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Monday, September 17, 2012
'DRESSED TO KILL' & 'BLOW OUT' DVD & BLU-RAY
NOV. 21 FRENCH RELEASES WILL EACH HAVE NEW INTERVIEWS
Fiction Factory in Germany announced today that it has just finished production on a series of filmed interviews for the upcoming French DVD and Blu-Ray releases of Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill and Blow Out. Releasing on November 21, the sets from Paris-based Carlotta Films will include interviews with Vilmos Zsigmond (on Blow Out), Angie Dickinson (on Dressed To Kill), Keith Gordon (on Dressed To Kill), Nancy Allen (on both films), and George Litto (on both films). The link above includes captures from each of the interviews.

Posted by Geoff at 7:32 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012
'DRESSED TO KILL' TO SCREEN AT FESTIVAL PARIS
FRESH PRINT SCREENS SATURDAY, AS PART OF 'EMERGED FROM THE SUMMER' SECTION
Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill will screen this Saturday at the Festival Paris Cinema, which runs from June 29 through July 10. Dressed To Kill is part of the festival's regular "Emerged From The Summer" section, which focuses on essential masterpieces that have been unjustly ignored. A fresh print has been created for the event.

Posted by Geoff at 11:24 PM CDT
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Monday, May 21, 2012


Posted by Geoff at 7:33 PM CDT
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Monday, January 23, 2012
ANGIE DICKINSON ON 'DRESSED TO KILL'
UPON FIRST READING SCRIPT, SAID, 'BRIAN...IN THE BACK OF A TAXI?'
Angie Dickinson was the "super special guest star" at The Catro Theatre's Noir City X festival this past Saturday in San Francisco, where they held a double feature of The Killers and Point Blank. De Palma a la Mod reader Chris was there, and tells us that Dickinson, looking strong at 80, "was introduced with a montage of famous and not-so-famous roles that featured the Dressed To Kill elevator scene in surprising detail." Surprising in that Chris felt there was a spoiler involved (for those that had never seen the film), and also because it showed her hand getting sliced. The montage then wittily cut from the razor attack to Dickinson giving Dean Martin a shave in a clip from Rio Bravo, a film she said she regards very highly, according to Chris.

Here is Chris' account of the stage interview:

Interviewer Eddie Muller said he thought DRESSED TO KILL was her best role and that she should have gotten an Academy Award for it. “I had met BD at a (Canadian) film festival and some time later he sent me a script...I read it and I said Brian...in the back of a taxi..? We’ll use a double, he said...I said ok. The reason he had trouble getting an actress for that part was that she had to be someone the audience liked instinctively, since there wasn’t time to give her any backstory, and she had to die 25 minutes into the picture (and there was a third reason she gave: I believe it was due to the perceived explicitness of the scenes)

paraphrasing: “BD was great, had a vision of what he wanted and made everyone work hard to get it”: Michael Caine told her there were 27 takes of him coming down the stairs in Bellevue. She agreed that she deserved an Oscar for the role (as supporting actress); said that due to it being a Filmways production there was no big studio to give a push to get her nominated, and that doing such a thing oneself was extremely expensive and she thought it was too much of a longshot to be worth the gamble.

She said she thinks THE UNTOUCHABLES is BD’s best film, and advised everyone to see it. When Muller asked if she loved Sean Connery in it she said yes but then — in a way that made it clear where her interest lay, and got a big laugh — said , “and, um , Andy Garcia

She says she loves movies, goes all the time and current faves are MY WEEK WITH MARILYN, HUGO (“they sold it as a film for kids...it’s a film with kids, for adults”), THE ARTIST (“love it...I’ve seen that many times”) and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. She’s also a fan of runpee.com (which I’d never even heard of -- subject came up because interviewer mentioned that Angie doesn’t appear in POINT BLANK until about 30 minutes in, at which point she interjected “so if you need to pee, that’s when to go”).

Jonathan Farrell provides another account of the evening over at Digital Journal.


