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Sunday, July 13, 2014
ROBERT ENGLUND STILL SCARED BY 'SISTERS'
"IT'S REALLY, TRULY CREEPY"
News.com.au's Alice Clark asked Robert Englund to reveal his "10 deepest fears" ahead of his appearance last weekend at Melbourne's Oz Comic Con. At number 8, Englund lists "Conjoined twins," which leads him, of course, to think of Brian De Palma's Sisters. "There’s a 1973 film by Brian De Palma," Englund tells Clark, "it’s a very early film in his canon called Sisters about Siamese twins and it stars Margot Kidder in the absolute blush of her most beautiful moment on Earth. She’s playing these French-Canadian Siamese twins and it’s really, truly creepy. It’s great filmmaking, but I think down deep I’m scared of Siamese twins in a way.”

Englund has mentioned Sisters in several interviews in which he is asked to name some favorites. Last October, Englund was asked by the Chicago Daily Herlad's Josh Stockinger if he has a favorite scary movie, to which Englund named two films. "It's constantly changing," Englund replied to Stockinger, "but I always recommend the 1974 Brian De Palma film, Sisters, starring Margot Kidder and William Finley. I just think it's brilliant. It's sexy and there's a lot of surprises that make you jump. It has some of the best use of split screen for suspense ever done, very low-budget but great. I also love the 1961 version of The Innocents with Deborah Kerr and Michael Redgrave. It obviously has the Henry James' turn of the screw, and there's a really kinky follow-up with Marlon Brando that's really interesting, too."

Posted by Geoff at 7:22 PM CDT
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Saturday, July 12, 2014
ARTIST'S SCARY INSPIRATION MAY HAVE BEEN 'THE FURY'
CHANNEL-SURFING AS A CHILD CIRCA 1985, MOVIE ABOUT TELEKINESIS
The painting pictured here, by Janet Hill, is titled At The Ursula Academy For The Supernaturally Gifted, Fawn Fielding Enjoyed Medieval Poetry, Spoke Fluent Italian, And Possessed Above Average Telekinetic Abilities. In a post on her blog, Hill recalls the inspiration for the painting, which her husband told her is The Fury. "This [painting] is actually born out of a scary experience for me when I was young," Hill explains in her post. "I have this memory of turning on the television in the middle of the afternoon- likely on a Saturday. I seem to recall that I was enjoying a grape freezie and wearing my pink jelly shoes, but that could be my imagination just playing games on me. I likely did some channel surfing with one of those clunky looking channel changers circa 1985 until I came across this weird movie. There was a girl with big curly hair moving things with her mind. WITH HER MIND!! This terrified me but I didn’t understand why. I think I was familiar with the idea of telekinesis having spent many a bored afternoon focused on my Barbie trying to get it to move WITH MY MIND, but it must have been the way it was presented in the film. I mentioned this to John as I was painting this painting and he immediately recognized it as The Fury which was directed by Brian De Palma. It all made sense. No one can creep me out as much as Brian De Palma, thank you very much. John also mentioned that we own the movie so guess what I’m going to do tonight. Perhaps I’ll watch it while enjoying a cool and refreshing grape freezie too."

Posted by Geoff at 7:39 PM CDT
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Friday, July 11, 2014
LEND A HAND TO 'SCARFACE REDUX'
MIAMI GROUP'S GLOBAL COLLAB EFFORT TO REMAKE DE PALMA'S 'SCARFACE'


The Borscht Corp., an open-source collaborative dedicated to telling Miami stories, according to its web site, has started a project called Scarface Redux. The project is described as "a global collaborative effort to remake Brian De Palma’s Scarface." The web site (pictured above) lays out three steps: "First, Brian De Palma's Scarface is cut up into 15-second chunks"; "Then, you pick a scene, shoot and remake it however you like"; "Finally, we put it all together into a completely new version of Scarface."

You can see all the 15-second clips (636 of them) on the site, as well as the few scenes that have already been submitted for the project. In an e-mail about the project sent to Film School Rejects, the group states, "For better or worse, Scarface had held Miami’s image in a vice grip since it came out... As our mission is to redefine cinema in Miami (and vice-versa) we thought it was about time to get literal and take back our image! Or something."


