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Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
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Warren Beatty's
Howard Hughes
moving forward

Filmmaker Mike
Cahill believes
he has world's
first double-
vertigo shot

Rie Rasmussen
to direct remake
of Cronenberg's
Shivers

Mentor Tarantino
says she's the "perfect
choice" to direct

AV Club Review
of Dumas book

Spielberg Predicts
'Implosion' of
Film Industry

Scorsese tests
new Zaillian
script for
The Irishman
with De Niro,
Pacino, Pesci

James Franco
plans to direct
& star in
adaptation of Ellroy's
American Tabloid

Coppola on
his recent films:
"What I was
trying to do with
those films was to
make three student
films in order to
try and set a new
trajectory and try to
say, 'Well, what
happens if I have no
resources?' Now, having
done that, my new
work is going to be
much more ambitious
and bigger in scope and
budget and ambition,
but now building on a
new confidence or
assurance. The three
little films were very
useful. I'm glad I did
it. I hope George Lucas
does it, because he
has a wonderful personal
filmmaking ability that
people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
direct De Niro
as raging comic
in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
directorial feature
debut with
Capote story

Keith Gordon
teaming up
with C. Nolan for
supernatural
thriller that
he will write
and direct

Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-Picture emerging
for Happy Valley

-De Palma's new
project with
Said Ben Said

-De Palma to team
with Pacino & Pressman
for Paterno film
Happy Valley

« July 2012 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
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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Murder a la Mod
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Thursday, July 5, 2012
NEW THRILLER TAKES CUES FROM 'BLOW OUT', 'PEEPING TOM'
PETER STRICKLAND'S 'BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO' PREMIERED AT EDINBURGH FEST LAST WEEK
The Hollywood Reporter's Neil Young suggests that Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio was inspired by Michael Powell's Peeping Tom and Brian De Palma's Blow Out. Young viewed Berberian at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere last week. Here is an excerpt from Young's review:
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The nightmarish side of moviemaking is imaginatively if unevenly dramatized in writer-director Peter Strickland's sophomore effort Berberian Sound Studio, the most critically lauded of the Edinburgh's 18 world premieres. Starring superlative British character-actor Toby Jones in a rare lead role, this UK/Germany co-production follows the misadventures of a timid sound-mixer working on a grisly shocker in 1970s Italy. But while the plethora of sly references and in-jokes will delight genre aficionados and cinephiles, a third-act spiral from queasy dark comedy into more ambitious David Lynch-ish territory will likely leave more general audiences frustrated. The film therefore looks likely to emulate Strickland's Transylvania-set 2009 debut Katalin Varga and enjoy a lengthy festival run followed by small-scale art-house distribution and small-screen sales.

Evidently inspired by such inside-baseball predecessors as Michael Powell's Peeping Tom and Brian De Palma's Blow Out, Strickland displays intimate knowledge of the lurid Italian 1960s-80s giallo wave of violent thrillers and horrors from the likes of Dario Argento, Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci and Sergio Martini. Familiarity with these pictures isn't essential to get the gist of what's going on in Berberian Sound Studio, but it certainly helps.

Taken on its own terms, the film works as a character-study of fortysomething, mild-mannered, workaholic Gilderoy (Jones) - first name or surname? - a fish out of water amid these tempestuous southern-Europeans. The film-within-the-film The Equestrian Vortex - directed by the flamboyant Giancarlo Santini (Antonio Mancino) and seemingly modeled on Argento's masterpiece Suspiria - of which we see only the amusingly ludicrous opening-titles. We watch Gilderoy and company, including bad-tempered producer Francesco (Cosimo Fusco), watching the movie - for which the Studio, in accordance with typical practices of the day, provides the entire soundtrack.


Posted by Geoff at 7:20 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012
HAWKEYE COMIC BOOK 'VERY FRIEDKIN, EARLY DE PALMA'
ALSO, 'ROCKFORD FILES', SAYS CO-WRITER FRACTION
Marvel Comics introduced Hawkeye into its line of movies in its currently playing Marvel's The Avengers, and now they are getting ready to launch the character's newest comic book series. Matt Fraction, who is on the new book's creative team along with David Aja, talked to Comic Book Resources about the series last April, saying he was looking at classic crime and urban adventure stories from film and television, as well as comics. "If I could put the Stephen J. Cannell logo at the end of every issue I would be happy," Fraction told the site, "and David Aja recently sent me this amazing piece of music. He said, 'Here's the soundtrack to our first issue.' It's Dizzy Gillespie and Lalo Schifrin from a record they did together called 'Free Ride' and it is great. The whole record is full of car chase music. So this series is very William Friedkin and early Brian De Palma. 'Rockford Files.' It's an early '70s urban grit story. You almost expect Hawkeye to come around the corner and bump into Power Man and Iron Fist from 30 years ago."

