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May 16

De Palma Masterclass,
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Pics, quotes from
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Donaggio records
Domino score with
Massara in Belgium

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


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AV Club Review
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De Palma interviewed
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De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


De Palma Community

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Carrie...A Fan's Site


No Harm In Charm

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Scarface: Make Way
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De Palma a la Mod

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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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Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Swan Archives has unearthed yet another small batch of unused footage from Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise. Go to the site's production section and click on the "Swan Song Fiasco" page to see some newly discovered footage of the receptionist flipping through the names to check on Winslow Leach-- some more of the names on the list can be seen, including Martin Scorsese and Jack Nicholson. Also on that page is a newly uploaded take of Winslow barging into the Death Records reception area, revealing another "Swan Songs Enterprises" sign. Click on the Outtakes page to see newly discovered footage of Winslow stabbing himself, and also footage of Winslow introducing himself to the receptionist in several takes.

Posted by Geoff at 1:35 PM CST
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Tuesday, December 9, 2008
"De Palma is consistently conjured, in a manner that surpasses even the most excessive auteurism, as a kind of Godhead..."
At Screening The Past, Adrian Martin has reviewed Eyal Peretz's Becoming Visionary: Brian De Palma’s Cinematic Education of the Senses. Martin titles his review "Strange Days," highlighting the idea that to Peretz, nothing in De Palma's cinema is seen as natural. Martin writes:

To Peretz, nothing that happens in a De Palma film – no gesture, line of dialogue, bit of behaviour, camera angle or scene transition – is natural, obvious or common-sensical; on the contrary, all is ‘strange’, bizarre, in urgent need of interpretation. The word strange appears multiple times on many pages; indeed, this book could have been subtitled (with a nod to Raymond Durgnat) The strange case of Brian De Palma. Becoming Visionary launches itself from where the best De Palma criticism wisely begins: from the sense that everything in these films is grandly unreal, illogical, unbelievable, risible, grotesque, a live-action cartoon. So much for the stuffy old business of character psychologies (and believable performances), dramatic/comic themes and coherent, and fictive-world meanings! Peretz is more riveted by the falling softball that inaugurates the deepest action and logic of a story (in Carrie), or the sudden apparition of a big toe (Bataillian, bien sur – in The Fury) that is merely the first of a string of breaks or interruptions (on every level of the cinematic apparatus) which crack open the coherent shell of a diegesis and open up to something else: an Outside or Beyond that, however, is not metaphysical (that would be a kind of sin in Peretz’s argument) but somehow immanent – immanent to the filmic frame itself.

Martin states that he hesitates to call this a film book, and while he at first sounds skeptical about Peretz's "frequently stimulating, occasionally baffling" deep focus on certain moments in De Palma's films, he pleasantly admits to finding the book rather engaging. Martin explains:

It would be easy – it has already become a reflex in recent, disenchanted cinephile commentaries on the occasional writings on film by contemporary continental philosophers – to complain that Becoming Visionary has seemingly not much to do with the films it discusses, or (a worse charge) that it simply lines up some choice illustrative or allegorical moments from them in order to cue a heavy bout of philosophising. However – once I got past the defensive Cavellian moment on page 6, listing De Palma (after the great-philosopher roll call) as the ‘unlikely hero’ of this adventure – I found myself (almost despite myself) very engaged with this book; this successful diversion of a reader’s preconception is the mark of a good and interesting critical/theoretical work. (Why read something that merely confirms what I already think I know about De Palma, in the language that has already confirmed it?)

All in all, an interesting take on an interesting take.

Posted by Geoff at 7:54 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, December 9, 2008 7:56 PM CST
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Monday, December 8, 2008
Images from Blow Out

Jeremy Richey today posted images from Brian De Palma's Blow Out as part of his series, "Images From My All Time Favorite Films," at Moon In The Gutter.

Posted by Geoff at 10:30 PM CST
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Space Ace sent in this poster image for The Lodger a few weeks ago, noting the obvious similarities with the poster for The Black Dahlia. In the November 28 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Jesse North criticizes the "criminal" similarities on display in the Lodger poster:

1. A dead woman's ghostly visage faces heavenward.

2. A joker-esque trail of blood oozes from the corner of the woman's plump red mouth.

3. The titles are stylistically severed in two by an ominous red line.

4. The credits list a quartet of actors-- but Dahlia's cast is way, way sexier. (Sorry, Alfred Molina!)

Posted by Geoff at 11:11 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, December 7, 2008 11:15 AM CST
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Friday, December 5, 2008
To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition, TIME presents "Bootleggers, Bandits and Badges: The Top 10 Prohibition Tales." Number nine on the list is Eliot Ness and his band of Untouchables. Number eight is the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre.

Posted by Geoff at 11:40 AM CST
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Thursday, December 4, 2008
David Fincher has apparently been quietly preparing to shoot his Eliot Ness film, which is based on the graphic novel Torso by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andrey-ko. Fincher's project is now titled Ness. Fincher explained to MTV's Kurt Loder last year that he is not so much interested in the torso killings as he is in "the de-mythologizing of Eliot Ness. Because, you know, The Untouchables was only two or three years of the Eliot Ness story. There's a whole other, much more sinister downside to it. And so that's of interest to me. We want to make it the Citizen Kane of cop movies." Don Murphy, who with Todd McFarlane is producing Ness, told Robert Sanchez in 2006 that Fincher's film would begin with Ness immersed in mayoral elections, and then flashbacks would delve into the torso murders.

