The manner in which a person views a film is inevitably altered by the intertextual relay they experience before the cinematic event ever occurs. This relay arises from innumerable sources, including commercial television and radio advertising, word of mouth, knowledge of shared cultural references, marketable star personae, and so forth. In the case of Anthony Minghella's The English Patient, these factors collided in a near-perfect manner, guaranteeing the film a distinguished position in cinematic history before it was even released.

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.

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