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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
'PASSION' SET PICS, & RELEASE DATE CURIOSITIES
WITH A BIG THANKS TO MARINA


The picture above from the museum set of Brian De Palma's Passion is one of several that have been posted at Dívány. A big thanks to Marina for finding this gallery!

Meanwhile, something curious is happening with the U.S. release of Passion. First we heard June, then July, and now some tweets and other news are suggesting the date has been moved to August. The tweet below (from Damon Houx, located in Los Angeles) would seem to suggest that Passion will now be released on August 16...

But then a curious thing happened yesterday. The Film Stage tweeted that Passion had been moved to "late August"...

However, the link in the tweet now takes you to an article that begins with the following: "Update: Release date news removed at the request of the distributor." The article then focuses solely on the Daft Punk/De Palma buzz (see post from earlier today), although they did leave in this question at the end of the article: "Are you disappointed that Passion will have to wait a little longer?" (Well, yes, of course.)

Here are two more pics from Dívány:


Posted by Geoff at 2:10 AM CDT
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DAFT PUNK MET WITH DE PALMA RECENTLY
BUT SECRETIVE DUO ARE KEEPING MUM ON WHAT WAS DISCUSSED
About a year ago, Paul Williams revealed that he was then working on a top-secret project with Daft Punk. Now we have a new Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, featuring several collaborators, including Paul Williams and Giorgio Moroder, which seems to be the top secret project Williams was talking about (the album officially releases May 21, but is currently streaming on iTunes).

Well, yesterday, quite a buzz was created from a small piece of news that appeared in a Pitchfork cover story on Daft Punk. The helmeted duo, made up of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, were interviewed by Ryan Dombal, who writes, "At one point during our interview, Bangalter let it slip that he and de Homem-Christo recently had a meeting with [Brian] De Palma to 'discuss some things,' though he declined to divulge any specifics."

Of course, this bit of news takes on a certain significance when combined with the knowledge that Daft Punk are huge fans of De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise. Back in 2007, they told The Guardian's Alex Rayner that they saw De Palma's film together in the theater more than 20 times. They also noted that their own film, Electroma, and Phantom Of The Paradise both feature "a hero with a black leather outfit and a helmet."

The Playlist's Drew Taylor, Criterion Cast's Joshua Brunsting, and JoBlo's Niki Stephens all posted enthusuastic articles about the juicy tidbit, speculating whether they might be talking about a film project, a music video, or even having De Palma direct some sort of live show. "Maybe they discussed a love for llamas or something," wrote Stephens. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what, if anything, ever comes of it.

One of the songs Paul Williams collaborates on, "Touch", is the centerpiece of Random Access Memories. Regarding that track, here is the last part of Dombal's Pitchfork article:


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But of all the moving parts that make up Random Access Memories, the most head-scratching section to put together was the album's eight-minute centerpiece, "Touch". The kaleidoscopic track stars 72-year-old Paul Williams, who wrote immense hits for the Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, and more in his 70s heyday, before descending into drug and alcohol abuse in the 80s, and then recovering in the 90s. Daft Punk were obsessed with Williams from an early age, largely due to his role in director Brian De Palma's schlocky 1974 pop opus Phantom of the Paradise, in which he plays a Faustian ghoul who trades his soul in order to become rock'n'roll's preeminent impresario. The movie is ridiculous, funny, entertaining, and endlessly referential-- just like Daft Punk...

...For inspiration, Bangalter gave Williams a book of stories about people who had died, came back to life, and remembered parts of past lives. And Williams' lyrics are about an awakening: "I remember touch," he croons, longingly. "As somebody who has been pronounced dead and came back, I could connect to this idea in the song," says Williams, who's now 23 years sober and the subject of the quietly triumphant recent documentary Still Alive. Meanwhile, the song warps and bends, floating through genres, epochs, and emotions with a sense of hallucinatory wonder, recalling nothing less than the Beatles' "A Day in the Life". "It's like the core of the record," says de Homem-Christo, "and the memories of the other tracks are revolving around it."

As Bangalter and de Homem-Christo talk about "Touch", there's still a sense of astonishment in their voices. "It was the most complicated thing we've ever done," says Bangalter. "And it became so exciting because it didn't feel like we took the easy route. With this record, we had the luxury to do things that so many people cannot do, but it doesn't mean that with luxury comes comfort." It's this high-stakes, high-wire mindset that keeps these guys in an enviable position within the collective imagination, no matter how long they take between magic tricks. Because if Daft Punk are still able to amaze themselves, there's still some hope for the rest of us.


