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Monday, May 26, 2014




Posted by Geoff at 12:46 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 26, 2014 12:48 AM CDT
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Sunday, May 25, 2014










Posted by Geoff at 8:36 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 25, 2014 8:43 PM CDT
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Saturday, May 24, 2014
ZSIGMOND HONORED AT CANNES
ACCEPTS PIERRE ANGENIEUX EXCELLENCE IN CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD


Hot on the heels of his retrospective/master class tribute at Paris' Le Grand Action, Vilmos Zsigmond was in Cannes last night to accept the second annual Pierre Angénieux ExcelLens in Cinematography Award. As seen in the picture above, John Travolta was on hand to congratulate Zsigmond backstage. The two worked together, of course, on Brian De Palma's Blow Out. Also attending the event were Catherine Deneuve, John Boorman, and Jerry Schatzberg, among others.

In a pre-award interview at Cannes, Zsigmond was asked by Le Monde's Clarisse Fabre how he had approached the transition to digital camera in the early 2000s. "I had no a priori," Zsigmond replied. "For example, The Black Dahlia, Brian De Palma, was shot on film, and then we did the post-production digital. This allowed me to reduce the color and give an impression of black and white. I love digital to 'manipulate' the film: the color with less color! I like black and white, when the shadows are growing."


Posted by Geoff at 6:15 PM CDT
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Thursday, May 22, 2014
SCREAM ANNOUNCES 'PHANTOM' BLU-RAY DETAILS
AND THE FILM SCREENS FROM DCP AT MIDNIGHT THIS SATURDAY AT THE NEW BEVERLY
Scream Factory today released the details about its upcoming Blu-ray edition of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, which will be released August 5th. If you pre-order straight from ShoutFactory ($21.95), they are offering an exclusive 18"x24" poster of the new cover artwork, but only while supplies last. The Scream Factory press release repeats the news that the Swan Archives reported a couple of weeks ago: that there will be two discs included in the package. The first is a Blu-ray of the original movie, along with several new commentaries and new interviews, and the second disc is a DVD packed with special features old and new. Below is the rundown from the press release, but be sure to check the Swan Archives' News Page for a details about where each feature originally appeared.

DISC ONE (BLU-RAY):

High-Definition transfer of the film
NEW Audio Commentary with Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham and the Juicy Fruits (Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor and Harold Oblong aka Peter Eibling)
NEW Audio Commentary with Production Designer Jack Fisk
NEW Interview with director Brian DePalma (36 minutes)
NEW Interview with Paul Williams talking about the music of PHANTOM (30 minutes)
NEW Interview with Make-up Effects wizard Tom Burman discussing the Phantom Helmet

DISC TWO (DVD):

Paradise Regained – documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian DePalma, Producer Edward R. Pressman, William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham and more… (50 minutes)
Interview with Paul Williams moderated by Guillermo Del Toro (72 minutes)
Interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton (10 minutes)
NEW Interview with producer Edward R. Pressman (15 minutes)
NEW Interview with drummer Gary Mallaber (15 minutes)
NEW Alvin’s Art and Technique – a look at the neon poster (15 minutes)
NEW Phantom of the Paradise Biography by Gerrit Graham - 1974 Publicity Sheet written by and read by Graham (8 minutes)
Alternate Takes (40 minutes) Swan Song Outtake Footage (10 minutes)
Radio Spots
TV Spots
Theatrical Trailer
Still Gallery

'PHANTOM' AT THE NEW BEVERLY SATURDAY
Meanwhile, Phantom Of The Paradise will be screened from DCP at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles this Saturday at midnight.

VULTURE: MICHAEL JACKSON HOLOGRAPH MAKES HIM AKIN TO THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE
This past Sunday, the Billboard Awards show on ABC-TV included a Michael Jackson holograph performing one of the songs included on the new posthumous release, Xscape. Today, Vulture's Geeta Dayal posted an essay that, at one point, linked the ghostly Jackson to the Phantom Of The Paradise. Here's an excerpt from Dayal's post:

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Sunday's unsettling hologram performance at the Billboard Awards showed, once and for all, that the thriving Michael Jackson industry doesn’t need Michael Jackson to survive. Jackson is a global corporation, a portfolio of investments — a lucrative moneymaking machine that hums along, with or without a human at the controls.

