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AV Club Review
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Friday, March 17, 2017
VIDEO - 'BODY DOUBLE' AS GUILTY PLEASURE


Go to the Hollywood Suite tweet to watch the video-- here's what Cam Maitland has to say:
I think if I had to choose, like, a fun guilty pleasure movie, I really like Brian De Palma’s Body Double. He’s kind of the king of guilty pleasures—he makes these beautiful movies that are really kind of cinematic objects, but that also have, like, a lot of sleaziness to them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I kind of love them all.

Brian De Palma made Body Double coming off of a lot of criticism of his previous film, Dressed To Kill. A lot of people said it was a little too gory, and that it focused a little too much on sex. But of course, being Brian De Palma, he just wanted to double-down on those criticisms.

It’s a big role for Melanie Griffith—I think a lot of people probably remember her character, Holly Body. And while this movie might seem a little trashy, she really credits it for doing a lot for her career. Specifically, she thinks she wouldn’t have gotten Working Girl or Something Wild without this movie kind of divorcing her from her childhood image as Tippi Hedren’s daughter.

My favorite sequence in it—and this is totally weird and out of place, but delightful—is in the middle of the film it breaks out into this Frankie Goes To Hollywood music video.


Posted by Geoff at 7:45 PM CDT
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Friday, February 10, 2017
MORE ALMODOVAR, MORE 'BODY DOUBLE'
VULTURE'S AUTOPSY OF 'TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN!'


Just yesterday, a day in which the CW played an episode of Riverdale with the title "Body Double", Nashville Scene's Jason Shawhan linked Brian De Palma's Body Double to Pedro Almodóvar's newest film, Julieta. It turns out that on that same day, William Penix posted his last column for The Vulture Autopsies, in which he linked an older Almodóvar film, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, to De Palma's Body Double:
For younger viewers previously unfamiliar with Almodóvar – it should be noted this is the first film of his I’ve seen – you’ll find that his visual sense is strongly akin to Wes Anderson in his use of garish color palettes to make the mise-en-scène pop and purposefully call attention to the focal points of the frame. But while most cases of Anderson’s use of color bears some semblance of uniformity, Almodóvar’s in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down goes all over the map with light and vibrant hues of blue, green, red and orange. It’s a purposeful clash that draws our attention, tells us where to look and exists as a visual rebellion, of sorts.

It may bear the mark of the decade it left behind, but so does Ennio Morricone’s curious score. In what can only be described as electronic camp, Morricone’s compositions bounce in and out between the romantic and the sinister, often to the confusion of audience members as the film is in the early stages of labeling Banderas’s Ricky as an amorous man or unbalanced sociopath. But, the amalgamation of production design and score is key here, and in fact is reminiscent of Brian De Palma’s work, particularly 1984’s Body Double.

Almodóvar uses both similarly in their respective conflicts with the film’s tone, and derives most of the film’s humor from those contradictions. There are a few instances when Almodóvar’s irreverently pitch black humor is made explicit in the language, but he’d much rather emotionally unsettle his viewers by, for instance, having Banderas’s Ricky carry a bound and gagged Marina (Abril) across the threshold amidst the most dazzling array of reds and blues. It isn’t just the context of the scene that’s uncomfortable, but arguably, it’s the choice of color that makes this feeling even more pronounced.

That sort of responsibility is what speaks to Almodóvar’s cunningly sensitive direction, as well as José Luis Alcaine’s cinematography. The aesthetics never make the premise any less disturbing, but rather heighten our discomfort at their deliberate opposition.


Posted by Geoff at 1:32 AM CST
Updated: Friday, February 10, 2017 1:34 AM CST
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Thursday, February 9, 2017
THE ODD COMMENT ABOUT ALMODOVAR'S 'JULIETA'
CRITIC MENTIONS "A VERY SPECIFIC TRIBUTE TO THE FASHIONS & HAIR OF DE PALMA'S 'BODY DOUBLE'"


I haven't yet seen Pedro Almodóvar's Julieta, which is currently making the rounds in select U.S. theaters, but Jason Shawhan's review at Nashville Scene mentions something curious regarding one of Brian De Palma's films:
Adapted from three short stories by Alice Munro, Julieta has a nimble structure, one that spans multiple time periods, family drama, cultural and religious conflict, the bonds of fidelity, and even a sexy train-based mystery with a very specific tribute to the fashions and hair of Brian DePalma’s Body Double. But its spine (and heart) is the chasm at the center of the titular character’s life left by the 12-year absence of her daughter Antía, and it’s a mystery we unravel one brightly colored thread at a time. The performances are stellar, with Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte bringing Julieta (as her older and younger selves, respectively) to tangible life. These women are the emotional foundation upon which Almodóvar builds another of his magnificent houses of catharsis, with the added bonus of an iconic return for Rossy DePalma.

