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Karoline Herfurth
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Rie Rasmussen
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Mentor Tarantino
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James Franco
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Coppola on
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"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
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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
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

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De Palma interviewed
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Carrie...A Fan's Site


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Scarface: Make Way
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

The full interview segment of Brian De Palma's appearance on CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight last night is now available to watch on the program's web site. The segment with De Palma is at the start of the show, and lasts about six minutes or so. De Palma talks about Passion, plays around with the idea of texting during dates, discusses the lack of a current counterculture in film, Robert De Niro, and quotes from Scarface.

Strombo: "You came of age in the cinema when you guys were picking big fights with society, the counterculture movement was in fact not about just looks."

BDP: "No, no, no."

Strombo: "It was the opposite of that."

BDP: "And we had another war we shouldn't have been in: Vietnam."

Strombo: "Is that what it was, you think the war's..."

BDP: "Oh, absolutely."

Strombo: "Because then where are the countercultural films today, then?"

BDP: "That's the problem! Because you don't see many sort of political films other than the... I mean, obviously, you don't have to make political films all the time, but when you see a lot of stuff going out there that's annoying you, you would think that, you know, your blood would be stirred. That you'd go out and make a movie about it saying, 'This is not right'"

Strombo: "You obviously have to keep busy, but you also said there isn't enough anger in American cinema anymore."

BDP: "Well, I was very upset about the whole war, and what the Bush administration was doing, so that's why I made Redacted. Because I didn't think that they were telling us the truth. What else is new? Your government is lying to you, what else is new? But I felt we were doing some very bad things in far away places."

Strombo: "And you didn't think that was the right coverage of it."

BDP: "Oh, I knew-- an embedded reporter? That's like having somebody on the payroll."

Posted by Geoff at 7:40 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 19, 2013 6:56 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The above video is a clip from tonight's episode of CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. In the clip, Strombo shows a scene from De Palma's The Wedding Party, and asks De Palma about casting the 20-year-old Robert De Niro in his first film. Here is the transcript from the Strombo site, as well:

GS: The Wedding Party, 1963, Robert De Niro, 20 years old in that. Is that his first film?

BDP: Yes, that was his first film.

GS: When you saw him did you know that there is something special there?

BDP: He came in to an audition. We were in a loft in the Village and we put an ad in the Village Voice and we were just seeing one actor after another then this sort of timid kid came in, the last one in. We had him do a little improvisation and we thought 'Hey, this kid is pretty good' and he said ok, but there's something I've been preparing in my class can I show it to you. The kid had the part, I mean, okay. So he goes outside and we're sititng around and it's like 5, 10 15 [minutes], we figured he had gone home and then he came in a did this incredible scene from 'The Strike', the Clifford Odets play about the taxi strike . He was ranting and raving and [yells] and you think, holy mackerel. That's Bob De Niro.

Posted by Geoff at 8:05 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Brian De Palma is a scheduled guest for Wednesday's edition of CBC Television's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. The web site description states, "Director Brian De Palma is here to talk about his new movie Passion and his long career in the movie biz. From Carrie, his breakthrough feature which redefined 'prom night disaster' to the iconic Scarface, this is a director who keeps the audience's attention."

De Palma's appearance comes just two days after Steven Bauer appeared on the show (see video above). Bauer is making the rounds for his role on the new Showtime series Ray Donovan, but spent most of his interview talking about Scarface. Stroumboulopoulos asked Bauer, "Does the Manny from Scarface thing happen every day in your life?" To which Bauer replied, "Every single day is a Scarface day." In discussing his role on AMC's Breaking Bad, Bauer mentioned that, again, Scarface came through for him, because creator Vince Gilligan, a fan of De Palma's film, had the idea to basically take Manny and put him in the show.

Bauer was also interviewed by Parade's Joel Keller, and dicussed screenwriter Oliver Stone getting banned from the Scarface set: "There was so much disagreement on some points that Oliver Stone was banned from the movie. He was banned from the set. Brian [De Palma] didn’t want him around. For the most part, Al [Pacino] didn’t either, because Oliver would show up with a big fat script under his arm and he’d say ‘Have you shot this today?’ And he would always find me: ‘Steve. Steve. Come here. Have you shot this scene?’ And I’d say, ‘No. They cut it. We’re not doing it.’ And he’d go crazy and he’d run into Al’s dressing room and he’d be nuts. He would have a big battle with Brian De Palma and Brian was just like ‘You know what? You did your job. You let us make the movie.’"

