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

De Palma a la Mod


De Palma Discussion


Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Are Snakes

De Palma & Lehman
thriller novel to be
published in France
May 16

De Palma Masterclass,
Casualties Of War,
and book signing
June 2 in Paris

Pics, quotes from
Tribeca Scarface reunion

Donaggio records
Domino score with
Massara in Belgium

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


Exclusive Passion

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


AV Club Review
of Dumas book


« June 2014 »
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


De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


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


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

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema


Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor


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


No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod

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
Are Snakes Necessary?
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Casualties Of War
Cinema Studies
Columbo - Shooting Script
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Hi, Mom!
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jared Martin
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Noah Baumbach
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parties & Premieres
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Responsive Eye
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Sean Penn
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Sweet Vengeance
Taxi Driver
Toronto Film Fest
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untitled Hollywood Horror
Untitled Industry-Abuse M
Venice Beach
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
Monday, June 9, 2014

Brice Dellsperger's video series, Body Double, which is titled after the Brian De Palma film of the same name, is currently on exhibit at New York's Team Gallery. The show, which consists of all thirty videos in the series, began yesterday, and continues through August 1st. According to the Team Gallery website, "the program changes weekly, repeating itself mid-way through the exhibition to give viewers several chances to view all the pieces."

The press release states, "For the past two decades, Dellsperger has developed a vast, nearly overwhelming body of work, titled Body Double after Brian De Palma’s psycho-sexual thriller of the same name. The oeuvre consists of thirty video works, investigations into the conceptual, social and formal tropes that inform cinema and spectatorship. Both reverent and destructive towards his source material, the artist’s practice voraciously cannibalizes and digests iconic moments in film. The resultant works are arresting, both viscerally affecting and deeply cerebral, heavily informed by film and queer theory.

"The act of doubling is among the work’s central conceits; contending not only with issues of material and visual replication, but also with the duplicative nature of film itself. Dellsperger elaborately reproduces famous movies with varying degrees of loyalty to the original texts. He most often casts just one or two actors, most often himself or the artist Jean-Luc Verna made up as women, in all roles. Certain elements – narrative chronology, characters’ original gender identities – are frequently abandoned, while others – score, dialogue – remain intact. Each artwork is the drag-queen doppelganger of its source: a dedicatedly faithful and wholly recognizable copy, but one that is forthcoming with its artificiality.

"The content and the title are direct references to Brian De Palma, specifically to the titular 1984 film, which skewers Hollywood through a depiction of its underworld double – the porn industry. The title Body Double refers simultaneously to this original source material, the artist’s use of surrogate actors and to De Palma's own repeated use of three films by Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window, Vertigo, and Psycho, as blueprints to build upon. Dellsperger’s similarly imitative works are complex and unending mirrors, reflecting their own reflections ad infinitum. He rejects the notion of artist as demiurge; the act of reframing pre-existing materialfunctions crucially and visibly at every level of his art.

"The works subvert the straightforward readings of sexual identity we expect when we go to the movies. For example, a scene from De Palma’s Dressed to Kill is re-enacted by the artist dressed as a woman, portraying both halves of a heterosexual couple. The original sequence relies on ambiguity: the viewer derives excitement from her confusion as to who is following whom. The Body Double version creates a secondary queer narrative of lust and narcissistic abandon, while also leaving the original power of De Palma’s film intact. Dellsperger’s piece also acts as a metaphor for the mimetic relationship between film and life – the 'chase scene' that takes the cinematic and the real as its ever-trysting protagonists.

