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Thursday, October 17, 2013
EARLY REVIEWS OF 'CARRIE' REMAKE
MOST SEEM TO AGREE THAT REMAKE IS OVERSHADOWED BY ORIGINAL
Some early reviews of Kimberly Peirce's new adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie agree that the new version cannot seem to get out from under the shadow of Brian De Palma's 1976 film (although one critic feels the new version is better than De Palma's). Here are the links and some quotes:

Rafer Guzman, Newsday
"For the most part, the new movie merely imitates the old one, sometimes shot for shot and word for word. It makes superficial updates -- modern hair, modern clothes, a viral video of Carrie being humiliated in the gymnasium shower -- without adding any original spin or thematic embellishment. And aside from Judy Greer as Carrie's well-meaning gym teacher, the movie's supporting cast is unmemorable. Portia Doubleday and Alex Russell are no replacements for Nancy Allen and John Travolta as Carrie's main tormentors.

"With nothing new to offer, Carrie is reduced to attempting the impossible: repeating De Palma's long, tense buildup to Carrie's prom, one of the most stylishly executed horror-film sequences in history. Peirce doesn't dare rip off De Palma's famous split screen -- no director would -- so the disappointment is inevitable.

"Peirce has already made a better version of this story anyway, her phenomenal 1999 film Boys Don't Cry, about a small-town transgender girl who learns just how far a herd mentality can go. It's far more effective, and far more horrifying, than Carrie."

James Verniere, Boston Herald
"As talented as they are, 16-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore do not look a bit alike and have their hands full trying to make us forget the original actors. Epic fail...

"This present-day adaptation, scripted by Glee scribe Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, starts out over-the-top and is hysterical in more ways than one.

"The book and original film’s 1970s setting, which as usual for King seemed more like the 1950s of his youth, lent itself better to some of the subject matter. It’s hard to believe that Carrie could be so naive in the age of the Internet, viral videos and Twitter. In fact, this Carrie Googles 'telekinesis,' and the video of her writhing on the shower floor as her classmates chant, 'Plug it up' is posted online.

"Peirce ups the ante on the carnage and rewinds the bucket scene so many times she induces howls of laughter instead of terror. Still, King’s keen sense for the horror lurking just beneath our cherished ceremonies peeks through in the prom scenes.

"In the role of the sympathetic gym teacher played by Betty Buckley in the original, Judy Greer tries. But not even she can help this poor movie."

Karen D'Souza, San Jose Mercury News
"That the opening scene is by far the most chilling in the movie is both the strength of this remake and its key weakness. Peirce shines such a harsh spotlight on the twisted love between the religious zealot mother, Margaret White (played with heart-pounding menace by Julianne Moore), and her misfit daughter Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) that the rest of Carrie's connections to the world seem like an afterthought. Home is the real horror here. Moore's captivating performance steals some of the thunder because very little else in the picture can rival it.

"While Peirce pays homage to Brian De Palma's 1976 original by echoing many of the iconic film's seminal moments, she diminishes the bite of the bullying that Carrie endures from her peers. That's a pity because it robs this bloody revenge tragedy of its visceral impact...

"For all its cheesy '70s vibe, De Palma's movie far better captured the primal, almost Lord of the Flies nature of the high school experience, the sheer terror of being a social outcast. That's what really gave the Carrie myth such staying power in pop culture.

"At its core, Carrie captured something painful and true about adolescence.

"It doesn't help matters that Moretz has an undeniable spunkiness, a quality showcased in Kick-Ass, so it's hard to shake the feeling that she could hold her own with or without telekinesis. For the record, Peirce also pumps up the blood-splattering pyrotechnics of Carrie's powers. Once she sheds her meek facade, this is a Carrie who can split the earth beneath her with a stomp of her foot. She always seems more in control of her sorcery and far more formidable than the fragile and delicate Sissy Spacek."

Matt Pais, RedEye Chicago
"Not just the best horror in ages but a remarkably astute teen drama, Carrie will make those who have seen Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel see the story with entirely different eyes. That tone-deaf, unjustly beloved original film is weak sauce. The new, modernized interpretation is hot lava."

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter
"While 1970s horror is a long way from 1950s romantic comedy, Sissy Spacek’s performance in Brian De Palma’s Carrie left no less indelible an imprint on the role than, say, Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina or Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday. And as the folks behind the lifeless '90s remakes of those films learned the hard way, messing with a classic -- particularly one with such an iconic lead -- is a losing proposition. So it’s surprising that Kimberly Peirce’s respectful Carrie overhaul is as entertaining as it is, even if the prom-night bloodbath never escapes the long shadow of its predecessor.

