PLUS: TARANTINO & WRIGHT INCLUDED 'CARRIE' ON THEIR SIGHT&SOUND LISTS
As the IFC Center in New York screens Brian De Palma's Carrie tonight and Saturday at midnight (as part of its series, "The Scary '70s"), it seems an appropriate time to delve into some various Carrie notes. The January 2013 issue of American Cinematographer features a cover story interview with Django Unchained lenser Robert Richardson, who tells the magazine's Iain Stasukevich that Carrie was one of several films Tarantino showed his crew in preparation for his latest.
"It has long been Tarantino’s custom," writes Stasukevich, "to screen dozens of movies for his key creatives early in prep to help establish the language of the universe they will create. For Django Unchained, Richardson recalls, these screenings included Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence, Dario Argento’s Suspiria, Lucio Fulci’s Don’t Torture a Duckling, Mario Bava’s Black Sunday, Max Ophüls’ The Earrings of Madame de …, Brian De Palma’s Carrie, Sergio Leone’s For a Few Dollars More and Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo. 'That’s by no means a complete list,' adds Richardson."
In 2009, Tarantino agreed "vigorously" with one interviewer who suggested that the fiery climax of Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds channeled De Palma's Carrie. It is worth noting that Django Unchained marks the second film in a row in which Tarantino stages a bloody climax amidst the setting of a palatial balcony, such as that in the conclusion of De Palma's Scarface. In his review of Django Unchained, Life Goes Strong's David Weiss suggests that the film keeps Scarface in mind toward the end. "Though one could take a nap in the expository first hour," Weiss states, "the second and third acts are reeling headlong to a brutal barrage of bullets mindful of Brian De Palma's much-satirized ending of Scarface." The critic John Kenneth Muir has noted at some length the way the climax of Inglourious Basterds quotes heavily from the works of De Palma, particularly Carrie and Scarface.
WRIGHT: "A FULL-BLOWN & FULL-BLOODED TEENAGE POP OPERA"
Meanwhile, last September, Sight&Sound ran its once-a-decade lists of the greatest films of all time, as chosen by critics (there was much chatter at the time about Vertigo supplanting Citizen Kane on the list as the greatest film of all time). As a side article, the magazine included the top 10 lists of several international directors, including Tarantino and Edgar Wright, who both included Carrie on their lists.
Tarantino characteristically listed 12 films instead of ten, with no other comments. He listed Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad And The Ugly on top (at least, that's how it's listed in the print version), and everything else alphabetically: Apocalypse Now, The Bad News Bears, Carrie, Dazed And Confused, The Great Escape, His Girl Friday, Jaws, Pretty Maids All In A Row, Rolling Thunder, Sorcerer, and Taxi Driver.
Wright listed each of his in alphabetical order, and included brief explanations of each choice. Wright's films were: 2001: A Space Odyssey, An American Werewolf In London, Carrie, Dames, Don't Look Now, Duck Soup, Psycho, Raising Arizona, Taxi Driver, and The Wild Bunch. "In Carrie," Wright commented, "Brian De Palma takes Stephen King's horror of adolescence and turns it into a full-blown and full-blooded teenage pop opera. They didn't need to turn it into a musical-- it already was one."