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

De Palma a la Mod


De Palma Discussion


Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-De Palma attached
to The Truth and
Other Lies

-De Palma wants
Lights Out to be
M:I meets Wait
Until Dark

-40th anniversary
Carrie 2-disc Blu-ray
out Oct. 11th

-Shout's Raising Cain
Blu-ray to include
Gelderblom's Re-Cut
(Due Sept. 13)

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


Exclusive Passion

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


AV Club Review
of Dumas book


« April 2017 »
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


De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


No Harm In Charm

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


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

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema


Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor


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


No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod

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
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Casualties Of War
Cinema Studies
Columbo - Shooting Script
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Hi, Mom!
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parties & Premieres
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Responsive Eye
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Scarface  «
Sean Penn
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Taxi Driver
Toronto Film Fest
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
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
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Miriam Colón, who portrayed Tony Montana's mother in Brian De Palma's Scarface, died Friday. She was 80. According to Deadline's Patrick Hipes, Colón's husband "told the Associated Press that Colon died owing to complications from a pulmonary infection."

Colón was born in Puerto Rico, and moved to New York City in 1953, where "Elia Kazan accepted her into the Actors Studio after a single audition and she won a Broadway role in In the Summer House with Judith Anderson," according to a 1971 New York Times profile of Colón by Patricia Bosworth. In 1967, Colón "became a driving cultural force in New York barrios when she founded the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and began bringing free drama into the most deprived areas of the ghetto, often to audiences that have never seen theater before," wrote Bosworth.

In the early 1980s, Al Pacino was based in New York, and thus most of the parts for Scarface were cast from auditions that had been set up at the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, including, of course, Colón herself. Underneath the frame from Scarface below is an excerpt from a 2003 Fresh Air interview with Colón (hosted by Terry Gross; transcription via Puerto Rico Herald) in which she discusses her role in the film.

GROSS: You're now starring in "The Blue Diner." What does that role mean to you professionally?

Ms. COLON: It's a good role. It's a woman that is very simple, that is hardworking, that has a sense of honor and dedication. She cares for her daughter, and she's very vigilant about what that daughter is going through, what is she getting involved, you know, like all mothers. In a way this woman reminds me very much of my own mother, whom I lost about three years ago; may she rest in peace.

GROSS: What about this character reminded you of your mother?

Ms. COLON: Because my mother was this hardworking, she and I would fight sometimes. My mother maybe went to the sixth or the seventh grade, but she had a wisdom in herself, a kindness, a humanity that really determined my life. I had such admiration for her, and I was so sorry that she had to work so hard. But such dignity and pride, she was the best image I had. I wish I could be like her.

GROSS: Is it fair to say, though, lately you've been playing mothers who are more conservative and strict than their children, I mean, you know, who are from a culture that is more conservative and strict than the culture their children are growing up in?

Ms. COLON: Yeah. And I just relish--I guess that's why the people loved so much what I did in "Scarface." This was another woman--in fact, I enjoyed...

GROSS: Describe your role in that.

Ms. COLON: Oh, the mother was my mother. The mother in "Scarface" is my mother, so that's another instance in which I just swam into it. It was like a tailor-made dress that was made for me: the mother that also works very hard; that is very stern; that has standards in her house; the fact that she is poor and they may not have an automobile, that they may not have a nice house, that they may live in the outskirts of the city cannot under any circumstances be used to try to put them down or to be disrespectful to the them. And this is what she did to the character played by Pacino. The thing of honor, the stern--well, she's the only one that defied him, told him, `Get the hell out of here,' that didn't wind up with her head cut off. I love characters like that, and I think I can play them very well. And that's also great because I have such sympathy for those women.

GROSS: Do you have a favorite scene from "Scarface" that you're in?

Ms. COLON: The scene with Pacino where I'm watching him coming to introduce himself into our life again. And I know that he's pushing drugs, and I know that we may be poor, but we are not in the drug world. And I know that those suits cannot be bought from working in a factory or something like that. So I think I instinctly know. But what is worse is his insinuating himself into my kitchen, into my house, into the relationship with my daughter, which is all I have left, is very dangerous. And that's why I throw him out. And everything I said would happen happened. He destroyed her...

...GROSS: Do people recognize you a lot from that role?

Ms. COLON: Oh, yes.

GROSS: "Scarface" is such a cult film now. I mean, it has such a following.

Ms. COLON: Oh, yes. You know what? Youngsters. I've had the weirdest, the weirdest, all true, episodes in the subway platform.

GROSS: Yeah?

