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Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
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Warren Beatty's
Howard Hughes
moving forward

Filmmaker Mike
Cahill believes
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vertigo shot

Rie Rasmussen
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Mentor Tarantino
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AV Club Review
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Scorsese tests
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James Franco
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& star in
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Coppola on
his recent films:
"What I was
trying to do with
those films was to
make three student
films in order to
try and set a new
trajectory and try to
say, 'Well, what
happens if I have no
resources?' Now, having
done that, my new
work is going to be
much more ambitious
and bigger in scope and
budget and ambition,
but now building on a
new confidence or
assurance. The three
little films were very
useful. I'm glad I did
it. I hope George Lucas
does it, because he
has a wonderful personal
filmmaking ability that
people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
direct De Niro
as raging comic
in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
directorial feature
debut with
Capote story

Keith Gordon
teaming up
with C. Nolan for
thriller that
he will write
and direct

Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-Picture emerging
for Happy Valley

-De Palma's new
project with
Said Ben Said

-De Palma to team
with Pacino & Pressman
for Paterno film
Happy Valley

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De Palma interviewed
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Carrie...A Fan's Site


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De Palma a la Mod

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Monday, April 21, 2014
An early review at [SIC] of Arrow Video's new edition of Brian De Palma's Sisters includes a paragraph about the special feature supplements. "In the absence of a commentary," the reviewer states, "the main feature is a fantastic (albeit spoiler-heavy) 45-minute essay on the film, recorded specially for Arrow, which tallies up the references as well as providing a wealth of information on the creation of the film, how De Palma's later films build on his experiences, and any number of other interesting facts and anecdotes. Supplementary material includes a selection of interviews with cast and crew, of which Jennifer Salt's is particularly interesting. There's also a breathless half-hour summary of De Palma's career that made me want to watch everything he's ever made, and the hilarious original trailer, which makes the film look about ten times trashier than it actually is."

As for the film itself, the reviewer is again very positive: "De Palma is now known primarily for his suspense thrillers, but prior to Sisters he had mainly made low-budget counter-cultural comedy films. Sisters was an attempt to make his name more 'bankable' by making a more mainstream film, so it would be understandable if it had not aged too well. However, there's no feeling of cynicism to the plot - it's a pulpy thriller that is heavily rooted in exploitation, but even within that fairly rigid framework, De Palma can't help experimenting. The ways in which Sisters stands out from the pack make it a real treat that holds up to anything else in the director's filmography."

Posted by Geoff at 10:49 PM CDT
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Friday, April 18, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 2:02 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Goregirl's Dungeon yesterday posted several production stills from the set of Brian De Palma's Sisters, including the one above, of De Palma and Margot Kidder.

Posted by Geoff at 12:33 AM CDT
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 12:41 AM CDT
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Bloody Disgusting has an exclusive video of Maitland McDonagh talking about Brian De Palma's Sisters, which will (maybe?) be part of the extras on Arrow Video's upcoming Blu-Ray/DVD edition of the film. McDonagh wrote an essay about De Palma's Dressed To Kill for Arrow's Blu-Ray edition of that film, released last year. There are a couple of curious discrepancies here, though: for one, while the video shows that Sisters will be released April 14, the Arrow website shows the release date as April 28; the other odd thing is that the Bloody Disgusting headline calls the Maitland McDonagh video an "outtake," although the article by MrDisgusting never uses that word once.

In any case, don't get excited-- there does not appear to be any promise that the upcoming release will include outtakes from the film itself. Whether or not the Maitland McDonagh interview is itself an outtake remains to be seen, as she is not listed in the list of extras included in the Bloody Disgusting article, but MrDisgusting does call the video "one of the extras." Here are the extras that are listed:

- Brand new High Definition digital transfer
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
- Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- What the Devil Hath Joined Together: Brian De Palma’s Sisters – A visual essay by author Justin Humphreys (47 mins)
- All new interviews with co-writer Louisa Rose, actress Jennifer Salt, editor Paul Hirsch and production manager Jeffrey Hayes
- The De Palma Digest – a film-by-film guide to the director’s career by critic Mike Sutton
- Archive audio interview with star William Finley (excerpt)
- Gallery of Sisters promotional material from around the world
- Theatrical trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Kier-La Janisse (House of Psychotic Women), Brian De Palma’s original 1973 Village Voice essay on working with composer Bernard Herrmann as well as a contemporary interview with De Palma on making Sisters, and the 1966 Life magazine article that inspired the film, illustrated with original archive stills

Incidentally, in the video at Bloody Disgusting, McDonagh mentions William Castle's Homicidal, contrasting that film's lack of critical attention to the type of attention De Palma's Sisters received upon its release. De Palma listed Homicidal as one of his "Guilty Pleasures" in an article for Film Comment back in the 1980s.

Posted by Geoff at 5:15 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 5:56 PM CDT
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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

According to Twitch, Arrow Video announced its "Q2 line-up" today, and it includes a release date for its Blu-ray edition of Brian De Palma's Sisters, which will be released April 14th. Along with a high-definition digital transfer of the film, the edition will have "newly created exclusive content- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys- Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film, archive content and more!- More to be announced closer to the release date." Arrow's Blu-ray of Phantom Of The Paradise is officially released Monday (February 24th).

