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Sunday, May 8, 2011
PASSION WATCH
CASTING ANNOUNCEMENTS EXPECTED SOON; 'LOVE CRIME' IN THEATERS THIS SUMMER
Okay, it has been a while since the last post, and it's not due to a lack of activity in the De Palma-sphere. I've just been busy (although had there been any news news it would have been posted right away). With that said, don't be startled to see a flurry of posts in the next couple of days as I try to put up everything I've been keeping my eye on.

And what better way to kick off that flurry than to get us grounded with De Palma's current project, Passion, the remake of Alain Corneau's Love Crime. Corneau's film will be hitting U.S. theaters this summer (July 1st in New York, and August 26th elsewhere). It will also play as part of the International Showcase at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. Producer Saïd Ben Saïd has been promising that the main cast of De Palma's film will be announced at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which begins this Wednesday, so here we go. There has been no writer mentioned yet for this project, which leaves room for the possibility that De Palma himself is writing the screenplay. It could also mean that they've hired someone. Perhaps they might address that information at Cannes, as well. The film is to be shot in Cologne, Berlin, and London beginning this August. De Palma has been in Paris working to cast the picture.

LUDIVINE SAGNIER: CORNEAU WAS OBSESSED WITH MAKING A FILM ABOUT 'THE PERFECT CRIME'
At New York's "Rendez-vous with French Cinema" last March, Ludivine Sagnier was present for a Q&A following a screening of Love Crime. According to Beast McGuffin, Sagnier said that for many years, Corneau had been obsessed with making a movie about "the perfect crime," and "this was the end result." McGuffin adds that the working title for the film was "The Perfect Woman." McGuffin continues:

The film is competent, spare (even down to the evocative saxophone soundtrack, which reminded me of the spate of American neo-Noir movies of the 90s), and entertaining, but what in a weird way, after the crime is committed you begin to feel that the movie is about, really, not 'the perfect crime' but instead, how to write the screenplay about 'the perfect crime'. This is hard to explain without giving away elements of the film's plot... But if you see the film, or the remake, I think you'll see what I mean

OTHER RECENT 'LOVE CRIME' REVIEWS
Erica Abeel at indieWIRE
The wickedly entertaining “Love Crime,” the last film of the late Alain Corneau, brings on the mother of all catfights. Kristin Scott-Thomas is perfectly cast as a ruthless exec in some vague multinational, more serpent than warm-blooded mammal. She both caresses and exploits her ambitious young assistant (Ludivine Sagnier), tossing off such lines as “You have a great talent and I made the most of it.” After humiliating Sagnier at a company event, the assistant doubles down for an elaborate revenge. The scenes of company business, filled with mumbo-jumbo, hardly bother to appear authentic; and hey, what happened to the lesbian vibe in the early scenes? But the bitchery is a hoot, the chilly chrome color design is an extension of the characters’ inner world and the final sting in the tail a nasty surprise. You can bet that in his remake Brian De Palma will pick up on that lesbian motif.

Doris Toumarkine at Film Journal International
A much-anticipated offering that offered less than anticipated was the late Alain Corneau’s corporate-crime melodrama Love Crime, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier as dueling, fired-up execs at a multinational agro giant. Part soft-core tease (Scott Thomas hits persuasively on Sagnier, who utters “I love you,” but it’s all gratuitous), part executive-suite close-up of Machiavellian scheming, and part murder intrigue, the film—slick, ballsy, silly—fails to deliver one frame of authenticity or emotional tug. But, hats off to the cast, it does entertain. Reportedly, Brian De Palma has remake rights for a U.K. shoot.

Stephen Holden at the New York Times
In this vicious psychological cat-and-mouse game, Kristin Scott Thomas plays the chief executive of the Parisian branch of a multinational corporation who does lethal battle with her protégée (Ludivine Sagnier). The movie plays like an entire season of “Damages” compressed into about 100 nasty minutes.

Edmund Lee at Time Out Hong Kong
Whilst remaining thoroughly cold and precise, Love Crime then unveils a ludicrous revenge plot, so matter-of-factly presented that the audience may be forgiven for expecting a little more passion from the proceedings. This, incidentally, looks to be exactly where Brian De Palma plans to enter the equation himself: for better or for worse, the thriller veteran of Dressed to Kill, Scarface and Femme Fatale is all set to direct an English-language remake of the film, titled, well, Passion. It’s surely something the original could have done with a lot more of.


Posted by Geoff at 8:45 PM CDT
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Monday, May 9, 2011 - 1:29 AM CDT

Name: "Principal Archivist"
Home Page: http://www.swanarchives.org

I've seen Crime d'Amour, and the story has tremendous potential as a De Palma vehicle, I think.   It's got an "establishment" figure to mistrust, mind-games, doublecrossings, a perfect crime, etc.... its shortcoming (and the reason it's begging to be remade) is that it's SO talky, and unnecessarily so.  A dozen scenes of conversation are used to establish the superior/subordinate relationship between the two women, when one would have done as well; similarly many talky scenes develop the story of the boss taking credit for the underling's work; again, one (or none) would have sufficed.  I'm hopeful De Palma will excise much of this tedious exposition-through-speechifying, and convey the same information in seconds rather than quarter-hours, and then put the regained time to good use .... there's so much possibility in this story for flashbacks, playing with timelines, imagining what someone else might be up to, and (office) political intrigue.  I'm looking forward to what he'll do with it.

 

Monday, May 9, 2011 - 9:36 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.briandepalma.org

Excellent-- thanks for the review, Mr. Archivist!

Thursday, May 12, 2011 - 4:16 PM CDT

Name: "Paul "

Would the "perfect crime" allow DePalma an opportunity to create a lenghty visuals only set piece?   I just rewatched Blow Out (Criterion) & Carlito's Way.  Honestly, the two chase sequence set pieces at the end of both those films are PERFECT Cinema!  I want DePalma to do one of those again! 

I enjoyed The Black Dahlia (it's lesser DePalma) but the biggest regret I have about it is there is no real bravura set piece to it.  There's hints here & there (I love the initial reveal of the Dahlia) but nothing really substantial.  

 Fingers crossed we hear something about this soon.   

Saturday, May 14, 2011 - 9:29 PM CDT

Name: "Adam Hamilton"

I too, recently was able to catch a screening of "Crime D'Amour" and unfortunately I thought it was pretty forgettable.  The whole thing just seemed flat, and the whole "perfect crime" thing ended up being ridiculous.  Incidently, the flashbacks used to explain everything at the end, were terrible.  I was initially a bit down about this being the film that De Palma was remaking, but after giving it more thought, I'm more positive about it.  The basis of a good story is there, it was just the execution that was poor, and there is plenty in the original, that De Palma could expand (or change) to make it his own, and fit into the style of what we all consider one of those "De Palma thrillers".

I'm also dying for another one of those great De Palma set-pieces with "Passion".

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