Obsession

Obsession ★★★★½

mentally freezing the protagonist in 1959 is a great way to start this, showing how out of time and tragically regressive the vertigo conceit is. he even talks about returning to the graceful values of the old south before the traumatic inciting incident occurs. every deviation from the template set by hitchcock's original is a further twisting of the knife, with the third act fully indulging in the sleaze that his later vertigo riffs would have on display from their opening scenes. the textures of zsigmond's gauzy photography of the film, particularly in the italian segment, lend themselves to de palma's movement to create a dream-like free and floating camera rather than the more rigid tracking shown in some of his other films. i'm sure the accent police have already remarked upon john lithgow's southern twang, but i found his caricature to be an effective stand-in for the evil industry that made him and cliff robertson obscenely wealthy.

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