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Recent Headlines
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-Must-See Video:
One Way Or De Palma

-De Palma to receive
Filmmaker Award
at Venice, Sept. 9

-De Palma doc
and Blow Out
to screen at NYFF
September 30th

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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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Friday, August 28, 2015
TWEETS - MARIO TOSI & 'CARRIE'

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
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TWEET - DTK POSTER IN 'MISTRESS AMERICA'

Posted by Geoff at 11:52 PM CDT
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Thursday, August 27, 2015
JOE AHEARNE TALKS 'ONE WAY OR DE PALMA'
BLONDIE'S SONG & DE PALMA'S IMAGES "SHARE A CERTAIN OBSESSIVE QUALITY"

One Way Or De Palma from Joe Ahearne on Vimeo.

Rob Dean at A.V. Club asked Joe Ahearne about the creation of the excellent video he posted on Vimeo recently, One Way Or De Palma, in which he masterfully edited images from the films of Brian De Palma, setting them to a soundtrack of Blondie's One Way Or Another. Here is what Ahearne had to say to Dean:

I saw my first De Palma film when I was 17—Dressed To Kill—and that film taught me what it was a director does. It was only on repeated viewings that I realised what was happening with the slow motion (so gripped was I, I didn’t even realise the film had slowed down), the music, the colour, the editing, the framing, the camera moves, the story-telling (later on of course I realised what a superb director of actors he was too). And I hunted down all his films before and since (almost—haven’t seen Get To Know Your Rabbit yet!). I grew up on spectacle like Star Wars but De Palma showed me how a director could invest human scale drama with even more extraordinary emotion and intensity. Anyone who’s seen any of the stuff I’ve done who loves De Palma will easily spot the influences.

For a long time I’ve wanted to use De Palma’s images against Blondie’s “One Way or Another.” They share a certain obsessive quality. It was so great viewing De Palma’s last 22 films and appreciating him like a great composer, enjoying the reworking and recapitulation and reframing of themes - hearing his voice, I suppose. What really came home to me this time (I’ve seen them all many times) was what a master of colour he is. I tried to reflect that in the cut.


Ahearne said 22 films, but his video actually includes clips from De Palma's last 23 films, from Sisters on through Passion (with Home Movies and Wise Guys included in the mix).

Posted by Geoff at 11:50 PM CDT
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015
MUST-SEE VIDEO: 'ONE WAY OR DE PALMA'
EDITED BY JOE AHEARNE
Joe Ahearne, the writer/director whose Trance was recently made into an excellent feature film directed by Danny Boyle, edited together an amazing supercut of shots from Brian De Palma films set to Blondie's One Way Or Another. Titled One Way Or De Palma, the video was put together with great revelatory skill by someone who obviously knows these movies very well. This has to be the best "megamix" of De Palma's films I've seen yet-- it's a stunner, done with superb care and wit. Below is the tweet from Edgar Wright that brought my attention to the video (I cannot embed the video, so you'll have to watch it on Vimeo, where you can also download it).


Posted by Geoff at 11:50 PM CDT
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015
ITALIAN TV CINECHAT TRIBUTE TO DE PALMA SEPT 11
DISCUSSES HIS ITALIAN ROOTS, FILMS, ETC. - FOLLOWED BY 'CASUALTIES OF WAR'
Italian TV channel Studio Universal will present a tribute to Brian De Palma to mark his 75th birthday on September 11, 2015, according to TV Numeriuno. The Cinechat, which has already been recorded (with De Palma sitting in the yellow chair seen here), will be followed by a showing of De Palma's Casualties Of War. The TV Numeriuno article/press release includes several quotes from De Palma, pulled from the Cinechat:

"My Italian origin is rather rooted in me... it's a kind of baggage that I always carry."

"When I returned to Italy I was in college. I arrived in Rome with two friends and I bought a Lambretta. I will never forget the tours I made by Vittorio Emanuele... then I took a car and drove from Venice all the way to Paris. During the trip I saw the beautiful cities of Siena, Perugia, Florence with a sensation of how much beauty there is in this country."

"My experiences and my feelings are part of my films and the Italian cinema affected me very much. I remember Rossellini, Anna Magnani, and also the way in which Antonioni visually conceptualized his ideas. I will never forget movies like L’Avventura or Red Desert."

"In my opinion the best American film about Italy is The Godfather, and not because we talk about mafia, but because it tells us that the family is an integral part of Italian culture."


