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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
NEW 'PASSION' CLIPS
UPDATED WITH TRANSLATION OF DE PALMA INTERVIEW
Thanks to Patrick for pointing us toward the above video, which was posted at TF1 News. There are some new Passion clips we haven't seen before, dubbed in French, amidst an interview with Brian De Palma, which is Patrick has also translated for us:

"I have a very specific way of shooting scenes, I enjoy long, silent sequences build on a very moving piece of music. And you see these passages in all of my movies, they're very specific, like split screens, the use of slow motion, techniques I've been using ever since the seventies."

"The girls are mind-fucking each other: Christine uses every psychological means in the book to break Noomi, she traps her, she humiliates her in front of her co-workers, until Noomi finally snaps."

The LCI reporter says, "After his last film flopped, De Palma has turned his back on Hollywood to point his cameras on a Berlin as down-to-earth as it is dreamt up, using his personal grammar with a brilliance as seductive as it is cringe-inducing."

(Thanks to Patrick!)


Posted by Geoff at 7:20 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 5:42 PM CDT
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Monday, March 11, 2013
GERMAN POSTER FOR 'PASSION'
DE PALMA'S FILM OPENS IN GERMANY MAY 2ND


The German poster above for Brian De Palma's Passion was posted today at FILMSTARTS. The words above the title read, "MONEY. POWER. SEDUCTION." Except you have to read that with a long drop of blood punctuating the space in between the words "power" and "seduction." Passion opens in Germany on May 2nd.

Posted by Geoff at 4:44 PM CDT
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Friday, March 8, 2013
THE 'PASSION' SOUNDTRACK
STRONG DONAGGIO SCORE (PLUS DEBUSSY), WITH A COUPLE OF '80s-SOUNDING CO-COMPOSER TRACKS
The soundtrack release for Brian De Palma's Passion hit mailboxes early this week, and, well, since I can't see De Palma's new movie yet, I've been listening to his new movie. (speaking of which, I received confirmation from someone in the U.S. today that Passion will indeed open in U.S. theaters sometime in June of this year.) Without having seen the film, I am guessing the track list has been put together in a non-chronological fashion (this has been confirmed in a comment below from someone who has seen the film), to present the music in the most compelling flow possible.

Here's the short of it: I love the Pino Donaggio compositions on this soundtrack, as well as Claude Debussy's Prélude à L’après-Midi d’un Faune, which was performed by the Berliner Philarmoniker, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle (recorded live in 2004, it appears here courtesy of EMI Classics). Now, when you look at the back of the CD cover, you see three tracks with asterisks: "Back Issues," "Perversions And Diversions," and "Higher Heels." Those three tracks were each composed by Donaggio and Paolo Steffan, who has been working with Donaggio for a long time, and is credited on this album as Keyboard Programmer, as well as orchestrations throughout the soundtrack along with Donaggio and conductor Natale Massara. But the three tracks with the asterisks are the only three tracks that have a strong '80s vibe. The first, "Back Issues," is assumed to be the music heard in the background of the "Ass-Cam" commercial in the film. This track is highly amusing, in a mostly good way. I laugh heartily every time it comes on. It's a fun little track. It has what might be considered a companion piece near the end of the album, "Higher Heels," which is assumed to be the background music for a fashion show. Again, it is very '80s, but more annoying than fun, and it ends rather abruptly, with a quick fade, as if someone gave it the hook. In between is the center asterisk piece, "Perversions And Diversions." With its smoky saxophone entering the picture a little ways in, I keep thinking I'm going to hear Glenn Frey singing "You belong to the city, you belong to the night," like something out of Miami Vice. Very odd, this '80s vibe, which of course has been mentioned in many of the reviews of Passion.

