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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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Monday, April 28, 2014
JAMES SCHAMUS' TOP 10 CRITERION - 'BLOW OUT'
TAKES OPPORTUNITY TO PLUG DUMAS' 'UN-AMERICAN PSYCHO'
James Schamus, who has worked as screenwriter and producer on several Ang Lee films, among others, submitted a Crtiterion Top 10 list last week that includes Brian De Palma's Blow Out, as well as a shout-out to Chris Dumas' book Un-American Psycho. Although the Criterion site is apparently formatted to list everything in order, Schamus notes in his introduction, "So which top ten shall it be today? Well, in no particular order..."

Schamus groups the last two, #9 and #10, together: Abbas Kiarostami's Close-up and Brian De Palma's Blow Out. Here's what he says about them: "Close-up and Blow Out make a great double feature, mainly because their titles sound so cool together but also because you can’t find two better examples of wickedly smart and politically alive 'self-referential' cinema that couldn’t be less doctrinaire. Also, because including Brian De Palma proves I’m not a total snob and allows me to plug one of the funniest and most intelligent books of film theory of the past decade, Chris Dumas’s Un-American Psycho."

Posted by Geoff at 5:26 AM CDT
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014
SET PIC FROM 'BLOW OUT'
POSTED BY NANCY ALLEN, EARLY FOR THROWBACK THURSDAY


Nancy Allen posted the picture above to her Facebook page tonight, an early "Throwback Thursday" post. As Allen points out, behind Brian De Palma's head on the left, Vilmos Zsigmond can be seen.

In other news, Nancy Allen has been added to the Days Of The Dead: Indianapolis conference, which takes place the weekend of June 27th-29th. P.J. Soles is also scheduled to be there, as is Dario Argento.


Posted by Geoff at 11:52 PM CDT
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Sunday, March 16, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 11:19 AM CDT
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Friday, February 7, 2014
NANCY ALLEN 'THROWBACK THURSDAY' PIC
WITH TRAVOLTA & LITHGOW, POST-'BLOW OUT' GET TOGETHER


Nancy Allen posted the above photo to her Facebook page yesterday, with the comment, "Throwback Thursday: Post Blow Out get together with John Travolta and John Lithgow."

Posted by Geoff at 1:06 AM CST
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