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Monday, February 7, 2011
'EVERYTHING IS A REMIX'
VIDEO PROJECT LEADS TO FOCUS ON KILL BILL, & DE PALMA'S SPLIT SCREENS

Everything is a Remix Part 2 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

The above video (I can't seem to get the embed code to work, so you'll have to click on the link above to watch), Everything Is A Remix by Kirby Ferguson, is part two of a planned four-part series that explores culture as a perpetual remix of previous (and current) culture. Part one focuses on the consistently recycled bassline from Chic's Good Times before delving into Led Zeppelin and the birth of "heavy metal." In the recently completed part two, above, Ferguson discusses how movies cannot help but be a product of films that came before, and he spends a good deal of time on a well-researched and edited montage of George Lucas' Star Wars, noting several of Lucas' influences with side-by-side comparisons. At the end of the video, Ferguson touches on Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, which he deems Tarantino's "remix master thesis."

"The killer nurse scene in particular is almost entirely a recombination of elements from existing films," states Ferguson, who narrates the videos. "The basic action is the same as this scene from Black Sunday, where a woman disguised as a nurse attempts to murder a patient with a syringe of red fluid. Darryl Hannah’s eye patch is a nod to the lead character in They Call Her One Eye, and the tune she’s whistling is taken from the 1968 thriller, Twisted Nerve. Capping it off, the split screen effect is modeled on techniques used by Brian De Palma in an assortment of films, including Carrie."

I wrote a comment on Ferguson's blog to say that this sequence in Kill Bill Vol. 1 always seems to give me a tinge of De Palma's Dressed To Kill in the mix, as well, especially regarding the scene in the latter where Bobbi kills the nurse and steals her clothes. Something about the fetishistic aspect of Tarantino's shots touches on this. In any case, Robert Grigsby Wilson was recruited by Ferguson to complete the study on Kill Bill, and you can watch that one below.* (And speaking of Carrie, I think one can make a case for that De Palma film being included in the mash-up of the scene in Kill Bill Vol. 2 where the Bride (Uma Thurman) punches her fist from the grave.)

*(Again, I can't get the embed code to work, so click the link below to watch the Kill Bill remix.)

 

Everything Is A Remix: KILL BILL from robgwilson.com on Vimeo.


Posted by Geoff at 9:51 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 7, 2011 10:11 PM CST
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Sunday, February 6, 2011
KOEPP'S CORNER: BRING ON THE "BIKE-O-VISION"
MORE DETAILS ON UPCOMING PREMIUM RUSH
CJ Simonson at Collider has posted a synopsis for David Koepp's upcoming Premium Rush, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a bike messenger, and was filmed last summer on the streets of New York. Here is the official synopsis:

A New York bike messenger is given an envelope by a young woman at an uptown Manhattan college and is told he has 90 minutes to deliver it to an address in Chinatown. Complications ensue when an undercover police office appears and demands the envelope on special grounds. The truth, hidden motivations, and the life-and-death stakes on all sides are revealed through a series of flashbacks as the cop and the messenger engage in a length-of-Manhattan chase, racing against time after the messenger discovers the precious nature of the envelope’s slender contents.

Last June, Carson Reeves at ScriptShadow reviewed the screenplay by Koepp and John Kamps, and was pleasantly surprised by what he initially expected to be an "old hat" premise. "I didn’t expect to like this," wrote Reeves. "Mainly because I thought bike messengers were extinct once the internet hit. It just seemed like old hat to me. But it turns out it actually has the opposite effect. The zipping and zapping through New York City felt fresh and alive, different from anything I’d recently read or seen." Reeves said that the best part of the script was "bike-o-vision. Yeah, you heard that right," Reeves continued. "Koepp and Kamps have created their own Matrix-style stop-motion technique. When Wilee’s zipping through the streets and gets into a tough spot (door opening, cross-traffic ahead, baby stroller), everything slows down so he can assess his options. Then, out of nowhere, a small area will light up, and that’s the direction he zips into." Sounds intriguing...