"Pauline Kael summed up the singular pleasures of the De Palma film, calling it 'a terrifyingly lyrical thriller.' She went on to describe its 'perverse mixture of comedy and horror and tension, like that of Hitchcock or Polanski, but with a lulling sensuousness.' The lyricism and playfulness are both in shorter supply here. But while the remake is at times too self-serious, it’s never boring or dumb, which is often the case with horror updates...

The pairing of a director new to the genre and the promise of a return to King’s source novel made it natural to expect a fresh stamp on the material. However, the remake is less faithful to the book than was the 2002 television version, with Angela Bettis and Patricia Clarkson. In fact it frequently seems like a slavish homage to De Palma’s film, recycling much of the same dialogue. Both adaptations share a screenwriter, Lawrence D. Cohen, working here with Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa."

Screen Daily
"Stepping into the blood-soaked prom dress made famous by Sissy Spacek in the 1976 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name, Chloë Grace Moretz toplines director Kimberly Peirce’s Carrie, about a shy outcast who ends up unleashing telekinetic terror on her classmates. Passable only as a piece of recast entertainment for those who’ve never heard of the original, much less seen it, Carrie doesn’t plumb the depths of adolescent isolation its premise obliges. There doesn’t seem to be a pronounced rationale, beyond commercial reward, for this relatively undistinguished remake...

"In a frustrating and somewhat confusing step backward, Peirce, in only her second feature since 1999’s striking Boys Don’t Cry, too often opts for conventional, traded close-ups, undercutting the potential tension of longer takes and wider compositions. She doesn’t seem particularly moved by or connected to the material, and while the editing isn’t what one would call flashy or over-caffeinated, it does frequently seem stilted.

"Given the verisimilitude a number of recent high school movies have achieved, Carrie feels overly posed, and artificial. Carrie’s life of privation provides some dramatic tension, but the original film was also a powerful metaphor for the searing pain of bullying and adolescent ostracisation on the whole. This adaptation doesn’t quite summon those feelings.

"At the core of Carrie’s emotional disconnection is Moretz’s performance. Spacek’s Oscar-nominated turn in the 1976 film casts a long enough shadow that any young actress would have some trouble escaping it. Spacek tapped into the title character’s pitiable qualities with such a consuming focus that it was at times painful to watch.

"Moretz, still just 16 years old (almost a decade younger than Spacek was at the time of filming), is a quite talented young actress, but lacks, at least here, the ability to convey an emotional hopelessness resulting from years of ground down self-esteem. Her Carrie is all over-articulated social shyness and body shame. The lack of any interior monologue results in a less honest blossoming of Carrie’s ever-fragile confidence and ergo a less cathartic finale — no matter the level of technical achievement brought to bear in Peirce’s bloody comeuppance for the bullies, which is the film’s indisputable high point."

Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"As in the first film, blood runs through Carrie, first as a symbolically suggestive trickle — initially as an unholy brew of menstruation and the blood of Christ — and then in great, gushing waves as the body count mounts. Ms. Peirce plays up the story’s religious themes and Carrie’s burgeoning power as she discovers her telekinetic gifts, even as the dread of the female body that deepens Mr. De Palma’s version somehow goes missing. This Carrie has its share of terrors, certainly, partly because of the seeming timelessness of its deeper, more resonant themes. Although now, when Carrie — one of the more memorable screen victims of bullying — locks the doors of the school gym and does her bloody worst, it’s a good guess that it won’t be the movie that you will be thinking about, but recent headlines."

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Peirce's Carrie doesn't stray far from De Palma's - the sympathetic gym coach (Judy Greer), the handsome jock (Ansel Elgort) persuaded by his girlfriend (Gabriella Wilde) to invite Carrie to the prom, the shrewish princess (Portia Doubleday) who plots to humiliate Carrie. . . .

"And, of course, there's that tricky telekinesis business: As Carrie begins to find her true self, she realizes she has the power to move objects just by willing them - squinching up her eyes and waving her arms. At first, the cracked mirrors and exploding water coolers are a spontaneous manifestation of her rage, but with a little training and focus, and a reason to seek vengeance, well, let the cutlery and electrical cables, cars, and corpses fly!

"Note to Hollywood: Now, will somebody please let Peirce make the movies she really wants to make?"

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Those with little or no personal relationship to the 1976 Brian De Palma-directed Carrie will find themselves in a different situation than I am on this one. I admit it. If I didn't love Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie quite so madly in that movie — a film representing drive-in schlock elevated to Himalayan heights, with two of the great 1970s performances leading the way — I might've fallen further into the world of the remake. With all movies, really, we bring the baggage we bring.

