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Tuesday, October 15, 2013



To watch on Vimeo, click here.
(Thanks to Donald!)

Posted by Geoff at 7:33 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 7:39 PM CDT
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Sunday, October 13, 2013
'PHANTOM' AT TARRYTOWN MUSIC HALL WEDNESDAY
Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will screen at 7pm this Wednesday (October 16th) at The Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York. The theater, which was restored in the late 1970s, was one of the very first theaters to show motion pictures back in 1901. Price of admission Wednesday is $5.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 12:00 AM CDT
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Saturday, October 12, 2013
HURD ON WORKING WITH CAMERON, DE PALMA
LEARNED EVERYONE ON SET NEEDS TO SHARE THE VISION OF THE DIRECTOR
The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg interviewed Gale Ann Hurd, who produced Brian De Palma's Raising Cain while the two of them were married. Of course, Hurd had previously been married to James Cameron, and produced some of his films, as well. Goldberg asked Hurd what she learned from working with each of them, and this is what she said:

"I collaborate best with people that others might call aggressive or assertive; they have a defined vision and can communicate it. It does mean that it tends to be a rather monomaniacal perspective. When we were doing Aliens, Jim knew in his mind every cut point in every scene and what look he wanted. Our initial DP was Dick Bush (Victor, Victoria), who was used to doing lighting, camerawork and the [duties of the] DP, and he didn't want to know what the director's vision was. He felt that was his domain. If Jim wanted something in the cooler tones backlit, he would do warmer tones front-lit. Two weeks in, he was fired. I learned it's really important that everyone on a set share the vision, and the vision really should be the director's."

Posted by Geoff at 9:19 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, October 12, 2013 9:21 PM CDT
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Friday, October 11, 2013
PARADISE CITY-- SLASH SPORTS 'PHANTOM' SHIRT
WHILE DOING PRESS FOR FILM HE PRODUCED & SCORED, 'NOTHING LEFT TO FEAR'


The image above comes from the Winnipeg Free Press, showing Slash (a.k.a. Saul Hudson) wearing a Phantom Of The Paradise T-shirt as he promotes his debut film as producer, Nothing Left To Fear, in Toronto. While Slash produced the film under his production company, Slasher Films, he tells the Winnipeg Free Press' Randall King that he is not interested in making slasher films. "The moniker 'Slasher' just goes along with my name, so it was the easiest thing," Slash tells King. "But it's really the antithesis of the kind of movies I want to make."

Nothing Left To Fear was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD October 8th. Aside from producing the film, Slash also co-composed the score, explaining to Rolling Stone's Steve Baltin that the score is important to him, "because that's the one thing where I actually know what I'm doing. The rest of it is just me using my wits and sensibilities and going to what I think I should do. But with the music, it's something I have a grasp on, and one of the reasons that becoming a producer for horror flicks was enticing was the fact that I could be responsible for the music. So in this film, it was understood from the very get-go that we wanted to do something orchestral. So I wrote a bunch of different music and played it for the director to see which one he thought fit his sort of cinematic vision for this thing. Then he introduced me to an old friend of his, Nicholas O'Toole, who's a scoring composer and sound designer, and so the music that we picked I gave to him and he interpreted it to an orchestral application. Then we just sort of worked hand in hand through the whole movie. It was great. It was really sort of a combination of people, but it was a lot of fun to do and I was really happy with the end result. Then Myles [Kennedy] and I have the theme song at the end."

As far as horror influences, Slash tells the Globe and Mail's Geoff Pevere that he, first-time director Anthony Leonardi III, and co-producer Rob Eric all universally loved Rosemary's Baby, and went for the "slow-burn" effect of Roman Polanski's film. Slash also mentions in two of the above interviews that as a kid, he was creeped out by George Romero's Night Of The Living Dead. In addition, he tells King, "When I was a kid, one of the big ones for me was The Omen, the original. I always thought it was a marriage of great directing, a great story and great actors. It was really well done, and it was made in the fashion of the old feature movie."


Posted by Geoff at 1:14 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, October 11, 2013 1:15 AM CDT
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Thursday, October 10, 2013
WHATCULTURE ON 'SCARFACE'/'BREAKING BAD'
AND OLIVER STONE CALLS 'BREAKING BAD' FINALE "RIDICULOUS"
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has said that he envisioned his show as Mr. Chips becoming Scarface. Now that the AMC series has come to a close, WhatCulture's Joe Young has posted "8 Notable Comparisons Between Breaking Bad And Scarface." Moving from headings such as "Drugs" and "Family," to "Violence" and "Memorable Dialogue," the article is illustrated with images and video clips. The other headings are "Greek Tragedy," "Both Characters Are Eventually Honest With Who They Are," "Neither A Good Advert For Drug Use," and "Explosive Endings."

