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Saturday, March 17, 2012
'SNAKE EYES' ESSAY AT A.V. CLUB
AS DE PALMA THRILLER SCREENS TONIGHT AT TORONTO'S BELL LIGHTBOX
TIFF is having an ongoing late night series called "Bangkok Dangerous: The Cinema of Nicolas Cage." Up tonight is Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes, which has prompted A.V. Club Toronto to post a series of essays about the actor, called "Caged Wisdom." This week, John Semley posted an essay that delves into Snake Eyes' opening shot, the odd criticism of De Palma as a "stylist," and the film's intricate split screen sequence. Regarding the opening sequence, Semley writes, "It’s a persuasive, hypnotizing bit of film craft, ranking right up there with the director’s best. It’s not closed-off enough to function as a self-contained short film or anything. But as a piece of geometry, as an object lesson in what it is that Brian De Palma does as a filmmaker, it’s instructive—truly bravura. Oddly, it’s this sense of bravura, this virtuoso quality, that has earned De Palma so many detractors."

Posted by Geoff at 5:03 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 9:08 AM CDT
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012
SET PICS & ARTICLE FROM 'PASSION' CEMETERY SCENE
DE PALMA, RAPACE, HERFURTH FROM YESTERDAY'S SHOOT AT SCHÖNEBERG CEMETERY

BZ published an article with pictures from Tuesday's set of Passion at the St. Matthew's cemetery in Schöneberg, where they were filming a funeral scene. Pictured above is Brian De Palma, Noomi Rapace, and Karoline Herfurth on the set. The article by Bea Peters says that while the scene was serious, in between takes Rapace and Herfurth could be seen laughing and joking around with each other. The article mentions that while Rachel McAdams was not there, the actress has been seen flitting around Berlin on her bicycle in between takes.

Posted by Geoff at 7:20 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2012 5:05 PM CDT
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Sunday, March 11, 2012
NICOLAS CAGE TALKS 'SNAKE EYES'
"THE TRACKING SHOT IS WHAT BRIAN WOULD CALL 'NO NET PRODUCTIONS'"

The past two issues of Fangoria have featured parts one and two of a terrific interview with Nicolas Cage, conducted by Chris Alexander. In the current issue (#311), the discussion leads to Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes:

FANG: You've worked with most of the living masters, including David Lynch in the wonderful Wild At Heart. But I must say, Brian De Palma's Snake Eyes is woefully undervalued, both as a De Palma film and a Cage film. And that tracking shot...

CAGE: I don't watch my movies, but that one, if I catch it on television... I'll shut it off after two minutes, but I'll look at it and go, "Oh, wow, what did we get up to there?" That movie is remarkable, really. It has a style that's all its own, and the tracking shot is what Brian would call "No Net Productions." It was as if we were on a high wire and we'd go for five minutes, doing nonstop dialogue, movement, rehearsing all day long and if one line was blown, we'd have to stop, set it up and do it all over again.

FANG: How many times did you do it?

CAGE: I don't remember, but I know I was rehearsing it day and night, in my head all the time, even in the shower. Then on the day we were filming, we rehearsed well past lunch before we actually started to shoot. I often tell people I'm working with, if they are interested in tracking shots, to check out the beginning of Snake Eyes, because it is a standout, right up there with Touch Of Evil.

'SILENT HOUSE' CREATES ILLUSION OF SINGLE-TAKE FOR REAL TIME HORROR
Speaking of long tracking shots, this issue of Fangoria also includes an article about the just-released remake of Gustavo Hernández' The Silent House (the new version shortens the title to Silent House). Hernández' film stood out for its use of one long single-take to present its haunted house story in real time. In the Fangoria article, Open Water filmmakers Chris Kentis and Laura Lau describe how they worked hard to give the illusion that their Silent House is done in one long single-take, although it is made up of a string of very long continuous takes itself. (De Palma's opening 15 minutes of Snake Eyes also includes one or two well-designed cuts to present the illusion of a single take.) The pair also explains why, after showing the film at Sundance in 2011, they went back and shot a new ending. "We actually reshot quite a bit of the movie, like the last 15 minutes," Lau tells Fangoria's Michael Gingold, "and obviously one reason was that because it's a continuous take, it was not simple to change that film!"


Posted by Geoff at 10:33 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2012 10:36 PM CST
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KAROLINE'S FB POST ABOUT FIRST DAY ON SET
HAIR IS "SHORT AND RED", 'PASSION' SET IS "EXCITING"
Earlier this afternoon (German time), Karoline Herfurth posted on her Facebook page about her first day on the set of Brian De Palma's Passion:

Thank you for your kind greetings. Spent my first day of filming on the set of [Brian] De Palma. My hair was made up short and red, which I have to adjust to. Once the hair stylist for the shooting is done, it even looks really good, but when I'm home in front of the mirror and don't know where the damn volume mousse is supposed to go, then it is a disaster. Close your eyes and go for it, after shooting until I can return to the hairdresser ... :-) This set is and remains exciting :-)

Posted by Geoff at 3:52 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2012 7:14 PM CST
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Saturday, March 10, 2012
'PASSION' UPDATE
It looks like Brian De Palma and friends did an overnight shoot Friday inside the Bode Museum in Berlin, wrapping up the night's work at about 5am this morning.

