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Friday, June 10, 2011
SASHA IN THE HOUSE OF 'BODY DOUBLE'
SHOT BY RICHARD PHILLIPS, ON LOCATION IN THE JOHN LAUTNER CHEMOSPHERE HOUSE
Sasha Grey jokes that she was making Body Double 2.

SASHA GREY from V Magazine on Vimeo.


Posted by Geoff at 12:53 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, June 10, 2011 4:34 PM CDT
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Monday, June 6, 2011
GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBITS & BEAVERS
SPIELBERG-PRODUCED SERIES MAKES SLY NOD TO DE PALMA'S 'HOME MOVIES'
In his review of Jodi Foster's The Beaver last month, Armond White makes mention of "the genial psychosis" of Harvey and the "ribald bunny rabbit Nancy Allen used as her unleashed id in the shrewdly titled filmmaking satire Home Movies." At the end of that latter film, directed by Brian De Palma, Allen discards her bunny, and it is picked up by a younger girl, and the bunny begins working on her id, as well. De Palma echoes this ending at the conclusion of Raising Cain when Jack brings Amy a bunny, and she drops it as she heads into the woods, where she is sure she can sense her father waiting for her.

The Steven Spielberg-produced Showtime series The United States Of Tara stars Toni Collette as a mother with multiple personalities. On a recent episode ("What Happens in the Corn Maze, Stays in the Corn Maze!"), Tara walks through a corn maze holding a bunny before her mind is taken over by the infantile "Chicken," who runs away and is eventually found sans bunny laying in a corn crib. At the episode's conclusion, Tara has a sudden feeling and goes back to the corn crib. Finding the bunny has been shredded, she is overcome with the knowledge that "Chicken" is dead-- one of her other personalities appears to have killed her.

The bunny seems a deliberate homage by Spielberg to De Palma's Home Movies, and, perhaps, to Raising Cain as well. Spielberg previously nodded to Home Movies about a decade ago with a key shot in The Terminal. In an interview with Vulture's Patti Greco last month, United States Of Tara creator Diablo Cody said that Spielberg is "always incredibly involved in everything he does. He does not just put his name on something. His soul and his input were with Tara throughout the entire journey, and I can’t believe I had the privilege of working with him." With his hands-on approach, Spielberg appears to have inserted a sly homage to De Palma's cinema. Unfortunately, United States Of Tara was canceled by Showtime last month, and is now playing out its final season.


Posted by Geoff at 8:54 AM CDT
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Friday, June 3, 2011
VAUGHN LOVES 'SCARFACE' & 'UNTOUCHABLES'
'X-MEN/FIRST CLASS' DIRECTOR NAMES DE PALMA, SPIELBERG, LUCAS, AND MORE AS INSPIRATIONS
Several reviewers of Layer Cake, Matthew Vaughn's 2004 debut film as director, pointed out that that film carried strong echoes of Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way. Now, as Vaughn's latest film, X-Men: First Class, hits theaters this weekend, Vaughn gives Comic Book Movie's Josh Wilding a whole list of his inspirations, which includes De Palma, and specifically De Palma's Scarface and The Untouchables. Here is Vaughn's response to Wilder's query of the filmmakers and films that inspire him:

Steven Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark", Brian De Palma's "Scarface" and "The Untouchables", Robert Zemeckis' "Back to the Future", Sergio Leone's "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", John Frankenheimer's "The Manchurian Candidate", and George Lucas' "Star Wars" and also his business model.

WWII, SPIES, LESBIANS, A POSSIBLE TRANSVESTITE... AND MYSTIQUE?
Meanwhile, Spout's Christopher Campbell, inspired by the release of the new X-Men film, has produced a list of "10 Mutants Who Need an X-Men Origins Movie." Campbell mentions that a previously mentioned Mystique movie, preferably directed by Brian De Palma, is still their first choice. Of that potential movie, Campbell wrote:

X-Men Origins: Mystique” would be very cool, because Raven Darkholme is such a fascinating villain. Her solo film should be set during WWII in her days as a spy and feature her lesbian partner, Destiny (or hetero partner if you subscribe to the theory that Mystique was born a man and has been disguising herself primarily as a woman “as the ultimate in transvestism”). Brian De Palma should probably direct this spin off, since it’ll kind of be like a cross between “Mission: Impossible” and “Femme Fatale.”