Posted by Geoff at 6:38 PM CDT
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Thursday, July 10, 2014
ANTHONY GOLDSCHMIDT HAS DIED
DESIGNED POSTERS FOR 'SCARFACE', 'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE', 'E.T.', MANY MORE
This news is a few weeks late, but graphic designer Anthony Goldschmidt died June 17, according to the Swan Archives. He was 71. After founding Intralink Film Graphic Design in 1979, Goldschmidt, often with longtime collaborator, the art director John Alvin, designed iconic posters for Scarface (for which Alvin was said to have worked on uncredited), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, The Princess Bride, and many more. Prior to Intralink, Goldschmidt and Alvin created the poster for Phantom Of The Paradise (the version that also graced the cover of that film's soundtrack album), as well as posters for several Mel Brooks films, including Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.


Posted by Geoff at 1:22 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 10, 2014 1:24 AM CDT
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014
EDGAR WRIGHT TO HOST 'PHANTOM' SCREENING


It was announced this morning that Edgar Wright will host the 40th anniversary screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, which takes place July 30th at the Arclight in Hollywood. Tickets are still on sale for the event, but going fast. Note that the time of the event has been changed to 7:30pm.

Posted by Geoff at 7:40 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 8:03 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 1, 2014
R.I.P. PAUL MAZURSKY, 1930-2014
CAST AS JUDGE IN 'CARLITO'S WAY'; WAS DE PALMA'S ORIGINAL CHOICE FOR 'DTK' DETECTIVE


Paul Mazursky, film director, screenwriter, and actor, has died of pulmonary cardiac arrest. He was 84. Mazursky was a longtime, good friend of Brian De Palma's. In the early 1980s, Mazursky lived in one apartment of a duplex in Greenwich Village, while De Palma and his wife, Nancy Allen, lived in the other apartment. When De Palma was casting Dressed To Kill, he had wanted Mazursky to portray Detective Marino. However, Mazursky was busy preparing his next film, and Dennis Franz took the part instead.

Mazursky, of course, did end up acting for De Palma about a decade later, portraying Judge Feinstein in Carlito's Way. In Richard Sylbert and Sylvia Townsend's book Designing Movies: Portrait of a Hollywood Artist, Gregory Bolton, who was the art director on Carlito's Way, recalls shooting the courtroom scene. "It was interesting," he tells Townsend, "because there was Brian De Palma, Paul Mazursky, and there was Al Pacino, all those people in that room, all powerful forces, all directing the scene. And Dick (Sylbert) sat back and we all sat back and watched each person direct the scene, wondering who was going to win." Bolton tells Townsend that after "going all different ways," De Palma's was the way it ended up.

Writing in 2003, Movie City News' Leonard Klady relayed a story from the fall of 1990 in which "Brian De Palma arrived for breakfast and greeted [Farmers] Market regular Paul Mazursky with a query about Disney's decision to postpone the release of Mazursky's upcoming movie. A rather vague story had appeared in the trades the prior week announcing that Scenes from a Mall would open in early 1991 rather than in the fall of 1990.

"It was clear that Mazursky had been exhausted by the process of finishing the comedy with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, screening and test screening it, tweaking it and arguing the finer points with senior production executives at the studio. He let out a sigh and told De Palma and the table that the film had scored well with audiences. It was testing in the high 70s but the folks at the studio wanted it to score in the 80s.

"When he finished, De Palma let out a hardy cackle (he has a very distinctive laugh) and when he recovered said, 'you're lucky.' He went on to explain that his new picture, according to the marketing people at Warner Bros., had scored the lowest of any major release in the studio's history. He said it tested at about 55% and didn't see how any amount of tinkering would ever significantly boost audience response. Though likely tinged with hyperbole, that picture was the subsequently infamous Bonfire of the Vanities."

Among Mazursky's other films is An Unmarried Woman, which starred Jill Clayburgh, for which she earned an Oscar nomination for best actress, while Mazursky earned best screenplay and best picture nominations. Other films include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Next Stop, Greenwich Village, Harry And Tonto, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, and Enemies, a Love Story.

Mazursky's first acting role was in 1953, as a psychopath in Stanley Kubrick's first feature film, Fear And Desire. Twelve years later, Mazursky and Larry Tucker wrote the original pilot for the TV series The Monkees. Mazursky and Tucker have cameos in the episode.