Meanwhile, during a press conference this week for the DVD release of his Showtime series The Untold History of the United States, Scarface screenwriter Oliver Stone called the Breaking Bad finale "ridiculous," according to Forbes' Todd Gilchrist. With SPOILERS from the season finale, here is an excerpt from Gilchrist's article:
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Speaking to press about the rejuvenating effects of working on documentaries in comparison to his feature work, he suggested that fiction filmmaking has lost respect for the kind of escapism it provides audiences, evidenced by the final episode of Breaking Bad. “There’s too much violence in our movies – and it’s all unreal to me,” he said. “I don’t know if you saw the denouement [of Breaking Bad], I happen to not watch the series very much, but I happened to tune in and I saw the most ridiculous 15 minutes of a movie – it would be laughed off the screen.”

Stone pointedly critiqued Walter White’s method of handling the gang that kidnapped Jesse. “Nobody could park his car right then and there and could have a machine gun that could go off perfectly and kill all of the bad guys! It would be a joke,” he insisted. “It’s only in the movies that you find this kind of fantasy violence. And that’s infected the American culture; you young people believe all of this shit! Batman and Superman, you’ve lost your minds, and you don ‘t even know it! At least respect violence. I’m not saying don’t show violence, but show it with authenticity.

The Untold History of the United States offers a fascinating look at American history, re-examining pivotal moments in the shaping of our culture and our democracy, by placing events like the development of the atomic bomb in a larger, more well-rounded context. When asked whether mainstream entertainment could provide similar sorts of lessons about American culture, Stone said that the infrastructure of studio blockbusters often obscures those potential insights.

“I wouldn’t criticize everything. I’m just saying it’s the level of violence,” Stone explained. “If people think that bringing a machine gun to your last meeting is a solution to a television series that’s very popular, I think they’re insane. Something’s wrong. It’s not the world we know. But I think there might be in Iron Man… there could be some good stories about war profiteering, some good moral tales. I agree. Comics were that for that reason, remember? But when you’ve reached this height of technology level of a Michael [Bay], of a Transformers, I don’t understand the meaning of it and the reason for it, except that it appeals to some visual sense, some kinetic sense of dynamism and a need for action. But action is not always a solution, character is.”

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Posted by Geoff at 7:48 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 7:50 PM CDT
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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
FIRST REVIEW OF ARROW'S 'THE FURY' BLU-RAY
INCLUDES MORE DETAILS ABOUT EXTRA FEATURES
Simon Crust at AV Forums has posted a review of Arrow Video's upcoming Blu-ray edition of Brian De Palma's The Fury, which will be released October 28th in the U.K. Calling it "a sterling package" from Arrow, Crust states, "re-mastering the picture from the original camera negative has produced a magnificent restoration, with a bright, detailed and colourful image that belies its age. The sound doesn’t fare quite so well, the surround track being the best of the bunch, though it’s great to also have the isolated music track." Here's what Crust has to say about the extras included in the package:
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• Blood on the Lens (27.00) – An interview with cinematographer Richard H Kline who discusses his time making the picture the ideas he brought to it, the professionalism of De Palma and the cast and how many of the optical effects were achieved. Entertaining and informative.
• Spinning Tales (13.38) – Another interview this time with Fiona Lewis. She talks about her time on set, relationships with the other actors and De Palma, of course. Far more anecdotal than either of the other two interviews.
• The Fury: A Location Journal (49.49) – Third and final (new) interview for this release this time with Sam Irvin who interned on The Fury and wrote up several interviews for the magazine Cinefantastique while there. This guy knows just about everything there is to know about the film, he talks about how he was introduced to De Palma, his time on set, his relationships with the cast and crew, how scenes were shot, the editing process, the post production and how it was received. There is a wealth of information here all told in an enthusiastically infectious manner.
• Original Archive Interviews – Four interviews recorded in 1978 to promote the film, very interesting in how they are set up (single camera panning between the interviewer and the guest) is in rather poor shape and even poorer sound, but very interesting in its own right. Included are Brian De Palma (06.03), producer Frank Yablans (06.52), [Carrie Snodgress (05.05) and Amy Irving (04.45). The chats are very light in tone and every question leads to an answer that in some way promotes the film.
• Double Negative (17.58) – Sam Irvin’s short film tribute to De Palma, telling the story of a director getting his own back on some ruthless producers. Looks to be VHS of a film source, not terrible quality but not great, easily watchable and showcasing some very early talent – I actually quite enjoyed it.
• Gallery (0.53) – A number of production pictures play as a slideshow accompanied to some of the film’s score.
• Reversible Sleeve – Original and newly commissioned artwork from Jay Shaw.
• Booklet – Thoroughly comprehensive writings on the film, printed interviews with De Palma and John Farris, all illustrated with original film stills and poster art.

