AND HOW THEY INFLUENCED 'PASSION'; CALLS SPLIT-SCREEN A MEDITATIVE FORM
The New York Times' Nicolas Rapold posted an article online last night in which Brian De Palma joins Rapold in the back of a Greenwich Village restaurant to watch and discuss sequences from his own films (a version of the article appears in today's New York print edition of the newspaper). Rapold states that De Palma was "originally invited to view classical films that influenced Passion," but that he playfully responded with, "I could only refer to my own films. Nobody does this but me."
The three films looked at are Sisters, Dressed To Kill, and Passion. Watching the split-screen sequence from Sisters, De Palma tells Rapold, "I don’t know where I got this idea. The thing about split screen is: It’s a kind of meditative form. You can go very slowly with it, because there’s a lot to look at. People are making juxtapositions in their mind. And you can have all this exposition mumbo jumbo on one side." Regarding the hiding of the dead body in the movie, De Palma tells Rapold, "The producer said we could never put anybody into a sofa bed, and I shot it in one shot to show that you can in fact fit somebody into the sofa bed."
The article then moves on to the final dream sequence of Dressed To Kill:
White nurse’s shoes inch along, while Ms. [Nancy] Allen is observed in the shower. Ms. Allen’s character hears something, spots the killer’s shoes — and panics. The sequence cruises on with a mesmerizing, almost narcotically heightened suspense that’s one of Mr. De Palma’s specialties.
“You make this stuff as slow as possible,” he murmured. “You’re just agonizingly building up.”
And then there are the shoes: “A lot of people have made remarks about the white shoes. Creepy white nurse’s shoes.”
'PASSION' - DE PALMA HAD AN INSTINCT ABOUT THE SPLIT SCREEN SEQUENCE
Watching the split-screen juxtapositions in Passion, De Palma tells Rapold, "You’re lulling the audience. I had no idea how it would work. I just had an instinct about it. This is your very typical point-of-view murderer shot, but here juxtaposed against this beautiful ballet." As they earlier watch Rachel McAdams on the right side of the screen, De Palma tells Rapold, "I told her, ‘Just get yourself ready,’ and she could make that as long or as short as she wanted. I would just cut it."