Posted by Geoff at 10:55 PM CDT
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Saturday, August 22, 2015
JOACHIM TRIER ON 'LOUDER THAN BOMBS'
FAN OF DE PALMA, ROEG - WORKS INTUITIVELY "IN WHAT I CALL DIRTY FORMALISM, OR POP FORMALISM"
This past June, I posted a link with an excerpt from a Cannes interview with Joachim Trier, in which the director talked about writing and creating a diary section (a kind of movie within the movie) of his new film Louder Than Bombs. In that interview, Trier told The Upcoming's Christian Herschmann that prior to discovering the social realist films of Ken Loach, Steven Frears, and Mike Leigh, "I was really into Antonioni, Alain Resnais and Brian De Palma. I wanted montage and the break of the image and the form to be really at the essence of what I did, and I think I changed."

In responding to Herschmann's question of how he became interested in the sort of written text being presented "in a very visual way, as a montage of imagery" (which Herschmann points out was also used in Trier's Oslo, August 31st), Trier states, "I still have one foot in that kind of formalism. Showing thought patterns in cinema through montage I find very interesting. And it’s been appropriated by commercials, but I always try to show that it could be more expressive and, ideally, more complex."

In a new interview posted yesterday by Variety's Jon Asp (from the Norwegian Film Festival at Haugesund), Trier is asked how he comes up with ideas. "I like working intuitively," Trier responds, "in what I call dirty formalism, or pop formalism. I jokingly say that our films should be like great albums with different songs. I am a big fan of Nicolas Roeg, Don’t Look Now, which could be very specific conceptual things, but it was a warm formalism, it didn’t alienate you. I’m also a very big fan of Brian De Palma. I believe in the idea of doing a cinematic set piece, like Conrad’s diary, it’s like film in itself, or the car crash sequence with Isabelle, and the association of the son thinking of his mother and the last moments of her death, are whole set pieces, a film within the film. So it’s like an album. You have different songs, hopefully most of them are hits."


Posted by Geoff at 6:58 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 11:01 PM CDT
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'OH, I THINK YOU SHOULD TELL HIM WHAT YOU THINK'
"I MEAN, WHY WOULD YOU EVER HOLD SOMETHING LIKE THAT INSIDE?"

Posted by Geoff at 6:07 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, August 22, 2015 7:01 PM CDT
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Friday, August 21, 2015
'DE PALMA' DOC TO SCREEN AT NYFF
AND 'BLOW OUT' TO SCREEN AS PART OF NYFF REVIVALS LINEUP
The New York Film Festival announced today that Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's De Palma documentary will have its North American premiere at this year's fest as part of its Special Events lineup. In conjunction with that screening, De Palma's Blow Out will screen at the festival under its Revivals section. Both films will screen on Wednesday, September 30th (De Palma at 5pm and Blow Out at 8pm). The NYFF runs September 25 through October 11. Below are the festival's descriptions of both films:
De Palma
Noah Baumbach & Jake Paltrow, USA, 2015, DCP, 107m

Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s fleet and bountiful portrait covers the career of the number one iconoclast of American cinema, the man who gave us Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, and Carlito’s Way. Their film moves at the speed of De Palma’s thought (and sometimes works in subtle, witty counterpoint) as he goes title by title, covering his life from science nerd to New Hollywood bad boy to grand old man, and describes his ever-shifting position in this thing we call the movie business. Deceptively simple, De Palma is finally many things at once. It is a film about the craft of filmmaking—how it’s practiced and how it can be so easily distorted and debased. It’s an insightful and often hilarious tour through American moviemaking from the 1960s to the present, and a primer on how movies are made and unmade. And it’s a surprising, lively, and unexpectedly moving portrait of a great, irascible, unapologetic, and uncompromising New York artist. In conjunction with this film, we will also be showing De Palma’s masterpiece Blow Out. North American Premiere

Blow Out
Brian De Palma, USA, 1981, 35mm, 107m

One of Brian De Palma’s greatest films and one of the great American films of the 1980s, Blow Out is such a hallucinatory, emotionally and visually commanding experience that the term “thriller” seems insufficient. De Palma takes a variety of elements—the Kennedy assassination; Chappaquiddick; Antonioni’s Blow-Up; the slasher genre that was then in full flower; elements of Detective Bob Leuci’s experiences working undercover for the Knapp Commission; the harshness and sadness of American life; and, as ever, Hitchcock’s Vertigo—and swirls and mixes them into a film that builds to a truly shattering conclusion. With John Travolta, in what is undoubtedly his greatest performance, as the sound man for low-budget movies who accidentally records a murder; Nancy Allen, absolutely heartbreaking, as the girl caught in the middle; John Lithgow as the hired killer; and De Palma stalwart Dennis Franz as the world’s biggest sleaze. This was the second of three collaborations between De Palma and the master DP Vilmos Zsigmond. MGM Home Entertainment.