Bauer also told Keller about the initial bad reviews: "Some of them were really horrible on Al, on his acting. They were like ‘Oh, he’s over the top. He’s become operatic. He should go back to acting school.’ It was really, really terrible, and it’s funny because he had prepared me for it. We were together all the time and I used to speculate. I used to drive him crazy and say, ‘What do you think? Can you imagine…’ because we’d finish a scene and it would be so out there, so crazy. He always kept me with him and I would make him laugh and stuff. We’d joke about stuff and I’d say ‘What do you think your fans are going to think of this Montana character?’ He used to say, ‘All I can do is do what I do every day and try not to think about their responses.’ He said ‘They’re either going to love it or they’re going to hate it. It’s not going to be middle ground.’ And that’s exactly what happened."

Posted by Geoff at 11:35 PM CDT
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Monday, July 15, 2013

The YouTube video above includes an interview with Deborah Shelton from 1987 [Thanks to Alex for finding it!]. At about the 5:40 mark, the interviewer asks her about Body Double. Here is a transcript:

Interviewer: In 1984, you ended up in the Brian De Palma movie, Body Double. How did that happen?

Deborah: Same way—I went on an interview and they were looking for a blonde. [Laughing] There’s something about... Yeah, I have a blonde personality. And I met him, and he was very quiet. And the executive producer was talking to me all the time, and the casting person. And Brian just sat there and was like [lifts her chin up to mimic De Palma, slowly nodding as if quietly watching and contemplating what he was seeing]. And sometimes he looked away, and he didn’t… I thought, “Oh, get me out of here. This is a lost cause.” And when I left there I stopped off at the bathroom on the way out of the building. And when I finally got out of the building, the lady who was the casting director was running around hysterically outside searching for me. And she said, “Where were you?” Then I told her I’d just stopped off. And she said, “Brian wants to see you tomorrow at his office, and he wants to work with you.”

And he worked with me, with the screenplay… oh, I can’t think, with Liv UllmannScenes From A Marriage, on a scene where she had just learned her husband was fooling around for a long time, and that her best friends had known it. She was very angry and frustrated. And another scene from Body Heat… where the two meet on a bridge. And so, he told me he wanted the sensuality of Body Heat, and the frustration and panic, and those kind of feelings from Scenes From A Marriage. So we worked on those two scenes, and those are the ones I did with my screen test. Because my part didn’t really have so much dialogue. And I got it.

And how was he as a director? I mean, on the set…



He’s very intense. He almost has an unnerving way about him. And you know Vincent Price? The actor? He has a way of looking, the piercing eyes, that just kind of go into your backbone, and take feelings out of you. And I think that’s the way Brian is.

Posted by Geoff at 11:01 PM CDT
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Sunday, July 14, 2013

HuffPost's Charlotte Robinson posted an audio montage of interviews she did with several of the guests at last month's Provincetown International Film Festival. You can listen to the audio at the HuffPost link above, but here is a transcript of the Brian De Palma portion:

We’re talking to Brian De Palma, who is here to show his film, Passion. Tell us about the film.

De Palma: The film is based on a French film made by Alain Corneau. It’s about the rivalry of two executives in an advertising firm in Germany.

So what was your inspiration for taking this film on?

De Palma: I liked the characters. In the original film, Kristin Scott Thomas played one of the women, and I liked their interaction. I thought the mystery was extremely clever, but there are some things about it that bothered me a little bit. I thought that Corneau revealed the murderer much too early, so there was no reason to keep on going through the film to figure out who killed who and why. So I tried to keep that hidden as long as possible.

Is this your first trip to Provincetown?

De Palma: Yes.

What do you think about it so far?

De Palma: It’s beautiful. I’m mainly here because my daughter is going to camp in the area, and I can send her off.

What other projects are you working on?

De Palma: Well, right now I’m developing a script based on the Joe Paterno/Sandusky case. It’s a very complicated, difficult, and tragic story.

What do you think about all this hoopla people are making over gay marriage in this country?

De Palma: Ridiculous. They should have the rights as any American citizen.

Why do you think it’s taking so long?

De Palma: Any unusual lifestyle sometimes takes a little while to be understood by the mass populace, I imagine.

