“Obsessions” is getting a lot of movie nerd buzz this month. Whenever the social media Film World discovers an oddity, it’s celebrated. It gets even more attention when it turns out that a pre-fame Martin Scorsese co-wrote the film. So, what is there to make of this bizarre hybrid of a film? It wants to be Hitchcock, it wants to be American New Wave and yet it wants to remain European. Did I mention that it was the first Dutch movie to be filmed entirely in English?
When you talk to fans of this movie, that’s the one tidbit that seems to keep coming up. Honestly, it’s comparable to any contemporary Underground flick that was bustling through America at the time. There’s an effort to be a suspenseful movie, but it really wants to whip out the female nudity and psychedelic drugs when it can. For a film scored by Bernard Herrmann and edited by the guy who chopped Children of Paradise, the pedigree is confusing. Honestly, without the famous talent behind the scenes…this movie would never have resurfaced. That being said, it’s well worth a viewing.
- Script notes by Scorsese
- Scorpio Films documentary excerpt
- Original Dutch trailer
- Photo/Video Gallery
- 1.33:1 1080p transfer
- Dolby Digital 2.0 MONO
RELEASE DATE: 5/30/17
- Video - 93%93%
- Audio - 90%90%
- Supplemental Material - 96%96%
- Film Score - 95%95%
The Plot Thus Far
The obscure film OBSESSIONS (aka A HOLE IN THE WALL) was directed by Dutch artsploitation auteur Pim de la Parra and co-produced by longtime collaborator Wim Verstappen (BLUE MOVIE). This gritty, psychedelic Hitchcockian mystery, which is notable for being the first Dutch film shot in English-language, starts in a savagely brutal fashion. When a bloody painting of Vincent van Gogh falls from a wall and exposes a makeshift peephole, student protagonist Nils Janssen (played by the film’s German co-producer Dieter Geissler) becomes an unwitting witness to a gruesome sex crime next door. When his young fiancée Marina (Alexandra Stewart of Truffaut’s DAY FOR NIGHT), an enterprising journalist, tells him about a report of a murder that she is writing, he naturally wonders if it’s the very same killing.