Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod

E-mail
Geoffsongs@aol.com

De Palma Discussion
Forum

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

Pacino wows
in Venice

Pacino delivers a
masterclass as
a lion in winter

The Humbling
and Manglehorn
reviews

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

Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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

AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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

« October 2013 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31

Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
BAMcinématek
Bart De Palma
Becoming Visionary
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Books
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Cannes
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Carrie
Casualties Of War
Columbo - Shooting Script
Cop-Out
Cruising
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Greetings
Happy Valley
Heat
Hi, Mom!
Hitchcock
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Key Man, The
Lithgow
Magic Hour
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
NYFF
Obsession
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parker
Parties & Premieres
Passion
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Redacted
Responsive Eye
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Sakamoto
Scarface
Sean Penn
Sisters
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Tabloid
Tarantino
Toronto Film Fest
Toyer
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
TV Appearances
Untouchables
Vilmos Zsigmond
Wedding Party
William Finley
Wise Guys
Woton's Wake
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Thursday, October 3, 2013
ZACHAREK ON 'GRAVITY' & 'MISSION TO MARS'
"CUARON IS EVEN MORE OF A ROMANTIC THAN DE PALMA, IF SUCH A THING IS POSSIBLE"
Writing from the Venice Film Festival last month, Stephanie Zacharek posted a review of Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity for the Phoenix New Times, calling Cuaron "one of our greatest living directors." Zacharek states, "I'm thoroughly sick of 3D movies and I would have been happy to never have to look at one again. But I wasn't prepared for the way Cuarón uses it to explore both wonder and despair, in Gravity. Forget stretched-out blue people, Peter Max-colored flora and fauna, and explosions comin' at you: This is what 3D was made for."

Zacharek compares Gravity to Brian De Palma's Mission To Mars, as well as to Philip Kaufman's adaptation of Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff, the latter of which she calls "superb." Here are the last three paragraphs from her review:
-------------------------------

Gravity is both lyrical and terrifying, and sometimes Cuarón even merges the two, sending us into free fall along with his characters. No space movie arises from a vacuum, and the obvious comparative pulse points for this one include The Right Stuff and Brian De Palma's sorely underloved Mission to Mars. The Right Stuff isn't so much about space as about the space program, but Cuarón — who co-wrote the script with Jonés Cuarón, his son — captures the mingling of duty and curiosity that motivates any human being who actually makes it into space. And Cuarén, just as De Palma was, is alive to the empty-full spectacle of space and to the workaday poetry of the words astronauts use to describe it. At the time Mission to Mars was released, detractors made fun of the allegedly stiff dialogue. But have you ever heard astronauts — who are usually men of science, not Iowa Workshop grads — speak when they get that first long-distance view of planet Earth as a glowing orb? They grab for the simplest words, which are often the best...

Cuarón is even more of a romantic than De Palma, if such a thing is possible. He finds all kinds of ways to link survival in space with life on Earth. There, as here, anyone might have reason to feel loneliness, despair, fear, or exaltation, and homesickness — for a place, a person, a planet — is universal. Incidentally, the first person who tries to tell me Gravity is "unrealistic" or "implausible" is going to get a mock-Vulcan salute and a kick in the pants.

Given the amount of balderdash we have to swallow just to get through a typical summer movie season, taking a small leap of faith and imagination with Cuarón should hardly be a problem. Gravity is harrowing and comforting, intimate and glorious, the kind of movie that makes you feel more connected to the world rather than less. In space, no one can hear you scream. But a whole audience can hear you breathe. And that is a wondrous thing.

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

The New Zealand Herald's Dominic Corry also brings up Mission To Mars in his review of Gravity:
--------------------------

[Cuarón's] Children of Men famously features a bravura action sequence during which the camera maintains a single shot for almost four minutes without cutting. It's one of the coolest action scenes in cinema history, and when word emerged that Cuarón would be employing similar techniques in Gravity, film fans the world over rubbed their hands together in delight. Gravity isn't all long tracking-shots, but they make up the majority of the film, and enhance the tension to no end.

One of cinema's biggest proponents of the extremely long tracking shot is Brian De Palma, who I wrote about last week. Long tracking shots are a cool idea, but can be very difficult to pull-off without calling attention to the filmmaking. Hitchcock was a fan too; as was Robert Altman; but De Palma's voyeuristic style always best suited the technique in my mind - until Children of Men came along, that is.

