SPIELBERG-PRODUCED SERIES MAKES SLY NOD TO DE PALMA'S 'HOME MOVIES'
In his review of Jodi Foster's The Beaver last month, Armond White makes mention of "the genial psychosis" of Harvey and the "ribald bunny rabbit Nancy Allen used as her unleashed id in the shrewdly titled filmmaking satire Home Movies." At the end of that latter film, directed by Brian De Palma, Allen discards her bunny, and it is picked up by a younger girl, and the bunny begins working on her id, as well. De Palma echoes this ending at the conclusion of Raising Cain when Jack brings Amy a bunny, and she drops it as she heads into the woods, where she is sure she can sense her father waiting for her.
The Steven Spielberg-produced Showtime series The United States Of Tara stars Toni Collette as a mother with multiple personalities. On a recent episode ("What Happens in the Corn Maze, Stays in the Corn Maze!"), Tara walks through a corn maze holding a bunny before her mind is taken over by the infantile "Chicken," who runs away and is eventually found sans bunny laying in a corn crib. At the episode's conclusion, Tara has a sudden feeling and goes back to the corn crib. Finding the bunny has been shredded, she is overcome with the knowledge that "Chicken" is dead-- one of her other personalities appears to have killed her.
The bunny seems a deliberate homage by Spielberg to De Palma's Home Movies, and, perhaps, to Raising Cain as well. Spielberg previously nodded to Home Movies about a decade ago with a key shot in The Terminal. In an interview with Vulture's Patti Greco last month, United States Of Tara creator Diablo Cody said that Spielberg is "always incredibly involved in everything he does. He does not just put his name on something. His soul and his input were with Tara throughout the entire journey, and I can’t believe I had the privilege of working with him." With his hands-on approach, Spielberg appears to have inserted a sly homage to De Palma's cinema. Unfortunately, United States Of Tara was canceled by Showtime last month, and is now playing out its final season.