In any case, the other Donaggio compositions are phenomenal. The CD opens with the bouncy, sinuous "Twin Souls," which is just heavy enough to avoid sounding like it belongs in a somewhat romantic comedy (like, perhaps, De Palma's Home Movies). "The Breakdown" is a beautiful piano ballad that brings to mind Donaggio's "Sally And Jack" theme from De Palma's Blow Out, especially when it is reprised on the final track, "Last Surprise." It is not until the third track that we get the "Passion Theme," which opens with quickly menacing chords, like a Herrmann-esque surprise, before falling back to a quiet piano motif that soon swells with romantic strings and ominous orchestrations. This is a wonderful theme that never seems to stop rising, with a conclusion that seems to leave everything hanging on the edge. I think my favorite track is "Know That Know," which features a heavy, spaced out string bass rhythm, the spaces filled in with strings and other orchestrations, and sounds like a cousin to Morricone's "Towards The Unknown" from De Palma's Mission To Mars. It ends with a slashing string surprise out of Carrie or Dressed To Kill (and, of course, Herrmann's Psycho). "A Dreamers Dream" features more ominous musings that lead beautifully into the Debussy ballet.

All in all, a strong, achingly beautiful work from Donaggio.


Posted by Geoff at 9:12 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 10, 2013 4:18 PM CST
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
NOOMI: 'DE PALMA WAS FUN'
"I SEE MY CHARACTER AS EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED IN A WAY THAT NONE OF MY OTHERS HAVE BEEN"
Noomi Rapace spoke with IndieWire's Anne Thompaon, who asked her if she and Rachel McAdams had improvised a lot of their scenes in Brian De Palma's Passion. "We worked closely," Rapace told Thompson. "Rachel and I discussed this script. Actually one scene that didn't belong in the story we took out, and added other things. It was very creative, it was a very different shoot. I see my character as emotionally disturbed in a way that none of my other characters have been. She has a cold calculating psychopathic mind, I did lot of research, so I had to run everything through that. I couldn't work from an emotional ground, as I normally do, so it was different translating: 'how does an emotionally disturbed person, how would she react and think?' So it was for me a different way. De Palma was fun, we had a lot of conversations. We didn't always agree, we're both strong-minded and stubborn. He's interesting and creative, he's a strong character."

When asked how she chooses her roles, Rapace told Thompson, "When making the decision it's always a combination of the director, the actors, and the script. You might have an amazing script but maybe you don't connect with the actors or the star. Then you know you can't do anything on your own, you have to have chemistry, share a language or vision or dream of what the movie potentially could become... The thing that matters is what do they want? What waters are they fishing?... That's why I always meet people before I make a decision, to sit down and talk. It's very personal for me, I know when I step into a character, now it will take over my life. It's going to be affecting me and the people around me for two months or in the case of Prometheus, five months... I have to find a way to do it my way... I know myself now. I don't have any desire to be a superstar. I never make a choice because it's a good pay check. I don't care if it's a big studio or a small indie film with a low budget...Most studio films are actually made in Europe."

Posted by Geoff at 6:27 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013 11:55 PM CST
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013
'PASSION' NORTH AMERICAN RELEASE IN JUNE?
THAT'S WHAT A CANADIAN ENTERTAINMENT MAG SAYS
Canadian entertainment magazine The Gate will publish an interview with Brian De Palma this June, and according to a post on the magazine's Twitter page, that is also when De Palma's Passion will finally be released in North America. The tweet reads: "Looks like Brian De Palma's film Passion is finally coming out this year. Expect film in June, along with The GATE's interview with him."

Guess this means Passion would be part of the dialogue for the upcoming summer slate of movies. The wide releases and tentpoles opening this June are: M. Night Shyamalan's After Earth (June 7), the Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson comedy The Internship (June 7), thriller Now You See Me (June 7), Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel (June 14), Seth Rogen's This Is The End (June 14), Marc Forster's World War Z with Brad Pitt (June 21), Disney's Monsters University (June 21), Roland Emmerich's White House Down with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx (June 28), and Paul Feig's Sandra Bullock/Melissa McCarthy comedy The Heat (June 28).