This past September, it was reported that Matt Damon had come aboard to play Ness. Yesterday, it was reported in the Akron Beacon Journal that Fincher would begin scouting locations in Ohio "in the next few weeks" for his $100 million film about Ness and the torso murders. However, Entertainment Weekly's Christine Spines also reported yesterday that Hollywood is buzzing about why Paramount has yet to greenlight the Ness project, as the studio's rights to the project are due to expire on December 15th. Spines states that Casey Affleck has joined Damon in the cast, with Rachel McAdams also in negotiations. Paramount, the studio that would also distribute Brian De Palma's Untouchables prequel that has stalled over questions about who owns the rights, told Spines that Ehren Kruger's finalized screenplay had only just arrived, and that they were working on making a decision. This led Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells to check in with his own sources. Wells posted the following on his site yesterday:

A source close to team Fincher has told me that Fincher is ready to make the picture immediately but can't get an answer out of Paramount because -- ready?-- production execs prefer that Fincher make a Keanu Reeves chef comedy instead.

That "Keanu Reeves chef comedy" could very well be related to Fincher's long in development project previously klnown as Seared, which is a fictional take on CIA-trained Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. IGN's Stax reviewed the script for Fincher's film back in 2001, when Brad Pitt was set to play the lead. Late last month, Production Weekly reported that Reeves had indeed signed on to star in a film called Chef, to be directed by Fincher.

Posted by Geoff at 11:55 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, December 4, 2008 11:59 PM CST
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On tonight's episode of NBC's 30 Rock, Liz Lemon (played by Tina Fey) attends her high school reunion, but finds that her old classmates all thought she was a bully and hated her. In a quick-hit sitcom twist at the end of the episode, they decide to "Carrie her" by calling her up on stage to give her an award, while a bucket of something waits above the stage. In a brief but pointed homage to Brian De Palma's Carrie, Liz is shown walking to the stage in slow motion as her "friends" cheer her on, and one old classmate is shown licking his lips as he holds the rope that is tied to the bucket. Meanwhile, Liz's boss, played by Alec Baldwin, has pretended to be another one of Liz's old classmates, and, aware that they are about to "Carrie" Liz, takes the Sue Snell role in the slow motion build-up, except that he runs up on stage, where he then sort of takes on the Tommy Ross role, except since he knows what they are planning, he persuades them not to "Carrie" Liz. Perhaps the best bit is that when her boss tells Liz that they were going to "Carrie" her, she immediately looks up and sees the bucket, and expresses her annoyance. In the end, Liz makes a sharp turnaround, spitting venom at her old classmates, who finally tip the bucket over, but the timing is off, as it spills a black-looking substance straight onto an unoccupied part of the stage, allowing Liz to get the last word in.

Posted by Geoff at 9:32 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, December 4, 2008 9:34 PM CST
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Saturday, November 29, 2008
The French director of the recent Un Conte de Noel (A Christmas Tale), Arnaud Desplechin, tells the Toronto Sun's Bruce Kirkland that he is carving out his own niche as a personal filmmaker, because he is not clever enough "to be more clever than Brian De Palma." Kirkland states that Desplechin admires De Palma very much "for his complex thrillers." Desplechin is quoted as saying, "But I am not a competitive guy. Perhaps what I can do is to be more personal." Kirkland also states that Desplechin "is on a quest to achieve what the films of Francois Truffaut inspired in him when he was young."

Posted by Geoff at 10:48 PM CST
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Speaking of Schrader...
Kotto at Eat The Blinds has posted a photo essay about Paul Schrader's American Gigolo, which might be thought of as sort of an older sister to Brian De Palma's Scarface. Kotto states, "Both the opening shot and the soundtrack blaring Blondie's Call Me welcome viewers not only to the movie, but more importantly to the 1980's. The music, the clothes, the vapidity and the vanity...this is what defined the 80's and this is Paul Schrader's American Gigolo." Kotto concludes his essay with the following:

As far as thrillers go, AG is perhaps a little on the un-engaging side. While it does share many stylistic similarities to the work of Brian De Palma, Schrader proves to be less concerned with technique and aesthetics and much more fascinated by the underlying psychology of his characters. While De Palma's films tend to be over-the-top, AG is anything but the opposite; this may interest some, but it will surely bore others. One thing remains certain: few films established the 80's in the same way.

Posted by Geoff at 12:33 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 12:37 PM CST
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Schrader heads for Bollywood
To write & direct Extreme City
The Hollywood Reporter this morning reported that Paul Schrader is ditching the "barren" hills of Hollywood for the creative freedom and built-in audiences of Bollywood. Schrader will write and direct Extreme City, a cross-cultural action film that, according to the Hollywood Reporter's Steven Zeitchik, will likely include musical numbers, although Schrader mentions in the article that "there doesn't need to be singing and dancing" in every Bollywood film. Regarding Hollywood, Schrader is reported to have said, "I've been getting indie movies made for 20 years. But I take a good look around and what I see is a barren, barren place -- in terms of the financial community, in terms of audiences, in terms of distribution. It's cold out there." Schrader told Zeitchik that in India, by contrast, one can still get audiences involved and also retain one's creative freedom. Schrader is out and about these days promoting his new Holocaust movie, Adam Resurrected, which stars Jeff Goldblum.

Posted by Geoff at 11:40 PM CST
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