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Friday, May 10, 2013
SPIELBERG HEADING CANNES JURY THIS MONTH
SAYS HE HASN'T BEEN ON A JURY SINCE AVORIAZ, WHEN PRIZE WENT TO 'CARRIE'
Steven Spielberg will head the jury at the Cannes Film Festival this month. An AFP article translates things Spielberg said in a pre-Cannes interview with the French arts magazine Telerama. Spielberg tells the magazine that he will be a "democratic" jury chairman. "But give me a bit of time," Spielberg is quoted in the AFP translation. "I haven't been on a jury since the Avoriaz festival in 1986, when we gave the prize to Carrie, by Brian De Palma. I'm a little rusty."

Something seems lost in translation there, however, as the festival Spielberg is talking about was in 1977, when he was jury president at the Avoriaz Fantasy Film Festival. De Palma's Carrie was given the Grand Prize, and Sissy Spacek received a Special Mention for her role as the title character. A Special Jury Prize was given to Larry Cohen's God Told Me To. And if that seems like a dream of a festival right there, check this out: at the 1975 Avoriaz fest, Roman Polanski was the jury president, and the Grand Prize went to De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, while the Special Jury Prize was shared by Cohen's It's Alive and Saul Bass' Phase IV.

As for Cannes this year, Spielberg told Telerama, "I believe that, before they are shown, all films are equal. Whether they are small or big, they are a sum of the personal visions and collaborative efforts. Each time the filmmaker's intentions are the same, whether it is Christopher Nolan or Michael Haneke: to express what he has inside."

Spielberg left for the festival about a month ago from Ft. Lauderdale, sailing on his 282-foot yacht, named the Seven Seas, which is, according to the New York Post, equipped with "a computer-controlled anti-seasickness system under the hull." Spielberg plans to sail the world with his wife and some of their kids following the Cannes fest. Initial rumors as Spielberg left were that he would host screenings of some of the Cannes films for jurors on the yacht, but those rumors have since been denied. But the yacht does have a 3D movie theater. And, according to Roger Friedman, the yacht also has a poolside movie screen. "It boasts luxury amenities for 12 guests," states Friedman, "with a crew of 26. There is a large master stateroom with a study and private deck, a helipad, indoor cinema and an infinity pool with a 15-foot glass wall that converts to a movie screen so the director and his guests can take in a film while swimming.”


Posted by Geoff at 11:21 PM CDT
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PAUL WILLIAMS ON WORKING WITH DAFT PUNK
"THERE'S A BIT OF A CONNECTION TO 'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE'"


From Rolling Stone's post about the video by RJ Cubarrubia:
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"There's a bit of a connection based on my conversations with these two wonderful gentlemen to a film called Phantom of the Paradise," Williams said, referring to his starring role in the 1974 movie, "where . . . I think the sense of the mask and working from behind the mask may have been born." Williams said he became addicted to attention when he found success, becoming better at "showing off" than "showing up," and praises Daft Punk for obscuring their identities. "On that level, I love that they choose to be anonymous," he said. "They disconnect who they are to allow you to experience what they create."

Posted by Geoff at 4:40 PM CDT
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ADRIAN MARTIN RANKS 'PASSION' HIGH HIGH HIGH
CRISTINA ÁLVAREZ: "AND IT GROWS WITH EVERY VIEWING"

Posted by Geoff at 12:22 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:29 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 9, 2013
EDITOR RECALLS SEEING 'SISTERS' WITH MALICK
"NEITHER OF US HAVE BEEN AS FRIGHTENED AS WE WERE BY THAT MOVIE"


The Playlist's Diana Drumm posted an interview today with Billy Weber, who has worked as editor on several of Terrence Malick's films. Drumm caught up with Weber at this years TCM Classic Film Festival. In the following passage, Weber recalls attending an early Los Angeles film festival called FilmX to catch a midnight screening of Brian De Palma's Sisters:

"A screening of Brian DePalma’s Sisters helped cement the friendship between Weber and Malick
'I was hired by someone named Bob Estren, who was the original, first editor on Badlands, who hired me to be his assistant... Before they started shooting, I had to go pick up a check from him to go get the editorial equipment to rent and so I went to the house he was staying in at the time and that’s how I met Terry,' Weber said. 'Then he went off to shoot the movie and I didn’t see him again until he came back and then we almost immediately became close friends, just have been close friends ever since.'