(Thanks to Chris!)


Posted by Geoff at 7:55 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 6:50 AM CST
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
T IS FOR TOGA - NSFW
SHORT HORROR FILM INFLUENCED BY DE PALMA

While we're on the subject of De Palma fans making films, last October, Drafthouse Films held an open competition for a four-minute horror film based on the letter T. The winning film will be part of The ABCs Of Death, which brings together 26 directors (most of them already established in the horror genre), each giving their four-minute perspective on a letter of the alphabet. De Palma a la Mod reader David Guglielmo directed the above short, T Is For Toga, for the competition. Although he did not win, Guglielmo's entry was directly influenced by the films of Brian De Palma, and so we present it here for your entertainment. Guglielmo also reviewed the Blu-Ray release of De Palma's Dressed To Kill for Films In Review last week.

Posted by Geoff at 9:25 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:27 PM CST
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Tuesday, September 6, 2011
RON JEREMY ON 'DRESSED TO KILL' IN 1980
AND GLENN KENNY ON THE NEW BLU-RAY, OUT TODAY
Two Brian De Palma films were released today in the Blu-Ray format: Scarface and, from the director of Scarface, Dressed To Kill. Glenn Kenny offers a unique look at the latter by recalling the opinions of porn star Ron Jeremy, with whom Kenny knew through working as a production assistant in the porn industry during the "waning years of porno chic," as Kenny describes them. As Kenny explains, Jeremy felt that his past as a porn star would be less and less of a stigma as porn had been going through its "chic" years and mainstream films were becoming more permissive as far as depictions of sex:

Back in 1980 Mr. Jeremy was even more peculiarly delusional than he is depicted in the strangely poignant 2001 documentary Porn Star: The Legend of Ron Jeremy—albeit, perhaps, with better reason. A buff and boisterous 27 years of age, he was crowing to whoever would listen that he had just acquired his SAG card, and also completed some extra work in the new Woody Allen picture, which, as was even then the case with Woody Allen pictures, was as yet untitled. (My calculations put it as Stardust Memories, and I don't believe Ron made the final cut.) Because porno chic really still was a thing, and because of what was being perceived as the "new" or "newish" permissiveness in mainstream film, Ron believed that the porn thing would soon no longer be a stigma and that he'd be able to make a relatively painless and strain-free entry into the Hollywood firmament. I remember him waxing particularly eloquent on this topic with then-Playboy-writer David Rensin, who was visiting the set for an article and who sat around quietly dictating his notes into a mini-cassette recorder. Ron, I remember, had just done a threesome scene with two blondes that had sufficiently discombobulated him that he emerged from the bedroom set with his Fruit of the Loom briefs on inside-out. Warming to his topic, Jeremy ultimately decried the hypocrisy of the ratings system. "Did you see Dressed to Kill?" he asked Rensin. Of course he had; we'd all seen DePalma's Dressed to Kill, which had been released earlier that summer and was something of a succès de scandale. (Hey, look, I did the accent grave!!) I think I had seen it two or three times, 'cause me and my boys were big DePalma fans. Ron wasn't quite so sanguine about the picture. "I can't believe they gave that picture an R! It's total bullshit! I mean, come on. That shower scene in the beginning? I saw that finger go up there, you can't fool me. And they call US perverts."

Ron was referring of course, to the film's notorious opening shower-rape-fantasy scene, in which Angie Dickinson and, alternately, her nude double Penthouse Pet Victoria Lynn (and boy did Penthouse make hay out of THAT connection, if I recall correctly) are violently taken by an unknown hunky assailant. It was Mr. Jeremy's contention that the sex play in that scene indeed crossed the line into "hardcore," e.g., "penetration" and was getting away with something. Mr. Jeremy's subsequent public pronouncements, inasmuch as I've followed them, have not infrequently taken a similar why's-everybody-always-picking-on-me-when-somebody-else-is-doing-worse-stuff tone.