Brian De Palma was also behind a widely-derided (but secretly awesome) film which now stands as a noteworthy antecedent to Gravity - 2000's Mission To Mars.

There's a full-on sequence near the beginning of the film which involves a space walk and a desperate attempt to grab on to a satellite. When details about Gravity started emerging, I hoped that it would be a movie-length version of this scene. And it is. In the best possible way.

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

Posted by Geoff at 1:19 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:20 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
MORE 'CARRIE' -- MUSICAL IN MINNEAPOLIS
2-HR PODCAST ON DE PALMA'S VERSION; DONAGGIO & 'PATRICK' REMAKE
Yesterday, we posted a video review of Brian De Palma's Carrie which was the first part of a "Kings Of Horror" series in which the two hosts plan to review each movie based on a Stephen King novel or story. Of course, Carrie was the first one of those, and now today, we found out that the Now Playing Podcast is doing the same thing (both started October 1st), except going even more in-depth into the films and how they compare with the sources. The Carrie podcast, running two hours, features a terrific in-depth discussion of the De Palma adaptation, although one of the three hosts is way off when he implies that De Palma was in any way trying to put anything over on audiences by supposedly stealing from Hitchcock. He shows an ignorance of the fact that the links to Hitchcock were not only well-known among most people watching De Palma's '70s films, but they were overt and often even advertised as Hitchcockian. This aside, the discussion of Carrie is fun and interesting.
(Thanks to Will!)

Meanwhile, opening Friday (and playing through October 27th) in Minneapolis is the recently revised version of Carrie: The Musical, brought to the stage by the Minneapolis Musical Theatre, which had always wanted to do the original 1988 musical, but the creators would never let them (or anyone) even read it, according to Pioneer Press' Chris Hewitt. MMT's artistic director Steven Meerdink tells Hewitt, "It's been on our list of shows to look at for a while, but we've never been able to get ahold of it." Talking about the revised version, Meerdink tells Hewitt, "The biggest thing they did is make it a smaller, more intimate show. I didn't see the original show, but they tried to make it a big blockbuster. Based on the clips I've seen, that was the biggest problem with it. It had a Phantom of the Opera feel, rather than focusing on the characters and story, and I think that's what they've done now by reducing it to a smaller version." talking about the tone of the new version, Meerdink tells Hewitt, "It's not a camp show at all. It's going to be a hard thing for us to convince people of, since we did Evil Dead and Bat People, but it's very much a serious piece that is relevant in today's society."

DONAGGIO TELLS 'PATRICK' DIRECTOR IT REMINDED HIM OF 1ST TIME HE SAW 'CARRIE'
Mark Hartley has directed a remake of Richard Franklin's Patrick, and tells Crave Online's Fred Topel that in preparation, he and his cinematographer Garry Richards watched "all of De Palma’s films, we watched a lot of Argento films," as well as The Legend Of Hell House, The Orphanage, Julia's Eyes, and The Changeling. Hartley also tells Topel about getting Pino Donaggio to compose the score for Patrick:

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

One of the highlights for me, in my life basically, was all the way through the writing of Patrick and all through the shot listing and all through preproduction in general, I was just constantly listening to Pino Donaggio’s music to get me in the mood. We wanted it to be a throwback to the films that I loved when I was growing up, but they’re all the films that were made by proteges of Hitchcock. They’re all made by Richard Franklin who made the original Patrick, by Argento and by Brian De Palma.

So all the way through the production of the film, the producer Tony Ginnane was saying, “We need to get a composer on board.” I was saying, “I’m holding out. We’ll finish the film, we’re going to do a cut, we’re going to send it to Donaggio and see if we can get him. Everyone thought it was just a ludicrous idea and that’s what we ended up doing. As I said, one of the great moment of my life is when I got an e-mail back from Pino saying that he loved the film. He actually said that it reminded him of watching a rough cut of Carrie which was praise beyond belief, and was happy to do it.

The score does divide people too because if you’ve got a Pino Donaggio score, why bury it in the mix? I feel you need to have it basically lead the film. I really love it. Scores now are just incessant percussion turned up to 11 and that’s the last thing I wanted for this film. It really is a throwback to Bernard Hermann’s scores.

