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Friday, August 18, 2017

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau visited Larry King Now this past week to promote Shot Caller and Game Of Thrones. However, last Sunday, viewers were asked to submit potential questions for King to ask Coster-Waldau. In a video clip of the interview posted to YouTube today, the actor is asked about Domino:
Larry King: Cory Anderson on the Larry King Now blog asks, “What can you tell us about your new film Domino?"

Nikolaj: Oh, yes, that’s a European movie that Brian De Palma is directing. We’re shooting it right now.

Larry King: Really?

Nikolaj: Yeah, it’s really cool. I’m very lucky I get to work with him. He’s brilliant, he’s…

Larry King: [motioning] He lays everything out, right?

Nikolaj: Yeah. And then [hands tunneling from his eyes] he has this very specific vision. It’s a thrilling story. It’s about what goes on in Europe now, with the paranoia… it’s a thriller, and it’s about this constant sense of threat from terrorist attacks.

Larry King: You’re shooting now?

Nikolaj: We’re shooting now, yeah.

Larry King: Where?

Nikolaj: We’re shooting in Denmark, in Brussels, and Spain.

Larry King: You like all the traveling?

Nikolaj: I do, yeah.

Posted by Geoff at 11:34 PM CDT
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Paul Hirsch, who has collaborated on eleven films with Brian De Palma, will be honored at Poland's 25th annual Camerimage festival this November. Hirsch will be presented with the Camerimage Award To Editor With Unique Visual Sensitivity. Camerimage runs November 11-18 in Bydgoszcz.

Here is the article posted today at Camerimage:
Let us start with a riddle. What is the connection between a blood-soaked Sissy Spacek unleashing a school massacre, the Rebel Alliance pilots desperately attacking the Death Star, Kevin Bacon dancing vigorously to his own beat, Matthew Broderick clowning around in Chicago, Michael Douglas going berserk with guns on Los Angeles streets, Tom Cruise hanging down on a line from a ceiling or Burj Khalifa sky-scraper, and Jamie Foxx working wonders on a piano? The obvious remark is, of course, the inexpressible magic of cinema, but there is also a less abstract answer: the connection is the editor. A man who made sure the abovementioned moments from Carrie, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Footloose, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Falling Down, Mission: Impossible, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and Ray were not only a series of moving pictures but also absorbing, internally coherent sequences that arose from what happened earlier in the given film and foreshadowed what would follow next.

Paul Hirsch, as he was the editor of all of these films, has been working in the film industry for half a century, and collaborated with such filmmakers as Brian De Palma, George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Herbert Ross, John Hughes, Joel Schumacher, Taylor Hackford, and Duncan Jones. In the past, he worked with Moviola and other tools available for editors, creating the given picture’s rhythm, mood and audiovisual character by physically cutting and pasting bits of film; now he works with the latest editions of expensive computer software but his style and editor’s creed did not change a bit. What is important is the story and the characters that make it what it is and move forward, irrespective of the film’s genre; the same applies to the low-budget shocking 70s thriller Sisters and recent Hollywood’s fantasy spectacle Warcraft about a war between the orcs and the humans.

During his distinguished career Paul Hirsch was honored with numerous awards and accolades, including an Academy Award® for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (shared with Marcia Lucas and Richard Chew). We are therefore proud to announce that in a couple of months Paul Hirsch will personally come to Bydgoszcz to accept Camerimage Award to Editor with Unique Visual Sensitivity.

Hirsch’s mentor and the filmmaker who shaped him as an editor and helped in perfecting his skills was Brian De Palma. Starting with 1970's Hi, Mom! they have so far made together eleven feature films, the last being 2000's Mission to Mars. Their projects are often considered masterworks of the art of editing. Like in 1981’s Blow Out, a tale about a sound engineer who is accidently implicated in a politically-motivated murder, in which Hirsch and De Palma created, in parallel with a standard narrative, an amalgam of images and sounds that establishes new ways of interpretation and significantly alters how the story is perceived. Another brilliant example of their work is 1996’s Mission: Impossible, a classic spy thriller made and told in ways of then-modern action films – as in the thrilling and suspenseful sequence of a bold break into the CIA headquarters, or the breathtaking sequence with a helicopter, a train and a narrow tunnel. Hirsch stated in one of his interviews: “Brian taught me a lot about the difference between cutting trailers and cutting features. And my two other great teachers were trial and error.”

