NANCY ALLEN'S THROWBACK TO LAST THURSDAY LETS THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG
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a la Mod:
Peter: Mom, this is the most incredible thing that I’ve ever built. I mean this carries!
Kate: [Humoring him] It carries… Carries what?
Peter: Binary numbers. I mean, it can hold up to a twenty-digit figure.
Kate: Now, wait a second [humoring him]—you said it can carry, and it holds, too?
Peter: [Nodding] Both, it does both, that’s the whole point. I mean, there isn’t a circuit like this in any of my books. I’ve invented it!
Kate: [Sincerely proud] Well, that’s great. That’s great, Peter.
I'm not sure what there is to complain about there, but the podcaster said that because he knows about De Palma's science background, "I expect better from De Palma."
At the beginning of an article by New York Magazine's David Rosenthal (August 4 1980, pp. 25-27-- the photo above is from the article), De Palma says, "That character in Dressed To Kill is me. I mean, that's my room. That machine, I built that machine. It was a differential analyzer."
It started innocently enough: Rachel Rabbit White, a journalist in her 20s who writes about sex, was hailing a taxi with her boyfriend at the time and a female friend after a Lower East Side party.
But “as soon as we got into the cab,” Ms. White said, “it became clear that this was going to be a threesome.” Within moments, the taxi ride turned into Plato’s Retreat on wheels, a montage of hair pulling, collar tugging and bodies writhing in darkness.
Far from being an impediment to passion, the unglamorous setting was an enabler. “It was as if being in the space of the cab decided it for us,” Ms. White said.
Ah, the strange erotic power of the New York taxi. On the surface, these utilitarian urban people movers that sometimes smell like old gym socks would seem about as sexy as a Yankee Stadium bathroom. But for countless reasons, some New Yorkers long considered the taxi back seat a pay-by-the-hour love shack.
But that illicit tradition is under threat of late, as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft sanitize yet another dark corner of New York night life. Unlike traditional taxis, where anonymity is the rule (and the attraction), these services know exactly who has been naughty or nice in their back seats. Not only do drivers know a passenger’s name and mobile number, but they are also asked to review a passenger’s behavior.
These customer reviews, which function like a credit score that is based on conduct rather than financial standing, have put a damper on back-seat shenanigans. Indeed, acting out under those circumstances is a bit like streaking through Grand Central Terminal with a “Hello, My Name Is ______” tag plastered to your chest.
With some users feeling motivated to limit their back-seat behavior to job-interview politeness, the raunchy back-seat hookup — immortalized in films like “Dressed to Kill” and shows like “Taxicab Confessions” — suddenly looks like a vestige of a Lost New York, doomed to go the way of peep shows, streetwalkers and Al Goldstein’s “Midnight Blue.”
At about the same time, Austin posted the pic on his Worthy Enemies Instagram page, with the message, "1980's Dressed To Kill. @retoband and myself worked on this thrasher earlier this month for the Creator of Pushing Up Daisies, Dead Like Me and the awesome Hannibal the series, #BryanFuller . It was a blast and if you would be interested in getting one, check out www.retroband.com. They are very very limited. Once their gone. POOF! Their gone!"
Back in May 2014, several people tweeted that the latest episode of Hannibal had reminded them of De Palma.
(Thanks to Phillip!)
(Thanks to Justine!)
The pair discuss working with Michael Cain, Dennis Franz, and Angie Dickinson, who was still working on TV's Police Woman at the time, and would fly in to do her scenes. Whereas Allen and Gordon had plenty of rehearsal time, Dickinson did not. "Angie was finding her movie-acting rhythm again, and that was interesting to watch," Gordon tells Fangoria. "We did that one scene we had and we didn't rehearse it to death, so that was good. I was always trying to make her more comfortable by getting her to laugh and whatnot, and at first she didn't seem to like that, but she slowly warmed to it. Brian would tell her, 'Look, we're not trying to rush through eight pages a day, we can take our time.' and she relaxed into that. You could see that she remembered liking doing movies and having time, unlike TV where everything is bam-bam, real fast."
