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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
SO MUCH 'CARRIE' & 'CARRIE' REMAKE
REMAKE SCREENWRITER SAYS DE PALMA FAITHFUL TO NOVEL, PRODUCES HOMAGE ON 'GLEE'
A lot of Carrie material everywhere (but no reviews yet of the new version)-- here are some links and quotes:

New York Post
Betty Buckley on the locker scene in De Palma's film: "Everybody was trying to get their bodies in tiptop shape for that scene. Some people decided to go completely naked, some didn’t. It wasn’t meant to be exploitative — it’s a beautiful scene."

The Boston Herald
Screenwriter Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: "I always thought of Carrie as a perfect horror novel: It’s short and every scene matters. It’s like a Swiss clock: Once it starts, every piece chimes in with this terrifying inevitability that leads to prom night. The De Palma movie is quite faithful to the novel as well. It’s a great movie. The imagery is incredible and the story is universal. While there are big action scenes, it plays as a psychological drama."

Kimberly Peirce: "That movie is probably a classic because the underlying material is so essential. It’s a myth. Stephen King is a great writer who turned around the Cinderella tale, and on top of that, De Palma, one of our greatest directors, does what should 
be done."

New York Daily News
Julianne Moore on seeing the De Palma film when she was a teenager: "I remember the theater was packed and we were waiting for the next show in a huge line of kids that curled around the block. And they wouldn’t let us into the theater until all the kids from the last show filed out. As we were walking in, we passed the kids walking out and they were ashen. They were absolutely terrified and we were scared, too, thinking, ‘What could this be?'" Moore adds, "Piper Laurie’s performance was iconic and untouchable."

Seattle Times (by Moira Macdonald)
Long a friend of De Palma’s (“I think he’s a brilliant director”), Peirce called him to see what he thought of her taking on the project. “There’s enough material out there that I shouldn’t have to do anything that makes another director feel bad,” she said. “He was really supportive — he said, ‘You have to do it.’ ”

There are, of course, similarities between her approach and De Palma’s — “Two people who love this source material are going to come at it, in some ways, exactly the same” — but Peirce added her own stamp. The new Carrie features an opening scene depicting Carrie’s birth, adds more emphasis to Carrie’s exploration of her superpowers and her relationship with her mother, and subtly alters the focus of the revenge scene (it comes, says Peirce, from grief).

Mercury News
Kimberly Peirce: "It's a love story, that mother fiercely loves that daughter, but she's also terrified of her. For me, the movie is very much about that bond between the mother and the daughter, everything else comes out of that."

Huffington Post
Kimberly Peirce on balancing expectations of fans of the De Palma film while modernizing the story: "I faced it with humility. On some level, of course, I was scared I wouldn't live up to it, but then I just thought, 'I love Carrie. I'm going to ground this moment. I'm going to make this as specific and real as possible.' I do think I ended up making it different. It's the same reason why people are able to bring a new reality to Shakespeare and other works."

Moviefone
Kimberly Peirce: "The other huge thing that was important to me, which you see in all my movies, is a sense of justice and, part and parcel with justice, is revenge. I think we love a justice story. So you had to love Carrie -- you had to be involved in her journey, you had to want her to get love and acceptance, you had to see the obstacles against her, you had to see her playing with the powers, you had see her get that invitation to prom and think, 'Sue should apologize and you shouldn't go to prom, because this is not going to work.' She goes anyway, and you still want to see her succeed. But you also secretly want to see it blow up. And when it does, it's important -- I changed it so that when Tommy goes down, Carrie is overwhelmed with grief. It's out of the grief that unconsciously the powers come out. And when they come out, that's when things happen. The damage is done."

IGN
Chucky creator Don Mancini is asked what is his favorite scary movie: "Probably Brian De Palma’s Carrie. I love Brian De Palma, I love the style of that film. I also love that story, and the novel by Stephen King. I just think it has incredible pathos and the character of Carrie White is such a fascinating one. I would probably say that. Recently, one of my favourite horror movies was Orphan. I thought that was really well done. Like a good Hitchcock movie – it was psychological – the game of wits between Vera Farmiga and the little girl who turns out to be something quite different. And I thought both actresses were amazing. I really loved that movie."

October 3 episode of Glee
Thanks to Maurizio for letting us know about this episode, which features Beatles songs and a lovingly faithful homage to the bucket/prom scene in De Palma's Carrie, complete with rope, dream-like music, slow-motion clapping, bucket-hitting-the-head of the prom king, and even lip-licking. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the screenwriter for the Carrie remake, is credited as the Supervising Producer of this episode. Of course, this show comes to us from the same team that brings us American Horror Story.

