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Wednesday, April 30, 2014
HERRMANN DOUBLE FEATURE IN SAN FRANCISCO

Posted by Geoff at 6:27 PM CDT
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R.I.P. BOB HOSKINS, 1942-2014
"THANKS FOR YOUR TIME, BOB... LOVE, BRIAN"
Bristish actor Bob Hoskins died Tuesday after being treated for pneumonia. He was 71. In 1986, Hoskins was signed by Paramount to play Al Capone in Brian De Palma's The Untouchables. However, De Palma had been talking with Robert De Niro about playing Capone, and once De Niro finally committed, Linson asked the studio to pay Hoskins his full salary, which some stories report as $200,000, and others report as $300,000.

The way Hoskins told the story to Absolute Radio in 2009 was that De Palma sent Hoskins the Untouchables screenplay and told him to look at Capone. "I went to meet him at his hotel," Hoskins said on the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show, "and he said ‘really I want Robert De Niro to play him,’ and I thought, ‘well great what am I doing here?’ He then said ‘but if he don’t do it, would you sort of step in?’ and I said ‘yeah of course I will’. Anyway months went by and I read the papers and saw De Niro was doing it. I’d sort of forgotten all about it, and then Linda – my Mrs – was opening the post one morning and said ‘what’s that?’ and it was a cheque for £20,000. It said ‘thanks for your time Bob, love Brian’. [He laughed] I phoned him up and I said ‘Brian, if you’ve ever got any films you don’t want me in son, you just give me a call!’”

Hoskins' breakthrough role was as a gangster in John Mackenzie's Long Good Friday. (Incidentally, Mackenzie would go on, in 1986, to direct a TV movie out of a screenplay De Palma had been working on for years, Act Of Vengeance.) Hoskins' most famous role was as a private detective in Robert Zemeckis' 1988 smash Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Hoskins' role as an ex-con in Neil Jordan's Mona Lisa (1986) had earned him an Oscar nomination for best actor.


Posted by Geoff at 6:12 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 3, 2014 1:39 PM CDT
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'TRAP FOR CINDERELLA'
CRITIC: "ONE OF THE MOST WILDLY ENJOYABLE THRILLERS SINCE THE HEYDAY OF BRIAN DE PALMA"
The Record's Amy Longsdorf has a capsule review of Trap For Cinderella in her DVD roundup this week, indicating that the film might be De Palma-esque. Here's what she says:

"The thrills come fast and furious in this engrossing whodunit from Iain Softley (Wings of a Dove) about two childhood pals who reconnect after a decade apart. When Do (Alexandra Roach) runs into Micky (Tuppence Middleton) in London, the pair resume their friendship, as if the years had never passed. But Do has changed — and not for the better. Amnesia, mistaken identity, infidelity and a sinister secretary (Kerry Fox) all factor into one of the most wildly enjoyable thrillers since the heyday of Brian De Palma."

Posted by Geoff at 12:37 AM CDT
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Monday, April 28, 2014
JAMES SCHAMUS' TOP 10 CRITERION - 'BLOW OUT'
TAKES OPPORTUNITY TO PLUG DUMAS' 'UN-AMERICAN PSYCHO'
James Schamus, who has worked as screenwriter and producer on several Ang Lee films, among others, submitted a Crtiterion Top 10 list last week that includes Brian De Palma's Blow Out, as well as a shout-out to Chris Dumas' book Un-American Psycho. Although the Criterion site is apparently formatted to list everything in order, Schamus notes in his introduction, "So which top ten shall it be today? Well, in no particular order..."

Schamus groups the last two, #9 and #10, together: Abbas Kiarostami's Close-up and Brian De Palma's Blow Out. Here's what he says about them: "Close-up and Blow Out make a great double feature, mainly because their titles sound so cool together but also because you can’t find two better examples of wickedly smart and politically alive 'self-referential' cinema that couldn’t be less doctrinaire. Also, because including Brian De Palma proves I’m not a total snob and allows me to plug one of the funniest and most intelligent books of film theory of the past decade, Chris Dumas’s Un-American Psycho."

Posted by Geoff at 5:26 AM CDT
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Friday, April 25, 2014
'OBSESSION' SCREENS SUNDAY IN CLEVELAND
35MM PRINT IN SCOPE, PART OF BERNARD HERRMANN WEEKEND AT CINEMATHEQUE


A 35mm color and scope print of Brian De Palma's Obsession will screen this Sunday (6:30pm April 27th) at the Cinematheque, at the Cleveland Institute of Art. The screening is part of the Cinematheque's Bernard Herrmann weekend, which began Thursday. Other films in the series include Nicholas Ray's On Dangerous Ground, Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie, William Dieterle's The Devil and Daniel Webster, Nathan H. Juran's The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane.