Ms. COLON: It's happened not twice, not four times, at least a half a dozen times. They're staring, and I say, `Oh. Oh, my God, they're coming in my direction. What are they here for? Are they going to push me off the platform or something, or are they going to take my ring or something?' And then it turns out that they come close and they say, `Mama Montana?' I say, `Si, I'm Mama Montana.' They say, `Yeah!' They have done this scene for me saying my lines and his lines. They have memorized the entire scene. But I've seen kids that I know they don't have any money, and they told me, `Oh, I own that film.'

Posted by Geoff at 9:10 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 5, 2017 11:21 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, February 10, 2017
Universal really is ramping up its new Scarface remake. According to Deadline's Anthony D'Alessandro, the studio announced today that it has set a release date for the film: August 10, 2018. "The studio already had RSVP’ed the date under untitled event film," D'Alessandro states. "The Coen brothers are rewriting the script, the studio said. The siblings won’t direct. Several filmmakers are up for the job, notably Hell or High Water‘s David Mackenzie and Patriots’ Day’s Peter Berg."

In recent years, the Coens (Ethan Coen and Joel Coen) have been hired to polish scripts for Steven Spielberg and Angelina Jolie, among others. Last month, it was revealed that Rogue One-star Diego Luna was now attached to play the lead, with the most recent draft of the screenplay rewritten by Terence Winter.


Fuqua drops out of Scarface remake; Diego Luna will play lead
Terence Winter to tackle Scarface script
The Scarface remake just got a lot less interesting
Scarface remake is Larraín's dream project
The Scarface remake just got a lot more interesting

Posted by Geoff at 5:47 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Variety's Justin Kroll posted an exclusive last night about Universal's Scarface remake, indicating that, as the studio is eager to get the production up and running by this spring, Antoine Fuqua has decided to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with his Denzel Washington-starring sequel to Equalizer. "Sources say Fuqua very much wanted to do the film," states Kroll, "and that he and his team were still trying to figure out a way to make it work even as Uni was meeting with other directors. But ultimately, Fuqua had already spent so much time developing the script for the next Equalizer that he simply couldn’t move on from a project he had so much invested in." (Now would be a great time to see if Pablo Larraín is available again.)

Kroll also states that Rogue One-star Diego Luna is now attached to play the lead, according to "sources". The most recent draft of the screenplay is by Terence Winter.


Terence Winter to tackle Scarface script
The Scarface remake just got a lot less interesting
Scarface remake is Larraín's dream project
The Scarface remake just got a lot more interesting

Posted by Geoff at 3:25 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, December 30, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 5:47 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Variety's Justin Kroll reported yesterday that Terence Winter has signed on to whip the Scarface remake screenplay into something-close-to-final shape. Winter has worked with Martin Scorsese on scripts for The Wolf Of Wall Street, Vinyl, and Boardwalk Empire, as well as on The Sopranos. Antoine Fuqua is the director currently signed to direct the new Scarface. In March 2015, Jonathan Herman was hired to rewrite the screenplay on the heels of his screenplay for Straight Outta Compton. The initial draft of this new Scarface was written by David Ayer, the writer of Training Day, which was directed by Fuqua. In between Ayer and Herman, Universal brought in Donnie Brasco screenwriter Paul Attanasio to do a rewrite on Ayer's draft.

Meanwhile, Fuqua has talked about the project a little bit in the past couple of weeks:

Fandango article by Erik Davis--

Fandango had a chance to talk with Fuqua in advance of The Magnificent Seven arriving in theaters (stay tuned for more of that conversation this week), and we asked about the current status of this Scarface remake. Is it still happening?

"I read the script they have and it's actually really interesting and very timely," Fuqua said. "We're dealing with a lot of stuff now coming out of Mexico. And again, we still have those issues dealing with the "American Dream", and the fact that the game is rigged, right? It's not really an even playing field, but the promise is that it is. The promise is that everyone gets a fair shot, but that's not always the case. So that's always relevant, and right now with what's happening in Mexico, which is where [the main character] comes from -- he comes out of Mexico -- that's relevant, especially when you've got people talking about putting up walls and other kinds of stuff. We're still dealing with immigration, we're still dealing with what would turn someone into Scarface."

Fuqua went on to talk about how this new contemporary version of Scarface will deal with the problems many immigrants face when they arrive in the United States looking for a fair shot only to find anything but.

"They all leave these small countries, and it's hard to become Scarface unless you're someone like El Chapo," he said. "It's hard to become that guy in America. But what happens when you have a guy who has that same appetite and the doors keep getting shut in his face? What happens when he only knows one thing, for sure -- which is how to go and take it? I just think being disenfranchised is dangerous. When people are disenfranchised and delusional, it's just dangerous. I think it's more relevant than ever right now, and it can be extremely entertaining. So we'll see."