Posted by Geoff at 4:17 PM CST
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Saturday, February 5, 2011
SBS TO INTRODUCE BUYERS TO PASSION AT BERLIN
2011 FILM FESTIVAL RUNS FEB. 10-20
Variety posted a report today from John Hopewell about how larger independent companies are finding a "sweet spot" for the type of mid-budget motion pictures that Hollywood has gotten far away from. The article anticipates the market at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival, which takes place February 10-20. Hopewell notes that SBS Producttion's Saïd Ben Saïd will be introducing buyers at Berlin to Brian De Palma's upcoming Passion (a remake of Alain Corneau's Love Crime, pictured). "Movies of this kind are very difficult to make today in the U.S.," Saïd is quoted, "because the U.S. doesn't have co-productions and the studios are not interested anymore in making them." Below is an excerpt from Hopewell's article:

Big markets -- and Berlin, after Cannes, is Europe's biggest -- prompt deep thought about the state of the international business, and many mavens are heading into the European Film Market pondering lessons learned in the past three years: Don't leave home without a marketable concept, get marketable talent for that marketable concept and always create a manageable budget.

It also helps to accept that prices, having largely plunged, are stable but not crazy, and to recognize every territory's strengths and weaknesses.

That said, the game is clearly starting to change for the better for the larger indie players, which are seeing an opportunity for bigger budgets.

"With the studios greenlighting fewer midbudget films, a small circle of independent companies that can mount their own $30 million-$40 million movies are accessing quality material more easily and enjoying a less-crowded U.S. distribution landscape," says IM Global's Stuart Ford.

That aspect of the indie business, he says, is the most notable and most vibrant. "More than ever, foreign buyers need films for their TV packages. As the ancillary market struggles through its evolution away from DVD to VOD, bigger buyers need movies that will potentially generate theatrical profit," he adds.

Exclusive Films sold George Clooney-helmed "The Ides of March," which it co-financed and co-produced, at AFM, and struck deals with distribs like Sony in the U.S. and eOne in Blighty. The branch is also fully financing and producing the Miley Cyrus action comedy "So Undercover," while Exclusive's Hammer label Under Hammer Films, has Daniel Radcliffe starrer "The Woman in Black."

Alex Walton, Exclusive Media Group international sales and distribution prexy, says that while the marketplace has always been competitive, there's now a place for independent films that was previously filled by minimajors.

"I think there's definitely an argument to (be put forward) that 'Ides of March' was a film that should have been made within the studio system, and now we were lucky enough to be able to partner on it," Walton says. "Indies have put themselves in a position to capitalize on these gaps. There's been a complete turnaround."

And in an ever more global film economy, more European companies are angling to access U.S. talent, producing films the studios have largely given up making.


Posted by Geoff at 1:04 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, February 5, 2011 1:21 PM CST
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Friday, February 4, 2011


Posted by Geoff at 12:50 PM CST
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Thursday, February 3, 2011
REDACTED PART OF 'FOUCAULT AT THE MOVIES'
WILL SCREEN FEB 11 IN SERIES PRESENTED BY YOUNG PHILOSOPHERS
The association "L'ECLAT" will present three cycles of motion pictures, plus one full day of screenings, devoted to the philosopher Michel Foucault. The events will take place at the Villa Arson in Nice, France. The first cycle begins next Friday, and Brian De Palma's Redacted will be presented by philosopher Dork Zabunyan to close out the series' opening day on February 11th. Redacted will be screened as part of a study taking an archaeological approach in which the designated philosopher will consider each film's history and transmission, questioning that film's ability to capture, understand and represent history. The series is separated into four groups of films: "With Foucault," featuring archival, documentary, and other filmed Foucault appearances; "Of Foucault," featuring films that Foucault himself commented on; "Before Foucault," featuring films that reflect Foucault's thinking; and "After Foucault," which includes De Palma's Redacted and Peter Watkins' Punishment Park as contemporary films that seem to develop Foucault's thinking.

Posted by Geoff at 12:41 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, February 5, 2011 12:37 PM CST
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
TYKWER ON RUN LOLA RUN
CITES DE PALMA AS INFLUENCE ON "ANY SPLIT SCREEN OR SLOW MOTION USE"
Thanks to Rado at the De Palma Touch for letting us know about Edgar Wright's wrap-up of his "Wright Stuff II," which took place over two weeks in January at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. On January 22nd, Wright screened Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill, and Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run. Keith Gordon was a guest at the Dressed To Kill screening, and Wright mentions that one of his festival highlights (of which there were many!) was getting Gordon "to talk about being an 18 year aspiring director on the set" of that film. Wright also picked out a handful of De Palma trailers to play before Dressed To Kill: Carrie, Blow Out, Body Double, and Raising Cain (Quentin Tarantino also picked out the Carrie trailer to play in front of Wright's Shaun Of The Dead on opening night of "Wright Stuff II").

