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 hopes to
shoot Lights Out
in summer 2016

-De Palma doc
in theaters 6/10/16
Poster is here

-Raising Cain Blu-ray
due Sept 12/13, 2016,
extras 'in progress'

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


Exclusive Passion

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


AV Club Review
of Dumas book


« June 2016 »
1 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 30


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
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Happy Valley
Hi, Mom!
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Lights Out
Magic Hour
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
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
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Our old friend Bill Fentum was at The Majestic Theatre in Dallas this past Friday night (June 17), where Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise screened as part of this year's Oak Cliff Film Festival, with one of the film's stars, Jessica Harper, in attendance. The screening was a homecoming for Phantom, as parts of it were filmed at The Majestic, but it had never played there until last week. Here is Fentum's report, followed by a short YouTube video from Harper's Q&A, and then a link to a separate interview with Harper prior to the screening:
Jessica Harper remarked on how strange it felt to return to the place where much of Phantom was filmed, and the fun of watching the movie with so many fans in attendance, applauding for each song as well as the cast and De Palma in the end credits. The crowd included a guy from Memphis dressed as the Phantom with mask/helmet and cape [see YouTube video below], and several people who had traveled from Winnipeg for the occasion. They clearly enjoyed taking photos around the building (much of it looking the same today, despite renovations through the years), and Harper was invited during the Q&A to come to a Phantom screening event in Winnipeg this October 28, with the Juicy Fruits/Beach Bums/Undead trio—Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor and Peter Elbling (Harold Oblong)—all scheduled to be there.

Asked to share memories of the production, she talked about the energy that people like Hahn, Comanor, Elbling and George Memmoli brought to the set each day. Most touching, she talked the gentle support she received from William Finley throughout the shoot, making her debut film much easier than it might have been. She laughed about her "chicken dance" at the end of the "Special to Me" number ("my personal contribution to the choreography"), and recalled some conflict with costume designer Rosanna Norton, who didn't always welcome accessories Harper would add to her wardrobe, like the fedora she throws onto the stage in her "Special to Me" audition.

A couple of other memories: Steven Spielberg visiting the set in New York after the crew left Dallas, and besides Linda Ronstadt, her competition for the role of Phoenix including a then active singer named Lynn Carey, daughter of actor Macdonald Carey. Finally, asked about being directed by De Palma and other auteurs in her career (e.g., Dario Argento on Suspiria, Spielberg on Minority Report and Woody Allen on Love and Death and Stardust Memories), she noted that it always leads to a better experience than films where the director lacks a strong personal connection to the material, and isn't sure of what he wants.

Zach Gayne at Screen Anarchy interviews Jessica Harper
Everybody has their own favorite song. I think a lot of people like "Old Souls," and not that I don't, but "Special to Me" is one of my favorite song-scenes in the film. I love the choreography of the dance. There's something just so enchanting about the whole thing. Do you remember how that came to be? The process of choreographing and all of that?

I kind of made it up.


Oh, yeah. There was that kind of configuration of the stage where the piece of stage going out into the audience, a strip of stage so I had to move. I had to get from A to B to C and back again so I had to figure out something, some kind of thing I could do that would get me where I needed to go doing some kind of dancey thing that would accommodate the necessity. The famous chicken dance.

I think I just came up with it and I just started messing around on stage and made it work. I had this fedora. I think the costume designer really wanted to kill me because I kept saying, "I think I should wear this," or "I think I should wear this." I really misbehaved with the costume designer including, I brought this fedora in. It was something I wore in real life. I went around with this little fedora at that time. I thought, “This will be a great prop. I'm going to take this hat and I'm going to throw it out.” I like to take credit for that scene in terms of the choreography and the hat.

Well, it's very good work.

Thank you.

I just love it. Even the moments of calm, I guess the chorus, where you're just sort of staring into the camera, it's so hypnotizing. Do you have a favorite song or a favorite scene?

I love that scene. I also love "Old Souls" too. I think it's a beautiful song.

Indeed! (Guillermo del Toro and his wife danced to it at their wedding.)

I was so lucky I got to sing these gorgeous songs, but that was called for, of course. I really liked "Old Soul" and "Special to Me."

Do you recall one scene as being really fun to shoot?

"The freak who killed Beef is up on the roof.” I just remember finding that really hard to say. The freak who killed Beef is up on the roof.

That is a bit of a tongue twister.

That's something you can say three times fast.... Doing "Special to Me" could not have been more fun. Oh! You know what was fun - except it was really hair-raising? The first day of shooting we did all that stuff that was at the beginning where I come in and audition and there's this scene that's kind of hilarious where, first of all, I'm going up this staircase and Finley comes up and we meet and there's a spark.

And then there's the scene, which was also the first day of shooting on the first movie I'd ever done. (DePalma) said, "Hit your mark!" I didn't know! “Who's my Marc and why do I have to hit him?” I didn’t know what they were saying.