"Some things are different, others are the same. Peirce delivers none of the voyeuristic nudity of the '76 edition. Even with the various killlings in the prom-night climax, when Carrie, slathered in pig's blood poured by her enemies, takes revenge, Peirce stages and shoots the action tastefully by R-rated horror standards. Even this remake's arresting prologue, depicting the bloody birth of Carrie into the conflicted, scissors-wielding hands of her unstable mother, has an air of restraint.

"The director, in other words, isn't an showboater or a sadist or a combination of the two, the way De Palma was behind the camera in the first Carrie movie, or the way Steven Spielberg tortured audiences with elan in that other '70s black-comic thriller classic, Jaws."

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"Carrie, the rapturous and terrifying 1976 Brian De Palma thriller based on Stephen King's first novel, is a movie that has earned its place as a quirky horror milestone without, perhaps, ever having quite attained the status of a masterpiece. Yet I personally think it's a great film. There's nothing that compares to its glittery fusion of dreaminess and dread — of Cinderella-at-the-prom fantasy and blood-bucket horror, all mixed up with elements of ‘70s teensploitation comedy and primally entangled mother-daughter tragedy. And what acting! Sissy Spacek, as the squashed-nerd telekinetic high school wallflower Carrie, and Piper Laurie, as her ragingly repressed Evangelical mom, achieved a tremulous power together. And De Palma, a prankish virtuoso, perched the whole thing on the knife's edge between sincerity and satire. Carrie is a timeless movie because it's both one of the most passionate and most scandalously funny horror films ever made.

"So what does one do for a remake encore? Kimberly Peirce, the gifted director of the new Carrie, has gone down what seems, on the surface, to be a savvy road. She follows De Palma's version quite faithfully, evoking everything from his camera angles to his lighting to his flying-object F/X to his gleeful staging of mean-girl antics. At the same time, she offers just enough tweaks and updated details to present the material in a new way...

"Despite being 40 years old now, the Carrie story lives quite comfortably in the 21st century. Here's the problem, though. The original film had King's ingenious plot, with its fusion of innocence and cruelty and that subliminal wink of demonic takeover, but it also had De Palma's voluptuous operatic style, which gave the story the quality of a daydream-turned-nightmare. When you take away that style and serve up the plot fairly straight, as Peirce does here, we seem to be watching a Carrie that's been flattened, robbed of its over-the-top emotional extravagance.

"Given the challenge of revamping Spacek's brilliant shivery-nerd-turned-avenger performance, Chloë Grace Moretz does a creditable job. In stiff hair and lumpish clothing, she's very much the geek outsider (though today there's a much greater context for geeks as heroines), and the emotions seem to bleed through her ghostly, lunar-pale skin. Yet the way Peirce has updated Carrie White, without making any overt changes to the character, is to portray her as a little less clueless, a little less pathetic, a little more defiant. She's now a cute, bright, painfully shy girl who sees herself (wrongly) as a loser. Before, she was a total walking blob of misery and dysfunction. That slight tonal shift robs the story of its masochistic edge.

"Of course, Carrie isn't merely a fable of adolescent agony. It's all about Carrie's revenge, once she's subjected to the most diabolical practical 'joke' in movie history. Carrie's telekinetic powers, driven by the rage she represses, allowed De Palma to orchestrate a senior-prom apocalypse that was pure filmmaking mastery. Peirce stages the prom as a prosaic rerun, without a lot of gaudy inspiration. And it's here that the real problem with redoing a classic reveals itself. Sure, a lot of famous movies are timeless, yet they're also rooted in their time. In the original Carrie, Spacek's character seemed to be channeling something creepy and larger-than-life — maybe it was even the underworld. But now we're a lot more accustomed to seeing movie characters mold their destiny through special effects, and since Peirce films the climax in a rather depersonalized, shoot-the-works way, Carrie comes close to seeming like an especially alienated member of the X-Men team. She blows stuff up real good, in a way that would make the devil — or Bruce Willis — proud."


Posted by Geoff at 12:37 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 1:08 AM CDT
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
SO MUCH 'CARRIE' & 'CARRIE' REMAKE
REMAKE SCREENWRITER SAYS DE PALMA FAITHFUL TO NOVEL, PRODUCES HOMAGE ON 'GLEE'
A lot of Carrie material everywhere (but no reviews yet of the new version)-- here are some links and quotes:

New York Post
Betty Buckley on the locker scene in De Palma's film: "Everybody was trying to get their bodies in tiptop shape for that scene. Some people decided to go completely naked, some didn’t. It wasn’t meant to be exploitative — it’s a beautiful scene."