Allen talks about meeting Dickinson on set: "Angie and I met in the elevator and then said goodbye; it was like 'Hello! And goodbye!' all in one shot! I didn't have to use too much imagination for that scene; it was all there in front of me. All that blood and gore! But of course, it was also very technical. My hand had to be in this place and my eyes had to be there, and it all works because it's so brilliantly edited."
Fangoria then follows up: "The technicality of the shoot in general must have been very complex, with all the cuts, split screens, dissolves and so forth. Did that highly stylized direction dictate your performances in any way?"
Allen responds, "So much of it was all about timing. It felt robotic at times. For instance, at the end, with the shot first of Keith, then of Michael, then of me, everything had to be perfectly timed and cued up. So I would be doing strange things, and sometimes feeling rather awkward."
'UNDER THE SKIN'
There's a lot more to check out in the Dressed To Kill article, and other terrific articles in the magazine, including the cover story interview with Jonathan Glazer about Under The Skin. At the end of that interview, Fangoria's Chris Alexander tells Glazer, "We're putting Under The Skin on the cover of the most widely read horror-film magazine in the world. Many might not consider it a horror movie, but we do."
Glazer replies, "That's interesting. How does it fit into the canon of horror cinema for you?"
FANG's Alexander: "Horror has always concerned the everyday somehow transformed into a place of danger. It's about that sense of dread, of nightmarish ambiguity. No questions are answered at the end of Under The Skin, and it's haunting. Its effect lingers. To me, that's a horror film."
Glazer: "Great. Then I'm honored that it is. If that's what it is to you, if that's how it feels to you, then that's fantastic."
Kristine: I don’t feel comfortable or qualified to speak for all ladies, but I think intruder fantasies are pretty common. I wanted to be into Kate as a sexually adventurous and liberated woman, but I have to say that I found her extremely vocal and almost instantaneous orgasm a little over-the-top and frantic.
Sean: In the cab?
Kristine: Yeah. That seemed like a straight male fantasy of how a horny, kinky woman would respond to “a man’s touch.” I did think the preceding scnee, with Kate cruising for anonymous sex in the museum, was awesome and convincing...
Sean: I wanted to ask if the painting she was looking at is a recognizable or iconic piece?
Kristine: Yes! That’s an Alex Katz painting she is sitting in front of, considering.
Sean: Tell me about it. It reminded me of those 1930s/’40s soap opera comic strips like Mary Worth or Rex Morgan, M.D.
Kristine: I don’t know that particular piece, but I knew it was Katz right away. He has a very recognizable style. Lots of portraits, especially of women. I think he is known for images of quiet angst. Like, a beautiful couple by a beautiful pool in a perfect L.A. setting, but instead of feeling tranquil and aspirational, it seems to reek of alienation. That is my take, anyway. That painting speaks to my Theory No. 1. However brief, there are several points in the movie where two women survey each other, and each time it seems very meaningful and poignant, though I can’t say I understand what exactly is supposed to be conveyed each time. Kate and lady in Katz portrait is one of the first instances of this female-on-female meaningful gaze of assessment.
Sean: I didn’t catch these lady moments of recognition, other than Liz thanking the lady cop who shot Elliott at the very end. What other ones were there?
Kristine: See, I would exclude that moment from the tally (but I also thought the movie totally fell to pieces at the end). The moments I am talking about are: Kate + Katz portrait, Kate + unfortunate-looking little girl in elevator, and Kate + Liz when the elevator doors open. Significantly, Bobbi is always wearing sunglasses, so that direct eye-to-eye contact is impossible...
The Girl’s Rating: Sleazesterpiece! AND Mucho racisto AND Neo-Hitchcockian gorgeousness AND Poses great questions, fumbles the answers AND This movie IS the ‘80s.
The Freak’s Rating: Sleazesterpiece! AND Pop perfection
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