SCORSESE AND DE PALMA WENT TO SEE 'DEEP THROAT'
In Richard Schickel's recent Conversations With Scorsese, on page 116, Martin Scorsese delves into the days when porn was beginning to go mainstream:

[Discussing Taxi Driver]

Schickel: The woman—a society campaign worker—is attracted to Travis because he’s so out of her league, as it were. Her Junior League, I guess. Which makes this notion of taking her to a porn movie—

Scorsese: Oh! I know. Well, you have to remember, a lot of people don’t remember now, but at that time, they were trying to make porn acceptable, with Deep Throat and Sometimes Sweet Susan, and pictures like that.

Schickel: I went to a few of those.

Scorsese: It was okay to go with a girl. But Brian De Palma and I went to see Deep Throat, and he said, Look at the people around us, it doesn’t feel right. There were couples. I said, You’re right. We should be with all these old guys in raincoats. It was a wonderful kind of hypocritical thing that was happening—it opened up the society.


Posted by Geoff at 11:37 PM CDT
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Sunday, July 3, 2011
'DRESSED TO KILL' BLU-RAY SEPT 6
SAME DAY AS 'SCARFACE' BLU-RAY
September 6 will be a big day for De Palma fans who have a Blu-Ray player, as two early De Palma classics are released that day. FOX and MGM announced this past week that they will release Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill on Blu-Ray September 6th, with all the same extras as the regular DVD a few years ago. Earlier this year, Universal announced its Scarface Blu-Ray, also for September 6th. Judging by the cover of Dressed To Kill, shown here, the Scarface date may have had a lot to do with FOX's strategy to release Dressed To Kill on the same date (re: "From the director of Scarface).
(Thanks to Paul and Christopher!)

Posted by Geoff at 12:38 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 3, 2011 12:43 PM CDT
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Monday, April 4, 2011
'INSIDIOUS' SHOWS INFLUENCE OF DE PALMA
JAMES WAN AGREES, BUT ALSO CITES POLANSKI & SPIELBERG
Source Code wasn't the only film that opened this past weekend whose director discussed Brian De Palma as an influence. Last week, IFC's Stephen Saito talked with collaborators James Wan (director) and Leigh Whannell (screenwriter/actor) about their new movie, Insidious. The discussion turned to camera moves, mentioning Steven Spielberg's Jaws and Duel, Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill, and Roman Polanski. Here is an excerpt:

Speaking of twisting, it seemed like the camera was always moving, which seems like a break from other films like this where there might be long panning shots, but the camera still might be shooting from a stationary position.

JW: Even though the camera moves a lot, I think it's there to slowly build the tension and they're not fast camera moves at all. They're very controlled. I definitely wanted to make a very classical, old fashioned horror film based on very classical, old fashioned filmmaking. If you go back and see what Spielberg did with the first "Jaws," it's all very controlled camerawork - or "Duel."

LW: I read one review that said your direction was very reminiscent of "Dressed to Kill." That's pretty cool. Is that something you noticed at all [with the camerawork]?

JW: I look back at my body of work and I definitely see things that excite me in the same way that excite Brian De Palma for sure.

LW: The way he loves to move the camera in...

JW: It's not just that. He moves his camera, but he does it in a really interesting way.

LW: That opening shot of "Insidious," to me, is a very De Palma-esque shot. [The camera] comes in upside down and then twisting around.

JW: I was very inspired by someone like [Roman] Polanski as well, [in how] he takes slow, brooding movies that are made in such confined spaces and just builds on that and builds on that and builds on that. That's what we want to do. But instead of paranoia that we're building on, we're building on supernatural things.