The Boston Herald
Screenwriter Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa: "I always thought of Carrie as a perfect horror novel: It’s short and every scene matters. It’s like a Swiss clock: Once it starts, every piece chimes in with this terrifying inevitability that leads to prom night. The De Palma movie is quite faithful to the novel as well. It’s a great movie. The imagery is incredible and the story is universal. While there are big action scenes, it plays as a psychological drama."

Kimberly Peirce: "That movie is probably a classic because the underlying material is so essential. It’s a myth. Stephen King is a great writer who turned around the Cinderella tale, and on top of that, De Palma, one of our greatest directors, does what should 
be done."

New York Daily News
Julianne Moore on seeing the De Palma film when she was a teenager: "I remember the theater was packed and we were waiting for the next show in a huge line of kids that curled around the block. And they wouldn’t let us into the theater until all the kids from the last show filed out. As we were walking in, we passed the kids walking out and they were ashen. They were absolutely terrified and we were scared, too, thinking, ‘What could this be?'" Moore adds, "Piper Laurie’s performance was iconic and untouchable."

Seattle Times (by Moira Macdonald)
Long a friend of De Palma’s (“I think he’s a brilliant director”), Peirce called him to see what he thought of her taking on the project. “There’s enough material out there that I shouldn’t have to do anything that makes another director feel bad,” she said. “He was really supportive — he said, ‘You have to do it.’ ”

There are, of course, similarities between her approach and De Palma’s — “Two people who love this source material are going to come at it, in some ways, exactly the same” — but Peirce added her own stamp. The new Carrie features an opening scene depicting Carrie’s birth, adds more emphasis to Carrie’s exploration of her superpowers and her relationship with her mother, and subtly alters the focus of the revenge scene (it comes, says Peirce, from grief).

Mercury News
Kimberly Peirce: "It's a love story, that mother fiercely loves that daughter, but she's also terrified of her. For me, the movie is very much about that bond between the mother and the daughter, everything else comes out of that."

Huffington Post
Kimberly Peirce on balancing expectations of fans of the De Palma film while modernizing the story: "I faced it with humility. On some level, of course, I was scared I wouldn't live up to it, but then I just thought, 'I love Carrie. I'm going to ground this moment. I'm going to make this as specific and real as possible.' I do think I ended up making it different. It's the same reason why people are able to bring a new reality to Shakespeare and other works."

Moviefone
Kimberly Peirce: "The other huge thing that was important to me, which you see in all my movies, is a sense of justice and, part and parcel with justice, is revenge. I think we love a justice story. So you had to love Carrie -- you had to be involved in her journey, you had to want her to get love and acceptance, you had to see the obstacles against her, you had to see her playing with the powers, you had see her get that invitation to prom and think, 'Sue should apologize and you shouldn't go to prom, because this is not going to work.' She goes anyway, and you still want to see her succeed. But you also secretly want to see it blow up. And when it does, it's important -- I changed it so that when Tommy goes down, Carrie is overwhelmed with grief. It's out of the grief that unconsciously the powers come out. And when they come out, that's when things happen. The damage is done."

IGN
Chucky creator Don Mancini is asked what is his favorite scary movie: "Probably Brian De Palma’s Carrie. I love Brian De Palma, I love the style of that film. I also love that story, and the novel by Stephen King. I just think it has incredible pathos and the character of Carrie White is such a fascinating one. I would probably say that. Recently, one of my favourite horror movies was Orphan. I thought that was really well done. Like a good Hitchcock movie – it was psychological – the game of wits between Vera Farmiga and the little girl who turns out to be something quite different. And I thought both actresses were amazing. I really loved that movie."

October 3 episode of Glee
Thanks to Maurizio for letting us know about this episode, which features Beatles songs and a lovingly faithful homage to the bucket/prom scene in De Palma's Carrie, complete with rope, dream-like music, slow-motion clapping, bucket-hitting-the-head of the prom king, and even lip-licking. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the screenwriter for the Carrie remake, is credited as the Supervising Producer of this episode. Of course, this show comes to us from the same team that brings us American Horror Story.

'Strange and Disturbing': A Movie Virgin Watches Carrie for the First Time
"I don't think I've ever seen my sister go through as many emotions as she did during the 10-minute span of Carrie's opening scene. Director Brian De Palma's 1976 horror film, based on Stephen King's novel, clearly hasn't lost its touch -- the dreamlike, voyeuristic locker room scene shots had her face twisted in confusion, and Carrie White's introduction a la naked steamy soaping up in the shower prompted her to ask me if we had accidentally rented a porn version of the film. But once the camera panned to the infamous blood shot, she was horrified -- and, as Carrie's schoolmates chastised her and showered her with tampons and maxi pads, my sister was almost in tears. 'This is so sad!' she exclaimed. 'I don't want to watch this!' Luckily, she stuck with it."

