I am looking for the name of a device used to tell a story. I'm sure it probably exists in literature, but I am only aware of it in film and T.V.
The device is a person. This person is not a central figure. He usually appears in few scenes. His presence, however, is apparent to everyone (in the audience). The defining characteristic is that he will say nothing the entire time he is on screen. Shortly before he exits the feature, he will have a very short and profound speaking part.
There are two examples that come to mind which I think most moviegoers will recognize:
- Silent Bob in the Kevin smith universe
- the character, Jerry, wearing a white suit and purple tie in Martin Sheen's mission briefing in Apocalypse Now; Jerry's only line is "Terminate, with extreme prejudice."
Are there any film students out there who know the name of this device?