"SAM PECKINPAH MADE VIOLENCE QUITE BEAUTIFUL"
A new interview with Brian De Palma was posted today at The Talks, and does not even mention Passion (except in a sidebar). The site's Johannes Bonke and Sven Schumann do ask De Palma about violence, the use of digital techniques to film said violence, rappers, having final cut, and ratings. "Mr. De Palma," the interview begins, "can violence in film be beautiful?"
"It can be quite beautiful," replies De Palma. "Needless to say, Sam Peckinpah made it quite beautiful. It’s an essential building block to the drama of movies and it can be extremely effective and extremely emotional and extremely dramatic."
A subsequent line of questioning leads to some interesting comments about The Fury...
"Over 40 years of making films," they ask, "what has changed about filming a murder?"
De Palma: "It’s all done digitally."
The Talks: "Do you miss the old days when you would do those scenes with prosthetics and a lot of fake blood?"
De Palma: "No. It’s a big drag. It’s extremely boring. It takes a long time to reset all the prosthetics. At the end of The Fury where I blew up John Cassavetes, I had 8 or 9 high-speed cameras and he explodes. He explodes. And the first time we did it, it didn’t work. The body parts didn’t go towards the right cameras and this whole set was covered with blood. And it took us almost a week to get back to do take 2."
The Talks: "Wow. Did take 2 work out at least?"
De Palma: "Yes, take 2 worked out quite well. Nobody had ever done this before. I had these incredible high-speed cameras that the astronauts use and about three of them jammed because they were going so fast. They were all shooting super, super slow-motion – this is in the ’70s – and then it’s all over and you look around and the set is completely in shambles. And everybody goes, 'Take 2! See you next week.' (Laughs)"
Another interesting discussion happens toward the end:
The Talks: "Have any rap artists ever approached you to work on projects together?"
De Palma: "The only thing that’s happened is that Universal has continually wanted to put a rap score on Scarface and re-release it and I haven’t allowed them to do it."
The Talks: "Well, Giorgio Moroder’s score is already perfect."
De Palma: "Thank you. That’s what I think, too. So, they’re very unhappy with me, because they could obviously make a tremendous amount of money, but I said, 'That score’s not being changed.'”
The Talks: "I guess you have final cut?"
De Palma: "Yeah."
The Talks: "Is final cut necessary to fulfill your vision as a director?"
De Palma: "We were very lucky in our generation. We got final cut. We were in the era of the director superstar. Very few directors have final cut today. Obviously Spielberg does and Scorsese, but there aren’t too many. And the new directors are constantly not getting final cut so you have to battle with the studios to make sure that they don’t alter your movie. You can’t make very controversial movies."
The Talks: "Do you always have final cut?"
De Palma: "Yeah, except on Get to Know Your Rabbit. (Laughs)"
The Talks: "What happened there?"
De Palma: "I got fired!"