Shock Till You Drop
Video interviews with Peirce and cast. Peirce talks about calling De Palma, and him telling her to Skype him.


Posted by Geoff at 1:22 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 12:48 AM 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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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:
----------------------------------------

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.”
---------------------------

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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Thursday, October 3, 2013
'TIS THE SEASON FOR 'CARRIE'
RAY OF LIGHT THEATRE STAGING MUSICAL IN SAN FRANCISCO
Looks like October is the month for Carrie, as yet another theatre company is staging the revised musical. At left is high school junior Cristina Ann Oeschger, who has the title role in Ray Of Light Theatre's production of Carrie: The Musical, running October 3rd through November 2nd at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco. In discussing the notoriety of the original version of the musical, Ray Of Light director Jason Hoover tells the Bay Area Reporter's Richard Dodds, "I'm sure someone could do a hilarious sendup, but it's something we're trying to distance ourselves from. It's not played for comedy, and it's not really a horror thing, either. It's more of a suspense thriller with a really beautiful score."

Hoover explains to Dodds that Ray Of Light has been wanting to stage Carrie for a while. "We've had our eye on the show for a long time, and we e-mailed [licensing company] Rodgers and Hammerstein to let us know the moment it became available. It really fits the aesthetic of the kind of darker, edgier musicals in a rock vein that Ray of Light produces." Hoover later adds, "This is a real, relatable tale in its themes of bullying and not fitting in and just everything that goes on with the fraught high school experience. Everyone already knows the climactic scene of the movie, but we're still hoping to get people to sit on the edges of their seats."

Posted by Geoff at 11:45 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 11:46 PM CDT
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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:

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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.

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Posted by Geoff at 11:18 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 11:20 PM CDT
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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:


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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.”
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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:
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“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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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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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
'CARRIE' ALL OVER THE PLACE
FANGORIA, YOUTUBE FEATURETTE, MUSICAL IN PHILIPPINES & AUSTRALIA


The Carrie featurette above includes interview clips with Chloë Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, and Kimberly Peirce. The film opens in theaters a month from today, October 18th. The current issue of Fangoria features the film on its cover, and also includes an interview with Piper Laurie about her work on Brian De Palma's Carrie in 1976. The issue's "Monster Of The Month" is a drawing of Nancy Allen as Chris Hargensen from De Palma's film, and the "Crypt Lit" column looks back at Stephen King's original novel. The issue also includes an interview with Curse Of Chucky creator Don Mancini in which De Palma is mentioned a couple of times: interviewer Chris Alexander tells Mancini that he always viewed Seed Of Chucky as a "dirty De Palma film," to which Mancini points out that Pino Donaggio composed the score for it; there is also some discussion about how the lead actress in the new Chucky movie, Fiona Dourif, has an Amy Irving quality.

Meanwhile, sometime tomorrow, Odd City Entertainment will begin selling a limited edition print of Jessica Deahl's original poster art for De Palma's Carrie. Each 16"X24" print will cost $40, limited to 150.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that Atlantis Productions will stage the 2012 musical version of Carrie at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium from September 20 through October 6. Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo will play Margaret White, and Mikkie Bradshaw will play Carrie. Atlantis' artistic director, Bobby Garcia, will direct the show. He told the Inquirer, "It is a beautifully tragic retelling of the Cinderella story with an amazing Broadway pop score."

And EMPIRE Australia reports that the independent musical theatre Squabbalogic will also stage the 2012 musical beginning November 13, with 14 shows over three weeks at the Seymour Centre in Sydney. The article explains, "Artistic Director of Squabbalogic, Jay James-Moody, is without fear of the musical’s notorious 1988 Broadway failure (this production is based on the 2012 New York revival), as he’s daringly ready to present a Grand Guignol production that will paint the Sydney stage red. This musical version of classic cult, Carrie, will include a grand Australian cast, with Margi de Ferranti (Mamma Mia, Les Mis) playing Carrie’s ruthlessly cruel mother, Adèle Parkinson (Legally Blonde), Garry Scale (Hairspray), Monique Sallé (A Chorus Line), and debuting, emerging Australian actor, Hilary Cole, as the main character, outcast, Carrie White."


Posted by Geoff at 11:40 PM CDT
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