Before Paul Hirsch started working as a feature film editor, he had to go through a number of different jobs and learn different ways of his craft. He began his career quite modestly, in a New York-based shipping room. There, he met a negative cutter who took him under his wings as a trainee and taught how to use Moviola, among many other things. This new set of skills opened Hirsch many possibilities, and made it possible to start working for film trailer editor Chuck Workman. He gave Hirsch a task of cutting down a featurette about the making of Norman Jewison’s The Thomas Crown Affair, and afterwards let him do on his own the same type of material for Ken Hughes’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Then, Hirsch moved onto editing trailers for films like Peter Medak’s Negatives and Brian De Palma’s Greetings, the latter being produced by his brother, Chuck Hirsch.

This was the real beginning of Hirsch and De Palma’s successful, decades-long collaboration that resulted in countless moments of cinematic joy for viewers around the world. And because De Palma was friends with Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas and other rebels of the New Hollywood, soon Hirsch has found himself working on much bigger projects. One of them, the most famous space opera in the history of cinema, made him legendary; he started working on Star Wars as one of three editors, but finished the work on his own. Among the many scenes he was personally responsible for, we can find the annihilation of Alderaan, the famous Mos Eisley cantina duel, the fight for life and death between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader, as well as most of the sequence of the daredevil attack on the Death Star. Academy Award® for Star Wars changed not only Hirsch’s personal and professional life, but also altered the way of thinking of the American film industry that fell in love with this style of editing, elevated soon by Hirsch himself when he worked for George Lucas and Irvin Kershner on the sequel, The Empire Strikes Back.

Paul Hirsch always stayed true to his editing creed of adjusting the rhythm and the sense of time and space to the film’s story and the characters’ personalities and emotional arcs. He also made his work invisible to the viewer’s eye, just as any editor should. That is precisely why, after the success of A New Hope, he did not want to lose himself in cutting the latest Hollywood blockbusters. Instead he looked for interesting challenges. He found them aplenty in films such as Herbert Ross’s popular musical Footloose, John Hughes’s buddy comedy Planes, Trains & Automobiles, and Joel Schumacher’s urban thriller Falling Down in which he assisted the director and actor Michael Douglas in infusing the story with the kind of raw energy that made the protagonist’s anger and internal struggle even more palpable. But then Hirsch also used his skills in many other genres, including Steve Miner’s horror-comedy Lake Placid, or Herbert Ross’s comedy-drama Steel Magnolias. He reached another milestone of his career with Taylor Hackford’s Ray, in which the way and the rhythm of cutting were made accordingly with the personality and musical style of Ray Charles. For his work on that film he earned another Academy Award® nomination.

During the last couple of years Paul Hirsch [has] worked mostly on big-budget Hollywood spectacles, but the American editor did not forget the essentials of his job: character motivation and drama, and storytelling that will make the audiences sitting in a dark screening room forget about the problems of everyday life. We are excited that Paul Hirsch will soon visit Bydgoszcz for the 25th anniversary of the International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography CAMERIMAGE. By accepting our Award to Editor with Unique Visual Sensitivity he will join the ranks of such eminent editors as Walter Murch, Martin Walsh, Joel Cox, Alan Heim, Chris Lebenzon, Thelma Schoonmaker, and Pietro Scalia. Additionally, Paul Hirsch will meet the festival’s participants during a Q&A session after the screening of his film, to which event we already sincerely invite everyone attending Camerimage.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:21 AM CDT
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Posted this past Saturday at Richard James - Savile Row:
As a young filmmaker, long before the delights of Dressed to Kill, Scarface and, more recently, Mission Impossible, Brian De Palma made documentaries.

One, notably, was The Responsive Eye, which looked at the groundbreaking exhibition of the same name that was held at The Museum of Modern Art in 1965.

De Palma’s film was something we looked at quite closely when we were putting together our new AW17 Camofleur collection, which takes inspiration from the work of the celebrated razzle dazzle camofleur Norman Wilkinson and the Op Art movement of the sixties and early seventies that his engagingly geometric work went on to influence.

According to the author and curator Marina Weinhart, The Responsive Eye exhibition – which featured 123 works by such artists as Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley and Josef Albers – represented “the height of the Op Art wave”.

And by way of defining Op Art, the exhibition’s curator William C Seitz said of it at the time: “These works exist less as objects to be examined than as generators of perceptual responses, of colors and relationships existing solely in vision. They exert a control over perception capable of arousing delight, anxiety and even vertigo.”

Designed to induce delight more than anxiety and vertigo, you can see a strong Op Art influence and something of Norman Wilkinson’s razzle dazzle camouflage in certain of our new-season shirts, ties, pocket squares and scarves.

