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A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
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Saturday, November 18, 2017
CRITIC - 'WE BLEW IT' SUMMONS SPECTRUM OF DE PALMA
DURING SEQUENCE IN WHICH CAMERA TRACES ROAD OF JFK ASSASSINATION
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/weblewit.jpgFilmed during the year leading up to the election of Donald Trump as president, Jean-Baptiste Thoret's documentary We Blew It takes its title from a line spoken by Peter Fonda in Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider. As The Hollywood Reporter's Bernard Besserglik describes it, "Jean-Baptiste Thoret's enthralling documentary We Blew It tackles the riddle of the 1960s head-on — a riddle that has been the subject of lively debate virtually since the day the decade ended. How, after that heady upsurge of youthful idealism and revolt, did we get to where we are now? What happened to the dreams and visions of the peace-and-love generation? What were the twists and turns that brought us from Easy Rider to Donald Trump?"

CineSeries' Guillaume Meral brings up Brian De Palma in his discussion of a shot that traces the road in Dallas where JFK was assassinated in 1963 (a description that cannot help but also remind of the scene in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver, when Travis meets the gun dealer):
Basically, We Blew It is a film that deals with the question of the years '60-'70 by questioning their very existence. The work of a director who evolves in a landscape of images and is all too aware of the impact of these images themselves not to wonder if they have not printed in the retina of the popular unconscious a reality that never took place. A dialectic that is found in particular in the staging bias of Thoret. Filmmaker obviously cinephile, the author multiplies the references to New-Hollywood to question his own references. We think of the scene where the camera is walking in Dallas, on the road on which JFK died as if it were scanning the traces of a perennial trauma. As the screen sweeps the asphalt, an oppressive music straight out of a film by Brian De Palma, THE filmmaker who made this fatal day of November 15, 1963 the reason for his cinema, accentuates and invades the entire sound space. As if Thoret summoned the spectrum of the director of Blow Out to derealize what he films and plunge into an agonizing abstraction, which exceeds the factual historical event to touch something more disturbing. For those who arrive in the empty room of all references, the tools work in the first degree, but for the viewer initiated to its author and his cinephilia, Thoret brings a historical event to his cinematographic representation, as if the passage of a historical event in a regime of specific images had altered the initial reality. Did New Hollywood invent these years? Has cinema created America? This is the agonizing question that runs through the author's approach, seeking the traces of cinema in what he films.

Posted by Geoff at 10:28 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, November 18, 2017 10:31 AM CST
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Friday, November 17, 2017
DONAGGIO TO RECEIVE GRAND PRIZE AT TORINO FEST
BEFORE NOV 29 SCREENING OF 'DRESSED TO KILL', PART OF FULL DE PALMA RETROSPECTIVE
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tff35.jpg

Pino Donaggio will be presented with the Torino Grand Prize at the 35th edition of the Torino Film Festival, which runs November 24 through December 2. Donaggio will be handed the award ahead of a screening of Dressed To Kill on November 29th. That film is part of a complete Brian De Palma retrospective, which includes everything from Woton's Wake to videos for Bruce Springsteen and Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and all the features in between (including 1979's Home Movies, projected from DCP).

Posted by Geoff at 5:37 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017
HIRSCH CONTRASTS DE PALMA & LUCAS STYLES
HAS COMPLETED UPCOMING BOOK CHRONICLING WAR STORIES OF LIFE IN THE INDUSTRY
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/starwarsmay1977.jpg

Paul Hirsch was interviewed by Variey's Will Tizard ahead of his visit to Camerimage in Poland this week, where he is receiving the Camerimage Award To Editor With Unique Visual Sensitivity. The article reveals that Hirsch has completed a book that reflects upon his time editing Star Wars with Marcia Lucas, as well as "sharply observed war stories of life in the industry," according to Tizard...
Accounts in the book illustrate what editors gain from directors with markedly different styles and focus.

“De Palma’s very visually oriented,” Hirsch says, reflecting on the baroque setups used in the bloody prom scene climax of 1976’s “Carrie.”

