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Warren Beatty's
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Filmmaker Mike
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Rie Rasmussen
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Mentor Tarantino
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AV Club Review
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Scorsese tests
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James Franco
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Coppola on
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"What I was
trying to do with
those films was to
make three student
films in order to
try and set a new
trajectory and try to
say, 'Well, what
happens if I have no
resources?' Now, having
done that, my new
work is going to be
much more ambitious
and bigger in scope and
budget and ambition,
but now building on a
new confidence or
assurance. The three
little films were very
useful. I'm glad I did
it. I hope George Lucas
does it, because he
has a wonderful personal
filmmaking ability that
people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
direct De Niro
as raging comic
in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
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debut with
Capote story

Keith Gordon
teaming up
with C. Nolan for
supernatural
thriller that
he will write
and direct

Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-Picture emerging
for Happy Valley

-De Palma's new
project with
Said Ben Said

-De Palma to team
with Pacino & Pressman
for Paterno film
Happy Valley

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Posted by Geoff at 7:10 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 7:11 PM CDT
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Sunday, September 29, 2013
PEIRCE RECENTLY TOOK DE PALMA TO DINNER
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.”


Posted by Geoff at 5:45 PM CDT
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'BLOW OUT' LAST NIGHT AT MILWAUKEE FEST
SCOTT TOBIAS EXPLAINS WHY THE DISSOLVE CHOSE THE FILM
Scott Tobias tweeted last night that the Milwaukee Film Festival screening of Blow Out, and the Dissolve panel that preceded it, went well. In an article posted Friday by OnMilwaukee's Matt Mueller, Tobias explained the origins of The Dissolve online journal, and why its staff chose Brian De Palma's Blow Out to present at the festival.

"I think ultimately we settled on the idea of going big, and Blow Out is big," Tobias told Mueller. "A lot of us love Brian De Palma, and I think it's his best film. And then I think we wanted something that was about the movies. And Blow Out is that as well. It checked a lot of boxes for us. Personally, I'm incredibly excited just to see it in 35mm. I just came back from the Toronto Film Festival, and I didn't see a single film on celluloid. Everything was digital. It'll be fun to see something projected in 35. I don't know when I'll ever have a chance to see that again."

Posted by Geoff at 11:38 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 11:39 AM CDT
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Saturday, September 28, 2013
'PASSION' UNUSED SHOTS RECONSTRUCTED
DELETED SCENE PERHAPS MIGHT HAVE "EXPLAINED" TOO MUCH?
SPOILERS - In Brian De Palma's adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia, there is a scene in which Bucky tells Kay that Lee's tragic past with his sister explains a few things, to which she shoots back at him, "No it doesn't." A similar tragic story of a sister in the past functions to "explain a few things" to Isabelle in De Palma's latest film, Passion, but the viewer, and eventually, Isabelle, are left wondering if any of it is true or not.

De Palma a la Mod reader Patrick has sent in the ordered stills at left, reconstructed from seemingly random unused Passion stills that have been floating around the internet. These stills appear to show a brief deleted scene from Passion at the Bode Museum party. If you've seen the film, you'll recall that at the party, Isabelle spots Dirk up at the top of the stairs, and he signals to her not to let Christine know he is there. Isabelle then tells Christine she is leaving, but Christine begs her to stay. Isabelle tells Christine no, and that she will grab a taxi. This would be where the scene to the left would come in. Here is how Patrick imagines/speculates what is happening in each frame, with my own notes in red (and if you have any ideas, by all means, share them in the comments):

1. After claiming she's off to "grab a taxi", Isabelle first walks over to Dirk, and Christine spots them make out behind her back [Perhaps "making out" is a bit strong-- would they do that knowing Christine might possibly catch them in the act? It would be enough for Christine to merely spot a glimpse of Dirk in the area where Isabelle is headed to put two and two together.]
2. Genuinely hurt, she gazes after the couple walking up the stairs towards the exit [Or perhaps the first frame shows her watching Isabelle leave, while the second frame shows her spotting Dirk just managing to head toward the exit at the top of the stairs, as Isabelle is still climbing]
3. Being who she is, Christine quickly regains her composure
4. …and ominously plots revenge!