Posted by Geoff at 1:37 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 24, 2014
DE PALMA ON RALPH STEADMAN
"I'VE NEVER MET A WARMER, GENEROUS... HE IS NOT HIS PAINTINGS!"
TIME's Richard Corliss posted a review yesterday of Charlie Paul's For No Good Reason, a documentary portrait of artist Ralph Steadman. Steadman's "interlocutor is Johnny Depp," writes Corliss, "a friend of [Hunter S.] Thompson who also starred in Terry Gilliam’s movie of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Bruce Robinson’s film of Thompson’s The Rum Diary. In 1998, Depp and Thompson visited the TIME offices and raised some merry hell (or so I’m told; I wasn’t invited). After Thompson’s death, Depp funded the funeral service: shooting the writer’s ashes from a cannon to the accompaniment of 'Mr. Tambourine Man' (the Bob Dylan song to which the Las Vegas book was partly dedicated). Among the mourner-celebrants were Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Bill Murray, Charlie Rose and Ralph Steadman.

"Depp’s appearance in the doc, however appreciated, doesn’t bring much but the patronage of a famous, friendly dude. Nor is Paul quite up to the challenge of synopsizing and illuminating an artist’s long career. As if to prove this is a coffee-house movie and not a coffee-table book, the director uses split screens, animation and rapid montage. But the salient, liveliest parts of For No Good Reason — the title comes from Thompson’s reply when Steadman once asked him, 'Why are we doing this?' — are to be found in the artist’s display of his work and recollections of the eccentrics he met."

In a later paragraph, Corliss discusses the seeming contrasts between Thompson and Steadman, and includes a quote from Brian De Palma that is apparently in the movie:

"While in America [Steadman] got an assignment to cover the Kentucky Derby for Scanlans magazine; the writer would be Hunter Thompson. He quickly realized that he had 'scored a bull’s eye the first time, and met the one man I needed to meet in America.' The two seemed a chronic mismatch. 'To me he was weird,' Steadman says. 'To him, I was weird.' The artist rarely took drugs or alcohol; the writer never stopped. Director Brian De Palma says of Steadman, 'I’ve never met a warmer, generous… He is not his paintings!' Yet Rolling Stone’s Jann Wenner, who hired Steadman to illustrate Las Vegas after another artist dropped out, says that Steadman was the more daring one, Thompson the more cautious."


Posted by Geoff at 10:05 AM CDT
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 12:56 AM CDT
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Monday, April 21, 2014
'FANTASTIC' VISUAL ESSAY ON ARROW'S 'SISTERS'
ACCORDING TO AN EARLY REVIEW AT [SIC]
An early review at [SIC] of Arrow Video's new edition of Brian De Palma's Sisters includes a paragraph about the special feature supplements. "In the absence of a commentary," the reviewer states, "the main feature is a fantastic (albeit spoiler-heavy) 45-minute essay on the film, recorded specially for Arrow, which tallies up the references as well as providing a wealth of information on the creation of the film, how De Palma's later films build on his experiences, and any number of other interesting facts and anecdotes. Supplementary material includes a selection of interviews with cast and crew, of which Jennifer Salt's is particularly interesting. There's also a breathless half-hour summary of De Palma's career that made me want to watch everything he's ever made, and the hilarious original trailer, which makes the film look about ten times trashier than it actually is."

As for the film itself, the reviewer is again very positive: "De Palma is now known primarily for his suspense thrillers, but prior to Sisters he had mainly made low-budget counter-cultural comedy films. Sisters was an attempt to make his name more 'bankable' by making a more mainstream film, so it would be understandable if it had not aged too well. However, there's no feeling of cynicism to the plot - it's a pulpy thriller that is heavily rooted in exploitation, but even within that fairly rigid framework, De Palma can't help experimenting. The ways in which Sisters stands out from the pack make it a real treat that holds up to anything else in the director's filmography."

Posted by Geoff at 10:49 PM CDT
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Friday, April 18, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 2:02 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 17, 2014
SET PICS FROM 'SISTERS'


Goregirl's Dungeon yesterday posted several production stills from the set of Brian De Palma's Sisters, including the one above, of De Palma and Margot Kidder.

Posted by Geoff at 12:33 AM CDT
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