Bezeten - Het Gat in de Muur
Besessen - Das Loch in der Wand
Netherlands / West Germany 1969
Wim Verstappen, Dieter Geissler, Pim de la Parra (executive) for Scorpio Film Productions, Dieter Geissler Filmproduktion
directed by Pim de la Parra
starring Alexandra Stewart, Dieter Geissler, Tom van Beek, Donald Jones, Elisabeth Versluys, Marijke Boonstra, Vibeke Løkkeberg, Michael Krebs, Hasmig Terveen, Fons Rademakers, Victoria Naelin, Adrian Brine, Sara Heyblom, Ingeborg Uyt den Boogaard, Margareta Orrje, Rista Schuyt
story by Pim de la Parra, screenplay by Pim de la Parra, Martin Scorsese, Wim Verstappen, music by Bernard Herrmann
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When a painting falls off the wall in medicine student Nils' (Dieter
Geissler) apartment, he discovers a hole behind it, and starts checking in
on his neighbour (Tom van Beek) - and at first, it's very understandable
why he soon gets hooked on peeping, as the neighbour has a variety of
naked women in his apartment, frequently has sex - everything a young man
likes to see. At first, Nils' girlfriend Marina (Alexandra Stewart) is
rather disgusted by his behaviour, but eventually she too is bitten by the
voyeur's bug. Then though things get dark, as it turns out the neighbour
frequently drugs his girls, and then plays degrading sexual games with
them. At one point, while the neighbour's out, Nils actually breaks into
his apartment to save one of the girls who has obviously gotten an
overdose. Eventually, during a risky break-in, Nils also finds a gun and
quite a bit of money in the neighbour's apartment - non of which calms his
and Marina's nerves of course.
In the meantime, Marina is also working
on a story of hers involving her friend Stella (Marijke Boonstra) who has
been in prison for murder and drug addiction - but her story doesn't make
much sense. Too late do Marina and Nils realise that Stella's story and
that of the neighbour are weirdly intertwined ...
speaking, Obsessions is a bit of a milestone in Dutch cinema, as
it's the first co-production between the Netherlands and Germany since
World War II, when the Nazis occupied the Netherlands, and it's
(presumably) the first Dutch movie shot in English language, and the
involvement of a young Martin Scorsese (with all his breakthrough films
still several years in the future mind you) and legendary Hollywood
suspense composer Bernard Herrmann suggest this was made for the
international market - and the slightly raunchy theme and plenty of nudity
in the film's first half pretty much fit the tastes of the time.
that said, Obsessions actually is a pretty tense erotic thriller
that plays a riff on Hitchcock's Rear Window - not only the basic
theme, also several suspense scenes are pure Hitchcock -, but really comes
into its own in the mystery that it creates and untangles, in a very
meandering way, which fits the movie well. Plus, the Amsterdam backdrops
really suit the movie well and give it its very own character. In all a
very unique mystery thriller, and well worth a look for sure.