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Wednesday, February 25, 2015
'CANON' PODCAST MAKES CASE FOR 'BLOW OUT'
DEVIN FARACI & AMY NICHOLSON WELCOME GUEST JEREMY SMITH TO TALK ABOUT DE PALMA


The Canon is a podcast that premiered last November in which Badass Digest's Devin Faraci and L.A. Weekly's Amy Nicholson discuss a movie with the aim of deciding whether or not it should be included in "The Canon" of the greatest films of all time. Sometimes the two disagree fervently, but not always. This week, they invited "Mr. Beaks" himself, Jeremy Smith, who chose Brian De Palma's Blow Out as the film up for discussion. And it is a lively discussion, touching on other De Palma films, his style, his themes, etc. All three are very positive about the film, and eager to talk about it. There's an interesting back-and-forth about style, and how much is too much. Well worth a listen, and afterward, listeners can have their say about whether Blow Out belongs in "The Canon" by commenting here.
(Thanks to Andreas!)

Posted by Geoff at 12:33 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 18, 2015
CRITICWIRE LOOKS AT 'BLOW OUT'
"CLASSIC OF THE WEEK"
IndieWire's "Criticwire Classic of the Week", posted earlier today, is Brian De Palma's Blow Out. "John Travolta is presenting at the Oscars this weekend," writes Max O'Connell, "no doubt in an attempt to make fun of that 'Adele Dazeem' slip-up that stopped being funny about a week after it happened. Before he became an irrepressible ham and punchline with questionable taste in scripts, however, Travolta was one of the most exciting stars to emerge in years, and he got the best showcase for his talents in Brian De Palma's masterpiece Blow Out. Mixing the hooks of Antonioni's Blow-Up (murder mystery caught via photograph) and Coppola's The Conversation (murder plot uncovered via sound recording), De Palma made his best film about the power and the limits of film and voyeurism, as well as his most emotionally devastating work." O'Connell writes a bit more about the film, and then includes excerpts from several reviews of Blow Out over the years.

Posted by Geoff at 11:46 PM CST
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Monday, February 9, 2015
'BLOW OUT' TUESDAY AT TRYLON IN MINNEAPOLIS
PART OF MASTERPIECES OF PARANOIA SERIES IN FEBRUARY
This month, the Trylon microcinema in Minneapolis is running a series called "Masterpieces Of Paranoia" on Mondays and Tuesdays. This week's film is Brian De Palma's Blow Out, which screened last night and tonight (Monday and Tuesday, February 9 & 10) in 35mm. The film will play at 7pm and 9pm. The other films in the series are John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate (which kicked things off last week), Alan J. Pakula's All The President's Men (Feb. 16 & 17), and Sydney Pollack's Three Days Of The Condor (Feb. 23 & 24).

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 12:03 AM CST
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Sunday, January 18, 2015
ALLEN, TRAVOLTA, ZSIGMOND & HIRSCH REUNITED
YESTERDAY, FOR DOC ABOUT CAREER OF VILMOS ZSIGMOND


Nancy Allen shared three pics from the set of Brian De Palma's Blow Out on her Facebook page today (the pics were originally posted to Facebook by Marc Olry). Allen then added a comment to her post, writing, "Wonderful reunion yesterday with John Travolta, Vilmos Zsigmond and Paul Hirsch. We were filming part of a documentary about the extraordinary talent and career of Vilmos Zsigmond."

Posted by Geoff at 5:22 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, January 18, 2015 5:24 PM CST
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Sunday, October 26, 2014
'CROSS-CUT' VIDEO ESSAY BY DREW MORTON
BEAUTIFULLY EXPLORES CONNECTIONS BETWEEN 'BLOW-UP', 'THE CONVERSATION', 'BLOW OUT'

CROSS-CUT from Drew Morton on Vimeo.


Posted by Geoff at 6:49 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, October 26, 2014 6:52 PM CDT
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Tuesday, October 7, 2014
AUSTIN GARRICK'S CRITERION TOP 10
"IF I WAS MAKING FILMS, I'D WANT THEM TO LOOK AND FEEL LIKE THIS"
Musician Austin Garrick, who wrote and coproduced the theme song for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, picks his top 10 Criterion releases, posted at Criterion.com, and includes Brian De Palma's Blow Out, which he pairs as a tie at number 5, along with Michael Mann's Thief. Here's what he says about these two films:

"Two films from the same year, each the start of my favorite run of movies from its director. Brian De Palma is my favorite director of all time, in the sense that I get more 'if I was making films, I’d want them to look and feel like this' moments watching his movies than anyone else’s. For me, it’s with Dressed to Kill and then Blow Out that De Palma really homed in on the look, feel, and all-around aesthetic that I love from him and it’s something he brought with him to his next two films, Scarface and Body Double (which, along with Carlito’s Way, round out my favorites of his career to date).

"I love Thief for being Michael Mann’s incredible feature film debut as well as a blueprint of sorts for a number of films that came after it. It’s the first of my three favorites from him, rounded out by his next two films, the often panned but visually amazing The Keep (again with a great Tangerine Dream score) and Manhunter."

(Thanks to John!)


