Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod

E-mail
Geoffsongs@aol.com

De Palma Discussion
Forum

-------------

Pacino wows
in Venice

Pacino delivers a
masterclass as
a lion in winter

The Humbling
and Manglehorn
reviews

-------------

Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

------------

AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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

« January 2014 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31

Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

No Harm In Charm

Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
BAMcinématek
Bart De Palma
Becoming Visionary
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Books
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Cannes
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Carrie
Casualties Of War
Columbo - Shooting Script
Cop-Out
Cruising
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Greetings
Happy Valley
Heat
Hi, Mom!
Hitchcock
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Key Man, The
Lithgow
Magic Hour
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
NYFF
Obsession
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parker
Parties & Premieres
Passion
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Redacted
Responsive Eye
Retribution
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Sakamoto
Scarface
Sean Penn
Sisters
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Tabloid
Tarantino
Toronto Film Fest
Toyer
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untouchables
Vilmos Zsigmond
Wedding Party
William Finley
Wise Guys
Woton's Wake
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
'OUR HEROES' DIRECTOR LOVES MASKS, 'PHANTOM'
"A LOT OF FILMS THAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH CINEMA FEATURED MASKS"


The title of David Perrault's wrestling noir Our Heroes Died Tonight is, according to AFI, an obscure reference to Robert Wise's The Set-Up, which was released in France under the title Our Heroes Won Tonight. Perrault tells Twitch's Ben Croll that the idea for Our Heroes originated from a picture he saw. "Masks always fascinated me," he explains to Croll. "They fired up my imagination, made me think about identity, and as a director, I simply found them visually interesting. Somehow, a lot of films that made me fall in love with cinema featured masks as well. Films like Phantom of the Paradise, Halloween, Eyes Wide Shut. I ate it up.

"So I stumbled on this picture where you saw a masked wrestler, sitting at a zinc bar in a typically Parisian bistro, sipping his red wine with a straw, and it blew me away. It looked like something out of a superhero movie directed by Jean Pierre Melville. As if a comic book character had ended up in a film noir. And that's it; I knew there was a film, so I started writing the script."


Posted by Geoff at 1:03 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 9:56 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, January 27, 2014
PAUL WILLIAMS TALKS 'PHANTOM' POST-GRAMMYS
TELLS PRESS THAT DAFT PUNK & DEL TORO COLLABS ARE DIRECT RESULT OF 'PHANTOM'


Daft Punk's Random Access Memories won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year last night, and "the robots" left it to their collaborators Paul Williams and Nile Rodgers to speak in acceptance of the award (Pharrell Williams had already spoken on the robots' behalf for two other awards they had won earlier for the song Get Lucky). You can watch video of Williams' speech below.

Meanwhile, in the video above, at a press conference backstage following the ceremony, Williams is asked by a journalist if he ever spoke with Daft Punk about Phantom Of The Paradise. "You know, it’s interesting," Williams replies. "In 1974 I made a movie with Brian De Palma called Phantom Of The Paradise that nobody went to see in this country. [Laughing] I made movies and albums that even my family didn’t go to or buy, you know. But through the years there have been some people that have kind of discovered Phantom Of The Paradise. Two of the collaborations that I’m working on right now are direct results of Phantom Of The Paradise. One is the guys in Daft Punk saw Phantom Of The Paradise twenty times, and they loved the movie. I’m writing a musical based on Pan’s Labyrinth with Guillermo del Toro, and my whole relationship with Guillermo del Toro is based on his love for Phantom Of The Paradise. I’m writing that with Gustavo Santaolalla, who’s a brilliant, brilliant composer from Argentina. Yeah, my life’s pretty good right now, you know? My life’s pretty good right now. Thank you."

As reported earlier this month, Arrow Video's upcoming Blu-ray of Phantom Of The Paradise will include a 72-minute segment in which Guillermo del Toro interviews Paul Williams about the movie.


Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CST
Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 10:43 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post


Posted by Geoff at 7:44 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
ANOTHER 'STAR WARS'-ERA PHOTO


The photo above was posted two days ago on the Twitter page of StarWars7783. The photo was taken in late 1979, and everybody looks pretty happy. Seated at the table (or squatting), from left to right, are Marcia Lucas, actress Verna Bloom, George Lucas, screenwriter Jay Cocks, and Nancy Allen. Standing from left to right are Paul Hirsch, Brian De Palma, and Paul Hirsch's wife, Jane.
(Thanks to Nancy Allen for filling in the gaps for us, and thanks also to Romain!)