There's another scene where I was like in tears all the time. When I say it was fun I would say in addition it was also completely terrifying, because I didn't know anything. I had to run into the casting room, where George Memmoli is standing wearing a velour shirt and huge turquoise trunks, like underpants.

I had to go in there and then the door closed and there's a certain amount of commotion and I come screaming, tearing out of the room again, saying, you know, indignant things because he's obviously jumping on top of every actress who goes into the so-called casting chamber. “I came here to sing!” I can't remember what I said, but some indignant, full of myself remark.

That was just funny because George is so funny and it was just, you know. And again, just so fun because I was getting the hang of what you were supposed to do on a movie set, which up to that point I had absolutely no idea about.

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 12:37 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, May 7, 2016

This past week, it was announced that Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will be included in the line-up of this year's Oak Cliff Film Festival, which takes place in Dallas June 16-19. The screening is a homecoming of sorts: parts of Phantom were filmed at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas, but the film has never played there. That will change on Friday, June 17, when Phantom will screen at the Majestic, "with an expected appearance by one or more of the film’s stars," according to a press release. "New Hollywood" is the theme for this year's Oak Cliff Film Festival, which will also include a screening of Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's De Palma documentary (specific date/time to be announced).

Posted by Geoff at 8:50 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 7, 2016 8:51 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, May 2, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 2:46 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, March 25, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 2:37 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This is more than a month old, but a really nice pre-Oscar article posted by The Playlist's Charlie Schmidlin, in which production designer Jack Fisk, nominated this year for his work on The Revenant, tells stories from several of the films he's worked on over the years, with directors Brian De Palma, Terrence Malick, David Lynch, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Alejandro González Iñárritu. Below are excerpts from the article regarding Phantom Of The Paradise and Carrie:
"Phantom Of The Paradise” (1974)

Jack Fisk: When I finished “Badlands,” the producer asked me to come work with De Palma on "Phantom of the Paradise." I'd been doing some stuff with Roger and Gene Corman, but I hadn't done that many films at that point. But I got so excited about doing a musical with Faustian themes, and I loved “Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” so I wanted to do a set influenced by that.

We shot a lot in Los Angeles, in Dallas and in New York. I had a minimal budget and no crew, really. I did most of the building myself. One day, the company went to lunch and there was this scene where Winslow breaks out of jail through a brick wall. I was there while everyone was eating lunch, putting brick and mortar on. When the crew came back and I hadn't quite finished, one of the grips started going on about how inexperienced I was and how stupid I was to be doing this at lunch. Suddenly, Brian snapped at him to shut up and said, "Jack's making this film look great." To this day, that was one of the major affirmations that what I was doing was having an effect on the director, that Brian —who could be kind of dour— was suddenly taken with this sort of approach.

On that film, I had an art director who wasn't getting sets done, so Sissy came in and started sewing sheets for Swan's bedroom, the satin sheets that look like records. She did it overnight on a tiny little sewing machine that we had at home. We were doing things like that for the whole shoot. I was so exhausted around that time —I remember flying to Dallas and thinking, "God, if I'm ever going to die in an airplane, make it now." But, you know, I didn't die. [laughs]

“Carrie” (1976)

[Because of 'Phantom'] Brian actually thought of Sissy as a set dresser. When I got together with Brian on “Carrie,” Sissy called him and said, “Brian, I'm coming in for a test for "Carrie," but I've also got an audition for a Vanquish commercial where I can make $10,000. Should I do that or come in?' ” She thought he'd say, "Oh, please come in. I gotta see you." But what he actually said was, "Well Sissy, I think you ought to do the commercial." She got so upset that she sat down in our living room in Topanga Canyon and read the book of “Carrie” from cover to cover. She didn't sleep, got up the next morning, put Vaseline in her hair, and put on a little sailor dress that her mother had made her in seventh grade. Then she went into where they were testing, only wanting to test for one part, for Carrie.

The next day, I met Brian and the producers and cinematographer at the lab where they were looking at the tests. Her test came on, and she just killed it. You looked at her and it was Carrie, but it was a Carrie that you cared about. The lights went up, and everyone turned to Brian, who said, "She's Carrie." He didn't expect to cast her though, so much so that they never negotiated a deal with her. Sissy was waiting in the car outside to hear what happened, and I ran out saying, "You got the part, you can ask whatever you want!" And then a few days later, Sissy, Piper Laurie and Brian started rehearsing, and the rest is history. We just love Brian. He became such a good friend.

Later on, when we were filming the scene where Carrie menstruates for the first time, Sissy was looking for some direction on how to play the scene. And Brian, in a very sort of male way, said, "It's like you're being hit by a truck." And I said, "Well I was run over by a car once!" So Sissy asked me to describe to her how I felt. And I started telling her about the whole thing, and then that turned into me in the shower right beside her in the scene, telling her about getting hit by a car when I was 14. They had me hold in my hand the fake blood that she reaches down into, so it was kind of ridiculous. The bad thing about that was that I was wet the entire time; the good thing was that we finished the scene. I just think Brian was relieved that he didn't have to give her any more description.

