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Wednesday, May 22, 2013
CANNES UPDATE - ONE WEEK IN
DE PALMA SAW 'THE BASTARDS' YESTERDAY, 'MUHAMMAD ALI'S GREATEST FIGHT' TODAY
Le Monde blogger Isabelle Regnier posted this photo of Brian De Palma after a Cannes screening of Claire Denis' The Bastards yesterday. And it looks like today, De Palma attended a screening of Stephen Frears' Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, to judge by the tweets of Edouard Austin.

Posted by Geoff at 7:31 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 7:32 PM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 6:56 PM CDT
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'PASSION' RELEASE DATES CONFIRMED
iTUNES & ON DEMAND AUGUST 1, IN THEATERS AUGUST 30


In response to multiple queries on its Facebook page asking when Passion will be released, eOne responded yesterday that De Palma's latest will be "available on iTunes and On Demand August 1st and in theatres August 30th." Then, today, they posted an "attention" to De Palma fans with the same information. So it looks like Passion will be available to watch on TV screens prior to its theatrical release, which makes it a good example of a trend that Deadline's Pete Hammond wrote about today, noting that an HBO movie (Steven Soderbergh's Behind The Candelabra) and a VOD movie (Nicolas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives) are both competing for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, happening now. Soderbergh's film premieres on HBO this Sunday, while Refn's film will be released on VOD and in theaters at the same time ("day and date") on July 19. It seems likely that Passion will be a limited theater release, similar to other films that have been released On Demand prior to theatrical. But it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Meanwhile, there is a new Passion video, in English, with some extended scenes, at Entania, although it doesn't seem to be available to watch in America. (Thanks to Patrick!)


Posted by Geoff at 12:18 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 6:14 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
ARROW TO RELEASE 'PHANTOM' BLU-RAY
WITH SOME SORT OF ASSIST FROM THE PRINCIPAL ARCHIVIST
The Swan Archives posted news today that Arrow Video will release a Blu-Ray edition of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, targeted for later this year, along with Blu-Ray editions of De Palma's Sisters and The Fury. The best part of the news? The Swan Archives' Principal Archivist is helping out with the Phantom Blu-Ray package. Looking forward to it. We'll also mention here that Twilight Time will release a Blu-Ray edition of De Palma's Body Double on August 13. The edition, which will likely include an isolated score (no specific special features have yet been announced), will be limited to 3000 copies.

Posted by Geoff at 11:46 PM CDT
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DE PALMA & GUEST AT CANNES PREMIERE MONDAY
FOR 'A CASTLE IN ITALY', PRODUCED BY SAID BEN SAID


The photo above was taken by Arnaud Brunet, and published at Metro France. It shows Brian De Palma and an unidentified female guest on the red carpet as they attend the premiere yesterday (Monday) of Valeria Bruni Tedeschi's A Castle In Italy, which was produced by Said Ben Said, producer of De Palma's Passion. Earlier this year, Ben Said had mentioned that he and De Palma have a new, as-yet-untitled project in development: "This is a film about cinema that is not devoid of humor or cruelty," Ben Said told CineObs' Nicolas Schaller. "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." With both of them currently at the Cannes Film Festival, it would seem likely that they would be talking that project up to potential financers and buyers.

Anyway, according to Blog Do Bonequinho's Rodrigo Fonseca, De Palma is at the fest to raise funds for Happy Valley, although he is working out his cinephilia by going to see films every chance he gets. A few days ago, Deadline's Pete Hammond reported that another of De Palma's old friends, Martin Scorsese, had also come to Cannes to raise funds for Silence, which he has been trying to get off the ground at one time or another for the past 23 years. According to Hammond, Scorsese said that by coming to Cannes to sell the film project, he was doing something he'd never done before in his entire career. This was undoubtedly said to get across the sense of passion Scorsese has for the project. But with Steven Spielberg heading the Cannes jury this year, it's sort of a partial "movie brats" reunion.

In addition to A Castle In Italy, De Palma has been spotted at screenings of the following movies since Friday:

May 18 - Sophie Torlotin spotted De Palma at a screening of Rebecca Zlotowski's Grand Central.

May 19 - Olivier Joyard took a picture of De Palma at a screening of Serge Bozon's Tip Top, which Hollywood Reporter critic Stephen Dalton describes as a mix of Godard and the Coen Brothers.

