Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
Sam Cohen, Under The Gun Review
"There are even some sly winks at filmmakers like Michael Bay and Brian De Palma through the film’s multitude of comedic set pieces. The film begins with a shot that pans in over Schmidt and Jenko conversing on the top of a parking garage with the sunset in the background. Naturally, some stakes-raising music along with a complimentary lens flare occupy the sequence as an almost direct stab at the generic Hollywood blockbuster aesthetic. That’s the best part about 22 Jump Street, it knows what films to make fun of it but it invites you to be a part of the joke as the viewer."
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.
"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?"
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:
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."