Xscape — a potpourri of exhumed Jackson demos and discarded tracks, organized by L.A. Reid and fleshed out by top producers including Timbaland and Rihanna hitmakers Stargate — is currently the No. 2 album in the country. While it’s a bit odd to see the King of Pop lagging behind the Black Keys, the current No. 1 act, being second best isn’t too shabby when you’ve been dead for five years. All in all, Xscape — eight “new” songs in total, which go back as far as 1983 — is an admirable effort to make a full meal out of reheated leftovers...

Part of what made Jackson’s holographic performance so bizarre was the song itself: “Slave to the Rhythm,” a song on Xscape that was originally recorded in 1991 during the Dangerous sessions. The song is not half bad, though it’s easy to see why it was kept on the cutting-room floor until 2014. “She’s a slave to the rhythm,” Jackson sings, ostensibly about a woman. “She danced through the night/In fear of her life/She danced to a beat of her own,” Jackson continues urgently, filling in gaps with his requisite “hee-hees” and perfectly placed hiccups. But the song sounds autobiographical — you could think of it as Jackson’s ghost, talking about his own tortured afterlife. Jackson, five years after his death, is a slave to the rhythm — shackled by the corporate interests that refuse to let him rest in peace. He’s the phantom in Brian De Palma’s creepy 1974 classic Phantom of the Paradise — the sad, undead guy in the skintight black leather outfit who forgot that he signed a recording contract in his own blood, who’s now trapped in a recording studio and forced to craft megahits for eternity.

Jackson is an unending source of income, spinning out in all directions until the end of time. Like the Star Wars franchise, there will be sequels — and when the sequels are done, there will be prequels. Hundreds of unused songs — demos, outtakes, and other bits and pieces — are said to be in Jackson’s vaults. As holographic technology inevitably improves, the possibilities for live performances in the future will be endless. But perhaps we should leave Jackson be instead of trying to digitally reanimate him for eternity. In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, after witnessing a Darth Vader hologram slay a Jedi, “I can’t watch any more.”

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Posted by Geoff at 5:26 PM CDT
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014
DE PALMA RETROSPECTIVE BEGINS TODAY IN BRAZIL
FREE ADMISSION, 15 FILMS, CRITICS' DISCUSSIONS, & 2-DAY COURSE ON CINEMA OF DE PALMA
Beginning today, the Caixa Cultural Curitiba in Brazil presents a 15-film Brian De Palma retrospective, which runs until May 25th, with free admission. The full program can be read online at issuu.com. The program consists of three films per day, with a focus on De Palma's mostly lesser-known films, although Carrie is included, as well. Today the series opens with Bonfire Of The Vanities, Snake Eyes, and Redacted. Each day's final film will be followed by an audience discussion led by a guest critic. The line-up of critics: Ruy Gardnier, Nikola Matevski, Victor Guimarães, Francis Vogner dos Reis and Marcelo Miranda. In addition, there will be a two-day course on May 24-25, titled "The Cinema of Brian De Palma - Belief in the Suspect Image," conducted by critic Paulo Santos Lima.

The retrospective's curator, critic and filmmaker João Toledo, is quoted at Suplemento Cultural: "Brian De Palma flirts with a grandiose and operatic form of cinema, but also with the vulgarity of its falsity, with the levity of its dreams - and his images collide in this middle ground between the tacky , the caricature, the grotesque and the magical, the sublime, the beautiful."

(Thanks to Renato!)


Posted by Geoff at 1:19 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 1:20 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014
'WHEN ANIMALS DREAM' INSPIRED BY 'CARRIE'
DIRECTOR SAYS DE PALMA'S FILM TAKES REALISTIC APPROACH THAT NEVERTHELESS SEDUCES
Jonas Alexander Arnby's When Animals Dream premiered at Cannes yesterday as part of the festival's Critic's Week lineup. Arnby tells Deadline's Nancy Tartaglione that with this film, about a young woman who turns into a werewolf, he and his team "wanted to do a coming-of-age film about a girl who develops from A to B." He further tells Tartaglione that his biggest inspiration for the film was Brian De Palma's Carrie. "It really succeeds in making a realistic approach but still having a universe that seduces you," Arnby said of Carrie.

Here are links to some of the reviews coming out of Cannes:

Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg, Twitch
"This is a tremendous feature debut, haunting and elegaic, while not shying away from violence and sex. There is certainly no subtlety to the film; but then again, werewolves aren't meant to be subtle."

Allan Hunter, Screen Daily
"A teenage girl’s awakening sexuality quite literally brings out the beast in her in When Animals Dream (Nar dyrene drommer), an atmospheric fantasy chiller that marks an accomplished feature debut from director Jonas Alexander Arnby."