Posted by Geoff at 12:39 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 12:24 AM CDT
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FINISHING TOUCHES
The Globe And Mail's Barry Hertz posted a profile piece yesterday on Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. Here are the last few paragraphs:
The director was also careful to separate the work environment from the home front, though he admits part of the appeal in working with Gerwig is that oft-permeable barrier. “Making a movie is all-encompassing. When I’m writing and casting and prepping and shooting, it’s a huge part of my life, so naturally I’m thinking and talking about it a lot, everywhere. But when we’re doing it together, it can be almost easier,” he says. “We both have the same thing in mind. Even when we have dinner, when we go off-topic, if something comes up that strikes us, we’ll be, ‘That’s good, write that down.’”

While the easy relationship was a boon for the film, working on a Baumbach film is never easy, with or without Gerwig. “There were very challenging days on set – Noah is a demanding filmmaker,” says [Lola] Kirke, a relative newcomer to the film world. “On IMDb, it says one scene was shot in 65 takes. No, all scenes were shot that way. I don’t think I ever did less than 30, even of something like my hand putting pasta down on a table. … Noah and Greta are very particular about saying the lines as they are on the page – you have to be word-perfect.”

If some intimidation and repetitiveness was the cost of the film, then it was well worth it. Mistress America is built on tight, twisty language and the almost inpercetible tics that make up a personality – not something easily captured on the fly. It’s also the rare film focusing on two strongly defined female characters, neither of whom is fighting over something so trivial as a man or money.

"Noah and Greta were intent on telling another narrative, something that’s been reserved for more, like, art-house films,” Kirke says. “This movie lends itself to a wider audience because it is a comedy, and that’s the thing that Greta brings to Noah’s already stellar work: pathos and heart.”

For his part, Baumbach isn’t quite ready to completely abandon his independent work. “We’re both going to do things separately, but it’s something we’d definitely like to do,” the director says of future Gerwig collaborations. Until then, he is putting the finishing touches on a project a world apart from Mistress America’s sunny humour: a documentary about thriller master Brian De Palma.

Now if someone could only get the three of them in a room together, we’d have something truly special.


Posted by Geoff at 12:06 AM CDT
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Monday, August 17, 2015
PICS - 'MISTRESS AMERICA' NEW YORK PREMIERE
ALSO: DE PALMA AT AUTHORS NIGHT FOR EAST HAMPTON LIBRARY
Brian De Palma was among the guests at the New York premiere of Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's Mistress America, which took place last Wednesday, August 12, at Landmark Sunshine Cinema. According to Examiner.com, other guests included Jake Paltrow, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, John Cameron Mitchell, Taylor Hackford, Whit Stilman, Marisa Tomei, Sam Rockwell, Salman Rushdie, James Murphy, Griffin Dunne, Saffron Burrows, and Wallace Shawn.

Following the screening, the filmmakers and guests headed to the after party at The Boom Boom Room at Top of the Standard. The pictures at left were taken at the party by Marion Curtis, and are posted at StarTraks Photo. In the top two photos: Jake Paltrow, Brian De Palma, Noah Baumbach, and Wes Anderson together. The middle photo (#3): Saffron Burrows and De Palma. The fourth photo is of Jake Paltrow and his wife Taryn Simon (the latter is the artist who took the photo that appears at the end of De Palma's Redacted). And the last photo is, of course, Baumbach and De Palma.

The morning after this party, it was announced that De Palma would be honored with the Glory to the Filmmaker Award at next month's Venice Film Festival, with the world premiere of the Baumbach and Paltrow documentary on De Palma to follow immediately afterward.

A few days before the Baumbach premiere, Sonia Moskowitz snapped this photo (at right) of De Palma and an unnamed friend on August 8, at the Authors Night for the East Hampton Library.


Posted by Geoff at 1:05 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, August 17, 2015 1:17 AM CDT
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