The first issue of Hawkeye will be published August 1st. Interiors from the book can be seen here.

Posted by Geoff at 3:38 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 3, 2012
STRANGE PLEASURES IN BRAZIL THIS WEEK
'BODY DOUBLE', 'OBSESSION', 'DRESSED TO KILL' INCLUDED IN CINEMA FEST
Cine Humberto Mauro in Brazil kicked off a show titled "Strange Pleasures" last night (July 2nd) with David Cronenberg's Crash, followed by David Lynch's Blue Velvet. The show continues through Monday (July 9), with works from Brian De Palma, Pedro Almodóvar, and Roman Polanski, among others. De Palma's Body Double screened tonight, along with Almodóvar's Matador and Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. De Palma's Dressed To Kill and Obsession are also part of the fest, as is Polanski's Bitter Moon. Cronenberg's Videodrome will close the fest on Monday, following a second screening of Body Double.

Posted by Geoff at 11:09 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2012 7:08 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
'DRESSED TO KILL' TO SCREEN AT FESTIVAL PARIS
FRESH PRINT SCREENS SATURDAY, AS PART OF 'EMERGED FROM THE SUMMER' SECTION
Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill will screen this Saturday at the Festival Paris Cinema, which runs from June 29 through July 10. Dressed To Kill is part of the festival's regular "Emerged From The Summer" section, which focuses on essential masterpieces that have been unjustly ignored. A fresh print has been created for the event.

Posted by Geoff at 11:24 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 23, 2012
'PEOPLE LIKE US' COMPARED TO 'BLOW OUT'
AND 'BLOW-UP', 'CONVERSATION' -- ALSO: MOVIE GEEKS' CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON 'BLOW OUT'

Indiewire's Emma Bernstein begins her review of first-time director Alex Kurtzman's People Like Us by setting up the lineage from Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up, to Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, to Brian De Palma's Blow Out. Bernstein writes about how each film used cinematography to get into its main character's mind, adding, "The three films were alike in their genre and premise as well, each a crime thriller centered on a character’s discovery of something hidden within the materials associated with his line of work. Alex Kurtzman’s new film, People Like Us," she continues, "shares the technical prowess of these films, employing supreme sound and visual techniques to create subjectivity. However, an increasingly rote storyline and adherence to syrupy sweet romantic comedy tropes leaves a murky aftertaste: a schmaltzy tearjerker masquerading as a psychological thriller." Bernstein never goes into detail about a possible link with the new film regarding any kind of recordings, photos, or films that the main character might use to try and figure out a puzzle, but perhaps the image above from People Like Us involves a similar sort of link. We may have to wait and find out when the film is released this Friday (June 29).

In her closing paragraph, Bernstein states, "The films from Antonioni, Coppola, and De Palma were groundbreaking both because they were able to build their stories and their characters via technical means as well as written words, and because the techniques used were radical in and of themselves. While People Like Us honors the visual and aural achievements of its predecessors well, it never manages to align its script with its images and sounds as successfully, leaving an audience with pleased eyes but discontented minds." Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy states, "As overcranked as it is -- the film is directed as if it were an action drama, with two or three times more cuts than necessary -- People Like Us has a persuasive emotional pull at its heart that's hard to deny."

TONY MACKLIN'S CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON 'BLOW OUT' & 'THE VERDICT'
Yesterday's edition of the Movie Geeks United podcast featured host Jamey DuVall and critic Tony Macklin discussing Sidney Lumet's The Verdict (including a nice lengthy discussion of screenwriter David Mamet) and De Palma's Blow Out. They discuss, among other things, De Palma's nods to American history in Blow Out's imagery, the contrast between appearance and reality that permeates the film, and the devastatingly ironic ending.

Posted by Geoff at 6:55 PM CDT
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Friday, June 22, 2012
A GREAT IDEA...


Posted by Geoff at 8:54 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012 8:56 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 21, 2012
NEW 'PASSION' PIC SURFACES
GOOD OLD-FASHIONED PUBLICITY SHOT FROM WILD BUNCH

The above publicity shot from the set of Brian De Palma's Passion has appeared on the Wild Bunch international sales site. Without getting into any spoilers, the image shows that De Palma has surely made some tricky changes to the Love Crime story, which should keep those that have seen the Alain Corneau film on their toes.