Posted by Geoff at 10:29 PM CST
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2012 5:07 PM CDT
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Thursday, March 8, 2012
DE PALMA ON SET IN BERLIN
MORE PICS FROM MONDAY'S FIRST DAY OF 'PASSION'

Posted by Geoff at 7:37 PM CST
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012
FIRST PICS FROM SET OF 'PASSION' IN BERLIN
FILMING BEGAN MONDAY NIGHT IN FRONT OF SUBURBAN VILLA
Rachel McAdams Online has the first pictures from the set of Passion, which began shooting Monday in Berlin. According to the Berliner Morgenpost, the first scene was shot Monday night in front of a villa in Lankwitz, a southern suburb of Berlin. The initial shots involved Rachel McAdams, who was joined by co-star Noomi Rapace around 8:30pm.

Posted by Geoff at 12:33 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 12:34 AM CST
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012
'HEAT' IS HAPPENING
SIERRA/AFFINITY SELLS GERMAN THEATRICAL & TV RIGHTS TO UNIVERSUM
Hot on the heels of Passion, which began filming yesterday in Berlin, The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Roxborough reports that Universum Film has acquired the German theatrical rights to Brian De Palma's remake of the 1986 Burt Reynolds vehicle Heat, which will star Jason Statham. Universum's sister company RTL took the TV rights for the territory. For this film, De Palma will film again in France, eleven years after shooting Femme Fatale in that country. William Goldman is revising his 1986 script for the new film, according to Roxborough. A March 7 2012 Hollywood Reporter article by Pamela McClintock further reveals that Heat "scored distribution deals with Universum in Germany, SPI in Eastern Europe, Sun Distribution in Latin America, Tanweer in India, Cathay-Keris in Singapore and Studio Solutions Group in Taiwan, among others."

Meanwhile, Outlaw Vern recently watched the Burt Reynolds movie for the first time, and surmises, "I can see why some people would write it off (ha ha Burt Reynolds) but the sleazy tone, the unorthodox structure and the strong relationships with the prostitute, the blackjack dealer and the software nerd all make it a forgotten gem in my opinion. Also he uses a credit card to slit a guy’s throat."

Posted by Geoff at 6:42 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, March 7, 2012 11:24 PM CST
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Sunday, March 4, 2012
'PASSION' PREPPING AT STUDIO BABELSBERG
REHEARSALS, LIGHTING & CAMERA TESTS AT LEGENDARY STUDIO THE PAST WEEK
Dress rehearsals for Brian De Palma's Passion have been held this past week at legendary Babelsberg Studios, which turns 100 this year. According to PNN's Jana Haase, De Palma arrived "with his three leading ladies," Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, and Karoline Herfurth. Along with rehearsals, states Haase, the Passion crew has been using the studio to develop the look of the film with lighting and camera tests. Haase writes that, although reports have stated Passion will shoot exclusively on location in Berlin (beginning tomorrow), the film's set designers have made a home for themselves at Babelsberg, as well. Meanwhile, after Rapace was spotted strolling the Berlin streets with her family, the Berliner Morgenpost ran a headline today that read, "'Lisbeth Salander' out and about in Berlin."

(Thanks to Lindsey!)

Posted by Geoff at 7:27 PM CST
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PACINO'S 'SCARFACE' SUIT DISCOVERED
AND A NEW 'SCARFACE' CASINO GAME IS REVEALED
Universal Pictures is celebrating its 100th birthday throughout 2012, and to get the party started, the studio's Archives invited Entertainment Weekly's Adam B. Vary to an exclusive look at the very suit worn by Al Pacino in the final scenes of Brian De Palma's Scarface. The suit was recently discovered by Universal's wardrobe department, which immediately sensed the historical value and gave the archives a call. You can watch the video at EW's Inside Movies blog.

Meanwhile, Net Entertainment recently unveiled a new Scarface platinum casino slot-machine game. According to the press release, "The game itself is a five-reel, 20 win-line slot. Three Stacked Wilds on three different reels activate Nudge Spins and Free Spins features, plus a thrilling bonus game based on the 'Say hello to my little friend!' shootout sequence from the film." The game was revealed January 24th at the ICE Totally Gaming conference at London's Earls Court. "As the curtain fell," states the press release, "they greeted the sight of the iconic image of Al Pacino as Tony Montana with applause before being treated to the game’s fantastic intro sequence and demonstrations from Net Entertainment staff." Net Entertainment president and CEO Björn Krantz said, "Scarface is a hugely popular film and we’re delighted to be able to present such an iconic title to the gaming community. It’s been a joy to see the concept develop and we thank Universal for their cooperation in bringing the game to life. As with Frankenstein, our previous branded game, we aimed to use a world-renowned title as a platform on which to build a slot game that pushes the boundaries of innovation and excitement value."

Posted by Geoff at 4:45 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 4, 2012 4:50 PM CST
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