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Silence of the Lambs - Shadow in the Dark
At the end of the film when Clarice and Buffalo Bill are in the dark when he's wearing the night vision glasses. Bill brings his hand up to her head. You can see the shadow of his hand. If it's pitch black his hand would not cast a shadow.
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Anonymous on 03-21-2001
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RonJLow writes:
Good eye. However, IR radiation can give the appearance of distinct shadows, but only if there is a point source. Maybe there was a furnace or boiler down there. Some night-vision goggles also exploit any existent light in the visible part of the spectrum, so even if it was just a tiny crack - say under the door at the top of the steps - it might cast such a shadow as seen amplified through the goggles.
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Albert writes:
Night vision goggles pick up infrared radiation. The killer might have been carrying some sort of infrared illumination in order to see better with the goggles on. If this is the case, his hand would indeed have cast a shadow.
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UberDrew writes:
The type of night-vision apparently used in the film version, looks to me, like passive night-vision. Basically, it takes existing light and amplifies it to produce a visibility field. This type of mechanism does not need an Infra-red flashlight. As long as there is even a miniscule amount of light in the room, the goggles will work, (and allow for the casting of shadows). A more inconsistent flub with this type of equipment occurs earlier in the film when Buffalo Bill is waiting for the senator's daughter (I'm sorry their names escape me at the moment) to get home and abduct her. We see him using the goggles as she is pulling her car into the parking lot. The shot through the goggles shows the cars headlights shining right into them from a very short distance away. At that distance, the headlights would have caused such an intense burst of amplified light that it would have blinded him (or ,depending on the type of goggles he was wearing, the mechanism would automatically shut off due to to that much light entering it). Just thought I'd give an explanation. If I'm incorrect on any of this, please let me know. I almost hate criticizing anything in this movie (It's one of my favorites).
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LiquidSilver writes:
Also, in the book, it says many times that Gumb is carrying an infrared flashlight. Though they don't show it in the movie, this could be a possible explanation.
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Davo100 writes:
Many nightscopes are not sensitive to 'see' in almost complete darkness, and so need a built in infra red source. If you look closely in the film, the illumination is much brighter when objects (Clarice) are close to the camera. This suggests that the nightscope is indeed carrying its own IR light source.
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