Patrick's fourth frame reading would perhaps indicate why these shots may have been cut from the final film. They might make it too obvious to the viewer when, the next morning, Christine tells Isabelle the story of her sister. As it stands, Christine's attempt to bond with Isabelle in this scene seems perhaps genuine. But had it come after the deleted shots above from the Bode Museum, the viewer might immediately sense that Christine is lying and plotting revenge. In this same scene, of course, Christine turns on Dirk, as well, and in between, makes it (almost confusingly) clear that she is aware of something going on between Dirk and Isabelle.

However, it has always seemed to me that in De Palma's film, Christine is more hurt by Isabelle's leap-frogging taking away of her plans for New York than for any indiscretions she may have had with Dirk. By leaving out the shots above, the viewer is left to speculate whether or not it was always part of Christine's weird scheming to put Isabelle and Dirk together-- and who knows, maybe even with the deleted shots above, maybe she had, in fact, meant for the two of them to have a fling. Going back to The Black Dahlia, think about the New Year's eve party, in which Lee watches Bucky and Kay kiss each other, and De Palma's camera focuses on Lee watching them, his feelings on the matter difficult for the viewer to discern. Has Lee been plotting for these two to be together? Has Christine been doing the same? De Palma sets up the long looks from Christine in Passion's opening minutes, as Christine watches Isabelle leave her house after wrapping Dirk's scarf around her neck. Is she already thinking of a Dirk offering this early on? It might explain a few things, but no it doesn't.


Posted by Geoff at 8:08 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, September 29, 2013 9:55 AM CDT
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Thursday, September 26, 2013
'GRAND PIANO' REVIEWS CITE DE PALMA, HITCH & ARGENTO
PURE CINEMA; ONE CRITIC SAYS IT RESEMBLES 'SNAKE EYES' IN TONE



Eugenio Mira's Grand Piano had its world premiere a few days ago at Austin's Fantastic Fest, and several reviews coming out of that screening are mentioning Brian De Palma-- here are some samples:

Samuel Zimmerman, Fangoria
"It is not rare to find a director appropriating, or recalling, the stylistic flair of Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma or Dario Argento. Just at Fantastic Fest alone, we’ve encountered director Mark Hartley employing a great deal of split diopter throughout his remake of 1978’s Patrick. What is rare, however, is to find such influence utilized in clever, thematically appropriate and more breathtaking than endearing manner. As you may expect, this is leading to the arrival of such a film: Eugenio Mira’s Grand Piano, an utter joy of high concept, artfully composed and absolutely thrilling pure cinema."

Chris Tilly, IGN
"Brian De Palma has spent much of his career imitating Alfred Hitchcock, oftentimes to great effect and success. And now Spanish helmer Eugenio Mira has made a movie that pays homage to both men, crafting a musical thriller that could just as easily have been called The Man Who Played Too Much."

Jette Kernion, Slackerwood
"'Like Phone Booth, but with a piano.' 'It's what you'd get if Brian De Palma decided to rework Unfaithfully Yours.'

"Glib descriptions of Grand Piano like the ones above (overheard at Fantastic Fest) don't do the film justice, not at all. I'm not even certain they give you an accurate idea of what you're about to see. On the other hand, a plot summarization of the thriller makes it sound ridiculous ... and thanks to filmmakers and stars, it is instead breathtakingly suspenseful."

Marjorie Baumgarden, Austin Chronicle
"Grand Piano is a high-concept suspenser that owes obvious debts to such masters as Alfred Hitchcock, Brian DePalma, and Dario Argento. Yet it’s infused with originality and so expertly executed that viewers will be stimulated by the comparisons and thrilled by the film’s confident presentation."

Todd Gilchrist, The Playlist
"A welcome reminder that high-concept thrillers needn’t rely on stupid coincidences and even stupider characters in order to succeed, Grand Piano turns the unlikeliest of scenarios into a riveting battle of wills. The story of a concert pianist whose comeback performance gets hijacked by a sniper with a secret agenda, director Eugenio Mira’s latest film breathlessly combines artistic anxiety and personal desperation, providing its character with a journey as intense emotionally as it is physically. In fact, probably the best Brian De Palma movie he never made, Grand Piano expands the boundaries of single-location, real-time mysteries like Phone Booth and Panic Room with a brilliantly simple concept and nimble, elegant style...