'While we were working on Badlands, we came to Grauman’s Chinese, to the theater we screened in today, to a midnight screening of FilmX, which was an early L.A. film festival, to see Sisters which Ed Pressman (producer on Badlands) had produced, Brian De Palma had directed. The two of us came together to see it. To this day, neither of us have been as frightened as we were by that movie. It was so scary, so good… We talked about this a year ago, we’ve been friends ever since.'”


Posted by Geoff at 7:38 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:24 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
RUMORS OF DTK SOUNDTRACK NEXT WEEK
INTRADA FORUM TEASES EXPANDED REMASTER OF "EARLY 80S THRILLER" FOR MAY 14
In a post today on the Intrada Soundtrack Forum, Roger Feigelson teased information about an upcoming Intrada release for May 14 (this upcoming Tuesday). "One Special Collection title," he wrote. "A reissue of an early 80s thriller. This one took a long time because initially all we could find was the album master, but we really wanted to expand it. Finally, after extensive searching we found the 24-track masters of everything but the main and end title. The LP master was a little reverby, but everything else is now heard in crisp, detailed sound -- and much longer. Probably the most important work that emerged from this famous composer/director relationship." For several forum members, that last sentence immediately brought to mind Brian De Palma's 1980 thriller Dressed To Kill, with its masterful score by Pino Donaggio. An expanded remaster of this classic soundtrack would be most welcome-- we'll be awaiting a full announcement.
(Thanks to Randy!)

Posted by Geoff at 11:32 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 11:34 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013
SOME EXCITEMENT OVER 'PASSION'
FROM CRITICS ADRIAN MARTIN & CRISTINA ÁLVAREZ LOPEZ






Cristina "The apple bite of Apple never had a subtext as powerful as in # PASSION. Now opening the mac is synonymous with perversion!"

Carles "The DE PALMA? Where did you see it?"

Cristina "Berger Kino, Frankfurt, along with five other viewers. I AM HAPPY!"


Posted by Geoff at 8:05 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 8:12 PM CDT
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Monday, May 6, 2013
R.I.P. MARIO MACHADO
L.A. NEWS ANCHOR HAD ROLES IN SEVERAL FILMS, INCLUDING 'SCARFACE'


Mario Machado, seen at left in the above still from Scarface, died Saturday in California of complications from pneumonia, according to the Los Angeles Times. He was 78. Machado had roles as anchormen or TV interviewers in several other films, including, most memorably, in the RoboCop series of films. The L.A. Times obituary notes that Machado "had been ill for some time with Parkinson's disease."

Posted by Geoff at 6:50 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 6, 2013 6:51 PM CDT
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Sunday, May 5, 2013
VIDEO: PAUL WILLIAMS ON-STAGE DISCUSSION
FOLLOWING JANUARY 2013 SCREENING OF 'PHANTOM' AT MUSEUM OF THE MOVING IMAGE

Posted by Geoff at 6:54 PM CDT
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BOSTON GLOBE SAYS 'PASSION' JULY 3RD
AND TIME OUT NY CALLS 'PASSION' ONE OF 30 COOLEST THINGS TO SEE THIS SUMMER
Most of the summer movie previews have been listing Brian De Palma's Passion as a vague July release, with the exact date to be determined. While sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Coming Soon.net continue to list Passion as a limited release beginning June 7, The Boston Globe's summer movie preview, posted yesterday, has the film slotted squarely for July 3, which is a Wednesday, and is also the day before Independence Day. Passion might be considered counter-programming for that day's big tentpole release, The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp, except it will likely be on far fewer screens, in far fewer theaters. Also opening that day is Despicable Me 2. Opening a mere five days prior to July 3 are two other films expected to do big business: White House Down, with Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum, and The Heat, the comedy which pairs Sandra Bullock with Melissa McCarthy. The Globe's line on Passion reads, "Things get hot and heated between ad agency head Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, her protégée (consider that a euphemism)."

Meanwhile, Time Out New York includes Passion on its list of "The 30 coolest things to see this summer." The article was written by David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf, and Keith Uhlich, and we have a feeling that the latter probably wrote the following passage recommending Passion: "Returning to the genre he does best, Brian De Palma concocts a deliciously catty erotic thriller, about an advertising-agency protégé (Noomi Rapace) out for revenge against her manipulative boss (Rachel McAdams). Throat-slitting straight razors and sapphic sex scenes are, of course, included."