Posted by Geoff at 1:51 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, February 1, 2014 1:33 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, January 26, 2014
KOEPP'S CORNER: 'JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT'
CHANNELS 'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE', 'CARLITO'S WAY'


Writing about Kenneth Branagh's Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, South Philly Review's Kurt Osenlund states that "Branagh’s approach helps at virtually every turn, from getting us through verbose debriefing scenes that might bog down the pace to de-cluttering Jack’s relationship to Cathy, who’s uncannily understanding of her partner’s secrecy, then brought into the fold for a remarkable con sequence (Branagh channels Brian De Palma’s Mission: Impossible, and that’s a huge compliment). Car chases are swift and compelling, scam specifics are choreographed with great sleekness, and in moments that need to underscore Jack’s dueling competence and inexperience, Pine delivers as a leading man."

And it turns out there is a good reason Branagh's film might channel De Palma's Mission: Impossible, because David Koepp was a key screenwriter on both projects. But the route taken by the Jack Ryan screenplay is an interesting one. Once upon a time, Adam Cozad wrote a spec script titled Dubai that made the Black List of best unproduced screenplays in 2007. Paramount (home of the Mission: Impossible franchise), looking to reboot a Jack Ryan franchise, bought Dubai and hired Anthony Peckham to rework it, and the title changed to Moscow, with Cozad doing another rewrite after Peckham. Interestingly, at that point, Paramount talked to Steven Zallian (who had worked with De Palma on the initial structure of Mission: Impossible) about working on the Moscow script, but he passed, and they then hired Koepp, who took over with gusto, working on it for well over a year with Branagh at the helm (Jack Bender had been the director initially attached in the early stages of the project).

I saw Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit yesterday, and liked it quite a bit. Branagh gives a terrifically strong performance as the Russian villain, there are some nicely-shot sequences, and the story is compelling enough, even with a typical time-bomb ending. Aside from the M:I-style con sequence mentioned above, I noticed a bit of dialogue that seems to echo De Palma's Carlito's Way, which was also written by Koepp. In Carlito's Way, after their little "boat ride," Carlito angrilly gives Kleinfeld some advice: "You ain’t a lawyer no more, Dave. You’re a gangster now. You’re on the other side. Whole new ball game. You can’t learn about it at school, and you can’t have a late start."

We posted last week some quotes from Kevin Costner about taking on the "Sean Connery mentor role" in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. In the film, after Jack Ryan has a deadly run-in with a baddie out to kill him, Costner's shadowy CIA agent tells him, "You're not just an analyst anymore. You're operational now." That clip is below:


Posted by Geoff at 11:14 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, January 25, 2014
IF 33 FAMOUS MOVIES WERE MADE INTO TRILOGIES
AT CRACKED.COM



(Thanks to James!)

Posted by Geoff at 10:22 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, January 24, 2014
'24 EXPOSURES' - VAGUE ECHOES OF 'BLOW OUT'
ALSO HAS "DISORIENTING FAKEOUT" THAT IS "AS GRACEFUL AS DE PALMA"
Joe Swanberg shot 24 Exposures prior to last year's Drinking Buddies, but it is being released in theaters and VOD today. The Los Angeles Times' Gary Goldstein says that while Swanberg "is on to something" in 24 Exposures, "unfortunately, this would-be erotic thriller is just too unfocused and slapdash to satisfy its promise. With vague echoes of such art-meets-murder films as Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up and Brian De Palma's Blow Out, Swanberg attempts to provoke and grip. But he fails on both counts in telling this tale of Billy (Adam Wingard), a 'personal fetish photographer' whose violence-laced work begins to parallel a murder being investigated by a depressed cop (Simon Barrett)."

The Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl also finds the film's thriller/horror elements disappointing, and criticizes Swanberg's seeming use of nudity for nudity's sake. "Nobody's arguing that nudity precludes the possibility of serious artistic intent," states Scherstuhl, "except maybe those dopes who complain that the flesh bared on Girls doesn't seem to be there to inspire masturbation. 24 Exposures, on the other hand, seems crafted for viewers to watch with their hands in their pants. Yes, as the horny photographer and his girlfriend (Caroline White) hook up with their models, there are clever feints toward parody and criticism of godawful erotic thrillers, but the point of the many nude scenes never feels like anything more than the nudity. Swanberg has made an inspiring career out of rejecting the aesthetic crimes of Hollywood. It's dispiriting, then, that he so doggedly indulges in its tradition of male gazing. This is strict T&A, in a literal sense — just tits and ass, often gamely fondled.

"It's cheerful T&A, at least, and the women are allowed to be chatty, likable people, their characters always eager participants in their fetishization. If there's any artistic breakthrough it's in Swanberg's reclamation of the humanity of softcore, a project he's verged upon before: The women who get naked are the kind these indie filmmakers happen to know and like, a different set than the ones usually hired for movie erotica. Expect bobs, pores, nerves, and an affable freshness, and none of the steely, professional determination of the starlets of the Cinemax circuit. And don't expect to watch these women (all white) suffer acts of violence — there's none of that feeling, familiar from too many horror flicks, that at some level the filmmakers enjoy seeing women suffer.

"Granted, the female cast here all poses for Billy's crime-scene photo shoots, which involve ripped bras and tights, bathtubs of stage blood, and Laura Palmer–style corpse makeup. Since this is also something of a (gentle, self-referential, dissatisfying by design) horror film, those scenes of play-acted murder get juxtaposed against one that's meant to be real in the movie's story. It's a disorienting fakeout, as graceful as De Palma, and perhaps something of a commentary on the aestheticized sexual brutality of CSIs, SVUs, and every Shannon Tweed vehicle, but the deepest the movie digs into it is Billy admitting that he doesn't want to think too hard about what gets him off. (That could be the movie's thesis statement.)"

CraveOnline's Brian Formo adds that "there is a great Brian De Palma film within 24 Exposures. It is also filled with some perfectly framed De Palma moments: peering at women through blinds, sterile unfulfilling design of homes and offices, a third act that reveals that it never knew where to go with the narrative and explains it away in very writer-ly fashion."


Posted by Geoff at 1:51 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:01 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, January 23, 2014
KIM NICOLINI ON THE STEPFORD WOMEN OF 'PASSION'
"A MORE ACCURATE PORTRAIT OF WOMEN IN THE NEW ECONOMY THAN MOST FILMMAKERS WOULD DARE TO CREATE"


Writing for CounterPunch, Kim Nicolini calls Brian De Palma's Passion a "psycho-economic post-feminist thriller" that is "ferociously entertaining." Nicolini writes about the film with a stunning and fierce clarity, stating right away that "Passion is yet another De Palma exploration of the psycho-economics of sex as it plays out in the artifice of cinema." (Also check out her great piece on De Palma's Scarface in the recently published paper #4 of La Furia Umana-- I'll post about that soon, as well). Here are some excerpts from her CounterPunch piece:
-----------------------------

Marketing is a lie. That’s what it does and how it makes money, by selling lies. These women are the products of the very system they work for. They are self-created lies, femme fatales who are constantly shifting until we don’t know who’s who or what’s what.

However, these aren’t just any women. These are women who have subverted their “organic” female identity to survive and thrive in the man’s world of big business. The movie opens with Christine and Isabelle sharing a drink. When they both choke on what they’re drinking, Christine laughs and says, “It’s organic!” Of course it makes them gag. Both women are synthetic products, and organic is like poison to their plastic souls. This movie is largely about the bastardization of the “organic maternal” within the economic professional sphere, about how women subvert the “maternal feminine” to attain power in the global economy. Of course they’re going to choke when they swallow something organic...

With their clothes, shoes and hyper-performed yet subverted sexuality, these women are like high-end office furniture, lamps or mirrors who reflect the environment they occupy. Their interior selves merge with the exterior of the film – the cars, fancy apartments, slick offices. Their motives are driven by interior desire, yet they are also symptoms of the exterior world. They are mere pieces within their economic environment, yet they are also symptoms of it. Their interior and exterior have become the same thing, a reflection of the economic world, a terribly ugly beautiful surface. Their professional economic environment causes the women to act how they act and molds them into what they become.