Posted by Geoff at 1:32 PM CDT
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Monday, February 21, 2011
'UNKNOWN' CRIBS FROM 'DRESSED TO KILL'
MUSEUM SEQUENCE SAID TO BE NOD TO DE PALMA

Several critics have noted that a museum sequence in Jaume Collet-Serra's Unknown (which opened Friday and led the box office this past weekend) pays tribute to the masterful museum sequence in Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill. indieWIRE's Drew Taylor mentions "a moment cribbed from Brian De Palma‘s exemplary Dressed to Kill that takes place in an art museum" as one of a handful of "perfectly timed and orchestrated" suspense set pieces. NPR's Jeannette Catsoulis was less impressed, stating that "a swirling museum scene featuring blown-up photographs of unidentified faces — which in the hands of Brian De Palma could have been delicious — is almost laughable in its complete lack of subtlety." Chris Hewitt at the Pioneer Press feels that Collet-Serra is "heading confidently" into a Hitchcock/De Palma level, and mentions that De Palma's Dressed To Kill is "saluted in a museum scene." Taylor riffs on Unknown some more at High-Def Digest, referring to the film as "yellowed paperback fun." Taylor writes:

The thing about ‘Unknown’ is that the implausibility never really slows it down. As the mystery becomes deeper and more complex, you go along with it. [Liam] Neeson hires a Soviet-era spook played by Bruno Ganz to do some private investigating, while Diane Kruger becomes his de facto partner-in-crime. Shadowy killers stalk our hero. In a great scene lifted from Brian De Palma’s ‘Dressed to Kill’, he tries to reconnect with Jones while dodging goons in an art gallery. The mayhem steadily intensifies, straining credibility until the breaking point, which culminates with a giant third act plot twist that threatens to dismantle the whole thing… But doesn’t. Maybe it’s the appearance of Frank Langella as a dapper villain, or the fact that Neeson is just a compulsively watchable character. He’s very much channeling his everyman avenger from ‘Taken’, but ‘Unknown’ is an altogether more stylish, sophisticated beast.


Posted by Geoff at 10:58 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 21, 2011 11:00 PM CST
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
TYKWER ON RUN LOLA RUN
CITES DE PALMA AS INFLUENCE ON "ANY SPLIT SCREEN OR SLOW MOTION USE"
Thanks to Rado at the De Palma Touch for letting us know about Edgar Wright's wrap-up of his "Wright Stuff II," which took place over two weeks in January at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles. On January 22nd, Wright screened Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill, and Tom Tykwer's Run Lola Run. Keith Gordon was a guest at the Dressed To Kill screening, and Wright mentions that one of his festival highlights (of which there were many!) was getting Gordon "to talk about being an 18 year aspiring director on the set" of that film. Wright also picked out a handful of De Palma trailers to play before Dressed To Kill: Carrie, Blow Out, Body Double, and Raising Cain (Quentin Tarantino also picked out the Carrie trailer to play in front of Wright's Shaun Of The Dead on opening night of "Wright Stuff II").

"THANK YOU BRIAN, MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE OF PLAYFULLY DARK SEXY STYLISH AND TERRIFYING MOTION PICTURES"
Prior to that night's midnight screening of Run Lola Run, Wright read out an e-mail message from Tykwer, in which the filmmaker paid tribute to De Palma:

Dearest midnight animals at the new beverly,

i am deeply frustrated that I cannot be with you tonight at my favourite theater showing my good old red hot riding hood baby. That is in particular as i am going to be in town just a few days from now. But i’ll see you at some of the other screening of Mr. Wright’s great choices later this week. Definitely not going to miss The Warriors and Thunderbolt and lightfoot. both Walter Hill and Michael Cimino have been heroes of my youth and it’s not difficult to find their traces in the movie you’re about to watch. And speaking of Mr. Brian De Palma who Edgar also salutes in this series with his super classic Dressed To Kill. Any split screen or slow motion use you’re gonna encounter in the next 80 minutesL thank you Brian, master of the universe of playfully dark sexy stylish and terrifying motion pictures.

Meanwhile – enjoy the other thing i hate to miss tonight: master of ceremony edgar wright’s introduction into: run lola run! yours, tt

Incidentally, Run Lola Run is a film De Palma himself was very impressed with when it was released back in 1998.


Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CST
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