Posted by Geoff at 1:27 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
VIDEO & PIC - DE PALMA ARRIVES AT NICE AIRPORT
ON HIS WAY TO CANNES FOR THE FILM FESTIVAL


The picture above was posted today at Nice Matin, along with the video below, showing Brian De Palma and others (including Sacha Baron Cohen and Sofia Coppola) arriving at the airport in Nice, stopping to sign autographs on their way to the Cannes Film Festival.


Posted by Geoff at 8:15 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 6:19 PM CDT
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TRAILER FOR ALFONSO CUARON'S 'GRAVITY'
IS REMINISCENT OF DE PALMA'S 'MISSION TO MARS'

Posted by Geoff at 8:01 PM CDT
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Monday, May 13, 2013
'DRESSED TO KILL' EXPANDED SOUNDTRACK TUESDAY
INTRADA RELEASE AVAILABLE "WHILE QUANTITIES & INTEREST REMAIN"
The rumors were true-- tonight, Intrada announced that its new release for Tuesday is an expanded, remastered edition of Pino Donaggio's soundtrack for Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill. This edition features many cues never before released in pure audio format. It sells for $19.99. Here is the description from the website:
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DRESSED TO KILL (EXPANDED)

Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume 246
Date: 1980
Tracks: 24
Time = 58:51

At last! Popular Pino Donaggio score for Brian De Palma horror thriller gets brand-newly remixed, remastered & expanded CD! Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Nancy Allen bring delicious psycho-killer tale to life with terrifying results. Donaggio matches mayhem with his most vivid, intense film score to date. Gorgeous main theme plays in direct contrast to suspense material. Deserving spotlight is rhythmic slashing motif, scored for orchestra with frightening trombone glissandi stealing the thunder. Though present on original 1980 two-track mixes, striking color was somehow diminished. Brand new 2013 mix from newly-discovered actual 2" 24-track session masters finally unleashes chilling trombone color at last. Session masters (long considered lost when repeated searches kept leading to partial outtake rolls only) also allow Intrada to premiere dramatic material associated with Peter (Keith Gordon) assembling, mounting his surveillance camera to scope out sinister activities. Many other cues make world premiere appearance, including further exploration of dynamic action material. Two tracks were vaulted in two-track stereo only, the remainder were vaulted in 24-track formats. Together these pristeen-condition masters allow rich, rewarding expansion of what is generally thought of as Donaggio's most terrifying work. Informative notes by Scott Bettencourt, dramatic art design by Joe Sikoryak complete exciting package! Natale Massara conducts. Intrada Special Collection release available while quantities and interest remain!


Posted by Geoff at 8:51 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013 8:52 PM CDT
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SOUNDS LIKE DE PALMA IS GOING TO CANNES
WHERE HIS GOOD FRIEND SPIELBERG IS HEAD OF THE JURY, MAY 15-26



Posted by Geoff at 8:23 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013 8:34 PM CDT
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SWAN ARCHIVES GETS BRIGHT LIGHTS TREATMENT
ROGER LEATHERWOOD EXAMINES WEBSITE'S COLLECTION OF 'PHANTOM' MATERIALS
At Bright Lights Film Journal, Roger Leatherwood has written a fascinating article about Ari Kahan's The Swan Archives, and its incredible collection of marketing and other materials related to Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise.

Leatherwood, author of the book Mondo Cine: The World of Film Exhibition and Archiving in Revolution, shows a particular interest in how Kahan has made his personal collection public, and how the internet has made it possible to digitally present these personally-owned artifacts to the world at large. In the process, notes Leatherwood, the site produces an historical record of a particular cultural time period. "Kahan revives leftover and obscure material," states Leatherwood, "and enables us to relive the time and context surrounding the film's release, recasting advertising messages and other devalued cultural memories as historical and archival evidence of its cultural positioning at the time of release and of how it was received." Read the full article at the link above-- it will make you want to delve into the archives again right after you're done.

Posted by Geoff at 12:08 AM CDT
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Saturday, May 11, 2013
DE PALMA ATTENDED 'FRANCES HA' SCREENING
NOAH BAUMBACH'S LATEST THIS PAST THURSDAY AT MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
According to the Huffington Post's Regina Weinreich, Brian De Palma was in attendance this past Thursday for a special screening of his friend Noah Baumbach's latest film, Frances Ha, which was written with Greta Gerwig, who stars in the film. The screening took place at New York's Museum of Modern Art. Others at the screening included Ben Stiller (a regular collaborator of Baumbach's), Mike Nichols, Diane Sawyer, Ann Roth, David Chase, and Sting (whose daughter, Mickey Sumner, plays Gerwig's best friend in the film). Baumbach and Gerwig have been doing a lot of print promotion for the film, with a big interview story in the April 29 issue of The New Yorker, as well as a New York Times article, and another profile in the May 17 issue of Entertainment Weekly.

Posted by Geoff at 10:52 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 11, 2013 10:53 AM CDT
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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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