Posted by Geoff at 4:46 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
R.I.P. ANDREW SARRIS
The influential film critic Andrew Sarris passed away today at the age of 83. While Sarris was not exactly a fan of Brian De Palma's films, he often had positive things to say about them to go along with the bad. His favorite De Palma film was Mission To Mars. His least favorite appeared to be Dressed To Kill, for which he wrote two reviews, the second of which served as a rebuttal to Pauline Kael's and David Denby's positive reviews. The debate over Hitchcock and De Palma was played out between these reviews by Kael and Sarris. In his great new book, Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma And The Political Invisible, Chris Dumas uses the Sarris/Kael reviews of Dressed To Kill as a sort of springboard into his attempt to "reposition De Palma in regard to Hitchcock." (I'm currently reading that book, and will write more about it later.)

This passage from the conclusion of Sarris' 2007 review of De Palma's most recent film, Redacted, sums up his general views on De Palma's cinema: "Mr. De Palma, now 67, has camped on the darker side of existence for most of his 40-year, 38-film career. The horrors of Carrie (1976), Dressed to Kill (1980), Blow Out (1981), Body Double (1984), The Untouchables (1987) and Raising Cain (1992), among his more successful works, seem to have anticipated the current craze for morbidity in our entertainments. Still, my favorite De Palma effort is his much underrated Mission to Mars (2000). The point is that he didn’t need Vietnam or Iraq to explore the evil depths to which human beings can descend when the opportunity arises. In this respect, the horrors of war simply multiply the horrors of so-called peacetime."

Posted by Geoff at 6:00 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 12, 2012
WES ANDERSON: DE PALMA IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES
"THE MOST SOPHISTICATED VISUAL STYLE OF ANYBODY"

In the video above, the Hollywood Reporter's Todd Gilchrist sits down with Wes Anderson, and suggests to the director that his new film, Moonrise Kingdom, seems the most Stanley Kubrick-inspired film he's done, in terms of some of the techniques used. Anderson acknowledges that Kubrick is one of his favorites, but responds that when he is making a movie, he isn't consciously aware of what he is "stealing everything from." He goes on to name other influences: Roman Polanski, John Huston, Martin Scorsese, and Orson Welles. "They're guys whose way with the camera I feel like I’m always taking something from," Anderson says in the video. A bit later, the following exchange takes place...
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Todd Gilchrist: You’ve created such a singular and identifiable body of work. Have you ever thought about, or have you ever been offered sort of the opportunity to apply the style that you’ve created for yourself to maybe a more conventional sort of storytelling structure? I mean, look at, you know, Brian De Palma, maybe doing a commercial movie and then doing something that’s very uniquely his. Have you thought about flirting with those kinds of projects?

Wes Anderson: Well, Brian De Palma is a very interesting one. You know, Brian De Palma is one of my favorite directors ever, and such a… the most sophisticated visual style of anybody. And [his] way with a camera. But I think in a way, Brian De Palma is somebody who can take a giant, complicated action sequence, and say, “I know precisely how to execute this,” and he can do it in a way that is completely his, and yet is highly effective as a, you know, suspense and as… [waving his arms] understanding the space and how this action is occurring. And, you know, I’m a completely different kind of moviemaker. The basic crucial talents of that, that Brian De Palma has, are exactly what I lack. Probably.


Posted by Geoff at 12:21 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 12:22 AM CDT
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Sunday, June 10, 2012
MUNICH FEST TO HONOR MELANIE GRIFFITH
FOUR-FILM SHOWCASE, PLUS WORLD PREMIERE OF THRILLER 'THE GRIEF TOURIST'
Melanie Griffith will receive the CineMerit Award at this year's Munich Film Festival, which runs June 29-July 7. The award honors outstanding personalities in international cinema, according to Variety's Ed Meza. Griffith will appear in person on July 3 to accept the prize, and also attend the world premiere of her new thriller, The Grief Tourist, from British director Siri Krishnamma. That film is about a nightwatchman who, as a hobby, takes week-long vacations to grief tourist locations where serial killers have left their mark. Griffith plays a café waitress named Betsy. The Munich fest will also include a showcase retrospective featuring four of Griffith's films: Jonathan Demme's Something Wild, Mike NicolsWorking Girl (for which Griffith was nominated for a best actress Oscar), Mike FiggisStormy Monday, and Fernando Trueba's Two Much. It was on the set of the latter film that Griffith met her husband, Antonio Banderas, in 1995. Griffith made a big splash in Brian De Palma's Body Double in 1984, but she doesn't make her entrance into that film until almost the halfway mark, which is probably why it is not included in the brief retrospective. She also appeared in De Palma's Bonfire Of The Vanities.

Posted by Geoff at 10:42 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, June 10, 2012 10:46 PM CDT
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