Posted by Geoff at 7:31 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 7:35 PM CDT
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MORODER TRIBUTE OPENED WITH 'TONY'S THEME'
BRITAIN'S HERITAGE ORCHESTRA AT VIVID FESTIVAL IN SYDNEY


The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Stacey interviewed Giorgio Moroder last week. In the introductory paragraphs to his interview article, Stacey notes that Moroder "recently traveled to Sydney for the Vivid Festival, where a series of events paid tribute to his career. The highlight: a symphonic survey of his music by Britain's Heritage Orchestra, a world premiere that featured live performers on Moog synths; strings and horns; a choir and a rock drummer; and young British singers Anna Calvi, Liela Moss and Shingai Shoniwa.

"The orchestra opened with Tony's Theme' from Brian De Palma's Scarface, and ended with an audience singalong to new-wave chart topper 'Together in Electric Dreams,' a 1984 collaboration with the Human League's Philip Oakey. Mr. Moroder joined the orchestra for a rendition of 'Giorgio by Moroder,' the song from Daft Punk's album Random Access Memories that last year brought him a new generation of fans. Afterward, the high-energy septuagenarian played a 1½-hour DJ set to an adoring audience in the depths of the Sydney Opera House."


Posted by Geoff at 1:55 AM CDT
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Monday, June 30, 2014
LAURENCE KNAPP ON FINCHER & DE PALMA
'DAVID FINCHER: INTERVIEWS' IS PUBLISHED THIS AUGUST


Laurence F. Knapp, editor of Brian De Palma: Interviews, has edited a similar volume of David Fincher interviews, which will be published in August. Fincher Fanatic interviewed Knapp about the book and his views on Fincher, some of which are spoken in the video embedded above. Near the end of the interview, Fincher Fanatic asks Knapp if he, as a professor, has ever taught a class on Fincher, and if so, what would be discussed. Here is Knapp's reply:

"As mentioned, I have taught a Generation X class before. I welcome the opportunity to teach a Fincher/Tarantino seminar in the near future, or perhaps a Fincher/De Palma class. I’ve always felt that Fincher is as misanthropic and as formally schematic as De Palma, but because of Fincher’s upbringing (the Bay Area instead of Philadelphia) or generation (Gen X’ers are too jaded, melancholy, and overwhelmed by capitalism to openly resist the dominant order), Fincher does not share De Palma’s countercultural need to expose the cinematic artifice and contest and parody the prevailing ideology of postwar America. Fight Club is as contemptuous as Greetings, Phantom of the Paradise, or Body Double, but Fincher, like many Gen X’ers, doesn’t have it in him to risk a Blow Out, Casualties of War, or Redacted, or even an over-the-top film like Dressed to Kill, Scarface, or Femme Fatale. De Palma would never end Fight Club with two lovers holding hands. He would just blow up downtown Los Angeles and have Brad Pitt expose his penis and wave to the camera like Robert De Niro in Hi Mom!. Fight Club, in true Fincher fashion, prescribes my generation not to surrender to cynicism but to grow up, accept your significant other, and get married. That’s all the sanctuary you will get in this world. Worked for me."


Posted by Geoff at 1:23 AM CDT
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Saturday, June 28, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 10:52 AM CDT
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014
CRITIC: '24' SHOCKER ECHOES 'UNTOUCHABLES'
(SPOILERS OF THIS WEEK'S EPISODE OF '24')
In a recap of this week's episode of FOX-TV's 24, Vulture's Aaron Aradillas states that one moment brought Brian De Palma's The Untouchables to mind:

"[This] led to the centerpiece action sequence of the episode," writes Aradillas. "Unlike the car chase from a couple episodes ago, the shootout and cat-and-mouse hunt for Margot’s precise location was a terrifically sustained piece of action moviemaking. Director Milan Cheylov does some nice close-quarter handheld camerawork, especially when Jack is working his way up several flights of stairs to get to Margot’s hideout. The score by Sean Callery during this sequence had a thrumming, Tangerine Dream–like intensity. Jack managed to stop the drone from destroying Waterloo Station in a classic bit of 24 keyboard precision. Margot looked particularly pathetic as she continued to taunt Jack even when she was in custody. She sneered, 'Hundreds of people died because of you and Heller … Their deaths are on your head!' Then, in a shocking moment that had echoes of Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, Jack pulled an Eliot Ness and threw Margot out the window. 'The only death tonight on my head is yours!' he snarled. We can debate the murky morality of the moment, but there’s no denying the immediacy of it. Jack Bauer had done our dirty work. Again."

The full episode can be viewed at FOX.com.


Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:39 PM CDT
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