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Posted by Geoff at 11:00 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 9, 2013 11:04 PM CDT
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Monday, October 7, 2013
'CARRIE' PROMO PRANKS COFFEE SHOP PATRONS

Posted by Geoff at 8:20 PM CDT
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Sunday, October 6, 2013
ARMOND SOUR ON 'GRAVITY', RECALLS RICHER 'M2M'
"REMEMBER THAT ASTOUNDINGLY WITTY ENNIO MORRICONE SCORE?"
Armond White at City Arts has posted his review of Alfonsso Cuaron's Gravity, and is sour on what he sees as Cuaron's "glib cynicism," left over from the director's Children Of Men, unearned Kubrickian sense of "intellectual contemplation and wonder" (in Gravity's opening-image evocation of 2001: A Space Odyssey), and Cuaron's "fashionable" anti-religious "sop to the hipster market". White then contrasts Gravity with Brian De Palma's Mission To Mars and Walter Hill's Supernova:
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Too bad Gravity’s fanboy audience is conveniently ignorant of richer space dramas like Walter Hill’s sexy-scary Supernova and Brian DePalma’s Mission to Mars (remember that astoundingly witty Ennio Morricone score?) which entertainingly combined psychological and visionary pondering with sci-fi agape. Hill advanced the genre with tense, erotic, metaphysical characterizations. Nothing in Gravity compares to Mission to Mars’ extraordinary orchestration of passion and dread among a team of astronauts attempting to forge a lifeline in outer space. DePalma created an unforgettable, breathtaking sequence of love and loss. His great tragic humanism was more powerful than Cuaron’s tepid “hope.”
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Posted by Geoff at 11:59 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 12:01 PM CDT
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Saturday, October 5, 2013
PEIRCE SHOT FIVE ENDINGS FOR 'CARRIE'?
AND TWO MORE PRODUCTIONS OF THE MUSICAL THIS MONTH IN NEW JERSEY
SPOILERS - According to a post from this past Monday (September 30th) by Very Aware's Michael Haffner, a test screening of Kimberly Peirce's remake of Carrie happened a "few days" prior. Haffner writes that he spoke with someone ("a big horror fan") who attended the screening and liked it well enough to say that he plans on seeing it again when it opens in theaters later this month. Haffner's source says that Julianne Moore "gives an award worthy performance," and that Chloe Grace Moretz "isn't bad but they really gathered a realistic group of high school kids that she’s surrounded by."

Haffner's source tells him that four different endings were shown to the test audience, with a fifth ending mentioned, but held back from the screening. One of those endings, according to the source, "is an exact replica" of De Palma's ending. It also sounds like Peirce uses De Palma's crucifixion idea in her film (the source says he likes the new crucifixion scene better). "Four different endings were shown to us," the source tells Haffner. "They said that there is a fifth but they held back from showing it so that they could have a surprise ending if test audiences really didn’t like the others that were shown to us.” Here is Haffner's summary of what the source said about the endings:
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The first ending is very similar to the ending of the 1976 film but without the final twist: Sue Snell actually gets killed when Carrie pulls her into the ground. The second ending is an exact replica of the original film where Snell gets pulled into the ground by Carrie but wakes up in her bed to find it’s just a dream. The third ending is described as a “morning after voiceover” by Snell as we see the town coping with what happened. Finally, the fourth ending shows the town the morning after Carrie’s attack filled with news crews, reporters, and cops talking about the whole thing. What’s bizarre about this scene is that Carrie’s destruction of the city is being described as “a conspiracy.” Apparently the town is “trying to cover up what really happened.” Apparently the audience preferred the first two and “weren’t really into the other two at all.”
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The test audience was also shown multiple versions of the prom scene, as well as some others, according to Haffner's source. Haffner expresses much surprise that they were testing the film with so many different verions so close to the release date. (We'll have to wait and see the final film to determine whether these claims are true or not.)

'CARRIE: THE MUSICAL' IN NEW JERSEY
And we have two more productions of Carrie: The Musical to mention, and both are in New Jersey. NENAProductions Theater Project will stage the revised version of the musical for two weekends, from October 25th through November 3rd, at the Jersey Shore Arts Center.

Meanwhile, Mercer County Community College’s Kelsey Theatre will host Pierrot Production's eight performances of the revised version, including two midnight shows, from October 18-27. Two actors, Lindsey Krier and Jenna Scannelli, will alternate in the lead role. "The demands in this highly emotional role are extreme, not just the amount of singing, but the fact that the majority of the singing is high belt,” explains the show's director, Kat Ross-Kline, to MCCC News. “We want to give each girl a chance to perform at her best. They work well together and the cast has been so respectful and supportive of both of them. It has been a neat process to watch as they discover their own version of the character. This is my first attempt as a director to cast in this way.”

(Thanks to James!)


Posted by Geoff at 1:54 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, October 6, 2013 1:55 AM CDT
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Friday, October 4, 2013
GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S 'SIMPSONS' INTRO
INCLUDES SHOUT-OUT TO 'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE' AT HALFWAY MARK

Guillermo del Toro directs the intro to this year's "Treehouse Of Horror" episode of The Simpsons, and includes a prominent shout-out to Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, which del Toro has not been shy about discussing as one of his favorite films. About halfway through the intro, the Phantom of the Paradise, voice-box and all, is at his organ, making music with a choir made up of several other phantoms, but when Lisa begins playing her saxophone, the Winslow-esque character orders her to get out. Behind our Phantom is his Swanage recording studio, lovingly detailed, straight out of De Palma's film. The episode airs on FOX-TV this Sunday (October 6th). UPDATE: UPROXX's Warming Glow has a video showing every single reference in the intro.
(Thanks to Drew!)

Posted by Geoff at 12:28 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, October 5, 2013 7:05 PM CDT
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