Posted by Geoff at 11:41 PM CDT
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Monday, August 14, 2017

This past Thursday, August 10, José Luis Alcaine received the Vision Award TicinoModa at the 70th Locarno Festival, in Piazza Grande. The lifetime achievement prize (which Alcaine is holding in the photo above, which was taken by Marin Mikelin) is "dedicated to those who have used their talents to trace new perspectives in the world of film." Several Spanish outlets interviewed Alcaine upon the occasion (Alcaine also held a Master Class on stage at the festival the next day, Friday August 11). Here are a couple of excerpts, with the help of Google Translation:

Victor Esquirol at El Mundo

What can you tell us about your future projects with De Palma and Farhadi?

From Farhadi, at the moment, nothing. Of Domino, De Palma, I can say that it is a thriller to which we apply a very genre photograph. In this type of film, I try to avoid monochrome. I do not like movies where everything is blue, or gray or green ... For starters, because it does not do justice to real life. It [life] is not governed by a single tone. In any case, from the point of view of photography, it bothers me because it takes away interest from the film, it makes it fall into monotony. I like to introduce many changes in a single work. Reflect the difference between the light of noon and that of the night; show how it affects the story.

In your work, what has the change from celluloid to digital meant?

Digital brings me closer to painting. Now I get to the set, and on the monitor, I can work directly with the color and light that will be seen at the end. This process happens much faster in digital, and the results are much better. Brian De Palma was surprised with me, because during the first two weeks of filming Domino (shot in digital), he approached me and I confessed that it seemed like I was not doing anything.

[Laughter ... Silence]

Sorry, can I share a reflection?


In the contrast between black and white and color, I realized something obvious, that black and white is anti-natural. When we see in these conditions, we do not see reality. To separate ourselves from it, our subconscious puts us in a different world, which we like because we are unhappy with ours. From the moment we turned to color, reality took over the cinema. The films of Preston Sturges, for example, if we saw them in color, we could not believe them, as they happen in a world other than the real. Color film is too close to our reality, and for this reason it can be rejected.

Héctor Llanos Martínez at El Pais
At age 78, Alcaine does not rest. While awaiting the start of the filming of the drama Everyone Knows, in which Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz will be put under the orders of the Iranian Asghar Farhadi, he’s been filming the thriller Domino, his second collaboration with Brian De Palma. "When I worked with Brian on 'Passion' (2012) I asked him, 'why did you call me?'" he recalls. "He told me that what he likes about me is the way I emphasize the beauty of actresses." Alcaine was born in Tangier, and grew up watching movies of the 40s and 50s in the film club that his father ran. "Those films made their female interpreters look like goddesses, you came out of the movies in love with them." That experience of youth has marked his entire career. "Above all, I am obsessed with capturing your gaze, because it concentrates the emotionality of the story."

His main references, in any case, have always been mainly in the canvases; Those of Caravaggio, of Titian, of Velazquez, of Rembrandt. "When I started making films, there were hardly any examples of color images either on television or in photography, so my references were always pictorial. I would have given anything in exchange for the talent needed to be a painter." In that sense, he regrets that the current cinema has diverted attention to other sources of inspiration. "Today most directors look at advertising and video clips, or are exclusively interested in visually paying homage to the films they love. That makes the image no longer meet what is actually its essential function: to move."

Posted by Geoff at 8:28 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 8:32 PM CDT
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Sunday, August 13, 2017
Bouzan Hadawi, pictured here from Antwerp this past June with Domino cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, was interviewed for an Efe article that also posted today at El Universal. In the article, Hadawi indicates that while he may have originally been cast in a small role requiring only two days of work, after observing him on set, Brian De Palma seems to have kept him on and perhaps enlarged his role as one of the "bad guys." Hadawi has joined the production in each of its shooting locations thus far. There is also potentially big news in the article's very last sentence, strongly suggesting that Domino is looking to possibly premiere at next February's Berlin International Film Festival-- but the line-up for that fest will not begin to be revealed until December, so temper that enthusiasm for now...

Also quoted in the article is Domino's Spanish producer, Antonio Pérez, who repeated what he told La Voz de Almería in July by saying that after Copenhagen, "we will return to Spain to shoot the second unit." It is interesting to note that if the production does return to Almería this month, it will likely coincide with the fair that runs there from August 18-26. Here is a Google-assisted translation of the full article:
Bouzan Hadawi, the actor who fled the war and met Brian De Palma

Madrid - At 23, Bouzan Hadawi decided to leave Aleppo, the city where he was born and began to be an actor, because he saw that the war in Syria would eventually bury his dreams; however, five years later a stroke of luck has put him at the gates of "Domino", the new film by Brian De Palma.

"I left because I did not want to be a soldier and because I had to achieve my dream, so I took a student visa and I went to Turkey, where I have a family, and then my father told me to come to Spain,” explains the Syrian actor in an interview with Efe, held in Madrid where he is on a break from filming "Domino."

Hours of study and hundreds of casting calls got him a small role in "Truman", by Cesc Gay, and then slipped into Spanish homes through the TV series "Serve and Protect."