'Strange and Disturbing': A Movie Virgin Watches Carrie for the First Time
"I don't think I've ever seen my sister go through as many emotions as she did during the 10-minute span of Carrie's opening scene. Director Brian De Palma's 1976 horror film, based on Stephen King's novel, clearly hasn't lost its touch -- the dreamlike, voyeuristic locker room scene shots had her face twisted in confusion, and Carrie White's introduction a la naked steamy soaping up in the shower prompted her to ask me if we had accidentally rented a porn version of the film. But once the camera panned to the infamous blood shot, she was horrified -- and, as Carrie's schoolmates chastised her and showered her with tampons and maxi pads, my sister was almost in tears. 'This is so sad!' she exclaimed. 'I don't want to watch this!' Luckily, she stuck with it."

Shock Till You Drop
Video interviews with Peirce and cast. Peirce talks about calling De Palma, and him telling her to Skype him.


Posted by Geoff at 1:22 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:48 AM CDT
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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
JOHN KENNETH MUIR ON 'PASSION'
DE PALMA TURNED MATERIAL INTO "A WORK OF ART TOTALLY OF HIS OWN DESIGN"
John Kenneth Muir posted his review of Brian De Palma's Passion today, stating that De Palma "corkscrews" Alain Corneau's Love Crime, "and in the process creates a work of art totally of his own design, one that focuses intently on the ideas of narcissism and voyeurism in the Web 2.0 Age." SPOILERS - Muir further writes that "Passion is a thriller about blackmail, extortion, and one-upmanship in the epoch of the 'Send Button,' when one flick of a finger can ruin a career, destroy a life, or send someone to jail for murder. Specifically, Passion is veritably obsessed with the vindictive release of private or guarded information into the public arena, and the catastrophic fall-out and public humiliation that occurs in its aftermath. It is this public humiliation, and fear of such humiliation, that leads to the film’s double murders."

Muir later delves into Christine's story about her sister:
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The key to understanding Passion rests with Christine, the character played to icy perfection by Rachel McAdams.

Early in the film, she recounts to Isabelle a story about her twin-sister, Clarissa. Specifically Clarissa was killed because of Christine’s actions. Christine was riding a bike when she was distracted by the bike’s mirror, and an oncoming truck hit the girls. Only Christine survived.

"I just wanted to see myself…and I saw my reflection," Christine reports of the tragedy.

Another scene reveals that Christine keeps a creepy white mask -- one that is molded to resemble her facial features -- because, again, she wants to "see" herself.

And in the absence of her twin, that is not always easy.

Accordingly, Christine goes through the film and through her life attempting to re-make others in the image she wants to see: her own. In particular, this means that Christine creates "users" and "manipulators" like herself, and indeed, that’s the journey Isabelle takes in the film. She goes from being a relatively normal person to a competitive player, to a monster who becomes Christine’s "double" and equal. By film’s end, she has been re-fashioned in Christine’s desired image, but she is not able to handle it, perhaps because she possesses the conscience Christine abundantly lacks."

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Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 12:16 AM CDT
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To watch on Vimeo, click here.
(Thanks to Donald!)

Posted by Geoff at 7:33 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 7:39 PM CDT
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Sunday, October 13, 2013
'PHANTOM' AT TARRYTOWN MUSIC HALL WEDNESDAY
Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will screen at 7pm this Wednesday (October 16th) at The Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York. The theater, which was restored in the late 1970s, was one of the very first theaters to show motion pictures back in 1901. Price of admission Wednesday is $5.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 12:00 AM CDT
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Saturday, October 12, 2013
HURD ON WORKING WITH CAMERON, DE PALMA
LEARNED EVERYONE ON SET NEEDS TO SHARE THE VISION OF THE DIRECTOR
The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg interviewed Gale Ann Hurd, who produced Brian De Palma's Raising Cain while the two of them were married. Of course, Hurd had previously been married to James Cameron, and produced some of his films, as well. Goldberg asked Hurd what she learned from working with each of them, and this is what she said:

"I collaborate best with people that others might call aggressive or assertive; they have a defined vision and can communicate it. It does mean that it tends to be a rather monomaniacal perspective. When we were doing Aliens, Jim knew in his mind every cut point in every scene and what look he wanted. Our initial DP was Dick Bush (Victor, Victoria), who was used to doing lighting, camerawork and the [duties of the] DP, and he didn't want to know what the director's vision was. He felt that was his domain. If Jim wanted something in the cooler tones backlit, he would do warmer tones front-lit. Two weeks in, he was fired. I learned it's really important that everyone on a set share the vision, and the vision really should be the director's."