Of course, Rebecca Romijn, who played Mystique in the original X-Men films, was De Palma's Femme Fatale. While a younger actress would undoubtedly have to be cast in such a prequel, it would be exciting to see De Palma mixing it up with these elements within the WWII genre. The only problem with that is, the new films have altered the timeline to where Raven would be a toddler during WWII. Even so, perhaps Vaughn and Bryan Singer should give De Palma a call...


Posted by Geoff at 9:54 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 4, 2011 6:20 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 2, 2011
'CARRIE' STAGES A CAST FOR OFF BROADWAY
AND 'TRUE GRIT' STAR RUMORED AS FRONTRUNNER FOR MGM REMAKE
Can you stand one more post about upcoming Carrie action? This is becoming Carrie central all of a sudden. Back in October, a New York Times article effectively announced that MCC Theater had aquired the revamped Carrie musical, planning to open the show Off Broadway as "a major production at the Lucille Lortel Theater during the 2011-12 season." An official announcement came Tuesday, according to CBC News, which stated that preview performances would begin January 31, 2012. In the upcoming show, Molly Ranson will play Carrie White, and Tony-nominated actress Marin Mazzie will play her mother. MCC Theater director Bernard Telsey is quoted enthusing, "What can I say about Carrie? We've been in love with this piece since we heard a reading two years ago. It's so moving and Marin Mazzie and Molly Ranson are going to knock people out." According to Playbill, this "newly reworked and fully re-imagined vision of this gripping tale" will be set in present day Maine.

OSCAR-NOMINATED HAILEE STEINFELD RUMORED AS TOP CHOICE FOR 'CARRIE' REMAKE
Sissy Spacek was Oscar-nominated for her role as Carrie in 1976, and if rumors are to be believed, producers of the planned remake are looking toward another Oscar-nominated actress to cast in the role. According to Cinema Blend's Josh Tyler, one of that site's "most proven sources" suggests that said producers "are eyeing Hailee Steinfeld as a top candidate" to play Carrie White in the remake. Steinfeld was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance last year in Joel & Ethan Coen's True Grit. "That doesn’t mean, of course, that Hailee has it," Tyler writes, "or even wants it. The script is still being written and they won’t make any decisions until it’s done, nor are the film’s producers likely to confirm which direction they’re leaning." If this rumor is true, it suggests that the makers of this remake may be looking to make a film that, like De Palma's original, will be remembered at Oscar time.

Posted by Geoff at 8:57 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2011 12:52 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011
HOLLYWOOD ACTRESSES WANT TO PLAY 'CARRIE'
LINDSAY LOHAN & MEGAN FOX SAID TO BE PSYCHED FOR LEAD ROLE
Well, MGM's remake of Carrie received quite a boost from Stephen King's off-the-cuff mention of Lindsay Lohan as a potential Carrie White. The gossip sites that quote unnamed sources are abuzz. According to TMZ, "sources close to" Lohan said the actress was "stoked" to hear that King mentioned her name, adding that working with the author "would be epic." Even more surprising, Megan Fox is said to be gunning for the lead role in Carrie, according to ShowbizSpy. Like TMZ, ShowbizSpy quotes a "source close to" Fox as saying, "Megan is a huge fan of the original and would love the chance to play the lead. She’s 25 now but she’s sure she could still do justice to teenage Carrie. She’s told her people to make it happen." In 2009, Fox played the antagonist in the Carrie-esque Jennifer's Body, and later had a public falling out with Michael Bay over her role in his Transformers series. The ShowbizSpy article stresses that Fox wants to get away from her "Transformers image," and is hoping to start mixing theater work with her film career.

GLEIBERMAN ON 'CARRIE': "THE ULTIMATE PROM MOVIE"
Speaking of Carrie, a couple of weeks ago, in the print version of Entertainment Weekly, critic Owen Gleiberman reviewed the new Disney film Prom, pointing out that "a mere decade ago, the event was still called 'the prom,' but in Prom... it is never referred to as anything but 'prom'-- as in, Who are you asking to prom? It's not even fully clear whether prom is now a noun or a verb (are you going to prom? We're going to prom like it's 2099!). And that signals that the prom is no mere party but, in fact, a state of mind."