"THANK YOU BRIAN, MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE OF PLAYFULLY DARK SEXY STYLISH AND TERRIFYING MOTION PICTURES"
Prior to that night's midnight screening of Run Lola Run, Wright read out an e-mail message from Tykwer, in which the filmmaker paid tribute to De Palma:

Dearest midnight animals at the new beverly,

i am deeply frustrated that I cannot be with you tonight at my favourite theater showing my good old red hot riding hood baby. That is in particular as i am going to be in town just a few days from now. But i’ll see you at some of the other screening of Mr. Wright’s great choices later this week. Definitely not going to miss The Warriors and Thunderbolt and lightfoot. both Walter Hill and Michael Cimino have been heroes of my youth and it’s not difficult to find their traces in the movie you’re about to watch. And speaking of Mr. Brian De Palma who Edgar also salutes in this series with his super classic Dressed To Kill. Any split screen or slow motion use you’re gonna encounter in the next 80 minutesL thank you Brian, master of the universe of playfully dark sexy stylish and terrifying motion pictures.

Meanwhile – enjoy the other thing i hate to miss tonight: master of ceremony edgar wright’s introduction into: run lola run! yours, tt

Incidentally, Run Lola Run is a film De Palma himself was very impressed with when it was released back in 1998.


Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CST
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011
BUSCEMI RECALLS 1987 UNTOUCHABLES AUDITION
WHILE ACCEPTING SAG AWARD FOR HIS WORK IN BOARDWALK EMPIRE
At the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday (January 30th), Steve Buscemi was awarded outstanding male actor for a drama series for his work on HBO's Boardwalk Empire. According to the New York Daily News' Soraya Roberts, during his acceptance speech, Buscemi recalled auditioning for Brian De Palma in 1987. According to the article, Buscemi "thanked casting director Ellen Lewis 'for having faith after my awful audition 20-something years ago when she brought me in to see Brian De Palma.'" The Swan Archives' Ari caught Buscemi's acceptance speech, and describes what the actor said after bringing up his Untouchables audition: "What he said was that at his audition, he went 'yabbada yabbada yabbada... thank you...,' the implication being that he was so nervous (presumably from being in De Palma's presence) that he couldn't make his words come out straight." While at the podium, Buscemi also begged Martin Scorsese to come back and direct another episode of Boardwalk Empire. Scorsese is a producer and creator of the show, and directed the pilot episode.

Posted by Geoff at 2:15 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 6:13 PM CST
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Saturday, January 29, 2011
CRIME D'AMOUR TO PLAY NEW YORK IN MARCH
PART OF ANNUAL RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA; SUNDANCE SELECTS TO DISTRIBUTE IN U.S.
Alain Corneau's final film, Crime d'amour, is set to play as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 2011 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series, according to Variety and indieWIRE. The series of 21 films, for which the Film Society partners up with Unifrance Films, runs March 3-13, and will feature a tribute to Corneau, who died of lung cancer last August. Corneau's 1979 thriller Série Noir will also be screened as part of the tribute. Sundance Selects is the distributor for Crime d'amour, which will be remade by Brian De Palma later this year under the title Passion.

Last August, Screen Daily's Lisa Nesselson wrote of Corneau's film, "Office politics fuelled by oestrogen rather than testosterone make Love Crime (Crime D’amour) an entertaining excuse to watch Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier play psychological chess as they brilliantly jockey for the upper manicured hand at the Paris branch of a multi-national agro business firm." Nesselson also described the film's tone as that of a "European art film," adding that "viewers who have become accustomed to the forensic marvels detailed on crime-themed TV shows may find the way the French police conduct their investigation quaint, but the film adds a fun wrinkle to the onscreen annals of so-called perfect crimes." De Palma a la Mod reader Pascal says he just watched the film last week (it was released on DVD in France earlier this month), and it made him think about De Palma, because, wrote Pascal, the movie is good, but lacks a certain hauntedness that he thinks De Palma can bring to the material.

In the 2010 TIFF official description of Crime d'amour, Piers Handling wrote:

Imagine Dangerous Liaisons crossed with Working Girl and you are well on your way to the core of Crime d’amour. Alain Corneau’s latest film is a remorseless tale of office politics played out by two ruthless executives, deliciously portrayed by the superb Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier. With ambition and jealousy oozing from their pores, they achieve the magnificent feat of eating up the scenery while delivering highly understated performances as competitive colleagues who become bitter enemies. Corneau’s script is so tight it squeaks, with precise, propulsive scenes that are bitingly sharp and cut to the quick. No asides, no longueurs. This is a masterclass in filmmaking.

