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AV Club Review
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013
1990 VIDEO: SPIELBERG INTERVIEW
DISCUSSES DE PALMA SPARKING THE IDEA FOR OPENING SCRAWL IN 'STAR WARS', & MUCH MORE


In a section of the terrific interview above, Steven Spielberg talks about the way he and his filmmaking friends would help each other out as they were all coming up in the industry:

"We had such a wonderful kind of an incubator in the early '70s. Late '60s/early '70s. I really began directing in '69, that was television, I was 21, but... And I met all these people around that period of time. I met George Lucas in 1967 when we were both in college. I was at Long Beach State, he was at USC. And I met a lot of those fellows in college, and professional life, and it was not a clique, not a 'Brat Pack,' nothing that people claim we were. We were just a bunch of filmmakers that weren't afraid to show our rough cuts to each other, and weren't afraid of that kind of criticism. We weren't afraid of George Lucas or Brian De Palma. I'll never forget the day Brian De Palma and I saw the rough cut of Star Wars. And there were only about six of us in the room. And it was the very first time George had ever showed the picture to anybody, and chose the six of us to show it to. Well, Brian went off the deep end. [Smiling as he playfully imitates De Palma] 'Whaas... Makes no sense! Nonsense! What's this all about?' And through all of the contention of that wild evening where Brian liked the movie, but thought it was sort of mixed up... it was really mixed up, it just didn't have 89 percent of the special effects in them-- who could possibly make head or tails of Star Wars without all those, you know, 500 effects shots? But, Brian's contention did lead to George inventing the now very famous forward, like the old serials, that crawled up the screen. You know, 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.' Now that came out of that rough cut screening. You know, and that was exciting to see things like that happen. I sat with Scorsese, in the editing room, heloing him edit the last ten minutes of Taxi Driver. Which is a film totally unlike who I am. But he asked me to come in, and to give my opinion, and to make some comments, and I did. That was fun, you know, we've all helped each other with our movies. The shark blowing up in Jaws was not my idea. It wasn't in the Peter Benchley novel, wasn't in the Peter Benchley screenplay, and the Carl Gottlieb screenplay. It was simply some filmmaker friends of mine who read the script and said, 'The shark's gotta blow up at the end. You've got to find some way to explode it. Not just kill it, it's gotta explode!' And without that kind of, sort of selfless thinking, where the ego is not leading you around by your nostrils, but you're open to pain, and to embarrassment, and to ridicule, and by being open to that with peers that know what it's like to make a movie, that have made movies, that you can respect their word, their critique, so to speak... and it's a great way to work. A great way to make your movies even better."


Posted by Geoff at 10:57 PM CDT
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Monday, June 10, 2013
1987 VIDEO: DE PALMA TALKS 'UNTOUCHABLES'

Posted by Geoff at 7:33 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 8, 2013
4K DIGITAL RESTORATION OF 'BODY DOUBLE'
IS GETTING RAVE REVIEWS; WILL SCREEN AT PORTLAND'S HOLLYWOOD THEATRE IN JULY


As Twilight Time gets ready to release its limited edition Blu-Ray of Body Double on August 13, the 4K Digital Restoration of the Brian De Palma film has been getting rave reviews all over the place. Christopher O'Neill hosted a small De Palma retrospective last month in Dundee, Scotland as a part of the Dundead Film Festival. In an e-mail, O'Neill said, "The three films - Dressed To Kill, Blow Out and Body Double - were screened from DCP. While all of the films looked well, I have to say I was blown away by the digital edition of Body Double. While the venue is equipped with 2K theatrical projection, the film was scanned at 4K and the transfer benefited from the higher resolution - it looked incredible."

Meanwhile, another De Palma a la Mod reader, Chris Baker, caught a screening of the 4K Body Double at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, where it was the tail end of a double bill with Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window on May 18th. Baker tells us that the film "looked and sounded phenomenal."

The month of July brings a De Palma series, "Deja Vertigo," to the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon. The series starts with the digital restoration of Body Double on the weekend of July 5th-July 7th. The other three films in the series (running each weekend in July) will be presented from 35mm prints: Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, and Scarface. The theatre website admits that the latter film does not fit the theme of the series, which focuses on De Palma's Hitchcockian psychological thrillers. "This series will focus on the early 80′s," states the site's description, "when De Palma crafted gripping tales of mystery and murder, brimming with operatic set pieces, off-kilter camera work, steamy sexuality, and nail-biting suspense." As a bonus on the final two days, the theatre will also screen a 35mm print of Howard Hawks' Scarface from 1932.


Posted by Geoff at 7:48 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2013 10:37 PM CDT
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Friday, June 7, 2013
DE PALMA TALKS 'BLOW OUT'
IN SUNDAY NY TIMES ARTICLE SPARKED BY 'BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO'
The New York Times posted an article online today that will appear in this Sunday's print edition. The article, written by Mekado Murphy, focuses on movies about movie sound recordists, centered on the current release of Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, and featuring quotes from Brian De Palma about Blow Out, which the article states is "probably the best known" among the handful of films "that put sound work in the spotlight."

"A person holding a microphone or sitting at a mixing board adjusting faders may not at first seem like the most compelling cinematic subject," Murphy writes. "The challenge is supplying creative visuals to illuminate characters focused on the aural."

A bit later in the article, Murphy brings De Palma into the discussion...