“In terms of storytelling, George Lucas is extraordinarily gifted in terms of design. De Palma’s very interested in how he moves the camera,” with elaborate tracking shots and set pieces that flew apart to accommodate them.

“While in ‘Star Wars’ I don’t think the camera ever moves within the visual-effects sequences.”

And shots of live actors used mainly just pans across the set, Hirsch recalls.

Although friends have praised the still unpublished project, Hirsch is wary of those who can’t be objective, arguing that Hollywood sometimes falls prey to that trap.

“I don’t think these ‘friends and families’ screenings are very meaningful – I want to hear what the enemies and strangers have to say.”


Posted by Geoff at 3:35 AM CST
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Wednesday, November 8, 2017
TWEET - BATTLEAXE VOICE
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetbattleaxevoice.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 11:36 PM CST
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Tuesday, November 7, 2017
HIRSCH MASTER CLASS IN PARIS NOV 19
BRACKETED BY SCREENINGS OF 'OBSESSION' & 'FALLING DOWN'
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/hirschmasterclass.jpgPaul Hirsch, who has made 11 films with Brian De Palma, will present a Master Class at Cinéma Grand Action in Paris on Sunday, November 19th. The Master Class (at 6pm) will be preceeded by a screening of De Palma's Obsession (4pm), and the night will close out with a screening of Joel Schumacher's Falling Down (7:30pm).

The press release quotes Hirsch about Obsession: "The film was turned down by every major studio when it was originally finished. I then had the idea of substituting a single shot in the film, and convinced De Palma and the producer to do it. It was then picked up by Columbia. How changing one shot changed the meaning of the story, and transformed a picture no one wanted to distribute into one they did, is an interesting example of the significance of editing."

And then also a brief quote from Hirsch about Falling Down: "Falling Down is very relevant to current events in America today. It is one of my forgotten films, by and large, but I think it was sort of prophetic. And it represented a distinct editing challenge in its own way."


Posted by Geoff at 10:42 PM CST
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Monday, November 6, 2017
'FEMME FATALE' AT TRAILERS FROM HELL
ALLAN ARKUSH COMMENTARY KICKS OFF BRIAN DE PALMA WEEK AT TFH
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/fftfh.jpg

Trailers From Hell kicks off its Brian De Palma Week today with a brand new Allan Arkush commentary for the American version of the trailer for De Palma's Femme Fatale. Arkush begins by contrasting David Thompson's review of the film with Roger Ebert's. Later this week, the site will highlight Edgar Wright's commentary for The Fury trailer, and then Larry Karaszewski on Get To Know Your Rabbit.

Posted by Geoff at 8:37 PM CST
Updated: Monday, November 6, 2017 8:39 PM CST
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Saturday, November 4, 2017
SATURDAY TWEET - DE PALMA / BAUMBACH
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetdivorce.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 9:36 PM CDT
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Friday, November 3, 2017
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER EXCLUSIVE 'DOMINO' IMAGE
DE PALMA'S LATEST IS IN POST-PRODUCTION
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/thrdomino.jpg

The Hollywood Reporter today has an "exclusive image" first-look at Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Brian De Palma's Domino, which is currently in post-production. The image was provided to the site by IM Global. Here is the text that accompanies the image, reported by THR's Ashley Lee:
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is on the edge in The Hollywood Reporter's exclusive first look at Domino.

Carice van Houten and Guy Pearce also star in the suspense-filled crime thriller, directed by Brian De Palma.

Currently in postproduction, the fast-paced crime thriller stars Coster-Waldau as Christian, a Copenhagen police officer seeking justice for his partner's murder by a mysterious man called Imran. He teams with Alex (van Houten), a fellow cop and his late partner’s mistress, to hunt down the murderer, but are unwittingly caught in a cat-and-mouse chase with a duplicitous CIA agent who is using Imran as a pawn to trap ISIS members. Soon, they're racing against the clock to get revenge and save their own lives.

