The intertextual resources from which the film drew its strengths are among the most beneficial as a film has yet seen. It followed in the wake of a brilliant novel, capitalising on the text's image and praise. Crafting an enigmatic, mysterious, romantic image for itself early on, the film guaranteed the viewership of every single person dissatisfied with the season's offerings (which at the time included such films as Ransom, Space Jam, and Toy Story). Once it had this audience hooked, it enticed them with promises of fractured romance, emotional intrigue, and unparalleled visual artistry. Whether or not the film actually delivered these elements seemed almost irrelevant; its intertextual resources insured that it would receive the warmest possible welcome. And so it did, taking the film industry by storm, garnering all the necessary awards. After all, a film of the self-composed stature of The English Patient is supposed to be amazing, is supposed to gather awards. And in the process of gathering praise, it is forgiven its various transgressions against popular culture, against its source material, against the sensibilities of those who expected more from it.
The English Patient represents a new direction in genre studies, and
in the navigation of intertextual relay. So well-crafted and effective
was its marketing that it was destined to succeed. It did so without the
aid (or perhaps constraint) of genre, without associating itself necessarily
with a particular set of generic constructions. Undoubtedly, its images
will become firmly rooted in cinematic history, and its lessons will guide
the future of intertextual relay.