Posted by Geoff at 5:10 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 5:13 PM CST
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Thursday, January 16, 2014
Brian De Palma's Sisters screened in Chicago last night as part of Doc Films' De Palma Retrospective, running Wednesdays through March at the University of Chicago. Cine-File included the screenings (it was shown twice) in the "Crucial Viewing" portion of its weekly guide to alternative cinema. Contributor Kian Bergstrom wrote very enthusiastically about the film:

"After a decade in training," Bergstrom begins, "making movies that are variously interesting (GREETINGS, THE RESPONSIVE EYE), fascinating (HI, MOM!, MURDER A LA MOD), or catastrophic (GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBIT), De Palma burst into artistic maturity with this astonishingly accomplished and subtle masterpiece. It marks the moment De Palma went from being the geekiest of the American New Wave brats to simply the greatest American filmmaker working, a title he's maintained with an almost unbroken string of subsequent wonders. Like many of De Palma's films, SISTERS is antagonistic towards its audience, barraging us with images of brutality, damaged bodies, damaged people, pushing us uncomfortably interrogating us at all times to defend our continual decision to keep watching. It is as though every segment were structured around a question, asked of the audience, as to whether the upcoming visual offense would finally prove to be too much for us to justify. Is it OK to watch this? would be film's ideal motto, with the emphasis on the question mark. At its heart are the Blanchion twins (in a disarming and mesmerizing performance by Margot Kidder), conjoined at birth but surgically cloven from one another as young women. A young model in New York, Danielle picks up a fellow game show contestant, only to find her erotic trajectory frustrated by her astonishingly creepy ex-husband, Emil. Eluding Emil, the amorous couple finds their way into bed together with the casual revelation that the next day will be Danielle's birthday. But that birthday brings with it not joy but murder as Dominique, the evil twin of sweet-natured Danielle takes control of the narrative. As always with De Palma, though, there's much more at play than there seems. Quick as a knife-strike, he introduces the real main character, Jennifer Salt's Grace Collier, a combative investigative journalist whose apartment overlooks the twins' abode. Desperate to discover who her strange neighbors really are, and what they really did with the body she saw killed there, Grace and a private detective pry into the history of the Blanchions, only to discover that peering to closely into their lives threatens indeed their own very existences. SISTERS moves rapidly through a succession of set-pieces, each extraordinary in stylization, exacting in execution, and monstrous in implication: invasions of privacy, hypnotism, madness, and horrifying errors of judgment. This is a film troubled by doubles, by two detectives, by two policemen, by twins, and also by duplication: the duplication of a person when death strikes, the duplication of an image by the television screen, the duplication of cells within a woman's womb, the duplication of space by the split screen. Many critics of De Palma see him as working in hermetic structures, narratives so precise and specifically and idiosyncratically realized that his films are comprehensible only when we understand them to be entries in grand artistic conversations with his inspirations (Hitchcock, Hawks, Lang, Welles). They miss so much: the nausea the film expresses towards the casual misogyny and power of the mysterious Emil; the fragility of the social world, as easily ripped to shreds as a Grace's thin shirt; the arbitrariness of the normal, broken and shattered by the slightest action. SISTERS is no insular work, pillaging all its best ideas from Hollywood's graying masters, but a living, beating, furious wasp's nest of a work, stable at a distance, but ready to explode with the slightest touch."

Posted by Geoff at 12:45 AM CST
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Friday, October 25, 2013
Brian De Palma's Sisters, which had a remake of its own a few years ago, is included in AFI Silver Theatre's film series, "Horror '73: An Annus Horribilis at 40." A 35mm print of Sisters will be screened this Sunday (October 27) at 9pm, and also on Wednesday (October 30) at 9:15pm. The AFI Silver website explains that 1973 was "a landmark year for horror cinema," noting films such as The Exorcist, Don't Look Now, and The Wicker Man, the latter of which is included in the series in a newly-restored version. The website further states that "Horror '73 offers fans of the genre an opportunity to see nearly 20 of these innovative and diverse experiments in screen terror in their proper setting—a dark theater—with many titles screened from rare archival prints."

Posted by Geoff at 12:13 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Playlist's Diana Drumm posted an interview today with Billy Weber, who has worked as editor on several of Terrence Malick's films. Drumm caught up with Weber at this years TCM Classic Film Festival. In the following passage, Weber recalls attending an early Los Angeles film festival called FilmX to catch a midnight screening of Brian De Palma's Sisters:

"A screening of Brian DePalma’s Sisters helped cement the friendship between Weber and Malick
'I was hired by someone named Bob Estren, who was the original, first editor on Badlands, who hired me to be his assistant... Before they started shooting, I had to go pick up a check from him to go get the editorial equipment to rent and so I went to the house he was staying in at the time and that’s how I met Terry,' Weber said. 'Then he went off to shoot the movie and I didn’t see him again until he came back and then we almost immediately became close friends, just have been close friends ever since.'

'While we were working on Badlands, we came to Grauman’s Chinese, to the theater we screened in today, to a midnight screening of FilmX, which was an early L.A. film festival, to see Sisters which Ed Pressman (producer on Badlands) had produced, Brian De Palma had directed. The two of us came together to see it. To this day, neither of us have been as frightened as we were by that movie. It was so scary, so good… We talked about this a year ago, we’ve been friends ever since.'”

Posted by Geoff at 7:38 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 10, 2013 12:24 AM CDT
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Sunday, August 21, 2011
This Tuesday, August 23, the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will pair up Brian De Palma's Sisters with Roy Boulting's Twisted Nerve for a double feature as part of its series, "Music for Movies: Bernard Herrmann Centennial," which began in early July and concludes August 30th. Herrmann's eerie whistled theme from Twisted Nerve was used by Quentin Tarantino in a De Palma-esque sequence of Kill Bill Vol. 1.
(Thanks to Jim!)

Posted by Geoff at 1:31 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, August 21, 2011 1:32 PM CDT
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