May 20 - Several people, including Alejandro G. Calvo and F-X Taboni, spotted De Palma at a screening of Johnnie To's Blind Detective. Taboni said De Palma left before the end.


Posted by Geoff at 1:46 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 6:42 PM CDT
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Friday, May 17, 2013
'PASSION' & CANNES UPDATES
eONE CONFIRMS AUGUST RELEASE DATE FOR ‘PASSION’
Thanks to Lindsey for tweeting eOne to ask for clarification on the U.S. release date for Passion. They tweeted back that “Passion will be in August.” The distributor has already begun posting Passion teases on its TwitPic page, and have noted the August release date on its Facebook page, but with only generic dates so far (August 1 for VOD and August 31 for theatrical release, neither of which is likely to be the actual date for either).

Meanwhile, a BBC news report this morning has shades of De Palma’s Femme Fatale, which centers around a jewelry heist at the Cannes Film Festival. According to the BBC report, “More than $1m (£650,000; 777,000 euros) worth of jewels have been stolen from a hotel in Cannes, French police say. The jewels were to be loaned to celebrities who have arrived on the French Riviera for the famous annual film festival. They were stolen from a safe in the Novotel Hotel room of an employee of exclusive Swiss jewellers Chopard. Chopard is one of the official sponsors of the festival, which opened on Wednesday.” The theft in De Palma’s film is different, of course, with the jewels being stolen almost in plain sight off of the model’s body. The BBC report also notes a curious resemblance to Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring: “The theft happened on the same day that the festival was shown The Bling Ring, a new film by director Sofia Coppola about some high-school students who find out when celebrities are attending red carpet events in order to break into their homes and steal their designer clothes, bags, and shoes.”

On a final note, several tweets this morning mention that De Palma attended a Cannes screening of Katell Quillevere’s Suzanne.


Posted by Geoff at 9:56 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 16, 2013
DE PALMA @ CANNES, DAY TWO
“THIS IS STILL THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN SEE THE FILMS OF THE GREATEST DIRECTORS IN THE WORLD”
Le Soir’s Cannes correspondent Fabienne Bradfer was shocked to find himself sitting next to Brian De Palma at Thursday’s competition screening of François Ozon’s Jeune et jolie, and asked him a few questions before the film started. It was a rainy evening, and Bradfer writes that De Palma was there “incognito, umbrella in his right hand, Yankee cap on his knees.” Eventually, De Palma smiled toward Bradfer, “removed his headphones and muttered that at times like these, he is not eligible for Cannes.”

Bradfer’s blog post continues:

”I nod, trying not to soak with my umbrella. I'm sitting next to one of the greatest American filmmakers. We chat a little, timidly at first. After exchanging a few words on his arrival the day before from the United States, the weather, his refusal to watch movies on an airplane and the irritation of getting up every two seconds to let other spectators pass, he said: ‘What is your name? Mine is Brian,’ and shook my hand. I smiled at him, saying that I know his name is Brian and mine is Fabienne. From there follows a friendly conversation about the ironic pleasure of going to see films at festivals. His average: 5 per day. He tells me: ‘This is still the place where you can see the films of the greatest directors in the world.’ Brian De Palma loves to haunt film festivals. I slip in the name of Hitchcock, his eyes light up. He dedicates his boundless admiration. With mischief in his eyes, he says: ‘And Kim Novak is coming ...’. He can’t find the words. Brian De Palma will be able to relive the great cinematic emotion of his youth: watching Vertigo in a restored version thanks to Cannes Classics."

According to a tweet from Francois Yon, De Palma also attended a screening of Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza’s Salvo. That film is part of Cannes "Critics Week," and one other tweet says that if you want to see De Palma on the Croisette, that is where you will most often find him.


Posted by Geoff at 11:12 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:17 PM CDT
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
'PASSION' SET PICS, & RELEASE DATE CURIOSITIES
WITH A BIG THANKS TO MARINA


The picture above from the museum set of Brian De Palma's Passion is one of several that have been posted at Dívány. A big thanks to Marina for finding this gallery!

Meanwhile, something curious is happening with the U.S. release of Passion. First we heard June, then July, and now some tweets and other news are suggesting the date has been moved to August. The tweet below (from Damon Houx, located in Los Angeles) would seem to suggest that Passion will now be released on August 16...

But then a curious thing happened yesterday. The Film Stage tweeted that Passion had been moved to "late August"...