Posted by Geoff at 9:19 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, October 12, 2013 9:21 PM CDT
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Friday, October 11, 2013
PARADISE CITY-- SLASH SPORTS 'PHANTOM' SHIRT
WHILE DOING PRESS FOR FILM HE PRODUCED & SCORED, 'NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR'


The image above comes from the Winnipeg Free Press, showing Slash (a.k.a. Saul Hudson) wearing a Phantom Of The Paradise T-shirt as he promotes his debut film as producer, Nothing Left To Fear, in Toronto. While Slash produced the film under his production company, Slasher Films, he tells the Winnipeg Free Press' Randall King that he is not interested in making slasher films. "The moniker 'Slasher' just goes along with my name, so it was the easiest thing," Slash tells King. "But it's really the antithesis of the kind of movies I want to make."

Nothing Left To Fear was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD October 8th. Aside from producing the film, Slash also co-composed the score, explaining to Rolling Stone's Steve Baltin that the score is important to him, "because that's the one thing where I actually know what I'm doing. The rest of it is just me using my wits and sensibilities and going to what I think I should do. But with the music, it's something I have a grasp on, and one of the reasons that becoming a producer for horror flicks was enticing was the fact that I could be responsible for the music. So in this film, it was understood from the very get-go that we wanted to do something orchestral. So I wrote a bunch of different music and played it for the director to see which one he thought fit his sort of cinematic vision for this thing. Then he introduced me to an old friend of his, Nicholas O'Toole, who's a scoring composer and sound designer, and so the music that we picked I gave to him and he interpreted it to an orchestral application. Then we just sort of worked hand in hand through the whole movie. It was great. It was really sort of a combination of people, but it was a lot of fun to do and I was really happy with the end result. Then Myles [Kennedy] and I have the theme song at the end."

As far as horror influences, Slash tells the Globe and Mail's Geoff Pevere that he, first-time director Anthony Leonardi III, and co-producer Rob Eric all universally loved Rosemary's Baby, and went for the "slow-burn" effect of Roman Polanski's film. Slash also mentions in two of the above interviews that as a kid, he was creeped out by George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead. In addition, he tells King, "When I was a kid, one of the big ones for me was The Omen, the original. I always thought it was a marriage of great directing, a great story and great actors. It was really well done, and it was made in the fashion of the old feature movie."


Posted by Geoff at 1:14 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 1:15 AM CDT
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Thursday, October 10, 2013
WHATCULTURE ON 'SCARFACE'/'BREAKING BAD'
AND OLIVER STONE CALLS 'BREAKING BAD' FINALE "RIDICULOUS"
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has said that he envisioned his show as Mr. Chips becoming Scarface. Now that the AMC series has come to a close, WhatCulture's Joe Young has posted "8 Notable Comparisons Between Breaking Bad And Scarface." Moving from headings such as "Drugs" and "Family," to "Violence" and "Memorable Dialogue," the article is illustrated with images and video clips. The other headings are "Greek Tragedy," "Both Characters Are Eventually Honest With Who They Are," "Neither A Good Advert For Drug Use," and "Explosive Endings."

Meanwhile, during a press conference this week for the DVD release of his Showtime series The Untold History of the United States, Scarface screenwriter Oliver Stone called the Breaking Bad finale "ridiculous," according to Forbes' Todd Gilchrist. With SPOILERS from the season finale, here is an excerpt from Gilchrist's article:
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Speaking to press about the rejuvenating effects of working on documentaries in comparison to his feature work, he suggested that fiction filmmaking has lost respect for the kind of escapism it provides audiences, evidenced by the final episode of Breaking Bad. “There’s too much violence in our movies – and it’s all unreal to me,” he said. “I don’t know if you saw the denouement [of Breaking Bad], I happen to not watch the series very much, but I happened to tune in and I saw the most ridiculous 15 minutes of a movie – it would be laughed off the screen.”

Stone pointedly critiqued Walter White’s method of handling the gang that kidnapped Jesse. “Nobody could park his car right then and there and could have a machine gun that could go off perfectly and kill all of the bad guys! It would be a joke,” he insisted. “It’s only in the movies that you find this kind of fantasy violence. And that’s infected the American culture; you young people believe all of this shit! Batman and Superman, you’ve lost your minds, and you don ‘t even know it! At least respect violence. I’m not saying don’t show violence, but show it with authenticity.

The Untold History of the United States offers a fascinating look at American history, re-examining pivotal moments in the shaping of our culture and our democracy, by placing events like the development of the atomic bomb in a larger, more well-rounded context. When asked whether mainstream entertainment could provide similar sorts of lessons about American culture, Stone said that the infrastructure of studio blockbusters often obscures those potential insights.