In the print version of his review, Gleiberman includes a section in which he tours through proms as depicted in various films, including Napoleon Dynamite, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, Pretty In Pink, Saved!, and Footloose, while devoting a separate paragraph to Brian De Palma's Carrie:

There's no doubt that the ultimate prom movie is Carrie (1976), a suburban Cinderella daydream-turned-blood-drenched nightmare. As the pale senior-class mouse who gets duped into becoming prom queen (all so she can get a bucket of blood dumped on her during the crowning), Sissy Spacek makes Carrie the cringing wallflower in all of us: one who both covets and fears acceptance. Then she becomes an avenging angel, and the film's slow-motion majesty turns it into the most lyrically emotional of all modern thrillers, a vision of high school as hell.


Posted by Geoff at 8:29 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 19, 2011
MGM PLANS REMAKE OF 'CARRIE'
STEPHEN KING ASKS "WHY, WHEN THE ORIGINAL WAS SO GOOD?"
According to Deadline's Mike Fleming, MGM and Screen Gems have hired Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa ("the playwright and comic book writer who was brought on to rewrite and hopefully save Broadway's Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark") to go back to Stephen King's original novel, Carrie, and adapt it into a new movie version. Fleming likens the planned remake to what Joel and Ethan Coen did with last year's True Grit, going back to the source novel and creating something independent of the original adaptation. Fleming also notes that Aguirre-Sacasa has "a relationship" with King, having written the graphic novel adaptation of King's The Stand.

KING STILL HAS LOVE FOR DE PALMA'S VERSION, BUT LOHAN AS CARRIE MAKES HIM PONDER...
King himself has publicly stated that Brian De Palma's 1976 film version improved on his novel. On Friday, in the wake of the remake news, he talked to Entertainment Weekly's Jeff Labrecque, reinforcing his love of De Palma's film version. "I’ve heard rumblings about a Carrie remake," King told Labrecque, "as I have about The Stand and It. Who knows if it will happen? The real question is why, when the original was so good? I mean, not Casablanca, or anything, but a really good horror-suspense film, much better than the book. Piper Laurie really got her teeth into the bad-mom thing. Although Lindsay Lohan as Carrie White… hmmm. It would certainly be fun to cast. I guess I could get behind it if they turned the project over to one of the Davids: Lynch or Cronenberg."

OTHER DE PALMA REMAKE PLANS: 'DRESSED TO KILL' & 'THE FURY'
In 2002, NBC remade Carrie as a TV movie that the network hoped would lead into a TV series, but the ratings and feedback told a different story. Since De Palma's Sisters was remade by Douglas Buck in 2006, two other De Palma films have been batted around the potential remake cage. In June of 2007, MGM partnered with Hyde Park Entertainment, who hired Rick Alexander to write a remake of De Palma's Dressed To Kill (a film written and directed by De Palma). The plan at the time was to have the remake inaugurate a direct-to-DVD series aimed at specific demos. Alexander's IMDB bio states that he "has written a boldly conceived 'reimagining' of the classic '80s thriller Dressed To Kill."

In April of 2008, FOX 2000 hired Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman to write a contemporary reimagining of John Farris' The Fury, which De Palma had made into a film in 1978. McGreevy and Shipman were hired by Warner Bros. earlier this year to reimagine Bram Stoker's Dracula, with Jaume Collett-Serra set to direct.


Posted by Geoff at 11:26 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 20, 2011 9:13 AM CDT
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DE PALMA PENNING 'PASSION' SCRIPT
RETEAMING WITH THIERRY ARBOGAST; CORNELIA OTT, ART DIRECTOR
As we await casting announcements for Passion, which we hear will be coming soon (although not necessarily during the Cannes Film Festival, as we had anticipated), there is some news to report. Brian De Palma will be writing the screenplay for Passion himself, based on Alain Corneau's original screenplay for Crime d'amour. That right there makes it even more of a "De Palma film" than the average adaptaion or remake in the De Palma oeuvre. For this project, De Palma will be teaming up for the second time with cinematographer Thierry Arbogast, who shot De Palma's Femme Fatale in France ten years ago. The art director will be Cornelia Ott, who in recent years has done excellent work on Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, Paul Verhoeven's Black Book, and Bryan Singer's Valkyrie. This project is shaping up very nicely...

