannibal, most especially as it deals with the food. Obviously, of course, you’re gonna do a show about Hannibal Lecter, you’re gonna have to do a lot of stuff with food, and it’s gonna be creepy.
But it is continually impressive to me that the show makes the food so simultaneously gorgeous and unnerving. It alone provides significant depth to Hannibal’s character, which is itself a remarkable feat of storytelling. Think about it: Hannibal Lecter’s character in Silence of the Lambs is stunningly frightening, and much of his freakiness comes from the combination of his ability to understand other humans while also being completely alien. His mind is incomprehensible; he is inhuman and also nearly omniscient.
Hannibal's Dr. Lecter is much the same - he's alien and discomfitingly perceptive. And yet, the presence of that gorgeous, gorgeous food, his absolute care for its preparation and presentation, the performance of it, and his obvious joy in its stunning virtuosity… I mean, that foie gras looks *delicious.* It almost make you sympathize with cannibalism.
Which is, of course, absolutely terrifying. And so much more affecting than if it were just, you know, “once again the horrible cannibal prepares a lady’s loin for his deplorable dinner.” And that has everything to do with how unbelievably beautiful these dishes are, how deeply unsettling and undeniably… appetizing.