Posted by Geoff at 6:51 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 7:16 PM CST
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Sunday, March 3, 2013
'PASSION' SPOILERS IN THE TEXT OF THIS POST
TWEET ASKS FOR SOMEONE TO HELP EXPLAIN THE ENDING


(Scroll your mouse over the emptiness below for translations of the tweets above.)

Pauline: "If someone can explain to me the end of "Passion" by Brian de Palma ..."

Xidius: "It's not complicated though :D"

Pauline: "I do not understand the story of binoculars and close-ups of her shoes."


Posted by Geoff at 11:39 AM CST
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Monday, February 25, 2013
eONE U.S. WEBSITE NOW SAYS 'PASSION' IN 2013
AND TWITCH CRITIC SEES IT TWICE IN ONE WEEK, DESPITE MIXED REVIEW
For the past few weeks, the front page of eOne's U.S. website had stated that Brian De Palma's Passion would open in Spring 2013. However, sometime in the past week or so, that was changed. The website currently states that Passion will open in 2013. I have tried several times to contact eOne about a date for release, but they have not responded. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, last week, Twitch's European editor Brian Clark posted a review of Passion that goes into some detail about the scene of Noomi Rapace, pictured here (so stop reading now if you don't want to know, but the spoilers are fairly minor). Clark finds the film alternately inspired and lacking in energy, yet liked it enough to see it twice in one week. "De Palma on a mediocre day is still more interesting than most filmmakers at their best," writes Clark, "and, despite all the ways it fell short, I still saw Passion twice in one week and enjoyed it immensely each time." Near the beginning of the review, Clark writes, "Passion is great fun, and occasionally kinda brilliant, but it still doesn't hold a candle to Body Double, Dressed to Kill or even De Palma's late-period fever-dream masterpiece Femme Fatale."

Here are some more excerpts from Clark's review:
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"The ultra-stilted, aggressively flirtatious opening scene between Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams immediately establishes that we're in a world as far removed from nuanced realism as possible, which makes sense given the cutthroat-corporate-advertising milieu in which the film takes place...

"The script, based on Alain Corneau's French film Love Crime, isn't De Palma's strongest, and especially those with an aversion to dream-logic will probably have a hard time staying on board during the last half-hour or so. That said, having seen the film twice, I can say it mostly holds up, though there are a few baffling loose ends. But De Palma has never made movies for people who want every dangling thread tied up and every plot twist totally plausible.

"Also, While he employs every psycho-thriller cliché in the book, De Palma still seems to see the movie as more of a comedy than anything else. The performances often veer into kitsch, but Rapace and McAdams somehow make all of the veiled threats and passive-aggressive sparring hypnotic, rather than grating. In fact, the stylized acting melds perfectly into De Palma's fictional, over-the-top corporate world, in which every shot emphasizes a sense of luxury that is simultaneously exquisite, ridiculous and dull. Pino Donaggio's cheeky score, a scene-chewing blend of Bernard Herrmann and music from a 90's made-for-tv-thriller, only further emphasizes this odd, often very funny dynamic. The lighting too sometimes veers into soap-opera territory, which, while it compliments the overall style, will likely disappoint those hoping for the sumptuous, decadent aesthetic of old-school De Palma.

"But as usual, the film's pulpy kitsch conceals some extremely compelling subtext. The way that corporate ambition colors all of the characters' seemingly fluid sexuality, and even their sense of time and reality, is far more layered and intriguing than the film's surface-level style suggests, and, those who have accused De Palma of being nothing more than a talentless Hitchcock imitator may find some wry humor in the scenes where Christine explains to Isabelle that stealing ideas is par for the course in the advertising world. Moreover, the depth with which De Palma explores Christine's ruthless, near socio-pathic psyche is impressive. As the film progresses, he begins to hint at a fascinating, almost sympathetic desperation deep down, governing all of her decisions...

