Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
New Orleans businessman Michael Courtland’s life is shattered when his wife and daughter are tragically killed in a botched kidnap rescue attempt. Many years later whilst visiting Italy he meets and falls in in love with Sandra Portinari, who bears a striking resemblance to his wife.
DePalma's Hitchcock films >>> DePalma's Gangster films.
It's fun to read this as a critique of Hitchcock's carte blanche misogyny, even though that is actually the opposite of what it is. There is an ugliness here that almost overwhelms the economy and naked but deliberate fetish of De Palma's method, possibly evidence of Schrader's script, as liberally as it is adapted. This is in fact what makes the film unique within De Palma's catalog, providing a glimpse of what his films would look like if he had as little restraint as his other major influence, Dario Argento. Despite Obsession's relative lack of actual on-screen violence, it may be De Palma's most frightening film, achieving an absolutely hysterical emotional frenzy by the end, a cap for nearly three…
I've got a problem with John Lithgow.
The thing is that whenever he's in a film where he starts off as a good guy, I just spend the whole film waiting for the moment where he does something despicable. Because it WILL come. It has to. Because he's John Lithgow and he's ALWAYS a bad guy.
Now I'm not saying whether he undergoes that transformation in Obsession. That isn't even the point. The point is that I've seen him play so many villains that I thought I was going to sit watching Obsession thinking to myself, "Yeah yeah, John, you're a lovely guy, now just stab Cliff Robertson in the face and get it over and done with,…
It's been said that Vertigo is a film that haunts cinema, and perhaps nobody understands that quite like Bernard Herrmann must have. Herrmann was already a certified great when Hitchcock asked him to compose the score to Vertigo, considered by many to be the greatest film score of all time. But by most accounts the controlling Herrmann was never satisfied with it, having being forced by circumstance (a US musician's strike) to outsource conducting duties to Muir Mathieson on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, rather than do it himself as he normally would. Predictably, Mathieson conducted the score the way he interpreted it, which Herrmann believed was all wrong. That "unfinished" score haunts much of Herrmann's later work.…
Below par De Palma.
[English/ Spanish review]
The inspiration for Obsession goes way beyond Vertigo. It goes straightly back to a breathtaking tradition of psychological dramatic mystery films from the forties and the fifties (Hitchcock, of course, but also Lang, Tourneur, Preminger or Sirk come to my mind). This might be the reason why Obsession left me with a sort of otherworldly sense of strangeness. The plot progresses by fits and starts, and can get quite silly in places, but there's a notable twist that brings us back to what De Palma do best, that is, kidding us.
La inspiración de Fascinación va más allá de Vértigo. Nos lleva directamente a la impresionante tradición de films dramáticos de misterio con toques psicológicos de los…
98 minutes of my life I'm not getting back!
I've enjoyed a number of De Palma films, but I can't think of a single redeeming feature of this one.
If you haven't seen Vertigo, then go watch that instead!
If you have seen Vertigo, then go watch it again instead!
To compare this with Hitchcock is an insult to Mr. Hitchcock. The intrigue in this movie is lame, and the twists and turns aren't that unexpected. It wasn't one of these movies where you have everything figured out after ten minutes, still none of them came as any surprise, and some were calculated from the start. This alone doesn't make a movie bad, but then there's the boring dialogue and a few actors who don't perform very well. Add that there's no real build-up or character presentation either, and then this movie isn't much to talk about. Liked some of the camera work, though. A few scenes were very well filmed!
De Palma and Paul Schrader take the framework from Vertigo and effectively redress it into a completely new experience. Obsession completely stands up on it's own but clearly wears it's references on it's sleeve and is unashamed of it. I really enjoyed Obsession, I saw the twist coming a mile off, not the super obvious one...but the other one. Anyway, beautifully shot by Vilmos Zsigmond with a fantastic Bernard Herman score, I've always found Vertigo to go on a bit and be such a downer so I think in some respects I prefer Obsession. I'm starting to feel like a bad cinephile but I did have a lot of fun with this. Highly Recommended.
De Palma's first reworking of Vertigo has none of his usual camp humor (aside from John Lithgow's terrible southern accent), a powerful slowburn sense of menace and mystery, and a towering score from Bernard Herrmann that might be the great composer's best.
The De Palma film that pales in comparison to Sisters, Blow Out, Dressed To Kill and Carrie but was made throughout this period, Obsession has a great beginning and a solid middle. Robertson is fine as a modern day James Stewart ravaged with guilt for the tragic death of his wife after she is kidnapped and held for ransom. Clearly influenced in tone and structure by Vertigo and Rebecca, two of Hitchcock's best. Beautifully photographed panoramic vistas of Rome. Full of De Palma's magic dreamlike quality but somewhat undone by an implausible twist ending.
What an annoying film. The gauzy misty aesthetic. Hermann's overblown overused score. Robertson's utterly unconvincing performance. Lithgow's mustache. For those that immediately recognize the Vertigo template there will be few if any surprises. If you've not seen Hitchcock's masterpiece and don't mind the above complaints, more power to you.
De Palma does Vertigo. Big boots to fill but it is enjoyable.
A Hitchcock rip-off that at least is honest about its sources. An entertaining yarn with some genuine surprises. Starts all action but then starts to become psychological thriller. John Lithgow is great as a smarmy, scheming fucker. And you can see the De Palma touches all over this thing, even though it's quite an early film for him.
Obsession is by no means a bad film, and for those familiar with Brian De Palma's work it will come as no surprise that Hitchcock's influence is felt strongly, but it also never really feels like it reaches its full potential. The film is never boring and I was kept engaged, primarily due to great performances from Cliff Robertson and John Lithgow, but I kept waiting for the film to plunge into darker territory... and I kept waiting... and was left still waiting. In many respects I could almost see Obsession as a precursor to Oldboy (2003) - except Oldboy makes good on leading us down a darker path. Still, Obsession is a perfectly fine film with nothing glaringly annoying about it.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat
- Employees Leaving The Lumière Factory
- A Corner in Wheat
- The Musketeers of Pig Alley
- Fantômas Serial
- Magnificent Bodyguards
- 12 Angry Men
- Little Miss Sunshine
- The Help
500 movies whose poster art has been influenced by the colour yellow. Its taken a few months a lot of…