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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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Thursday, July 12, 2012
DONAGGIO RECORDING 'PASSION' SCORE IN PRAGUE
THURS & FRIDAY, WITH MASSARA CONDUCTING CZECH NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Articles out of the Czech Republic today are stating that Brian De Palma is involved with the recording of the score for his new film, Passion, Thursday and Friday in Prague. Pino Donaggio is composing the score, which is being performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Natale Massara. The music is being recorded at Studio CNSO Hostivař (pictured above), one of the largest recording studios in Europe.

Posted by Geoff at 8:46 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 13, 2012 7:16 AM CDT
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OLIVER STONE 'SCARFACE' Q&A ON FACEBOOK
FRIDAY THE 13TH, 5PM EASTERN

Posted by Geoff at 5:57 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012
BRUCE CAMPBELL RECALLS RAIMI VS. DE PALMA
1981 BATTLE OF "BERZERK" IN NYC ARCADE
The Hollywood Reporter's John Gaudiosi posted an interview with Bruce Campbell today in anticipation of the actor's appearance this upcoming weekend at the San Diego Comic-Con, where he will be promoting the new video game, "The Amazing Spider-Man." Gaudiosi asked Campbell to share a fond video game memory...
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Watching Sam Raimi beat Brian De Palma at the game Berzerk in New York City around 1981. It was an arcade called Fascination around 42nd Street and Brian De Palma was working on his movie Blow Out and we were working on our movie Evil Dead in the same building, where you do post production sound. It’s a very tedious process so you always have to get out, go have lunch, go somewhere else. Right around the corner was this video arcade where Sam and I would always go to play Berzerk, Asteroids, some Pac-Man – although Pac-Man was always lame to me. Brian De Palma was playing Berzerk and Sam Raimi came up and challenged him. They played a duel match and Sam kicked his ass. That was probably one of the most fulfilling experiences, watching Sam Raimi kick a young Brian De Palma’s ass in Berzerk.

Posted by Geoff at 6:20 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2012 6:21 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012
SUMMER SPECIAL - 'BLOW OUT' & SLASHER GENRE
Over the past few months, some terrific writing about the films of Brian De Palma have popped up on blogs and elsewhere, and, well, I'd gotten busy and found it difficult to keep up with it all. So here we are in the middle of summer, and my plan is to go movie-by-movie and post links to these pieces, covering the ones that have slipped through the cracks. But before we begin the movie-by-movie bit, I wanted to kick it off with this great piece on Blow Out by Jesse Clark Tucker, which he posted to his Beyond The Pale blog last March. In the piece, Tucker riffs on Criterion's recent Blow Out package, moving from the significance of the cover art before delving into the film's links with the "slasher" genre. "Look inside the exhaustive booklet, however," Tucker writes, "and you’ll find another representation of Blow Out, linking the film to a more subterranean film culture." Tucker's piece is full of insights into Blow Out, as well as other De Palma films. Enjoy it!

Posted by Geoff at 12:28 AM CDT
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Sunday, July 8, 2012
'PHANTOM' PART OF SERIES ON SUNDANCE CHANNEL
AND ALSO PART OF A PAUL WILLIAMS DOUBLE FEATURE IN SF TONIGHT
Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise is part of a double bill today (and tonight) at The Castro Theatre in San Francisco. The Muppet Movie, which features songs written and/or co-written by Paul Williams, played at 3:15 this afternoon, and will screen again at 7pm, followed by Phantom Of The Paradise at 8:50pm (the latter also played at 5:05pm). (Thanks to Chris!)

UPDATE - The Principal Archivist at the Swan Archives was at the screening Sunday night, and says that, to the best of his knowledge, it was the world premiere of the new digital transfer. "It was presented from a "DCP" (Digital Cinema Package) (rather than projected from film), and looked and sounded pristine and perfect," the Archivist tells us. "Not a single scratch or blemish, crystal clear, wonderful surround sound. The movie's never looked or sounded better."

Meanwhile, Phantom Of The Paradise will be shown this Thursday night on the Sundance Channel, as part of its weekly "WTF: Watch This Film" series, which happens every Thursday at 10pm central (and repeated later that night at 3am central). The series promises "weird, wacky, & way out there late nite madness."

Posted by Geoff at 7:43 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2012 6:55 PM CDT
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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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