Is he bringing his Training Day and Magnificent Seven stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke with him to Scarface? "So far, no," Fuqua said. "We still need to do the casting and I have to have a couple more meetings on it. I would love to, though! I just haven't wrapped my head around it yet."

As for that Equalizer sequel currently scheduled to hit theaters next September, Fuqua says he'll make another movie before that, all but confirming there will be no Equalizer 2 in 2017. Will Scarface take its place? "Whether it's Scarface or something else, there will be another movie before that happens," he revealed.

HipHopDX article--
HipHopDX: After the tumbleweeds clear for Magnificent 7 and everything, you are moving on to Scarface correct? You know that’s like Hip Hop’s favorite movie.

Antoine Fuqua: [Laughs] Yeah, I know. I’m having real conversations about it. It’s something I’m talking about doing right now. I would like to do it honestly man; at one point I was hesitant. But again, when I read the script, even on that one, it’s all about is it relevant today? Does it speak to today? And it does! This cat comes up in Mexico. He’s not Cuban [like Al Pacino’s 1983 character]. And it’s pretty hardcore.

HipHopDX: That’s how it should be.

Antoine Fuqua: Right? Because you dealing with El Chapo and everyone else, it’s a different world now. That’s where they’re coming from. And it touches on a more modern day, not just gangsterism but how everything moves now on the streets. How money moves now. The Scarface [from 1983], he couldn’t survive today. We saw that. The Pablos came and went. El Chapo is about to go. So what’s next?

HipHopDX: Could you see a rapper playing that role?

Antoine Fuqua: I’ll say never to anything. If somebody come in the room and they have what it takes and they got the right skill set and presence to do that, then why not? I believe in those kind of movies. You gotta be raw. You gotta be a fuckin’ animal, man. You gotta be highly intelligent but you gotta be an animal. Now Scarface was an animal. He was a fuckin’ beast. Period. So that’s how I see that. It’s gotta be somebody that young people connect to because Scarface was all about taking the dream. You can’t wait for somebody to give it to you.


The Scarface remake just got a lot less interesting
Scarface remake is Larraín's dream project
The Scarface remake just got a lot more interesting

Posted by Geoff at 8:24 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:07 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
The Scarface remake just got a lot less interesting. When it was reported in March 2014 that Pablo Larraín was in negotiations to direct Universal's new remake of Scarface, this blog's ears perked up. And then this past March, Larraín told The Guardian's Danny Leigh that the Scarface remake was his dream project. Leigh states in the article that the film "would be set in Los Angeles, with a Mexican kingpin replacing the Cuban Tony Montana." Larraín also told Leigh that the project was, at that time, stuck in development.

Well, "stuck in development" in this case appears to mean "we're looking for a new director." Today, Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. reports that Antoine Fuqua is now in talks to direct the "re-imagining," as Fleming puts it. The film will still be set in Los Angeles, according to Fleming, but his article today says nothing about the character being Mexican, though it still seems a likely possibility, as Jonathan Herman is still mentioned as the latest screenwriter on the project (Herman was hired in March 2015 on the heels of writing the screenplay for Straight Outta Compton). The initial draft of this new Scarface was written by David Ayer, the writer of Training Day, which was directed by Fuqua. In between Ayer and Herman, Universal brought in Donnie Brasco screenwriter Paul Attanasio to do a rewrite on Ayer's draft.

And so that's where it stand for the moment. Fuqua is gearing up for the release next month of yet another remake, The Magnificent Seven, which will also be the opening night film at next month's Toronto International Film Festival.

And lest we forget to mention, twelve years ago, Fuqua was gearing up to direct Capone Rising, a prequel to Brian De Palma's The Untouchables. De Palma eventually decided that he wanted to direct that one, after all, but then that project got mired in red tape. In any case, here's a fun item from June 30, 2004:

Posted June 30 2004
One of the Hollywood projects Brian De Palma was considering taking on last fall was Tru Blu, the biopic of heroin smuggler Frank Lucas. But De Palma signed on for The Black Dahlia, and while he was working on that film, Antoine Fuqua, director of the upcoming King Arthur, signed on to direct Tru Blu. According to IESB.net, Fuqua mentioned at the King Arthur press junket that he will also be working on a prequel to The Untouchables. The prequel will focus on a young Al Capone, and Fuqua says his ideal choice of actor for the role would be Sean Penn. (Isn't Penn about the age right now that Robert De Niro was when he played Capone? The magic of movies.) Penn pal Benicio Del Toro will star opposite Denzel Washington in Fuqua's Tru Blu. But the intertextuality of Penn playing a younger version of De Niro after De Niro, early in his career, played a younger version of Marlon Brando in The Godfather: Part II is intriguing. Speaking of which, Fuqua also mentioned that he wants to direct a Godfather film.