Stephen Dalton, Hollywood Reporter
"Jonas Alexander Arnby's debut feature is a confident and good-looking work that owes more to the Nordic Noir gloom of Let The Right One In than to the sanitized fluff of Twilight or the comic-book carnage of the Underworld franchise...Initially too slow to share its obvious secrets, When Animals Dream only clicks into full-blooded horror mode in its final act when hairy, scary Marie embarks on a Carrie-style rampage of revenge against the neighbors who previously made her life hell. Stylish but slight, Arnby's debut feature ultimately sticks within werewolf movie conventions, adding little fresh to the form. That said, it should appeal to more highbrow genre fans who like a bit of European arthouse angst with their throat-ripping gore."


Posted by Geoff at 12:26 AM CDT
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Sunday, May 18, 2014




Posted by Geoff at 5:11 PM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 5:02 PM CDT
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Saturday, May 17, 2014
DE PALMA TO APPEAR IN 'HITCHCOCK/TRUFFAUT' DOC
INTERVIEWEES ALSO INCLUDE SCORSESE, SPIELBERG, FINCHER, ASSAYAS, WES ANDERSON, MORE
Variety's Leo Barraclough reports from Cannes today that Brian De Palma is among several filmmakers who will appear as interviewees in the upcoming feature documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut, which looks at the book of the same name and is based on the recordings (of Alfred Hitchcock discussing his career with Francois Truffaut) that led to its completion. Kent Jones is directing the movie, which will be released in 2015. It will also include interviews with Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Wes Anderson, David Fincher, James Gray, Richard Linklater, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Olivier Assayas, and Arnaud Desplechin. Barraclough reports that "the directors will share how the book shaped their careers, transformed cinema and introduced the French New Wave and 'New Hollywood' to the world."

Barraclough adds, "The film will journey through the extensive series of conversations between Hitchcock and Truffaut, illustrating their love for filmmaking and demonstrating their impact on world cinema. Scenes from Hitchcock’s films will be intercut with comment from the filmmakers. Segments from the 1962 original recordings between the two filmmakers will also feature, allowing audiences to hear candid discussions between Hitchcock and Truffaut, and to witness first-hand a quintessential moment in cinematic history."

"For me, in many ways, cinema began with Francois Truffaut’s book about Alfred Hitchcock,” Jones tells Barraclough. “For me, and for many others, the book was more than formative — it was essential and direct.”

The book, of course, made a cameo in De Palma's Greetings (as shown above).


Posted by Geoff at 4:51 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 17, 2014 4:53 PM CDT
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Thursday, May 15, 2014
GREVEN'S 'PSYCHO-SEXUAL' EXCERPT ONLINE
ON "DE PALMA'S INTERTEXTUAL HITCHCOCK PROJECT" AT ROGEREBERT.COM
RogerEbert.com published an excerpt today about Brian De Palma from David Greven's book, Psycho-Sexual. Here's the closing paragraph of the excerpt:

De Palma was one of the first film directors to treat Hitchcock as an established film grammar, a genre unto himself. By treating Hitchcock as a school rather than merely as a predecessor or competitor whose works could provide an example for commercial success, De Palma forced audiences to reconsider and relive the traumas and implications of Hitchcock’s cinema. The “proper” way to use a predecessor is, apparently, to evoke certain effects and instances of technique, but not to dwell on them. Steven Spielberg’s "Jaws" (1975) famously opens with a highly effective and disturbing variation on Psycho’s shower-murder sequence—the skinny-dipping girl’s nighttime swim and murderous attack from the shark—but then proceeds to camouflage all of its borrowings from Hitchcock. If Spielberg makes use of Hitchcock, he does so only sparingly, such as, to give another example, his evocation of the Mount Rushmore sequence in "North by Northwest" in his "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977), when the hero and his female ally try to scale Devil’s Mountain surreptitiously. De Palma’s use of Hitchcock certainly isn’t sparing; it’s the whole meal. He recreates Hitchcock’s major effects and then languorously, disturbingly distends them. In so doing, De Palma solicits criticism, but he also forces us to rethink Hitchcock and the work of the cinematic past generally. De Palma’s metatextual meditations are not ends to themselves but, instead, tethered to much larger political and social concerns. And these concerns are with the gendered and sexual logic of patriarchy and what happens to individuals when they attempt to challenge and, much more threateningly, break free of the social order.

Posted by Geoff at 11:56 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:58 PM CDT
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