Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
Meanwhile, another De Palma a la Mod reader, Chris Baker, caught a screening of the 4K Body Double at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, where it was the tail end of a double bill with Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window on May 18th. Baker tells us that the film "looked and sounded phenomenal."
The month of July brings a De Palma series, "Deja Vertigo," to the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon. The series starts with the digital restoration of Body Double on the weekend of July 5th-July 7th. The other three films in the series (running each weekend in July) will be presented from 35mm prints: Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, and Scarface. The theatre website admits that the latter film does not fit the theme of the series, which focuses on De Palma's Hitchcockian psychological thrillers. "This series will focus on the early 80′s," states the site's description, "when De Palma crafted gripping tales of mystery and murder, brimming with operatic set pieces, off-kilter camera work, steamy sexuality, and nail-biting suspense." As a bonus on the final two days, the theatre will also screen a 35mm print of Howard Hawks' Scarface from 1932.
A bit later in the article, Murphy brings De Palma into the discussion...
“When I was mixing Dressed to Kill, ” — his Psycho pastiche from 1980 — “I was working with sound effects editor Dan Sable, who had done a bunch of movies for me,” Mr. De Palma said by phone. “We were looking for an effect. We had some wind in the trees, and I heard the effect he used and said: ‘Dan, I’ve heard that same wind effect in the last three movies. Can’t you get me some new sound?’ ” (They both laughed; the next day Mr. Sable went out to record some new wind.) Mr. De Palma wrote a scene in Blow Out that is taken almost directly from this exchange.
While the film involves a serial killer and features elaborately staged action sequences, Mr. De Palma makes time for detailed moments that explore his main character’s work. In a crucial scene, he syncs his recording to film images of the same event. “I did this as an editor, and sound editors do it, but I don’t think anybody had ever seen the process,” he said.
The whirring reels, large recording equipment and rolls of audiotape seen in Blow Out and Berberian Sound Studio are artifacts of the pre-digital filmmaking eras in which these movies take place. The imposing hardware, as well as the sounds it produces, plays a supporting role, too. Joakim Sundström, the supervising sound editor for Berberian, said that his team used digital equipment but he gave the sound a retro feel.
“What I did was take the majority of sounds that were in the film and I retransferred them onto magnetic tape and quarter-inch tape,” Mr. Sundström said.
With bountiful betrayal and abundant bitchiness, Passion is a classic Brian De Palma (Redacted, MIFF 2008) psychological thriller – complete with the requisite battling beauties. Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams play against type as corporate-climbing colleagues locked in a professional power struggle that soon takes a turn toward the personal.
Steeped in the filmmaker’s own back catalogue, and shaped by his trademark flourishes, the pulpy, neo-noir remaking of Alain Corneau’s final film, Love Crime, is as visually arresting as it is emotionally lurid. As obsessions spiral into a seductive symphony, the hallucinations and humiliations are amplified with every dramatic interaction between the fated femme fatales, accompanied by a bawdy sense of humour.
TWO SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEWS
On Thursday, Miami New Times posted a 2013 Summer Movie Guide written by Simon Abrams. While the article still has Passion listed incorrectly for June 7 (the film will not be released in theaters until August 30), Abrams loves the film, so it's always fun to read what he has to say about it:
"Brian De Palma returns with this visually delirious, Hitchcock-inspired pulp remake of 2010 French thriller Love Crime. Rachel McAdams and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace co-star as social-climbing ad women whose rivalry leads to a hilariously convoluted murder plot. The film is full of everything De Palma's fans and detractors have come to associate him with, building to a fantastic orchestra hall set piece, complete with split-screen photography. It's good, mean fun."
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Examiner's Jeffrey M. Anderson has put together a selected list of summer films that "may be the cream of the crop." He includes Passion (with the correct theatrical date of August 30), and makes it the third film mentioned in the article. "De Palma returns to the comfortable (or uncomfortable) territory that has made so many of his films classics and guilty pleasures," writes Anderson. "McAdams plays a conniving boss who steals an idea from her new protege (Rapace), leading to an ever-escalating battle of wills. The movie promises great obsession and voyeurism in De Palma’s high style."
FRENCH BLOGGER: 'PASSION' IN THREE WORDS: MUSIQUE - ZOOM - FEMMES
On May 23rd, Timekeeper at the blog Visionarium posted "Passion in three words: Musique - zoom - femmes." He continued, "And I wanted to stop there. Enough, it satisfies me, it sums up what I like most about Passion, but I could say exactly the same thing about Femme Fatale and almost the same thing about Body Double or Snake Eyes." Yesterday, Timekeeper posted a comparison between Love Crime and Passion, calling the former "Passion without passion." The post is illustrated with several stills comparing shots from each film. Timekeeper criticizes Love Crime for being a "French film" in the sense that it has very little camera movement, as though it was filmed in the manner of writing a novel. "As if the image does not count," writes Timekeeper. "As if story alone is sufficient to itself."