Posted by Geoff at 12:23 AM CDT
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Sunday, May 15, 2011
CANNES 10 YEARS AFTER FILMING 'FEMME FATALE'
MELANIE GRIFFITH & ANTONIO BANDERAS CELEBRATE 15TH ANNIVERSARY
It was ten years ago that Brian De Palma filmed a portion of Femme Fatale in Cannes, immediately following the close of the Cannes Film Festival with a recreation of a film premiere, during which an elaborate heist is performed. Yesterday, Randomaniac posted a piece in which he calls Femme Fatale "De Palma's signature film." Randomaniac continues, "In no other movie does he have such free reign over his scenario. His script reaches far beyond absurdity into realms of the subconscious where the borders between dream and truth become insignificant, and his rapturous, James Bondish fetish for technogadgetry make the film one of the more surreal expressions of fantasy in cinema." The post is accompanied by several wonderfully large frames from the opening section of the film.

It was Melanie Griffith who encouraged her husband, Antonio Banderas, to work with De Palma on Femme Fatale, and now the happy couple are in Cannes, celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary (they are pictured here from last Wednesday in Cannes). "They said when we got married we wouldn’t last three months," Banderas joked to Showbiz 411's Roger Friedman. "But we knew they were wrong." Friedman reveals that Banderas is "getting ready to produce a series pilot for Melanie called Neurasthenia.”

Meanwhile,it was announced last week that Banderas' production company, Green Moon, is teaming up with Femme Fatale producer Tarak Ben Ammar's Quinta Communications, along with Vertice 360 to produce Banderas' next two films. Banderas will produce and star in the alliance's first film, Automata, a futuristic story that will shoot in in Tunisia and Egypt at the end of this year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Then in 2012, Banderas will produce, direct, and act in Solo, playing a recently returned soldier suffering post-traumatic syndrome. Solo is based on an original story by Band Of Brothers' Erik Jendresen.

Aside from all of that, Banderas stars in Pedro Almodóvar's highly anticipated horror film, The Skin I Live In, which has its world premiere at Cannes this Thursday.


Posted by Geoff at 5:15 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 15, 2011 5:16 PM CDT
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DE PALMA IN RARE 1983 TMC SEGMENT
DISCUSSES 'SCARFACE' AND MORALITY WITHIN CAPITALIST SOCIETY

The above video is from a 1983 segment on The Movie Channel. It features Brian De Palma discussing his latest film, Scarface, and defending himself against accusations that he uses violence in his films for a profit motive. De Palma makes some clear, well thought-out points about his place in a capitalist society in which all of us are involved, by definition, in a profit motive. He explains that his use of violence is simply part of his aesthetic interest as an artist, and it so happens that he creates art within a profit-driven society. In the middle of the video, De Palma discusses Tony Montana's drive to success:

When you set on a trail to become rich and successful, and you look at all the decisions you made, and all the steps on the way up, and you decide, "Well, was that really the right thing to do, or did I do that in order to get from step A to step B?" I mean, this is sort of the subject of Shakespeare, and Paddy Chayefsky, and, you know, Arthur Miller. Now, what are the moral issues here? But the fact that our society celebrates success at any cost makes it a very difficult line to find.

De Palma also says that Al Pacino's performance in Scarface is incredible, and that he was proud to be able to help the actor create such a performance. At the end of the piece, he discusses how amazing it is that most directors one talks to have a total commitment to what they are doing. "They're not in here to play games," De Palma says. "When I talk to my friends, like Scorsese or Spielberg or Lucas or Coppola, these guys are driven. They've been to the top, they've been to the bottom, they've seen it all, and they're still going. Because they have a commitment and belief in what they're doing, they've had some success to see that their visions can in fact be realized, and they're just gonna keep going until they fall down."


Posted by Geoff at 1:37 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 15, 2011 1:40 PM CDT
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CANNES TRIBUTE TO DE NIRO
SHOWN DURING LAST WEDNESDAY'S OPENING CEREMONY

The above video is the Robert De Niro tribute screened this past Wednesday during the opening ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival, where De Niro is this year's head of the jury. The tribute includes a couple of clips from The Untouchables, and a brief clip from Hi, Mom!

Posted by Geoff at 2:04 AM CDT
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