"Serving as more than a welcome contrast to the handheld, improvisational camerawork of too many other movies these days, Mira’s direction is a marvel of fluidity and poetry. The careful composition of each shot enhances the film’s melodramatic sweep without distracting from the story and performances; whether simply taking inspiration or outright stealing pages from (classic) De Palma’s playbook, Mira distinguishes his film with a classical, muscular visual style that suits its high-society backdrop, and mirrors Selznick’s mental scramble to focus on his performance and his potential murder at the same time."

Jeremy Kirk, First Showing
"While the story in Grand Piano, courtesy of Damien Chazelle, is simple and the locations are scarce, Mira moves the camera around the hall, down the corridors, and over and above the stage, giving us interesting angles of everything at play here. His usage of split screens and deep focus makes Grand Piano a nice homage to the films of Brian De Palma, though its intentions may have been more aimed at Hitchcock. DePalma is just fine, though, as Snake Eyes - the film Grand Piano most resembles in terms of tone - is an underappreciated thriller."


Posted by Geoff at 1:10 AM CDT
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013
RICK ROSS VIDEO USES CLIPS FROM 'SCARFACE'
ONE DAY AFTER DRAKE'S 'SCARFACE'-INSPIRED VIDEO PREMIERES

Posted by Geoff at 8:02 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 8:06 PM CDT
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013
STEVEN BAUER IN BILL POPE'S DRAKE VIDEO
SET IN 1985 MIAMI, RECALLING 'SCARFACE', BUT NOT REALLY

Posted by Geoff at 7:24 PM CDT
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Monday, September 23, 2013
'CARRIE' MUSICAL GETS STANDING OVATION
LAWRENCE D COHEN ATTENDED OPENING NIGHT IN MANILA
ABS-CBN News' Vladimir Bunoan reports that Atlantis Productions' stage musical version of Carrie received a "prolonged standing ovation" following its opening night performance Friday in Manila. Mikkie Bradshaw, pictured here, plays the title role.

Book writer Lawrence D. Cohen, who also wrote the screenplay for Brian De Palma's 1976 film adaptation of the Stephen King novel, was there Friday. Bunoan reports that in his curtain call speech, Cohen thanked "the gifted and fearless" director Bobby Garcia and the entire production team "who have done justice and credit to Carrie anywhere in the world." Cohen is further quoted as saying that Carrie "has become more resonant now than when it was written 40 years ago and when the movie came out. It's found some astonishing way, I think, to touch us and move us and, most of all, hold the mirror up and remind us what it is to be human. We are so lucky to have Bobby and this incredible company to remind us that Carrie speaks a really important truth that we all need to stand in other people's shoes, that we need to have empathy for each other and, most of all, whoever we are and wherever we live, we are all connected."

Bunoan quotes Bradshaw, who wrote on his Facebook page prior to Friday night's performance, "25 years ago, I fell in love with this musical. And here we are opening the first international production with an amazing group of people on stage and off. Feeling like that 18-year-old who saw the show in 1988. Blessed, grateful and inspired."


Posted by Geoff at 7:32 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 7:33 PM CDT
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Sunday, September 22, 2013


Posted by Geoff at 11:42 PM CDT
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Saturday, September 21, 2013
'UNTOUCHABLES' QUOTED ON FOX SITCOM 'DADS'
The new sitcom Dads premiered on the FOX TV network this past Tuesday, and the pilot episode included a quote from Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, which was written by David Mamet. It happens in an early scene in which the two main characters (played by Giovanni Ribisi and Seth Green), who own and operate their own video game company, are arguing about payback etiquette after one of them invited the other’s father to his surprise birthday party. Ribisi's Warner says to Green's Eli, "Hey, you send one of mine to the hospital, I send one of yours to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way." After a silent pause in which they stare at each other, they both smile and point at each other at the same time, saying, “The Untouchables,” and the tension is broken. The pilot episode is currently streaming on the FOX website.

Posted by Geoff at 2:21 PM CDT
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