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Warren Beatty's
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Filmmaker Mike
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Rie Rasmussen
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Coppola on
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"What I was
trying to do with
those films was to
make three student
films in order to
try and set a new
trajectory and try to
say, 'Well, what
happens if I have no
resources?' Now, having
done that, my new
work is going to be
much more ambitious
and bigger in scope and
budget and ambition,
but now building on a
new confidence or
assurance. The three
little films were very
useful. I'm glad I did
it. I hope George Lucas
does it, because he
has a wonderful personal
filmmaking ability that
people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
direct De Niro
as raging comic
in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
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debut with
Capote story

Keith Gordon
teaming up
with C. Nolan for
supernatural
thriller that
he will write
and direct

Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-Picture emerging
for Happy Valley

-De Palma's new
project with
Said Ben Said

-De Palma to team
with Pacino & Pressman
for Paterno film
Happy Valley

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De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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Carrie...A Fan's Site

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Thursday, February 14, 2013
'PASSION' REVIEWS
"FIERCE COMPETITION BETWEEN VARIOUS TYPES OF IMAGES"
Brian De Palma's Passion opened in France and Belgium on Wednesday. Here are links and quotes from some of the reviews that have been coming in:

Louis Guichard, Telerama
"In the original, there was a master-slave relationship between a woman and a debutante, with a decisive age difference. In this new version, they are no longer two, but three. These dangerous wolves, of differing hierarchical rank, yet interchangeable if we consider their professionalism and greed. They are all super hyper phallic and feminine, in the brilliant light of the usual DP chief of Pedro Almodóvar...

"Repetition, duplication are the endless obsessions of the director: in 1976, Obsession was a decal of Vertigo, itself a masterpiece of reference to the question of the double ... Here, the theme comes adorned with additional sociological resonances. In this advertising agency, seen as the epitome of the capitalist world, mimetic desire rages: each wants the job of the other, the body of the other, will be another, resembles her so much already. Hence a stunning and frightening effect of cloning. The blonde asks her sex partners to wear a mask molded according to her own face: her desire is self-idolatry, in which the evocation of a sudden twin sister brings a touch of vertigo...

[Minor SPOILER in this paragraph] "The fierce competition between various types of images, such as many versions of life, prepares a stunning last movement - the fact that the story takes place in Berlin, but in English, adds to the disorientation. The final crescendo of Passion shows a heroine now in full terror: entrapped by the derealization of her world, harassed by mobile phone ring tones that can not be located, assailed by threats of which we no longer know why they are effective. It is rare that a police thriller spectacularly and breathlessly rises to the top of this ambiguity."

Thierry Gandillot, Les Echos
"Conducted beautifully by an inventive Brian De Palma, these little perverse games between friends seduce. Fatally."

Pierre-Louis Cereja, La Lsace
"With De Palma, we are in the hyper-connected. Of course, for reassurance, there are figures compulsory to the thriller but what really matters here is to bring the viewer to question the images we soak in. To finally see De Palma dive into the catalog of his obsessions with blond wigs, high-heeled shoes, shower, stairs, women kissing each other or twin sisters is something breathtaking. Let us savor ..."

Isabelle Regnier, Le Monde
"Geographically scattered, the plot echoes Hitchcock yet is stretched by the games in which De Palma indulges, once again, with images and displays. In the service of this battle of wits akin to a game of high level chess, his mise en scène integrates with an uncommonly virtuosic videoconferencing, video amateur porn online, viral traffic, split screen ... Betrayal, manipulation, blackmail, lies, duplicity, everything returns continuously in a whirlwind which, by dint of overbidding, becomes comical. Ridicule is not far, but the film escapes, saved by the fluidity, the grace, the elegance of its delectable mise en scène."


Posted by Geoff at 12:51 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
DE PALMA & BEN SAID WORKING ON NEW PROJECT
ALSO: THE TWO ACTRESSES DE PALMA HAD ORIGINALLY APPROACHED FOR 'PASSION'
At left is Carice Van Houten, who, according to CineObs' Nicolas Schaller, was originally going to play Isabelle in Brian De Palma's Passion, but had to drop out as she was unavailable during the planned shooting schedule. The part, of course, went to Noomi Rapace. Schaller also notes that De Palma had originally offered the part of Christine (played by Rachel McAdams) to Uma Thurman, an actress De Palma has considered for roles on past projects, but who has never actually appeared in one of his films.

"A KIND OF FILM TESTAMENT"
Toward the end of the article, Schaller states that De Palma currently has two projects in development. One of them is the previously-announced Happy Valley with Al Pacino, but the other has not been mentioned publicly until now. There was no title given, but it is being developed with Passion producer Saïd Ben Saïd, who told Schaller: "This is a film about cinema that is not devoid of humor or cruelty. It happens on a shoot between a director, an actor and an actress. De Palma wrote it by drawing on things that have happened to him. It is a kind of film testament." (Definitely sounds like one to look forward to.)