“I wouldn’t criticize everything. I’m just saying it’s the level of violence,” Stone explained. “If people think that bringing a machine gun to your last meeting is a solution to a television series that’s very popular, I think they’re insane. Something’s wrong. It’s not the world we know. But I think there might be in Iron Man… there could be some good stories about war profiteering, some good moral tales. I agree. Comics were that for that reason, remember? But when you’ve reached this height of technology level of a Michael [Bay], of a Transformers, I don’t understand the meaning of it and the reason for it, except that it appeals to some visual sense, some kinetic sense of dynamism and a need for action. But action is not always a solution, character is.”

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Posted by Geoff at 7:48 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:50 PM CDT
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
FIRST REVIEW OF ARROW'S 'THE FURY' BLU-RAY
INCLUDES MORE DETAILS ABOUT EXTRA FEATURES
Simon Crust at AV Forums has posted a review of Arrow Video's upcoming Blu-ray edition of Brian De Palma's The Fury, which will be released October 28th in the U.K. Calling it "a sterling package" from Arrow, Crust states, "re-mastering the picture from the original camera negative has produced a magnificent restoration, with a bright, detailed and colourful image that belies its age. The sound doesn’t fare quite so well, the surround track being the best of the bunch, though it’s great to also have the isolated music track." Here's what Crust has to say about the extras included in the package:
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• Blood on the Lens (27.00) – An interview with cinematographer Richard H Kline who discusses his time making the picture the ideas he brought to it, the professionalism of De Palma and the cast and how many of the optical effects were achieved. Entertaining and informative.
• Spinning Tales (13.38) – Another interview this time with Fiona Lewis. She talks about her time on set, relationships with the other actors and De Palma, of course. Far more anecdotal than either of the other two interviews.
• The Fury: A Location Journal (49.49) – Third and final (new) interview for this release this time with Sam Irvin who interned on The Fury and wrote up several interviews for the magazine Cinefantastique while there. This guy knows just about everything there is to know about the film, he talks about how he was introduced to De Palma, his time on set, his relationships with the cast and crew, how scenes were shot, the editing process, the post production and how it was received. There is a wealth of information here all told in an enthusiastically infectious manner.
• Original Archive Interviews – Four interviews recorded in 1978 to promote the film, very interesting in how they are set up (single camera panning between the interviewer and the guest) is in rather poor shape and even poorer sound, but very interesting in its own right. Included are Brian De Palma (06.03), producer Frank Yablans (06.52), [Carrie Snodgress (05.05) and Amy Irving (04.45). The chats are very light in tone and every question leads to an answer that in some way promotes the film.
• Double Negative (17.58) – Sam Irvin’s short film tribute to De Palma, telling the story of a director getting his own back on some ruthless producers. Looks to be VHS of a film source, not terrible quality but not great, easily watchable and showcasing some very early talent – I actually quite enjoyed it.
• Gallery (0.53) – A number of production pictures play as a slideshow accompanied to some of the film’s score.
• Reversible Sleeve – Original and newly commissioned artwork from Jay Shaw.
• Booklet – Thoroughly comprehensive writings on the film, printed interviews with De Palma and John Farris, all illustrated with original film stills and poster art.

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Posted by Geoff at 11:00 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 11:04 PM CDT
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Monday, October 7, 2013
'CARRIE' PROMO PRANKS COFFEE SHOP PATRONS

Posted by Geoff at 8:20 PM CDT
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Sunday, October 6, 2013
ARMOND SOUR ON 'GRAVITY', RECALLS RICHER 'M2M'
"REMEMBER THAT ASTOUNDINGLY WITTY ENNIO MORRICONE SCORE?"
Armond White at City Arts has posted his review of Alfonsso Cuaron's Gravity, and is sour on what he sees as Cuaron's "glib cynicism," left over from the director's Children Of Men, unearned Kubrickian sense of "intellectual contemplation and wonder" (in Gravity's opening-image evocation of 2001: A Space Odyssey), and Cuaron's "fashionable" anti-religious "sop to the hipster market". White then contrasts Gravity with Brian De Palma's Mission To Mars and Walter Hill's Supernova:
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Too bad Gravity’s fanboy audience is conveniently ignorant of richer space dramas like Walter Hill’s sexy-scary Supernova and Brian DePalma’s Mission to Mars (remember that astoundingly witty Ennio Morricone score?) which entertainingly combined psychological and visionary pondering with sci-fi agape. Hill advanced the genre with tense, erotic, metaphysical characterizations. Nothing in Gravity compares to Mission to Mars’ extraordinary orchestration of passion and dread among a team of astronauts attempting to forge a lifeline in outer space. DePalma created an unforgettable, breathtaking sequence of love and loss. His great tragic humanism was more powerful than Cuaron’s tepid “hope.”
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Posted by Geoff at 11:59 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:01 PM CDT
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