"...there are still a few genuinely inspired moments that recall the devilish ingenuity of De Palma-past. In one scene, Isabelle slams her car into a vending machine in a parking garage and sets off the sprinkler above, resulting in a melodramatic crane shot (complete with swelling score) of her crying uncontrollably against the car like a rain-soaked, heart-broken character from a 50's melodrama. Only, her anguish is the result of a sex tape, and she's actually only stuck in a small swatch of 'rain' inside a parking garage. It's a sly, hilarious image, right up there with De Palma's use of rear-projection for the beach kiss in Body Double. If... De Palma had focused more on subverting and innovating what he had already done rather than just referencing it, Passion may have been the 'return to form' he seems to want it to be."


Posted by Geoff at 10:52 PM CST
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Sunday, February 24, 2013


"Passion, by Brian De Palma:
Hitchkock with a pinch of Almodovar.
Captivating thriller, obsessive, vertiginous, dreamlike, beautiful."


"I loved the new film by Brian De Palma."

Posted by Geoff at 11:21 AM CST
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Thursday, February 21, 2013
MORE 'PASSION' REVIEWS FROM FRANCE
AND A COUPLE OF NEW STILLS SHOW NOOMI RAPACE AND THE PEUGEOT 208


The still above from Brian De Palma's Passion shows Noomi Rapace against the car her character has damaged. The photo made the rounds yesterday as the French automaker Peugeot spread the word that its 208 has a "starring role" in De Palma's new film. Another still from the same scene (see below) has also appeared this week at Noomi Rapace Online.

Meanwhile, here are more links and quotes from the recent French reviews of Passion:

Eric Libiot, L'Express
"If the confrontation turns into a game of mirrors depalmesque, it remains constrained by a storyline with a fairly basic depiction of the workplace (in any case, De Palma doesn’t care and filmed it with one eye) and suspense visible for miles, slow in coming, with cushy staging. Taking the principles he sublimated in his time and in which he wades today (parallel editing, split screen ...), he is unable to offer anything other than his old recipes. It is a thousand times better to eat a good crêpe."

The Vug, Celluloidz
"As there is a genuine rise in dramatic tension, once the film is launched on its rails, its greatest merits revert just as much to the direction of Brian De Palma as to the interpretation of the always flawless Noomi Rapace. As soon as she enters the dark phase of her character, the plans begin to lose their horizontality and the lighting becomes abnormally low. We will thus view Passion, like all of De Palma’s films since Snake Eyes, mainly to understand how the director manages to transcend a weak screenplay by the sheer force of his cinematic mise en scène. For those who want a consistent story, they will unfortunately go elsewhere."

Merry, Onlike
"Divided into two parts, this thriller is draped in two very different atmospheres, the first all in slow movements, the second bathed in shadow, as to describe these two women, one light and one dark. Between dream and reality, Brian De Palma revisits his own mythology and delivers a thriller effective and captivating."

Nicolas Bardot, Film De Cult
"But as in Body Double, film unthinkable, fascinating, exciting to death and kitschy as hell, it is not the mere fact of being shocked that makes Passion successful. It is, as in the best films of De Palma, this lack of fear of ridicule and grandiose momentum that make its intrigues heartening, where extreme feelings of the characters explode on the screen. The cold and trapped universe of Passion brightens, as in the stuffy fashion show where a model ends up kicking your ass. Yet, Passion does not reach the astro level of Dressed To Kill or Body Double. The original script's absurdity remains absurd, the cool tones of the images shot by José Luis Alcaine (Almodovar collaborator) sometimes makes the film a little too dull where it should have dreamed hot, and Passion, in the film of De Palma, is perhaps a bit hollow."


Posted by Geoff at 12:35 AM CST
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Friday, February 15, 2013
'PASSION' CLIPS INCLUDED IN YOUTUBE VIDEO
ALONG WITH DE PALMA INTERVIEW
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
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