Isabelle (Sagnier) is the young ingénue assistant, while Christine (Scott Thomas) is the older woman, a senior executive in a multinational company doing deals around the world. At first they are friendly. Christine, the able executive, is happy to pass the grunt work along to the up-and-coming Isabelle as she learns the ropes. But when Christine starts to take credit for Isabelle’s ideas, and a fellow worker bee begins to fuel Isabelle’s growing doubts about Christine’s duplicitous “all-for-one” attitude, the ground is prepared for all out war. And all out war certainly ensues.

Corneau keeps his explosive material under such fine control that he seduces us into going along for the ride as the devilishly complex plotting, full of surprising twists and turns, unfolds before our eyes. Filling out this mischievous entertainment is a supporting cast of men-on-the-make – from American executives who fly in to approve deals to the police and lawyers who swoop in when things start to go south. Corneau and his cast deliver an immensely enjoyable and delightfully devastating take on the corporate world.


Posted by Geoff at 4:03 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 6:15 PM CST
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
VARIETY: 'DE PALMA FINDS PASSION PROJECT'
REMAKE OF CORNEAU'S CRIME D'AMOUR WILL BE SET IN THE U.K., START SHOOT IN AUGUST
Variety's John Hopewell, writing from Madrid, reports that Brian De Palma will direct Passion, a remake of Alain Corneau's French psychodrama Crime d'amour, which starred Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier "as two feuding corporate execs, one of whom is driven to murder the other." The film played at the Toronto International Film Festival last September. De Palma told Variety, "Not since Dressed to Kill have I had a chance to combine eroticism, suspense, mystery and murder into one spell-binding cinematic experience." The remake will be set in the U.K., and is set up at SBS Productions in Paris, which is headed by Saïd Ben Saïd, who also produced the original film. The budget for the France-Germany-U.K.-Spain co-production will be around $30 million, and will be part-financed, according to Hopewell, "by a combination of co-production coin from European partners, subsidies, tax coin and French TV money." SBS used a similar structure for its current production of Roman Polanski's God Of Carnage, according to Hopewell. Passion is set to start shooting this August "at a studio in Cologne or Berlin," according to Hopewell, "tapping into Germany's liberal tax rebates." Hopewell adds that exteriors will be filmed in London, and that the film's key cast will be announced by the time of the Cannes Film Festival in May.

"MOVIES OF THIS KIND ARE VERY DIFFICULT TO MAKE TODAY IN THE U.S."
Hopewell's article continues:

"Passion" adds to the U.S. talent that is currently signing on to film or TV projects financed and often produced out of Europe.

Ben Said said he was willing to discuss financing with a Hollywood studio, but thought it more likely he would produce English-language European movies with top-notch American directors without recourse to U.S. finance.

"As with Roman Polanski's 'God of Carnage,' we can use a European film model and all its support systems, set up co-productions and find the money to make it," said Ben Said. "Movies of this kind are very difficult to make today in the U.S. because the U.S. doesn't have co-productions and the studios are not interested in making them."

"Carnage" has sold worldwide except for the U.S. and Japan.

Crime d'amour has been described by some American critics as Dangerous Liaisons meets Working Girl.


Posted by Geoff at 3:24 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 3:34 PM CST
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BODY DOUBLE TO PLAY AT FANTASTIC FEST
OUT-OF-COMPETITION CLAUSTROPHOBIA THEME; ARGENTO HONORED AS JURY CHAIR

Brian De Palma's Body Double will be screened at the Gerardmer 18th International Festival of Fantastic Film as part of a retrospective around the themes of "schizophrenia, claustrophobia, paranoia and other small joys of life." Body Double will play during "Claustrophobia Night," along with Roger Corman's The Pit and the Pendulum, William Friedkin's Bug, and James Wan's Saw. Other films in the retrospective include Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Roman Polanski's Repulsion, David Lynch's Lost Highway, David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers, Robert Wiene's The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, Victor Fleming's Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Richard Fleischer's The Boston Strangler, and Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko, among others. Dario Argento will chair the jury for the films in competition at the fest, which runs from today through January 30th. There will be a special screening of Argento's Suspiria, as well as an Italian giallo night featuring Argento's The Bird With The Crystal Plumage, Mario Bava's Twitch Of The Death Nerve, and Lucio Fulci's The New York Ripper.

Posted by Geoff at 12:09 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:11 PM CST
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