Posted by Geoff at 2:43 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, February 8, 2016
Cinematary, a weekly movie podcast, begins a series on Brian De Palma with this week's episode. The second half of the hour-long episode features Zach, Dylan, Lydia, and Nathan discussing Phantom Of The Paradise. All but one of the four watched De Palma's film for the first time in preparation for the discussion. The discussion is worth listening to, as it becomes quickly apparent that the participants have a smart, invested interest in cinema. While it is disappointing to hear two of them agree in the wrap-up that De Palma "tries" to cram too much into this film, they also have the insight to note that Phantom seems socially and culturally aware of the time in which it was made. At one point, one of the participants states that the thing about De Palma is, "the more you see his movies, the more everything makes sense."

Some of the most interesting comments come from Lydia. When asked to explain her first impressions of the film, she says, "It starts off, and you’re not really sure you’re with it, because it just goes so fast, the plot points, it doesn’t waste any time. But then, I was kind of into it by the time we got to the staging of Faust, and the big performances. I kind of got on board with it, because De Palma has a very specific vision and cinematic goals. I mean, whether or not you like it, it’s very clear he’s an artist, and is able to put what he wants on screen, every second. And I really appreciated that."

Posted by Geoff at 11:49 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 8, 2016 11:51 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Posted by Geoff at 2:47 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, December 5, 2015

Phantom of Winnipeg Indiegogo from Malcolm Ingram on Vimeo.

Documentary filmmaker Malcolm Ingram has begun making a film about Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, and its popularity in Winnipeg. According to Deadline's Ross A. Lincoln, "Phantom of Winnipeg will tell the story of that fan community and how it’s still going strong today. Like a concentrated and highly idiosyncratic Rocky Horror Picture Show, the film found in Winnipeg a devoted audience of, weirdly, 9 to 13-year-olds, who bought hundreds of tickets. Phantom actually outsold Jaws in its initial release, and local sales of the soundtrack helped the album go gold in Canada. The film also spawned “Phantompalooza,” a local festival held biannually since 2004. Digging deep into an outsider community and the dynamics of fan culture, Phantom of Winnipeg will present the life stories of the fans who made it happen, the cast and creative team behind the film and their reaction to the phenomenon, and some of the established artists influenced by it."

Ingram and his producer have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the film. Ingram's first film, Small Town Gay Bar, premiered at Sundance in 2006. His other films are Bear Nation, Continental, and Out To Win.

Posted by Geoff at 7:22 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Gerrit Graham will be on hand for a Q&A following a screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise at 8pm December 4th, at the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, New York. The film will be projected from a 35mm print, and the Q&A will be moderated by Fangoria's editor-in-chief, Michael Gingold.

"The ultimate synthesis of horror and rock 'n' roll," begins the Alamo description, "Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise is an explosion of music, madness and the director's trademark camera style, complete with prowling cameras and split screens." Fangoria's staff description of the event concludes, "If you’re in or around NYC, come see Phantom in all its colorful big-screen glory with its most outrageous character in attendance!"

Posted by Geoff at 11:55 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, September 7, 2015
This past July, The Swan Archives put up for auction the original outtakes, deleted scenes, and other original materials it had managed to unearth and collect from Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise. A reserve price had been met, but when the Academy Film Archive expressed interest in the materials, the Archivist happily canceled the auction. Here's how the excellent news was reported on the Swan Archives News page on August 25th, accompanied by a photo that included the Archivist, Paul Hirsch, and others:
Today, our Principal Archivist delivered our donation of the Archives' collection of outtakes, b-roll, and deleted scenes, in the form of 35mm negatives and interpositives, along with negatives of the TV spots and trailer and related ephemera, to the Academy Film Archive, an arm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in Los Angeles. At the AFA's facilities, the delicate footage will be catalogued, preserved, and stored professionally in the best possible conditions, so that it will be available for whatever use the future sees fit to put it to. Our Archivist (center) was joined for the handoff (and a nice lunch and "backstage" tour of the AFA's facilities) by, from left to right, AMPAS Acquisitions Archivist Howard Prouty; (Ed Pressman's wife) Annie Pressman; AFA Collections Curator Fritz Hertzog; AFA Senior Film Archivist Bill Black; Accessioning Archivist Rachel Rosenfeld from the Margaret Herrick Library; and (Phantom editor) Paul Hirsch. We at the Archives couldn't be happier with this conclusion to our adventure with this material. Now, with our own mission -- to shepherd the material to a hi-def release for the enjoyment of Phantom fans around the world -- accomplished, it's satisfying, and comforting, to know that the footage will be lovingly preserved alongside the tens of thousands of other culturally significant cinematic relics curated by the professionals at the AFA.

Posted by Geoff at 11:16 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2015 10:21 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older