Danish scriptwriter Petter Skavlan (Kon-Tiki) wrote the screenplay. Schønne Film's Michel Schønnemann produced, with Joel Thibout, Jean Baptiste Babin and David Atlan Jackson and Peter Garde serving as executive producers. Its co-producers are Jacqueline de Goeij for Zilvermeer Productions, Els Vandevorst for N279 Entertainment, Antonio Perez for Suroeste, Leonardo Recalcati for Recalcati Multi Media and Roberto Capua for Light Industry Motion Pictures.

Global Road Entertainment (formerly known as IM Global) is selling international rights to the film at AFM.


Posted by Geoff at 11:03 AM CDT
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PODCAST - DE PALMA INTERVIEWS BAUMBACH
ASKS ABOUT HIS TITLES, HIS 'VERTIGO' MOMENT, TURNING DOWN A PART IN BAUMBACH FILM, MORE
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/2017depalmabaumbachpodcast.jpg

In Episode 101 of The Director's Cut podcast, posted on SoundCloud two days ago, Brian De Palma interviews his friend Noah Baumbach. De Palma kicks things off by asking Baumbach about the titles of his films, and how he came up with them. Together, they go movie-by-movie through Baumbach's titles. De Palma then asks if he'd ever had a "Vertigo moment," (a movie that made him want to make movies), and Baumbach mentions Steve Martin in The Jerk. "Yes, you keep on referring to that," responds De Palma, "and I'm trying to get my head around it."

The conversation keeps flowing from there, with De Palma comfortably asking his friend questions about how he developed as a filmmaker (Baumbach eventually says his "Vertigo moment" might have been Truffaut's Jules And Jim). At one point, Baumbach recalls first meeting De Palma at Paul Schrader's 50th birthday party, and offering De Palma a part as a therapist in his new (at that time) movie. "And you said no," Baumbach recalls, "but you said, 'Don't worry, I turn everybody down. I turned Woody Allen down.' So I felt in good company."

That's all in the first 13 minutes-- listen to the full 39-minute podcast for much more.


Posted by Geoff at 3:08 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, November 3, 2017 3:11 AM CDT
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Monday, October 23, 2017
'THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS' & 'DRESSED TO KILL'
ELEVATOR SCENE IN ITALIAN GIALLO IS ECHOED & ENHANCED IN DE PALMA'S FILM


Thanks to Patrick for linking us to a recent Cahiers du Cinéma "Des giallos à gogo" video posted on YouTube, featuring the opening scene from Giuliano Carnimeo's Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer? (1972). Released internationally with the title The Case of the Bloody Iris, the film opens with a shocking murder of a woman on an elevator. The woman's blond hair, and the close-up of her face and her terrified eyes watching a knife in the hand of the killer, bear such a striking resemblance to similar shots of Angie Dickinson's elevator murder in Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill, it seems apparent that De Palma must have seen Carnimeo's film sometime before storyboarding and filming this sequence. The killer raises the knife and then brings it down in a slashing motion across the woman's neck in very much the same way the killer does in De Palma's film. The people waiting outside the elevator until it arrives also reminds of Nancy Allen's Liz and her client waiting obliviously for the elevator in Dressed To Kill. In both cases, the female character who is first to see the victim in the elevator turns out to be a major character in the film, and the relative sequences serve as her introduction.

Yet the De Palma sequence also differs from Carnimeo's sequence in many ways. De Palma has added the Hitchcock touch of Liz witnessing the killer and then herself holding the bloody weapon, making her an immediate suspect. And he has mixed in several other elements: the meeting of the eyes between victim and witness, as one exits the film's narrative and the other takes it over; the deliberate echoes of Hitchcock's Psycho shower scene; the intercutting of Liz's conversation with her client and the horrible murder taking place in the elevator cabin while they wait (creating a dark comic irony); the entire movie leading up to Dickinson's Kate Miller getting on the elevator, feeling guilty about her one-night-stand, realizing she has left her wedding ring upstairs in the stranger's apartment, and being stared at by a young girl who seems to sense the woman's guilt.

In the earlier giallo, the victim is someone the viewer has never met before. In De Palma's film, the viewer has already become very intimately involved with the woman before she ever steps into that fateful elevator.


Posted by Geoff at 12:21 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 12:24 AM CDT
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