Posted by Geoff at 11:48 PM CDT
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Thursday, September 4, 2014
FOR TBT, NANCY ALLEN POSTS 'BLOW OUT' SET PIC


Nancy Allen posted the picture above to her Facebook page today, for Throwback Thursday. "John [Travolta] always said his nose looked like a potato," Allen explains in a comment to her post, "so the second AC spent weeks carving out potatos and as you can see everyone had a unique one. We all put them on, and then John was called to set. and when he got there we all turned around to face him. It was pretty funny. So glad this picture turned up. I have wonderful memories from that shoot."

Posted by Geoff at 6:41 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, September 4, 2014 6:42 PM CDT
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014
'BLOW OUT' SOUNDTRACK NOW AVAILABLE
INTRADA RELEASE OF LONG OUT-OF-PRINT SET FROM DONAGGIO'S OWN 2-TRACK STEREO MIXES
Intrada this week released a new edition of Pino Donaggio's soundtrack for Brian De Palma's Blow Out. The soundtrack has long been out of print, following an initial release on Prometheus Records in 2002.

In a "Tech Talk" piece on the Intrada web site, the producer of this edition, Douglass Fake, explains, "After Pino Donaggio recorded his 55-minute score for Blow Out on 2″ 24-track tape at A & R Recording Studios in New York City, he mixed and edited approximately 48 minutes of it down to ¼″ 15 ips two-track stereo for inclusion on a possible soundtrack album. The album never materialized and those two rolls of stereo tape are all that has survived of the score. They are the source of this current CD, made available courtesy of MGM and housed in perfect condition in their vaults. Fortunately, what the composer chose to prepare for his potential record represented the majority of what he had recorded, covering every one of the key sequences of the picture and score.

"Donaggio’s music is a meld of his infectious synthesizer-led rhythmic voice from lower-budget horror scores of the era and a richly melodic, dynamically vivid orchestral score worthy of the best A-list pictures. In fact, as the movie opens with the editing of a low-budget horror movie-within-a movie titled Coed Frenzy, the composer gets to provide his own score-within-a-score, infusing the pseudo-sleaze music with a rhythmic and harmonic language essential to the architecture of the actual Blow Out score itself. This balance between popular vernacular and symphonic colors throughout provides the score with a distinct and very rewarding flavor.

"There were several changes made during postproduction in the use of music and the scenes for which the cues were composed, resulting in many sequences playing in a different order from what was originally intended. For this CD, the sequencing of the music follows the film in its final form. The closing 'End Credits' music has also been included at the beginning of the CD simply to 'bookend' the score.

"For those interested, the following cues comprise the roughly seven minutes of music not included on the surviving master tapes: 'Shower Scene' (M4), played over the closing portion of 'Coed Frenzy Disco,' 'Sally’s Theme' (M7), 'Replay Of Sounds' (M9), 'Burke Changes Tire' (M10), 'Manny’s TV' (M19), 'Watch Wire' (M31), 'Karp’s Hotel' (M44) and a very brief cue simply titled 'Photos Of Sally,' heard right after Jack arrives at Karp’s residence.

"The presence of EQ and reverb on the tapes indicated the composer had already prepared a sound that met with his satisfaction. Although we mastered the 1981 audio using 2014 technology, we have avoided any artificial 'pumping up' of the original, composer-approved sonics. We also kept noise reduction and other sonic alterations to the music down to a minimum. What you hear is pretty much what the composer intended.

"The music speaks for itself."

The CD, which will be "available while quantities and interest remain," can be ordered from Intrada for $19.99 plus shipping. A handful of the tracks can be sampled at the site.

(Thanks to Randy!)


Posted by Geoff at 5:48 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 6:44 PM CDT
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Thursday, August 7, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 7:06 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014
'BLOW OUT' IN AUSTRIA, WITH 'BLOW-UP', 'UP & OUT'
AT ALBERTINA MUSEUM; ALSO, ARTWORK IN PHILLY REMINDS CRITIC OF 'BLOW OUT'


The great image above, showing Brian De Palma overseeing John Travolta during the shooting of a scene in Blow Out, while Vilmos Zsigmond crouches below the camera, showed up at The Auteur's Tea Room this past February.

Blow Out will be screened this Thursday at Austria's Albertina Museum, as part of an exhibition revolving around Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up. The latter film will be screened after Blow Out, and the night of screenings will conclude with Christian Marclay's Up and Out, which juxtaposes the images of Blow-Up with the soundtrack from Blow Out. The films are part of an overall Blow-Up exhibit which includes stills from Antonioni's film, along with "photographs illuminating the cultural and artistic context of the film production, London of the Swinging Sixties," according to the Albertina web site.

(Thanks to Rado!)

Meanwhile, The Philadelphia Enquirer's Edith Newhall visited a Jon Manteau exhibition, titled "Philadelphia Historical Artifacts," and ends her article with the following:

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The second time around, I accepted that I could not take in absolutely everything in this show and that allowing for the occasional serendipitous encounter might be the best approach. The individual works that make up wall-mounted rows of dozens of postcard-size painted digital scans of Philacentric photographs, which at first I'd found almost off-putting in their multitude and abundance of Philly references, turned out to be consistently clever and affecting. I came across my favorite pieces (besides the painted carpets) on the wall of the back office: three ink-jet prints of views of Philadelphia from the 1970s (I.M. Pei's Society Hill Towers among them) poured with house paint that simultaneously reminded me of Gene Davis Franklin's Footpath, painted on the Parkway in 1972, and Brian De Palma's Blow Out.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 2:49 AM CDT
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