AND DE PALMA ON 'PASSION': 'THERE ARE GOING TO BE A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IN IT'
Time Out New York's Joshua Rothkopf posted a three-way telephone conversation with Brian De Palma and Noah Baumbach a few days ago, in anticipation of the Baumbach-presented BAMcinématek series on "De Palma Suspense" that begins tomorrow. Baumbach explains that his parents (film critic Georgia Brown and novelist Jonathan Baumbach) were huge De Palma fans. "That was my initial experience of him," said Baumbach. "They would talk about his movies in a visceral, emotional way. So when I finally saw the films, I felt like I was being invited into a mysterious world that was scary and sexy and strange." De Palma met Baumbach about 15 years ago at a birthday party for Paul Schrader. "I was putting together Mr. Jealousy and he was writing Snake Eyes," Baumbach said. "It was a birthday party for Paul Schrader. The girl I was dating knew Paul, so I went along. And Brian was there. I think I got pretty loaded. I remember spewing out my entire knowledge onto him."
For his part, De Palma responds to Rothkopf's question about his "ripping off" of Hitchcock: "Look, it’s part of what I do," De Palma explained. "I build upon what I’ve seen throughout the history of cinema, which is really what everyone does in every other art form. For me, it’s somehow taken on this tone of stealing or plagiarism, but all art builds upon the past, whether it’s painting or writing or music. You want to use the best of what there is, and take it further."
DE PALMA TALKS PASSION
De Palma was on the phone from Paris, where, Rothkopf mentions, he is currently prepping Passion, his remake of Crime d'amour. The conversation by this time had delved into feminism and De Palma's depictions of women, leading the director to once again explain, "It’s just a simple element of the form. Plus, like many artists, I like photographing women. They’re beautiful and empathetic." That context is called back when De Palma says near the end of the conversation, "I’m in the process of getting ready for Passion. And there are going to be a lot of beautiful women in it." Asked to provide more information, De Palma continued: "It’s based on a French film called Love Crime with Kristin Scott Thomas. It has an extremely complex relationship between two women executives who are basically destroying each other—plus it has a murder in the middle. It’s great material to visualize and make erotic and fun."