TO COMPARE NOTES AFTER SHOOTING 'CARRIE'
In an article posted online Friday, as well as in today's print edition of the New York Times, Kimberly Peirce tells journalist Mary Kaye Schilling that she recently took Brian De Palma out to dinner to compare notes about shooting their versions of Carrie. "We were talking about the pig-blood dump,” Peirce tells Schilling. “I asked him how he did the scene. He said, ‘What are you talking about?’ I explained that we went through five-gallon, four-gallon and three-gallon buckets. We tried a five-foot drop, a three-foot drop and a four-foot drop. We had a butterfly opening, we had three cameras and on and on. And he said: ‘I don’t know. Jack [Fisk] was on a ladder, and he poured a bucket of blood.’ And I asked him how many takes he did. ‘What do you mean? We did one.’” (Peirce followed that with a laugh, writes Schilling.) Peirce tells Schilling that they also discussed the current diminished power of film directors. “You know what Brian said to me when I told him what’s going on now? ‘Oh, we were kings!’”
PEIRCE: "WITH ALL DUE RESPECT", DE PALMA'S 'CARRIE' IS "SEMI-CAMPY"
Here's another significant paragraph from Schilling's article:
The first thing Peirce did after getting the offer was to call De Palma, who happens to be a longtime friend. “I asked him what he thought, and he says” — here she did her best impression of his New Jersey accent — "‘Well, you have to do it!’” They discussed some of the changes that would have to be made. “I couldn’t cast a 26-year-old, as he did with Sissy Spacek,” Peirce said. “Girls who are 26 don’t look that young anymore.” She ended up casting Chloë Grace Moretz, who recently turned 16, the same age as Carrie White. “You also can’t turn Carrie into a calculated killer — not in a post-Columbine, post-Virginia Tech, post-all-these-campus-tragedies world.” But she wouldn’t have wanted De Palma’s vision of robotic destruction anyway, she said, entertaining as that was. “The pure horror of that disconnected you from Carrie. I say this with all due respect to Brian, but his film is semicampy. I wanted to get inside this girl’s journey. And particularly her bond with her mother, which was huge for me.”
PEIRCE ON THE "QUEER SUBTEXT" OF 'CARRIE'
Meanwhile, Peirce discusses Carrie's "queer subtext" with Out's Shana Naomi Krochmal. Here are the final four paragraph's of that article:
“Carrie’s desire to be different is similar to my desire to be different,” she says. “She’s certainly not front and center—the most popular, the most beautiful, the most perfect. The relationship between all the girls is incredibly queer. The way the girls are screwing their boyfriends to get them to either hurt or help Carrie—that’s a complete triangle of desire. My actresses would be holding hands and hugging and kissing, and I’m like, ‘Guys, you’re making this queerer than I ever made it.’ And they’re totally straight.”
Add [Julianne] Moore to the mix and the dysfunctional family portrait also gets a little bent. “I think Margaret and Carrie’s relationship is very queer,” Peirce says — but it’s also about power, more Michel Foucault than Inside the Actor’s Studio.
“Carrie is topped by the mother for the first half of the film,” Peirce says, “beaten down, dominated. The mother won’t even let her get a word in edgewise. After Carrie has reached her zenith of power [at the school dance], she comes home and she wants to turn back into the child, wants to go back to, ‘Mother, I will pray.’ Of course the mother lets her. But then the mother tries to kill her and the powers protect Carrie. So you have this phenomenal arc of the bottom becoming the top, wanting to be the bottom again — but it’s too late.”
As for that frequently asked question about whether Carrie will be better solely because a woman is running the show, Peirce is characteristically thoughtful in her answer. “The minute we say [it is better], we’re buying into the argument that only a man can do this, and only a straight person can do that,” she says. “So let’s not buy into that.”