"THE WORLD OF MY FILM IS SURREAL"
Ben Saïd told Schaller that he proposed a remake of Love Crime to De Palma, and sent him a DVD. "24 hours later," he said, "De Palma called me to say he wanted to do it." De Palma told Schaller that he changed the story "to further exploit the tension and mystery. The world of my film is surreal." He added that he envisions Passion as a return to the fundamentals of cinema, but in a new context.

DE PALMA ON JURY DUTY IN NEW YORK
The article opens by explaining that while De Palma was supposed to go to France to promote Passion, "the American filmmaker was indeed stuck in New York, assigned by the judicial officer as a juror in a big criminal trial." Thus the interview was conducted by phone, although Schaller notes that ironically, De Palma was able to free himself later after the defense counsel challenged De Palma's place on the jury, "when he learned he had to deal with the director of Scarface!"

OVERPRAISED & OVERRATED
Schaller's opinion of Passion is that, while not a displeasing film, it is "a lazy self-parody" that nevertheless "does not prevent its usual apologists of the French critics to argue that it navigates the genius of Dressed To Kill and Body Double." Schaller's article ends by asking De Palma which classic film he deems has been overrated. "When, in the 1950s," De Palma replied, "critics began to realize that Hitchcock was a great director, they began to praise everything he did. But later films such as Torn Curtain or Topaz prove that his career was behind him. They are not worthy of Hitchcock at his best."


Posted by Geoff at 9:46 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:57 AM CST
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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
LESINROCKS CRITIC ON 'PASSION'
SAYS SPLIT-SCREEN IS DE PALMA'S MOST EXTRAVAGANT & POETIC
Jean-Marc Lalanne's online review of Passion at LesinRocks contains some spoilers, but in it, he calls the split-screen sequence in the film "the most extravagant and poetic De Palma has ever designed."


Posted by Geoff at 6:15 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 6:32 PM CST
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Monday, February 11, 2013


Posted by Geoff at 7:08 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 7:10 PM CST
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Sunday, February 10, 2013
DE PALMA TALKS TO BLUMENFELD
NOTES THAT HITCHCOCK IS THE EXCEPTION TO AGING DIRECTOR RULE
This past Friday, Samuel Blumenfeld, who has been interviewing Brian De Palma consistently for a number of years (mostly for the book, Brian De Palma: Conversations with Samuel Blumenfeld and Laurent Vachaud), posted an article about De Palma and Passion for Le Monde. With much help from Google translations, here is an English version of the article, titled "The Passion According to Brian"...
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Brian De Palma is 72 years old. For him, the passing of time is a concern. When he began navigating between France and the United States, at the time of Femme Fatale (2002), then the Black Dahlia (2006), he feared he was already past his age. "Let's be clear. No director has done his best films after sixty, he explained. I am aware of this iron law." Since then, he started looking for exceptions. He found at least one, in one of his favorite directors, Alfred Hitchcock. The latter, classified as the living dead after Topaz, had made a triumphant return in 1972 with Frenzy, contradicting the common view that announced the end of his career as a shipwreck. Hitchcock was then 72 years old.

At the same age, Brian De Palma became aware of a biological principle. In discovering Michael Haneke’s Amour, which depicts an elderly couple dying, he took note of the fact that this film speaks more to him than any movie superhero saving the planet. Trintignant resembles him, not Superman. Pending the end, De Palma survives in the manner of Hitchcock: he has made, with his new work, Passion, arguably the best film in the latter part of his career. Passion is the adaptation of Alain Corneau’s Love Crime (2010), starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier, the professional rivalry and love between the boss of an advertising agency and her assistant.

The director of Phantom of the Paradise carries Corneau's film to a whole new level, and marks a return to the mid-1980s, when his thrillers Dressed To Kill, Blow Out and Body Double allowed him to experiment with forms borrowed from, among others, Hitchcock. "For questions raised by a narrative, Hitchcock contrasted with visual responses. It is very difficult to improve the film grammar after him, he had ten years of experience in the silents, which is an achievement invaluable. If I could, today I would make a film with no words."

Passion is like a journey into the grammar of De Palma. Masks, hair platinum blonde and brunette with the couple from hell Rachel McAdams-Noomi Rapace, a shower sequence, twin sisters, a scene shot in split screen - screen divided into "boxes" - long virtuoso shots, surveillance cameras, smartphones used as intrusive objects in a world where privacy has disappeared, an element found in his cinema since the 1960s. So often imitated, even parodied, Brian De Palma reveals to us with Passion that he is the custodian of an art soon to be lost.