However, the link in the tweet now takes you to an article that begins with the following: "Update: Release date news removed at the request of the distributor." The article then focuses solely on the Daft Punk/De Palma buzz (see post from earlier today), although they did leave in this question at the end of the article: "Are you disappointed that Passion will have to wait a little longer?" (Well, yes, of course.)

Here are two more pics from Dívány:


Posted by Geoff at 2:10 AM CDT
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DAFT PUNK MET WITH DE PALMA RECENTLY
BUT SECRETIVE DUO ARE KEEPING MUM ON WHAT WAS DISCUSSED
About a year ago, Paul Williams revealed that he was then working on a top-secret project with Daft Punk. Now we have a new Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories, featuring several collaborators, including Paul Williams and Giorgio Moroder, which seems to be the top secret project Williams was talking about (the album officially releases May 21, but is currently streaming on iTunes).

Well, yesterday, quite a buzz was created from a small piece of news that appeared in a Pitchfork cover story on Daft Punk. The helmeted duo, made up of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, were interviewed by Ryan Dombal, who writes, "At one point during our interview, Bangalter let it slip that he and de Homem-Christo recently had a meeting with [Brian] De Palma to 'discuss some things,' though he declined to divulge any specifics."

Of course, this bit of news takes on a certain significance when combined with the knowledge that Daft Punk are huge fans of De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise. Back in 2007, they told The Guardian's Alex Rayner that they saw De Palma's film together in the theater more than 20 times. They also noted that their own film, Electroma, and Phantom Of The Paradise both feature "a hero with a black leather outfit and a helmet."

The Playlist's Drew Taylor, Criterion Cast's Joshua Brunsting, and JoBlo's Niki Stephens all posted enthusuastic articles about the juicy tidbit, speculating whether they might be talking about a film project, a music video, or even having De Palma direct some sort of live show. "Maybe they discussed a love for llamas or something," wrote Stephens. Guess we'll just have to wait and see what, if anything, ever comes of it.

One of the songs Paul Williams collaborates on, "Touch", is the centerpiece of Random Access Memories. Regarding that track, here is the last part of Dombal's Pitchfork article:


----------------------------

But of all the moving parts that make up Random Access Memories, the most head-scratching section to put together was the album's eight-minute centerpiece, "Touch". The kaleidoscopic track stars 72-year-old Paul Williams, who wrote immense hits for the Carpenters, Barbra Streisand, and more in his 70s heyday, before descending into drug and alcohol abuse in the 80s, and then recovering in the 90s. Daft Punk were obsessed with Williams from an early age, largely due to his role in director Brian De Palma's schlocky 1974 pop opus Phantom of the Paradise, in which he plays a Faustian ghoul who trades his soul in order to become rock'n'roll's preeminent impresario. The movie is ridiculous, funny, entertaining, and endlessly referential-- just like Daft Punk...

...For inspiration, Bangalter gave Williams a book of stories about people who had died, came back to life, and remembered parts of past lives. And Williams' lyrics are about an awakening: "I remember touch," he croons, longingly. "As somebody who has been pronounced dead and came back, I could connect to this idea in the song," says Williams, who's now 23 years sober and the subject of the quietly triumphant recent documentary Still Alive. Meanwhile, the song warps and bends, floating through genres, epochs, and emotions with a sense of hallucinatory wonder, recalling nothing less than the Beatles' "A Day in the Life". "It's like the core of the record," says de Homem-Christo, "and the memories of the other tracks are revolving around it."

As Bangalter and de Homem-Christo talk about "Touch", there's still a sense of astonishment in their voices. "It was the most complicated thing we've ever done," says Bangalter. "And it became so exciting because it didn't feel like we took the easy route. With this record, we had the luxury to do things that so many people cannot do, but it doesn't mean that with luxury comes comfort." It's this high-stakes, high-wire mindset that keeps these guys in an enviable position within the collective imagination, no matter how long they take between magic tricks. Because if Daft Punk are still able to amaze themselves, there's still some hope for the rest of us.


Posted by Geoff at 1:27 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 14, 2013
VIDEO & PIC - DE PALMA ARRIVES AT NICE AIRPORT
ON HIS WAY TO CANNES FOR THE FILM FESTIVAL


The picture above was posted today at Nice Matin, along with the video below, showing Brian De Palma and others (including Sacha Baron Cohen and Sofia Coppola) arriving at the airport in Nice, stopping to sign autographs on their way to the Cannes Film Festival.


Posted by Geoff at 8:15 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 6:19 PM CDT
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