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Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
straight-forward"
work that "pushes
us to reexamine our
relationship to images
and their consumption,
not only ethically
but metaphysically"
-Collin Brinkman

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
next novel is Terry

De Palma developing
Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
based on real things
that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book

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Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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De Palma interviewed
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De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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No Harm In Charm

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De Palma a la Mod
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Tuesday, July 14, 2020
OLIVER STONE MEMOIR EXCERPT ON 'SCARFACE' - EW.COM
"DE PALMA, IT SEEMED TO ME, WAS MORE INTERESTED IN 'THE BIG PICTURE'"
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/scarfacestone1.jpg

Oliver Stone's memoir, Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game, will be published July 21, 2020 (a week from today). Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly posted an excerpt from the book's section on Scarface. Here's an excerpt from the excerpt:
Meanwhile, Bregman went painstakingly through the script with me, with Pacino separately making incisive suggestions. We never discussed the Born on the Fourth of July debacle, but as I grew to know Al better, I found him surprisingly humorous, coming up with one-liners to fit Tony Montana, whom he was evolving into with a broad Cuban accent and all. It surprised me that Al had never snorted cocaine or known anything about drugs. According to Marty, he’d had a serious problem with alcohol when younger but was now completely dry. Yet he had no problem behaving onscreen like the ultimate coke addict. Al definitely belonged to the “Method” school of acting, worshiping the aloof Lee Strasberg, who with his wife seemed to be making a rather good living teaching theater to a new generation. Al also kept a respected acting coach, Charlie Laughton, close to him, which greatly irritated Marty, who still wanted to“manage” Al in all ways, particularly his “warped” thinking. Al, to my mind, always had one goal — the play. Nothing else seemed to exist.

I continued to refine the script, and without much delay, Ned Tanen at Universal, Bregman’s friendly studio, agreed to make the movie for some $14 to $15 million, which was quite good for a violent gangster film that, even on paper, was gathering a reputation for being “over the top” — another Midnight Express type of extravaganza from Oliver Stone, now paired with the excessive and violent Brian De Palma, who’d made Dressed to Kill and Carrie. Bregman asked me to take DePalma down to see the locations and meet the figures I’d come to know while researching. Brian was a cold man, like Alan Parker — it comes with the territory — but he wasn’t threatened by me and seemed to want me around. So did Bregman, who stayed very much in control of the film, sitting with Brian through every casting call. At one session I attended, I fought hard for Glenn Close to play the role of Al’s mistress in Scarface, as she’d been great in the reading. I’d written the original Elvira role as an upper-class New York girl whom I knew, slumming in South Beach with a gangster boss when Tony meets her. Marty dismissed my idea as nuts — “She’s got a face like a horse!” He was married to a beautiful actress, Cornelia Sharpe, a blond, and generally had a big thing going for blonds. Marty and De Palma ultimately chose a twenty-four-year-old newcomer, Michelle Pfeiffer, who scored hugely in the film and went on to a distinguished career. But at the time, I had to grudgingly rewrite Elvira’s part down to make the role more of a materialistic South Beach bimbo.

Al asked Marty to keep me on the set to help him, presumably with a director he wasn’t quite sure of. At first I was glad to stay on, although I was being paid only in per diem to cover my expenses, but I regarded it as a learning experience. Al was still, at this time, quicksilver of nature, turning on a dime, very sensitive to his environment, eyes, ears, skin on fire. If he saw a new face on the set, he’d react. He was just that way. At all costs I’d avoid his line of sight when he was in acting motion lest my concentration disrupt his own — somewhat like particle waves. Billy Wilder described this sensitivity in recounting how Greta Garbo banned him from Ninotchka for appearing in her sightline. It wouldn’t be easy to direct Al, but De Palma seemed indifferent to that; he was never really an actor’s director like Lumet, whom Pacino had wanted. De Palma, it seemed to me, was more interested in the “big picture,” and in that vision actors were more or less an important part of the scenery.



Posted by Geoff at 12:49 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020 12:52 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (5) | Permalink | Share This Post

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 5:45 AM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos "

If I can't get a new DePalma film I would always settle for a new Oliver Stone film. I always wonder what Stone's Mission:Impossible 2 movie would have been.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 8:29 AM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blog

Doesn't sound like we'll be seeing a new Oliver Stone film anytime soon, unless it's a documentary--

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/07/13/magazine/oliver-stone-interview.html

"I do still get offered stuff, but I’m not inspired to make a movie. I don’t feel anything inside me, fire for going through that pain and misery. The last film I did was Snowden. It was so difficult to make. We struggled to get financing — I believe — because of the subject matter. But I’m still keeping my hand in with documentaries. I am working on two right now. One is on J.F.K. Since the film came out in 1991, there’s been quite a bit of new material."

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 6:50 PM CDT

Name: "anonymous"

Cinema is dead.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 11:35 AM CDT

Name: "JJ"

"De Palma, it seemed to me, was more interested in the 'big picture.'" Which, you know, is what a director is supposed to be concerned with. Oliver doesn't even have to put his foot in his mouth; it's already there. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 2:29 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blog

I didn't feel that Oliver meant that as a criticism (the "big picture" comment), just kind what he observed about De Palma that I don't think Stone meant as any kind of dig.

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