"When my agent told me that I could work with Brian De Palma, I started to cry with joy, although the contract," he laughs, "was only for two days."

"Domino," a European co-production involving French Backup, Spain's Maestranza, Danish studios Schonne Film, and Belgian Zilvermeer, stars as protagonists actor Nicolaj Coster-Waldau and actress Carice van Houten, also companions on “Game of Thrones".

Coster-Waldau is a Danish policeman who maintains a relentless pursuit of the murderer of his former partner, just as Europe is targeted by terrorist attacks; the companion of the deceased (van Houten) helps him hunt the suspect, not knowing that this man works for the CIA with the mission to dismantle the ISIS cell that is behind the attacks.

"De Palma is very meticulous, he looks a lot in the eyes, he almost gives the orders with his eyes, and I would say he is shy", reveals Hadawi, who became one of the "bad guys" in the movie after the master watched him on the set.

The young man, who declares himself meticulous and hardworking "one hundred percent", began with 14 years in the theaters of his city; in one casting he got elected to be Alexander the Great in a production in Palmira. He was 17 years old. Now, tears come to him when he remembers that Palmira no longer exists.

"It was a unique place, special, it was the soul of the theater from the time of the Romans, before even those magical places we will never see again, neither I nor my children," he laments.

Hadawi came from an extended family of Ottoman origin, many of them doctors, so his parents hoped he would follow the tradition. But no. He took advantage of his Arab-English bilingualism and became an actor.

He learned French, and now he also speaks Spanish. "And Japanese if you give me a role," smiles this cat-eyed young man of intense green color.

"Domino", shot in locations in Belgium (Antwerp and Brussels), Denmark (Copenhagen) and Almería (Spain), is going ahead as planned, although with a change in the shooting schedule, as confirmed to Efe by the Spanish producer Antonio Perez , who denies the rumors of "collapse".

"We continue to shoot in Copenhagen, we will return to Spain to shoot the second unit," said the head of the Seville-based production company Maestranza Films.

"I came to Spain as a student, but I am a refugee of feeling, because I feel the same as my brothers, also that when I get out of Spain, I have no country," Hadawi says.

"Since I can remember, De Palma is one of my favorite directors, 'Scarface', 'Mission Impossible', 'The Untouchables'” - recalls Hadawi- “the other is Quentin Tarantino. And I will not stop until he hires me," he says, very seriously. “My life is to fight for a dream because I know they are fulfilled."

He will continue studying and preparing to get it and, meanwhile, will accompany De Palma in the presentation of the film at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival.

Posted by Geoff at 9:57 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, August 13, 2017 10:10 PM CDT
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Last week, IMDB updated an entry for a movie titled Venice Beach, adding Brian De Palma's name as director. However, I have received confirmation that this is not a movie De Palma is making. He will also not be making Lights Out, and he will not be making The Truth And Other Lies.

Posted by Geoff at 5:39 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 7:19 AM CDT
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Saturday, August 12, 2017
The Scotsman's Janet Christie posted an interview with Carice van Houten yesterday. Near the end of the interview, Brian De Palma's Domino is brought up. "Yes, it’s very contemporary which I like," van Houten tells Christie, "with a little bit of drama and a little bit of action. I was interested because it was Brian De Palma, a very iconic filmmaker. I like to work with older people, like Paul Verhoeven. I adore that knowledge and experience, a father figure. I love working with young people too, but there’s something very nostalgic about it, it’s interesting."

Posted by Geoff at 11:50 PM CDT
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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 12:04 AM CDT
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Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Christina Fuursted, a Los Angeles-based actress from Denmark, posted several Instagram pics today from the Copenhagen set of Brian De Palma's Domino. The picture at the top here shows Fuursted photobombing Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Nomi Lotuz, the latter a Danish actress who has a part in Domino, according to her profile page at OnlineCasting. Lotuz posted a version of the photo minus Fuursted (see below), with the caption, "På job med disse 2 herre" (Google translation: "At work with these 2 gentlemen"). By gentlemen, we can assume she means Coster-Waldau and De Palma.

The first photo below shows Fuursted with Danish actor Nicolas Bro, followed by Fuursted with Coster-Waldau, and then Lotuz with Coster-Waldau.

Posted by Geoff at 6:15 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 9, 2017 7:00 PM CDT
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The above pic was posted to Instagram this morning by second assistant camera operator Neffi Kristensen, with the caption, "Last day on Domino today for the danish unit, reaching slate 300". Below is a pic Kristensen posted this past Sunday morning, with the caption, "Beginning a new week of shooting on #Domino with a Sunday 01:30 morning call".

Posted by Geoff at 5:02 AM CDT
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