Posted by Geoff at 1:59 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 5, 2013 2:23 AM CDT
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Saturday, May 4, 2013
DE PALMA ON CHRISTINE'S TWIN SISTER
AND HAVING THE GERMAN ACTORS SPEAK GERMAN, BERLIN LOCATIONS, THE ENDING, ETC.
A lot of interviews with Brian De Palma have been coming out of Germany, and this one from Frankfurter Allgemeine's Andreas Kilb is one of the best. If you're touchy about spoilers, you may wish to wait and read the rest of this post after you've seen Passion. What I think is most significant in this interview is that when De Palma is asked whther or not Christina's twin sister really exists, De Palma says he has "no idea." It says a lot about the significance of the twin sister, and whether the movie provides all the answers. De Palma is basically saying that the twin sister may exist, and she may not, but either way, it matters so little to the film itself that he doesn't even know the answer. He is a translation from the interview provided by Patrick, with some tweaks here and there from me (thanks, Patrick!).
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What made you decide to add Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun" to a murder story?

I love Debussy. And I'm a fan of this ballet. I wanted to use it for a long time in a movie. In the French model of "Passion", Isabelle goes to the movies and slips through a rear exit. I moved the scene to an evening at the ballet.

So it wasn't really the sexual theme of "Afternoon" that attracted you?

With me you can see the pas de deux with the kiss, and on the other half of the split screen you can see Christine at her home, expecting a lover and getting murdered. At the moment of the kiss, the knife cuts her throat.

Did you discover Berlin as a film location, or did Berlin find you?

We had planned to shoot the interiors of the film in Berlin and the exteriors in London. When I saw the venues in London, I said: Why don't we shoot Berlin as Berlin? There are some great buildings there as in any other European city. At the end we even shot the scenes set in London in Berlin.

With you however, Berlin doesn't come across as a particularly cozy place. It's rather spooky.

Great! That was exactly my intention. When I work in European cities, I often have the feeling that the directors who live there miss out on some of the most amazing sights of their own surroundings. To shoot at the Sony Center is not particularly original, in fact. Nevertheless, in every interview people say : Oh my God, the Sony Center! (Laughs) It seems to be a fantastic location. Why has no one else ever thought of it?

Since "Femme Fatale" your image of women seems to have changed. The heroines are more active, more aggressive, less victimized than in your earlier work.

It is always more interesting to have a woman instead of a man act in front of the camera, one can simply do much more beautiful things with them.

Did you pick your actresses by hair color?

That happened by accident. Rachel has already changed her hair color quite often. She came in as a blonde, Noomi as a brunette, and then Karoline came in - I liked her red hair in Tom Tykwer's "Perfume". That's why she dyed it again in that tone.

Is working with German actors different than with others?

No, I wouldn’t say that. The guy who plays the detective. . .

. . . the actor Rainer Bock. . .

. . . this guy can do anything. Incredible. Great character actor. Fantastic. It was wonderful to watch him at work. And then the guy who plays the prosecutor, the German with the English accent!

You mean Benjamin Sadler.

That was so funny. We shot the scene, and they all spoke English. I said, but you are all Germans, why don't you speak in German? They were gobsmacked. They had to literally make an effort to continue in German, because they had rehearsed their roles in English. And we found no proper translation for the sentence, "The butler did it." Instead, he suddenly said: "The gardener did it." Okay, I said, then I guess it was the gardener! Don't you have this butler cliché in Germany?

Absolutely, there is a famous song: "The murderer is always the butler." However, even there in the end it turns out to be the gardener.

Oh, really? (Laughs) Well, that's probably where it all came from then.

What made you interested in the game with lesbian entanglement?

In the French original, this motif of attraction and manipulation was already there. The decisive alteration with me is that I changed the gender of Isabelle's assistant. I now find this figure much more exciting. The fact that Dani loves Isabelle and picks an argument with Christine almost automatically makes her a murder suspect.

For your last shot, are you referring to Chabrol's "Cry of the Owl"?

I've never seen it. The idea for the scene literally came to me at the very last minute. In the script, the story ended with a dream sequence. Having Dani dead on the carpet allowed me to send out a clear message. Chabrol has done the same thing? Then it was probably a good idea.

Does Christine really have a twin sister, or is it an illusion?

I have no idea.

Have you had problems with the budget?

Not a bit. The film was scheduled for 45 days, I shot it in 39. It just rushed through.

Do you sometimes think about releasing DVD director's cuts from your early films?

No, never. I'm actually quite happy with my films. For "Casualties of War" I recut two scenes for the DVD edition. But that's it.


Posted by Geoff at 2:10 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 4, 2013 8:13 PM CDT
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