Of the new Hollywood generation, where he was together with Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese and Lucas among the most illustrious representatives, De Palma is one that is the most biased. He remains the only one who after a long exile felt that the Hollywood system offered him the greatest artistic comfort. "I don’t miss it anymore. I left after Mission To Mars in 2000. There are more than 400 digital shots in that movie. Then you spend your life in front of a computer. I do not want to do it again, not at my age, not at this point in my career." A certain form of exile is included in the cinema of De Palma. Obsession takes place in Florence, Mission: Impossible in Prague, Femme Fatale in Paris, and Passion in Berlin. "Now, cities are digitalized. The director no longer travels, he uses a hard drive. Suddenly, all places are alike. Yet, if a film does not maintain a strong connection to a place, it becomes impossible to watch. "

While the connection with his peers is important to him, it has slackened over time. George Lucas is isolated in the space opera universe he created. Coppola reigns over his agribusiness empire. When De Palma wants to meet with Scorsese, he must make an appointment with his secretary. He dropped out. Recently, he convinced Steven Spielberg to take the subway. He remains for him the easiest to reach. His new partners are called Wes Anderson, director of The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom, who, like him, lives part of the year in Paris, and Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding). "Our generation has made money like never before. We have become too rich." The new fashion in Hollywood, according to him, is no longer collectible houses, sports cars or works of art, but the yachts. The director boarded the biggest of them, "as if they were visiting the court of a king", owned by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen. "I've never met a guy so annoying." Suddenly, De Palma left the boat. To return to Paris. Where it is much less boring.


Posted by Geoff at 10:13 PM CST
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Saturday, February 9, 2013
DONAGGIO'S 'PASSION' SOUNDTRACK OUT FEB. 19
RELEASES IN FRANCE, USA FROM QUARTET RECORDS


Above are the two covers of Pino Donaggio's soundtrack for Brian De Palma's Passion. Quartet Records has announced on its Facebook page that each one will be available for shipping on February 19 (available for pre-order starting Monday).

Posted by Geoff at 7:56 PM CST
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'SIDE EFFECTS' MAY INCLUDE HITCHCOCK, DE PALMA
ALTHOUGH CREATORS CITE LYNE & KASDAN FILMS AS INITIAL SPARKS
Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects opened yesterday. Reviews have been coming in all week long that call the film Hitchcockian, and in some cases, Brian De Palma's name has been mentioned, as well. While at least a couple of the reviews and articles mention De Palma's Body Double, [possible spoiler here] there is one key scene that reminded me of a key scene in De Palma's Sisters. [End of spoilers] In any case, the less you know about the movie going in, the more you will enjoy it.

Indiewire's Drew Taylor this week posted "10 Psychosexual Thrillers To Get You Ready For Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects," and included Body Double, along with Adrian Lyne's Fatal Attraction (which he notes was Soderbergh's "principle inspiration" for Side Effects), Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat (which Taylor notes was one of screenwriter Scott Z. Burns' "chief inspirations" for Side Effects), Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Paul Verhoeven's Basic Instinct, Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In (with which Taylor notes that Almodovar "was able to synthesize" the styles of Hitchcock and De Palma), the Wachowski Brothers' Bound, David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers, David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (which, like Side Effects, stars Rooney Mara), and Richard Marquand's Jagged Edge. Here's what Taylor wrote about Body Double:
--------------------------------

"If there's a king of the psychosexual genre, then Brian De Palma should probably be the one to wear the crown. Beginning with his debut feature, Murder A La Mod (1968) and continuing through to Passion (which will be released later this year), De Palma has been working over themes of obsession, violence, and betrayal, in particular during a string of profitable and highly controversial movies in the '70s and '80s. (Detailed lovingly in the recent, pseudo-academic book Un-American Psycho by Chris Dumas.) While Dressed to Kill might be the most psychosexual of his psychosexual heyday, there's something sleazier and steamier about Body Double, his unheralded classic from the period, that was unjustifiably thrown under the bus for perceived misogynistic undertones and what critics viewed as too many lapses in logic in De Palma's dreamlike narrative. (He's admitted some things in the movie just don't work.) But it's for all these reasons, not in spite of them, that Body Double is such a whacked-out delight. Like Dressed to Kill, which liberally cribs from Psycho, Body Double finds De Palma riffing on Hitchcock, in this case Rear Window, with a struggling actor (Craig Wasson) agreeing to housesit for a friend. After her watches a woman get killed (in a sequence that caused the public outcry – she gets speared by a giant phallic drill), he's drawn into the underground world of Los Angeles pornography. (It was originally intended as a micro-budget film with an NC-17 rating.)" [Editor's note: the NC-17 rating did not exist at the time Body Double was released; De Palma had originally talked about making a film that would receive a pure, unadulterated X rating.] "Body Double is goofier than Blow Out, De Palma's masterpiece, but it's still a sparkly crown jewel for the king of the psychosexual thriller.
-------------------------------------

Here are some of the reviews with quotes:

Randall King, Winnipeg Free Press
"Soderbergh, working from a script by Scott Z. Burns, delivers a genre mash-up, a murder mystery that strives to address the social ills that attend prescription pharmaceuticals. This has the capacity to be a hot-button movie playing on the all-too-pertinent link between violence and prescription meds. But Soderbergh seems to be gingerly avoiding head-on confrontation. Instead, he bottles a more mundane thriller of the type that might have appealed to Brian De Palma a decade or two earlier."

