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Saturday, July 16, 2011
AMC BLOG LISTS 'DE PALMA'S BEST MOVIES'
WITH A COUPLE OF SURPRISING CHOICES
Yesterday, AMC-TV Blog's Robert Silva posted a nicely-written list called "Flashback Five - Brian De Palma's Best Movies." Calling De Palma "the most unappreciated of the so-called Movie Brats," Silva goes on to add, "Gifted with an impeccable visual style, his pulp stories are always more complex than they appear at first." AMC notoriously screens De Palma's Scarface repeatedly throughout the year, so it is no surprise to see that film listed at number one. But look at what Silva picks for number 2-- The Fury. "Contrary to common belief," Silva writes, "The Fury isn't all about exploding heads but rather a visceral exploration of young people on the cusp of adulthood who find themselves victimized by adults. The flick is a stylistic tour de force, with the director's signature plot puzzles and self-referential violence. And then there's the top-notch cast: you wouldn't expect to find Kirk Douglas and John Cassavetes in a thriller about psychic warfare, but here they are."

Time and time again it seems like The Fury is said to be too complicated, or too bogged down in the action plot of Douglas' character, or Robin isn't in the film enough, etc., etc. They have been showing this film on cable quite a bit lately, and every time it comes on, I get engulfed in its sumptuous images and intricate plot. De Palma pulled off a lot of terrific, interesting visual tricks with this film, almost like a kid in a candy store. And the performances are excellent. I recently read someonoe complain that the staircase shot, where Amy Irving appears to be standing in front of a giant movie screen showing an incident that happened with Robin in that same staircase, was somehow a shoddy effect. On the contrary, I feel the effect is very powerful, with the camera moving around Irving, watching the action unfold. It is a key part of The Fury's motif of "letting the screen fill your mind." So it is nice to see someone do a list such as this, and to put The Fury up so high.

Filling out Silva's top five are Blow Out ("a heady mix of Blow-Up, The Conversation, and The Parallax View"), Carrie (the prom sequence is "a masterpiece of apocalyptic glitz"), and The Untouchables, another AMC mainstay. Silva then adds a list of "Honorable Mentions," essentially giving us his top ten De Palma films, which includes one film that I never expected to read about on an AMC blog: Redacted. "With this Iraq-war movie," Silva writes of his number three honorable mention, "De Palma trades his sumptuous visuals for lo-fi digital camerawork that proves just as dazzling. Still, there's no shortage of the director's usual violence in this YouTube video from hell." Filling out the honorable mentions are Body Double (#1), Carlito's Way (#2), Dressed To Kill (#4), and Mission: Impossible (#5). Of the latter, Silva writes, "Some complain about a labyrinthine plot, but this is still one of the most stylish event movies of the nineties, with a knockout sense of visual storytelling."


Posted by Geoff at 6:59 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 16, 2011 7:01 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post

Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 10:14 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

THE FURY is an underappreaciated psychic masterpiece. Straight after the THE FURY De Palma was attached to direct THE DEMOLISHED MAN at 20th Century Fox. The studio chickened out at the last minute. THE DEMOLISHED MAN is the ultimate sci-fi pyschic thriller similar to MINORITY REPORT which is the typical sci-fi film De Palma has never directed. De Palma's concepts and sensibilities would make THE DEMOLISHED MAN into one of his great films. An actor such as Leonardo DiCaprio coming off the monumental success of INCEPTION would be the perfect lead. That type of packaging would beat De Palma's biggest box-office hit in MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 11:04 AM CDT

Name: "SteveW"

"The Fury" is the De Palma film I find myself returning most frequently, for all its flaws. The plot to me is as irrelevant as it is in grand opera. I think Kael wrote about how he "orchestrated" the scenes in this one and how the moments of terror are truly "symphonic." That's how I feel as well. Most directors direct the scary moments in their movies the same way each time, but each terror sequence in "The Fury" is strikingly different in lighting, composition, mood, and music, and how they flow into one another. It really is a symphony of terror. I think in that way the movie appeals to both halves of my brain.

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