Brian De Palma John Simon - Essay

John Simon

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Obsession attitudinizes in three directions: toward the Hitchcockian thriller, toward the old-fashioned tearjerker, and toward the sophisticated European film, with cultural references strewn like bread crumbs along the way of Hansel and Gretel.

Such a mishmash could be endearing; as it happens, it is neither mish nor mash so much as mush….

[Paul] Schrader and De Palma have loaded their penny dreadful with allusions high and low. There are overtones of The Winter's Tale, the Bluebeard story, Rebecca, and, of course, Vertigo. There are quotations from Dante's Vita nuova, likewise a tale of loving obsession. And there is more: The fresco with whose...

(The entire section is 556 words.)