"The gallery will show all thirty extant works from the series. The program changes weekly, repeating itself mid-way through the exhibition to give viewers several chances to view all the pieces. Our Grand Street space will show one video each week as a large-scale single channel projection. The Wooster Street space will be treated as something of a lab, in which five monitors display single-channel pieces, while a triptych of flat screens exhibit Dellsperger’s multiple-channel films. Many of these works have never been screened in New York. Among the texts re-interpreted by the artist are those of such vaunted auteurs as Kubrick, Anger, Lynch, Zulawski, Hitchcock and Fassbinder; lesser-respected works chosen by Dellsperger for their pop cultural power (Saturday Night Fever, Return of the Jedi and Flash Gordon among them) and, of course, many troublesome, still controversial scenes from the work of De Palma."

The Team Gallery website also features PDF's of print reviews of Dellsperger's works, including this recent article by Mara Hoberman from a recent issue of ArtForum.

Posted by Geoff at 8:25 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 8:27 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

MUBI Notebook has published the latest audiovisual essay from Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin, "[De Palma’s] Vision." In the written introduction to the audiovisual essay, the authors explain, "There is a story of how Brian De Palma works with his film editors: he looks at what they have already done in assembling a scene, and then instructs them on how to improve it, to his precise specifications, by tapping out a particular beat: ‘1 … 2 … 3 … cut there!’ His work on cinematic form is rhythmic, musical—and always keyed to emotional, physical patterns of tension and relaxation. So he counts out the beats to draw all the elements of image and sound, gesture and architecture together, in a masterful choreography/orchestration of elements.

"In approaching an audiovisual analysis of De Palma’s films (which we dearly love, and find inexhaustible as objects of study), we too faced the task of not merely enumerating the abundant motifs and structures in his work, but also bringing them together and drawing out their unfolding logic—unfolding both within each film, and across his whole career."

Álvarez López and Martin then describe how various accounts of De Palma's cinema build from lists of recurring themes and motifs in his work. They note that in his essay for the Criterion edition of Sisters, Bruce Kawin "sought a logic to cohere and unify the various motifs in De Palma’s films, as do we. If we take a cluster of these motifs relating to the idea of vision, then we quickly realise that they allow De Palma to create compositional effects and narrative extravagances of every kind. But this director’s obsession for the visual does not cover only the style and narratives of his films; it is also, frequently, the true, deep theme of his cinema. The very act of looking and its consequences; the relationship between the subject who looks and the object of their gaze; the way of processing, decoding and interpreting what we see; the value of absolute truth that we tend to give the information that reaches us through the organ of sight ... All these issues are central to his films."

The essay, then, explores the question of "how, according to what concrete forms, does vision become such a central concern for De Palma?"

Posted by Geoff at 3:50 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The great image above, showing Brian De Palma overseeing John Travolta during the shooting of a scene in Blow Out, while Vilmos Zsigmond crouches below the camera, showed up at The Auteur's Tea Room this past February.

Blow Out will be screened this Thursday at Austria's Albertina Museum, as part of an exhibition revolving around Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up. The latter film will be screened after Blow Out, and the night of screenings will conclude with Christian Marclay's Up and Out, which juxtaposes the images of Blow-Up with the soundtrack from Blow Out. The films are part of an overall Blow-Up exhibit which includes stills from Antonioni's film, along with "photographs illuminating the cultural and artistic context of the film production, London of the Swinging Sixties," according to the Albertina web site.

(Thanks to Rado!)

Meanwhile, The Philadelphia Enquirer's Edith Newhall visited a Jon Manteau exhibition, titled "Philadelphia Historical Artifacts," and ends her article with the following:


The second time around, I accepted that I could not take in absolutely everything in this show and that allowing for the occasional serendipitous encounter might be the best approach. The individual works that make up wall-mounted rows of dozens of postcard-size painted digital scans of Philacentric photographs, which at first I'd found almost off-putting in their multitude and abundance of Philly references, turned out to be consistently clever and affecting. I came across my favorite pieces (besides the painted carpets) on the wall of the back office: three ink-jet prints of views of Philadelphia from the 1970s (I.M. Pei's Society Hill Towers among them) poured with house paint that simultaneously reminded me of Gene Davis Franklin's Footpath, painted on the Parkway in 1972, and Brian De Palma's Blow Out.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 2:49 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 12:47 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Thank you to Antonios for sending us the link to the video above, in which Quentin Tarantino speaks at a press conference last week at the Cannes Film Festival. At about the 9:27 mark, while answering a question about dealing with pressure amidst expectations of each new film he makes, Tarantino mentions how, when he was younger, he would wait with heightened anticipation for each new Brian De Palma film. Vulture has a pretty good transcription of what Tarantino said, but the video above shows that certain points were left out (such as when Tarantino talks about how he would have "Scarface dreams," he adds that that was easy to do, having seen the original Howard Hawks movie). Anyway, here's the excerpt from Vulture:

When asked if he finds it harder and harder to top himself as he gets more famous and established, Tarantino said it's not something he thinks about. "Frankly, it’s not a pressure I ever feel because, to me, that should always be there. I want people to expect a lot from me. I want people waiting with great expectation for my next movie." It makes him feel connected with directors he grew up idolizing. "I mean, when Brian De Palma would come out with a new movie, the whole first two weeks before the movie opened, I would count down the days. That week before Scarface opened, that was Scarface Week. You know, 'Six more days to Scarface!' 'Five more days to Scarface!' I’d have Scarface dreams ... And then the new De Palma movie would open. I’d go see the first show, the first day, and no one could come with me. I had to see it by myself. Then I’d ruminate about the film all day long and then I’d go to see the midnight show that night, and then I could actually have some friends with me. That kind of excitement for a filmmaker is one of the things that keeps filmmaking alive, and vital, just like in Bob Dylan’s time waiting for Bob Dylan’s next album. Or in Norman Mailer’s time waiting for his new novel. I don’t consider that pressure. I consider that a luxury, that I actually have people who like my stuff and are waiting for the new one. I wouldn’t want it any other way. The opposite of what you’re talking about is I’m making a movie and no one gives a damn and it opens up and no one cares. That would be horrible."

Posted by Geoff at 3:35 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 3:36 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The upper image above is a shot from the new short film by Romain Lehnhoff, Username: Carmen (the title is a play, of course, on the title of Jean Luc Godard's First Name: Carmen), juxtaposed with a shot from Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill (itself informed by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho). Username: Carmen, which you can watch here, is a comedy created for Welcome To The Other Side, a short film festival contest that asked entrants to create a film of six-minutes or less, that involves the provided synopsis: "Following a misunderstanding, an individual walks into a room of absurdity (or nonsense)." The film also had to take place on May 23, 2014, and include "Un plan à l’envers."

Username: Carmen won Lehnhoff the top prize in the contest in Lille, France. The film is in French, with no subtitles, but you can follow it if you know it involves a guy (a student) who has an essay due the next day about the place of opera in today's music. Desperate, he finds a forum of opera lovers and asks them for help.

Thinking he's being clever while his girlfriend is in the shower, he uses the name "Carmen" as his user name, but finds that the forum is full of horny guys who only want to help "her" if he shares a picture-- he's about to tell them he's sorry, but he is a guy, but they insist on the pic as the only way they'll help "her," so he posts a pic of his girlfriend. After they go gaga over how "pretty" she is, etc., etc., the student gets ticked off by the whole thing, resulting in a hilarious act of rage, which his girlfriend walks in on at the end.

Aside from the above nod to Dressed To Kill, Romain also threw in a "quote" from De Palma's Mission: Impossible -- when the student types in his password, you'll see that the password is "JOB314."

Posted by Geoff at 12:31 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014 6:55 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, May 26, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 12:46 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 26, 2014 12:48 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, May 25, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 8:36 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 25, 2014 8:43 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, May 24, 2014

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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, May 22, 2014
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.


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


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

Meanwhile, Phantom Of The Paradise will be screened from DCP at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles this Saturday at midnight.

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:


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.”


Posted by Geoff at 5:26 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post