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Obsession by Calvin Klein


  • Compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety.
  • A compulsive, often unreasonable idea or emotion. --American Heritage Dictionary


    1. Obsession (1976) - Brian De Palma [Amazon US]
      Though he had made comedies with Robert De Niro (Hi Mom, Greetings!), a horror movie (Sisters), and a rock musical (Phantom of the Paradise), it wasn't until this 1976 film that Brian De Palma truly announced himself as the heir to Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Paul Schrader, this film is an homage to Vertigo, with its own stylish twists and turns. Cliff Robertson plays a businessman who, while traveling in Italy, meets a young woman (Genevieve Bujold) who is a dead ringer for his late wife, who had been killed in a kidnapping years earlier. As he woos and wins her, the vibes get creepier and creepier because, well, something's not right about this woman. Interestingly, this film came out the same year as De Palma's Carrie, a much more successful movie at the box office. But it was this movie that, for all its flaws, proclaimed De Palma as a stylist with a sure-handed command of visual storytelling. --Marshall Fine --Amazon.com

    2. Boxing Helena (1993) - Jennifer Chambers Lynch [Amazon.com]
      The movie Boxing Helena is probably better known for the court case that sprang from it than for itself. Kim Basinger was famously sued for violating her oral agreement to play the lead role; the jury ruled against her to the tune of almost $9 million. Those who felt the ruling was unjust have no better evidence than the movie itself--who in their right mind would agree to play a woman whose obsessively jealous lover cuts off her arms and legs to control her? Boxing Helena wants to be a penetrating investigation into the dark side of erotic desire. It doesn't succeed. But it does achieve the dubious but delightful status of being an entertaining disaster. Glory in Sherilyn Fenn's amazingly sincere attempt to take the script seriously! Thrill to the completely gratuitous sex scene between Julian Sands and a woman who doesn't appear at any other moment in the movie! Gaze, jaw agape, at the ridiculous ending! The movie features a wonderfully overwrought performance from Bill Paxton (A Simple Plan, Twister) and what is to date the last film appearance of Art Garfunkel. While Boxing Helena doesn't have the relentless ridiculousness of something like The Lonely Lady (with Pia Zadora!) or Showgirls, it has a giddiness that builds as it gets more and more improbable. Bad-movie fans will find it a delectable treat. --Bret Fetzer , Amazon.com


    1. The Collector (1963) - John Fowles [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      Fowles launched his career with The Collector, which was welcomed with great critical enthusiasm, including that of LJ's reviewer, who found it "a distinguished first novel" (LJ 8/63). Mantissa, on the other hand, was a departure from the author's more popular material and received only a marginal response (LJ 9/1/82). Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

      In this chilling archetypal tale of good and evil, a beautiful, idealistic young woman studying art in London is kidnapped by a startlingly ordinary young man who wants only to keep her--like the butterflies he has collected before her. James Wilby is superb as the collector, by turns angry, indignant, whining, and threatening, and the terrified, but defiant, prisoner waging war against her captor while in secret journals struggling to come to terms with her past and present. Despite a lengthy digression on the meaning of art and the British class struggle, this powerful reading of a haunting tale will echo in the reader's psyche long after the words fade away. J.E.T. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

      The Collector is considered cult fiction

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