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


« February 2013 »
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


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
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Luc Lagier celebrated the release of Brian De Palma's Passion this past week with a special edition of "Recut", a video series on his blog, Blow Up. Lagier posted four new videos focusing on various themes in De Palma's films. Here they are below...

"who killed the kennedys?"

"dreams are my reality"

"rain and tears"

"stairway to heaven"

Posted by Geoff at 9:04 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 9:47 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
We have many De Palma interviews from France to sort through, but in the Les inRocks interview by Jacky Goldberg and Serge Kaganski, De Palma is asked about the Jason Statham remake of Heat that he had been working on last year. De Palma had the idea to move the setting to Nice, France ("a different casino town," he had told Anne Thompson last September). In the new Les inRocks interview, De Palma says, "I started working on it with a French writer, Natalie Carter. It happens in Vegas, but I think the story is a little out of sync because the Vegas of today is not the '80s. I told them to do whatever they want and I gave it up." The Statham film is now scheduled to begin shooting March 4th in Las Vegas and New Orleans, under the direction of Simon West.

Posted by Geoff at 5:33 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Posted by Geoff at 4:38 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Fangoria's Carrie issue (#321) has hit the stands. It includes an interview with Brian De Palma, as well as interviews with William Katt and P.J. Soles. There is also a terrific interview with Jorn Seifert, of the German FX shop Twilight Creations, which was called to create the mask resembling Rachel McAdams for De Palma's current film, Passion. The issue also includes a look at the work of Pino Donaggio, with quotes from Joe Dante, as well as a look at key murder scenes from De Palma's oeuvre. Fango editor Chris Alexander, who did this issue's interview with De Palma at last September's Toronto Film Festival, explains in the opening editor's letter that the issue was originally planned to coincide with the release of the Carrie remake. However, the release date for the remake got pushed back to October, so they expanded the De Palma element of the issue. The issue does include, nevertheless, and interview with Kimberly Peirce in which she mentions De Palma's help several times as she recounts preparing to direct the new film.

What we'll focus on right here is something that comes up in the De Palma interview. About a year ago, our old friend Peet Gelderblom put together Raising Cain Re-cut, in which, aided by a copy of the original screenplay for De Palma's Raising Cain, he pieced together as best he could what that film might have looked like the way De Palma had originally conceived it. De Palma talks about it in the Fango interview:

FANG: Have you ever thought of remaking one of your own films?

DE PALMA: Hmm... [Pauses] Well, as a matter of fact, somebody put RAISING CAIN together the way it was originally supposed to be done, and it gave me lots of food for thought. RAISING CAIN was originally supposed to start with the woman's story-- you'd follow her for the first 20 minutes-- and then Lithgow's doesn't start until you see him smother her. But when I was cutting the movie, I didn't think her story was interesting enough to sustain the long beginning, so I reversed it and put the Lithgow stuff firstand used the opening scenes as kind of a flashback. Somebody got ahold of the original script and put it back the way it was supposed to be, and I thought it could be really interesting to actually do it the way I always wanted to.

FANG: You mean re-edit, or go back and completely remake it?

DE PALMA: Redo it. It's a very good idea. It was based on an experience I had with a woman who was in the midst of a divorce. She used to come by my house after work, we would spend a few hours together and then she would go home. But she would fall asleep all the time because she had been working all day, and I would sort of watch her sleep, and I thought about what would happen if she slept through the night. That was the initial concept for RAISING CAIN: the fact that she's with her lover and we know she doesn't go home. It's a very good idea, but I just didn't think it was strong enough in relationship to the Lithgow stuff, and that may have been a mistake.

FANG: Isn't that concept an extension in many ways of Angie Dickinson's subplot in Dressed To Kill?

DE PALMA: Yes, to some degree. But we're not always so conscious of these things the way people who study these films and look for all the signs are. We do things intuitively, and then you remind us of the similarities, and maybe you're right.

Posted by Geoff at 8:43 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, February 15, 2013
Some new clips from Passion appear in a new Ciné Choc 25 video on YouTube. The clips are dubbed in French, and several are played behind an interview with Brian De Palma. Even so, they provide us some fresh looks at the film (for those of us who have not yet seen it), including several shots with Karoline Herfurth. The video is below...

Posted by Geoff at 1:20 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, February 14, 2013
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
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.

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.)

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.

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!"

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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, February 11, 2013

Posted by Geoff at 7:08 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 11, 2013 7:10 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, February 10, 2013
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"...

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
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink | Share This Post