Posted by Geoff at 12:00 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 14, 2013 12:01 AM CDT
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Friday, July 12, 2013

Posted by Geoff at 5:40 PM CDT
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In a Twitter conversation last month, Empire magazine reviews editor Nick de Semlyen, who had just interviewed Brian De Palma, mentioned that De Palma was going to direct a music video for "the Paul Williams track" on Daft Punk's latest album, but that "it didn't work out."

Yesterday, The Playlist's Drew Taylor interviewed De Palma, and asked him about it. "I don't know where this rumor got started," De Palma said to Taylor. "Let's try to put an end to it here and now. Daft Punk expressed an interest in doing something with Phantom of the Paradise and when I was in Paris I met with them and we discussed it. They were in the process of finishing up their record." De Palma added, "It was never discussed, me doing a video for them. They expressed their excitement for Phantom of the Paradise and somehow, if we have a stage version, they might consider doing music for it. But that was as far as it went. It was very tentative, very initial discussions."

Taylor pressed on for more details about a stage version of Phantom. "They've tried to do a stage production for 30 years," De Palma told him. "Every once in a while there's a lot of excitement about it and then it fades away. It always seems like a good idea to me."

From 2009 until at least 2010, Paul Williams had been working with De Palma and Edward R. Pressman on a stage version of Phantom, something they have taken stabs at off and on for years. De Palma and Williams had tried to get a stage version going in 1987, and in 2003, Antonio Banderas discussed the possibility of taking on the title character for a stage version. For now, however, we have the incredible film from 1974. And, of course, the Baltimore Rock Opera Society.

Posted by Geoff at 5:22 PM CDT
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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Posted by Geoff at 9:38 PM CDT
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Movie Mezzanine collected ballots from staff and friends listing their top ten movies of the 1980s. Brian De Palma's Blow Out was the number one pick of the site's editor-in-chief, Sam Fragoso, and so has the good fortune of being the very first film mentioned on the page, right at the very top. Four other lists included Blow Out: Kevin Ketchum (#7-- top film is Blade Runner); Kenji Fujishima (#5-- top film is Videodrome); Matt Prigge (#10-- top film is Modern Romance); and Jack Giroux (#6-- top film is Raiders of the Lost Ark). The day after the lists were posted, the site's James Blake Ewing posted an article about Blow Out as part of a series called "The Second Criterion."

Back to the lists, Scott Renshaw placed De Palma's The Untouchables at number nine on his list (top film: Airplane!), and senior editor Jake Cole placed De Palma's Body Double at number ten (top film: King Lear). The site is collecting readers' top tens in the comments section, and will post the results and analysis in about a month.

Meanwhile, Hollywood Elsewhere's Jeffrey Wells posted his choices, but displayed his own amazingly short-sighted "aesthetic perception problem" with the following notice at the top:


Warning: It is the respectful opinion of this columnist that anyone who picks Brian DePalma‘s Blow Out as one of the great ’80s films either (a) has a serious aesthetic perception problem or (b) is being intentionally perverse. I tried watching the Criterion Bluray and I couldn’t get past the first 45 minutes or so.

Posted by Geoff at 12:49 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 11, 2013 7:13 AM CDT
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Oliver Stone was at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last week, where he received a Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Stone presented several of his films, including an "Ultimate Cut" of Alexander, and Scarface, for which he wrote the screenplay.

Stone posted the following about the fest on his Facebook page:

Wonderful week long film festival. Was honored with the lifetime achievement award and was able to show "Alexander: The Ultimate Cut" in a large hall with wonderful projection. The film played out well for the first time. The Shanghai Film Festival projection was too dark almost by two full stops of exposure. Also able to show Chapter. 3 & 10 of "Untold History of the United States" to a very responsive young crowd.

They also screened "Scarface" (1983) at a packed screening of 1,500 people. The film doesn't feel dated. In fact, it seems slower, and was more able to concentrate on the acting of Al Pacino and wonderful supporting cast. Kudos to Miriam Colon and Robert Loggia. Also showing "Wall Street."


In other Scarface happenings, a 36-minute video has been popping around the internet during the past few days. It seems to be the same video from the Scarface DVD special features. The video, broken down into three parts and posted to YouTube, was embedded in a post at The Playlist the other day, along with a terrific 1983 De Palma interview segment from The Movie Channel that was embedded here a couple of years ago.

Posted by Geoff at 12:26 AM CDT
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