Jeff Myers, Metro Times
"From Soderbergh’s head-scratching opening homage to Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby to a plot that, at first, seems to be a cautionary legal tale of big pharma abuses, Side Effects unexpectedly develops into a postmodern Hitchcockian thriller —which is actually akin to one of Brian De Palma’s chilly psychological puzzles. That’s an awful lot of cinematic referencing for one movie. But let me put a cherry on top, won’t you? With its eventual double-cross plot turns, paranoid wrong-man drama, and corrupt corporate subtext, Side Effects plays like a particularly nasty episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent had it been directed by Robert Altman."

Josh Board, Fox 5 San Diego
"Now, this is about all I will tell you regarding the plot. Even the trailers, and the stars of the movie on talk shows, have given away too much. I went in knowing nothing about it when I saw it last month. And I loved the way it went from a bit of an ethical dilemma to a psychological thriller. It was Hitchcock-light. More like Brian De Palma."

Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
"To even begin to describe the plot would be a disservice to anyone who has not yet basked in the film’s psychotic pleasures. Just know that nothing – and I mean, nothing – is what it seems, right up to the superbly composed final shots that come courtesy of Soderbergh, who serves as both editor and cinematographer (under the pseudonym of Peter Andrews) as well as director. It’s easily his finest – and most commercial – effort since Oceans 13. It’s also like nothing he’s ever done before, as he boldly treads into the domain normally reserved for masters of suspense like Hitchcock (think Vertigo) and Brian De Palma (Body Double, anyone?)."

Kurt Loder, Reason.com
"Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects is a grippingly 'Hitchcockian' movie, but not in the manner of, say, Brian De Palma, who blithely appropriated the master’s narrative elements and visual techniques for ’80s films like Dressed to Kill and Body Double. Soderbergh’s picture is something else, a bracingly lurid tale of a man trapped in a thickening web of circumstance—the sort of story that Hitchcock might well have wanted to tell himself. In the late director’s absence, Soderbergh, who over the course of 24 years has demonstrated a rare facility in a wide array of genres, proves to be just the man for the job."

Brian Tallerico, Hollywood Chicago
"Side Effects not only draws on Soderbergh’s career but has conscious echoes of Roman Polanski, Brian De Palma, and Alfred Hitchcock as well...

"That first act has echoes of Polanski’s wonderful, urban paranoia films like Repulsion as Soderbergh (under the pseudonym of Peter Andrews) shoots the 'wounded bird' of Mara often from below or above, heightening the claustrophobia of a city in which millions can feel alone despite being in such close proximity. Then the film twists and Soderbergh/Andrews & Burns bring a different, pulpier style that’s more reminiscent of De Palma when he so blatantly mimicked Hitchcock. Technically, it’s a marvelous piece of work as Soderbergh proves defter with his camera with every film."

Kate Erbland, Film School Rejects
"Yet, Side Effects seems more intent on toying with its viewers’ expectations than in really crafting its own internal cat-and-mouse game. The actual meat of its full storyline is unexpectedly trashy and tawdry, like some unholy mix of Brian De Palma film and Lifetime Original movie."


Posted by Geoff at 7:40 PM CST
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'THE FURY' LIMITED ED. BLU-RAY COMING MARCH 12
AND 'CARRIE' UK BLU-RAY COMING MARCH 4
Back in Decmber, it was announced that Twilight Time will release a Blu-ray version of Brian De Palma's The Fury on March 12. A week or two ago, the cover art (at left) was revealed. Our old friend Bill Fentum notes in the comments below that the Blu-ray will include an isolated track of John Williams's score, as well as the theatrical trailer. The Fury Blu-ray will be a limited edition, to 3000 copies. The cover art is the original poster art for the film's original release, but with a new, crazy font (I liked the original one better).

Meanwhile, in the U.K., MGM had timed a Blu-ray release of De Palma's Carrie to coincide with the upcoming Kimberly Peirce remake. When the latter film's release was pushed back to October 2013, they almost changed the Blu-ray release date, as well, but now it looks like they will move forward with the original release date of March 4. The U.K. Blu-ray may or may not include a new 5-minute feature titled Bringing Back Carrie.
(Thanks to Chiel!)

Posted by Geoff at 6:38 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, February 9, 2013 7:47 PM CST
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Posted by Geoff at 7:38 PM CST
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