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

Posted by Geoff at 11:18 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 11:20 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
CHRIS O'NEILL ON 'PASSION
IN-DEPTH LOOKS AT SPLIT-DIOPTER SHOT, SPLIT-SCREEN, ETC.


Chris O'Neill, who programmed and presented Brian De Palma's Passion at its Irish theatrical premiere this past July at Triskel Christchurch, has posted an in-depth essay about that film at Experimental Conversations. This thoughtful piece on Passion focuses on several aspects of the film, including a specific split diopter shot (the rest of this post may contain SPOILERS -
-----------------------------------------

De Palma has a masterful ability to fill a frame with multiple visual elements, yet he can still balance conveying essential narrative information with details that enrich the film as a whole. His use of the split diopter lens, which allows for the image to display separate depths of field in one shot, is relatively restrained in Passion yet is subtly effective in what it achieves. In one sequence there are three points of focus in a single shot. Dirk lies in bed smoking a cigarette. He is framed in the foreground on the left hand side. In the background, Isabelle stands in the bathroom with her back to the camera. Isabelle's face is reflected in a large mirror, while other ornamental objects are either situated on the bathroom counter or seen as reflections in the mirror from the other side of the room. In the dialogue exchange between the two characters, Isabelle learns more about Dirk's relationship with Christine, and discovers Christine's adventurous sex life which includes a variety of sex aids including a strap-on and a Venetian carnival mask modelled on her own features. This sequence runs a little over two minutes, but within this limited amount of time De Palma conveys the interior design of Dirk's home which reflects aspects of his personality (an ornament shaped like a penis, a sculpture of an obedient dog), Dirk's contemptuous attitude towards Christine ("Whatever Christine wants, she gets"), Isabelle's inquisitive nature ("What's it like with her?" she asks before rooting through a drawer full of sex aids), and the toys that Christine uses with Dirk that reflect dominance (the strap-on) and narcissism (the mask).
------------------------------

O'Neill closes by framing Passion within the context of De Palma's recent late-career cinematic freedom (having no need to prove himself at this late stage), and also contrasts its dream elements with those of Raising Cain:
---------------------------------

De Palma uses dream sequences in many of his films but he rarely lets on that they are dreams until the climax of the scene snaps the narrative back into waking reality. This is usually announced with a blatant 'waking from a nightmare' moment of a character starting bolt upright and screaming in their bed. Such sequences, however, tend to be isolated set pieces rather than central elements in the narrative structure. A possible reason for this is that for many years De Palma was concerned about pushing the audience a step too far and causing them to reject the whole premise of a film. An example of this is his 1992 picture Raising Cain. As scripted, that film had numerous dreams within dreams but the film was re-edited for clarification after it tested poorly at preview screenings.

However, since going into self-imposed exile from the Hollywood studio system following Mission To Mars (2000), De Palma has been working on smaller scale independent productions, many of them based in Europe. A director of his stature no longer has anything to prove, and producers approach him knowing his previous work and, therefore, his quirks and capabilities. Thanks to this freedom, De Palma has been indulging in more playful and challenging cinematic techniques. The 'alternative universe' scenario of Femme Fatale (2002) is a good example of this, where a large section of the narrative is in fact the lead character's premonition, warning her where life will lead if she makes the wrong decision. With Passion, he returns to the initial dream-within-dream concept of Raising Cain and this time goes through with it, seemingly unconcerned if the audience sometimes gets lost. The constant twists, red herrings and false endings are disorientating on initial viewing, but subsequent viewings reveal a precise logic behind these overlapping elements. For example, on revisiting the film it becomes noticeable that images in the dream sequences are marked out by a much heavier blue tint than is used in the remainder of the film. It is clear that De Palma is having fun with the form, and he saves a final laugh for the very end: the screen cuts to black and ‘The End' appears in simple white lettering before the closing credits roll. This title playfully anticipates a collective sigh of relief from the audience: there will be no more bewildering twists and turns. It's over, the viewer can finally relax.

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

Posted by Geoff at 12:48 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 12:50 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Posted by Geoff at 7:10 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 7:11 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post
'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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer|Latest|Older