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Working on a larger spectrum was John Travolta, who played a sound recordist for B-horror movies who accidentally records the murder of a presidential hopeful in Mr. De Palma’s 1981 thriller, Blow Out. Mr. De Palma, known for his focus on visual style, drew from his own experience with a sound editor.

“When I was mixing Dressed to Kill, ” — his Psycho pastiche from 1980 — “I was working with sound effects editor Dan Sable, who had done a bunch of movies for me,” Mr. De Palma said by phone. “We were looking for an effect. We had some wind in the trees, and I heard the effect he used and said: ‘Dan, I’ve heard that same wind effect in the last three movies. Can’t you get me some new sound?’ ” (They both laughed; the next day Mr. Sable went out to record some new wind.) Mr. De Palma wrote a scene in Blow Out that is taken almost directly from this exchange.

While the film involves a serial killer and features elaborately staged action sequences, Mr. De Palma makes time for detailed moments that explore his main character’s work. In a crucial scene, he syncs his recording to film images of the same event. “I did this as an editor, and sound editors do it, but I don’t think anybody had ever seen the process,” he said.

The whirring reels, large recording equipment and rolls of audiotape seen in Blow Out and Berberian Sound Studio are artifacts of the pre-digital filmmaking eras in which these movies take place. The imposing hardware, as well as the sounds it produces, plays a supporting role, too. Joakim Sundström, the supervising sound editor for Berberian, said that his team used digital equipment but he gave the sound a retro feel.

“What I did was take the majority of sounds that were in the film and I retransferred them onto magnetic tape and quarter-inch tape,” Mr. Sundström said.


Posted by Geoff at 7:33 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 6, 2013


Posted by Geoff at 11:07 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 4, 2013
TRAILER: BESSON - DE NIRO - PFEIFFER - ARBOGAST
"THERE WAS A TIME WHEN I HAD IT ALL. PEOPLE WOULD ASK ME, 'WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING UNTOUCHABLE?'"

Posted by Geoff at 11:30 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 5:23 PM CDT
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eONE POSTS NEW PIC FROM SET OF 'PASSION'

Posted by Geoff at 6:25 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 1, 2013
'PASSION' TALK
SUMMER PREVIEWS, MELBOURNE FEST, & A SIDE-BY-SIDE COMPARISON WITH 'LOVE CRIME'
Earlier this week, it was announced that Brian De Palma's Passion will be included in this year's Melbourne International Film Festival. A day or so later, the fest's web site posted its description of the film:
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Sex, sin, terror and torment, De Palma style.

With bountiful betrayal and abundant bitchiness, Passion is a classic Brian De Palma (Redacted, MIFF 2008) psychological thriller – complete with the requisite battling beauties. Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams play against type as corporate-climbing colleagues locked in a professional power struggle that soon takes a turn toward the personal.

Steeped in the filmmaker’s own back catalogue, and shaped by his trademark flourishes, the pulpy, neo-noir remaking of Alain Corneau’s final film, Love Crime, is as visually arresting as it is emotionally lurid. As obsessions spiral into a seductive symphony, the hallucinations and humiliations are amplified with every dramatic interaction between the fated femme fatales, accompanied by a bawdy sense of humour.

TWO SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEWS
On Thursday, Miami New Times posted a 2013 Summer Movie Guide written by Simon Abrams. While the article still has Passion listed incorrectly for June 7 (the film will not be released in theaters until August 30), Abrams loves the film, so it's always fun to read what he has to say about it:

"Brian De Palma returns with this visually delirious, Hitchcock-inspired pulp remake of 2010 French thriller Love Crime. Rachel McAdams and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace co-star as social-climbing ad women whose rivalry leads to a hilariously convoluted murder plot. The film is full of everything De Palma's fans and detractors have come to associate him with, building to a fantastic orchestra hall set piece, complete with split-screen photography. It's good, mean fun."

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Examiner's Jeffrey M. Anderson has put together a selected list of summer films that "may be the cream of the crop." He includes Passion (with the correct theatrical date of August 30), and makes it the third film mentioned in the article. "De Palma returns to the comfortable (or uncomfortable) territory that has made so many of his films classics and guilty pleasures," writes Anderson. "McAdams plays a conniving boss who steals an idea from her new protege (Rapace), leading to an ever-escalating battle of wills. The movie promises great obsession and voyeurism in De Palma’s high style."

FRENCH BLOGGER: 'PASSION' IN THREE WORDS: MUSIQUE - ZOOM - FEMMES
On May 23rd, Timekeeper at the blog Visionarium posted "Passion in three words: Musique - zoom - femmes." He continued, "And I wanted to stop there. Enough, it satisfies me, it sums up what I like most about Passion, but I could say exactly the same thing about Femme Fatale and almost the same thing about Body Double or Snake Eyes." Yesterday, Timekeeper posted a comparison between Love Crime and Passion, calling the former "Passion without passion." The post is illustrated with several stills comparing shots from each film. Timekeeper criticizes Love Crime for being a "French film" in the sense that it has very little camera movement, as though it was filmed in the manner of writing a novel. "As if the image does not count," writes Timekeeper. "As if story alone is sufficient to itself."


Posted by Geoff at 12:30 AM CDT
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Monday, May 27, 2013




Posted by Geoff at 7:42 PM CDT
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