Posted by Geoff at 6:30 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 11, 2016 1:05 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, March 26, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 2:34 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, March 26, 2016 2:36 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, March 17, 2016
The Guardian's Danny Leigh posted a profile on Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín. Two years ago, it was first reported that Larraín was in negotiations to direct a new remake of Scarface, and then a year later (otherwise known as a year ago), it was announced that Straight Outta Compton screenwriter Jonathan Herman had been hired to write the Scarface remake. Now Leigh reports that this would be Larraín's dream project, but that it is currently stuck in development. Here's an excerpt from The Guardian article:
Larraín’s films aren’t just politically alive, they’re bracing as cinema. No was shot on U-matic tape to imitate lo-fi 80s Chilean TV news; The Club unfolds in ashen half-light, as if the moral rot had got into the sun. He shrugs at the idea that, as a director, moving into the English language is inevitable. “I just want to be able to control the story, and for it to mean something to me.” But he is making his first American film: Jackie, a portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy in the days after John F Kennedy’s assassination. Before that will be another Chilean movie, Neruda, about the 1940s hounding of the communist poet Pablo Neruda. “The scale is big. The money. Here, you might not think it was big, but it’s big for us in Chile.”

The money may get bigger still. Larraín’s dream project, marooned in development, is a remake of Brian De Palma’s Scarface. It would be set in Los Angeles, with a Mexican kingpin replacing the Cuban Tony Montana: quite something in Trumpian times. Larraín is coy. “I could never talk about a movie I haven’t made yet.” It would be a hell of a risk, remaking a film whose every line is someone’s favourite ever. There’s a laugh and an eye roll. “Tell me about it!”

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, March 18, 2016 12:11 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, March 14, 2016

Last week, The Hollywood Reporter's Pete Keeley posted an informative article with the headline, "'Scarface': Whatever Happened to Tony Montana's 'Little Friend'?" Here's an excerpt:
The M203 grenade launcher was introduced in 1969 and used extensively by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. But Tony's had to be fabricated by the studio props department because Scarface prop master John Zemansky couldn't find a manufacturer willing to sell him an actual, live-firing M203. The launcher is not technically illegal to possess (or at least it wasn't in California in the early '80s), but it is classified as a "destructive device" under the National Firearms Act and requires a special license to own.

"I basically manufactured one that looks exactly like the real one except that I put a different trigger system in so it would fire a blank cartridge," says Zemansky, who had five duplicate launchers made for the production. "We put a sleeve in [the barrel] to accept what kind of cartridge we wanted." Because the fabricated weapons weren't capable of firing actual 40mm grenades (Zemansky recalls that it was outfitted to fire shotgun shells), they weren't subject to the same onerous regulations as a real M203.

Still, after Scarface wrapped, the fake M203s were sold off to Stembridge Gun Rentals, an armory that supplies weapons to Hollywood productions. "I didn't want it because I didn't want to have a problem with the ATF or anybody! It was easier just to get it out of my possession," says Zemansky.

Stembridge rented out Tony's "Little Friend" to other films and TV shows over the years. Most notably, it appeared in Clint Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge (1986) and John McTiernan's 1987 action classic Predator, where Arnold Schwarzenegger himself toted it in several scenes. It even appears on the one-sheet.

Stembridge Gun Rentals' Syd Stembridge says he no longer has any of the Scarface M203s in his collection, but one of the launchers sold at auction in November (attached to a replica AR-15) for $54,400. A big number for a little friend.

Posted by Geoff at 9:06 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Matt Zoller Seitz has been working on a book about Oliver Stone. The Oliver Stone Experience will be in the spirit of the author's recent books about Wes Anderson. Today and tomorrow, Zoller Seitz will tease the book at the Alamo Drafthouse in Denver, presenting, along with Stone himself, two of the director's films on Sunday (today), and, without Stone, Brian De Palma's Scarface (which was written by Stone) on Monday night with a "Cuban Feast" at 7:30pm. The two Sunday films, with Stone accompanying the author, are Natural Born Killers (already sold out), and U-Turn.

In April 2014, I had the pleasure of seeing Stone present his film Born On The Fourth Of July from a 35mm print at Ebertfest, followed by a discussion on stage with Zoller Seitz. At that time, the book had just been announced, and I spoke with Seitz afterward, who told me he was really excited about the design ideas for it, which would be necessarily different than that of his Wes Anderson book-- a bit more sprawling, to match the sheer propulsive drive of Stone's ideas and experiences. In any case, the rapport between Stone and Seitz seemed pretty tight, and I'm looking forward to what sounds like a fresh, invigorative journey through the films of Oliver Stone.

Posted by Geoff at 5:31 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 6, 2016 5:34 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older