Passion is a kind of science fiction of the now narrative, a thriller about the mutation of the female cosmology when it’s placed within the global economic sphere and becomes entwined with the market and the forces of power that drive it. Sure these women are vengeful, calculating and in many ways as synthetic as their environment. They are hyper-female yet coldly economic, but they are also seething with sexuality because in De Palma’s movies (like Scarface) sex and economic power are the same thing. These women use sex to maintain their position of dominance and control. Is it attractive? On the exterior they are sexy as hell, even when they are slashing each other’s throats. On the interior, well, these gals have forfeited their interiors so that question doesn’t really matter.

Do they have choices to not be their jobs? Well, it’s not a choice that De Palma gives us. The women’s actions are motivated by artifice, and they in turn become artificial beings, with their designer clothes, executive offices, and marketing campaigns. They are like Stepford women who have graduated from the kitchen and moved into the high rise office building...

We may not be sure who is out to get who, but one thing is for sure – all these women are out to get each other one way or another as they angle for power and position. I refer to this movie as post-feminist cinema because certainly this is not an image of women that feminists would feel comfortable with, but it’s also a more accurate portrait of women in the new economy than most filmmakers would dare to create. There are multiple references to Medusa within the film – the mythic female who turns men to stone when they look at her –, but these women are already stone. It’s like a reverse parable – they have been turned to stone by gazing into and occupying the male world.

Don’t get me wrong. These women may occupy and vie for power within the male marketplace, but they do not act like men. They act like women. They look like women. But they are women from whom the maternal has been excised by economic forces. In one scene, Christine learns that one of her lovers has a daughter, and she is appalled, horrified, and disgusted . . . almost as if she’s choking on an organic drink. She just wants to get fucked. She doesn’t want to breed. The mere idea of the maternal feels like swallowing poison to her.


Posted by Geoff at 1:39 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:42 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
'HAPPY VALLEY' DOC PREMIERES AT SUNDANCE
SCREEN DAILY: "TROUBLING" ; SALT LAKE TRIB: "LEAVES STOMACH IN KNOTS"


Amir Bar-Lev's documentary about the Penn State scandals premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matt, who appears in the film, appearing at the fest in support of Bar-Lev and the film. A review by Screen Daily's David D'Arcy calls the film "troubling," and suggests that it "should get strong play on cable sport channels." The Salt Lake Tribune's Brennan Smith states that the doc "takes the viewer back to the first time the story broke in 2011, complete with a mix of emotions that leaves the stomach in knots for the entirety of the 100-minute film." Smith adds, "The narrative is less about Sandusky and more about a framing of American and sports culture, where distraction trumps all and serious issues are swept under the rug."

D'Arcy describes the way the film captures events as they unfold at Penn State:

"Bar-Lev watches the university community witness news of Sandusky’s 2012 conviction on multiple counts of sexual abuse. Soon head football coach [Joe] Paterno (Sandusky’s boss), is sacked, along with the university president and other officials. The youth response on campus is a riot in which news trucks are overturned and property is destroyed.

"The mob reaction to disturbing news is at the core of Bar-Lev’s film, in which football fever fuels group fenzy in Happy Valley. Critics of Joe Paterno (nicknamed ‘JoePa’) are insulted and threatened when they express concerns publicly, as police stand by. This is extreme football fervor. It would be hard to find a Catholic congregation in the US that rallied behind a bishop who turned the other way after seeing evidence of sexual abuse. Football, as we see, is another story.

"Football as religion is a truism in the US. In Bar-Lev’s film, football as identity and profit takes over. The university searches for life beyond the revered Paterno, who dies in 2012 of a cancer that’s diagnosed the day after his firing. A popular statue of Paterno – a bronze figure of sports kitsch that was a tourist destination – is destroyed by the university, which also expunges the former coach’s name from the university’s history, like that of a purged Soviet official under Stalin. As the crowds pour back into the football stadium, Penn State is busy marketing a cult of personality for its new coach.

"Bar Lev’s scenes of crowd melees are frightening, but his film contains intimate poignant testimony that is equally troubling. Jerry Sandusky’s stoic adopted son, Matt, tells a sad story of growing up in the squalid digs of a desperately poor family and gravitating toward a program for poor boys headed by the coach, who gave the children food, gifts, and mandated sex."


Posted by Geoff at 12:52 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 5:13 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer|Latest|Older