Posted by Geoff at 5:59 PM CST
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Thursday, November 24, 2016
'BODY DOUBLE' IN NEW YORK THIS WEEKEND
PAIRED WITH KIESLOWSKI'S 'A SHORT FILM ABOUT LOVE' FRI/SUN - ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
Brian De Palma's Body Double will be paired with Krzysztof Kieślowski's A Short Film About Love this Friday (November 25) and Sunday (November 27) at Anthology Film Archives in New York. The screenings are part of the series, "Voyeurism, Surveillance and Identity in the Cinema." Here's the website's description:
This summer we inaugurated an ongoing collaboration with the International Center of Photography (now located in close proximity to Anthology, at 250 Bowery) with a film series inspired by the exhibition, PUBLIC, PRIVATE, SECRET. The ICP’s debut show in their new home explores the concept of privacy in today’s society and studies how contemporary self-identity is tied to public visibility. The film series expands on this idea by gathering a selection of films that engage the themes of voyeurism, surveillance, and privacy, and that demonstrate the various ways that media is used to fashion a sense of identity. Combining narrative films like De Palma’s BODY DOUBLE and Kieslowski’s A SHORT FILM ABOUT LOVE with experimental films, documentaries, and video art, the series demonstrates how central these ideas have been throughout the history of the cinema.

Brooklyn Magazine's Kenji Fujishima previews the screenings, as well:
Perhaps it’s best to view the much-maligned Body Double not as a serious thriller, but as a deadpan comedy with thriller elements. So overtly derivative are the Hitchcock homages here that one can’t help but laugh at how ridiculously blatant De Palma’s being this time around. But the joke’s not just on us, but also on Jake Scully (Craig Wasson), with much of the first half playing as a lampoon of the struggling-actor hero’s professional, personal and sexual inadequacies. De Palma reserves his most amusing meta-movie conceits, though, for the second half, with Jake playacting a porn producer in order to get close to adult star Holly Body (Melanie Griffith), his descent into the hardcore-porn underground depicted as a hedonistic music video set to Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax.” In the end, it’s Jake’s own re-imagining of the film’s opening scene—his claustrophobia-induced failure while playing a vampire in a low-budget exploitation flick—that helps him finally achieve the potency he so desperately seeks throughout. With the film’s central mystery pretty easy to guess if you know Vertigo well, one is free to simply enjoy Body Double as an endlessly playful lark from a filmmaker interested in gratifying himself and daring us to watch.

Posted by Geoff at 10:25 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016
HOLLY JOHNSON ON DE PALMA'S 'RELAX' VIDEO
FACEBOOK POST - DE PALMA DIRECTED PROMO VERSION OF VIDEO FOR MTV


Previously:
De Palma's Flashdance Parody, In The Seemingly Forgotten Video For Relax

Posted by Geoff at 11:43 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 11:48 PM CST
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Sunday, October 16, 2016
THE CASTRO TONIGHT - VERTIGO / BODY DOUBLE

Posted by Geoff at 9:13 PM CDT
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Saturday, September 24, 2016
U.K. GETS 'BODY DOUBLE' BLU FROM INDICATOR
REGION 2 DUAL-FORMAT RELEASE TO INCLUDE NAPOLITANO BONUS, ISOLATED SCORE, 40-PAGE BOOKLET, MORE
Indicator is a new British Blu-ray/DVD spinoff of Powerhouse Films that will focus on cult movies. Its first two releases, both on October 24, will be limited dual-format editions of Brian De Palma's Body Double and John Carpenter's Christine (the latter will include audio commentary by Carpenter and star Keith Gordon). Both are region 2 releases limited to 5000 copies each.

The Body Double release will include the film's recent 4K restoration, as well as last year's 38-minute bonus feature, "Pure Cinema," in which first assistant director Joe Napolitano discusses De Palma's working methods and visual approach. It will also include the film's isolated score, an 8-minute TV interview with Craig Wasson from 1984, and a 40-page booklet "with a new essay by Ashley Clark and archival reprints, including a lengthy 1985 interview with De Palma." It will also have bonus features that had previously appeared on the 2002 DVD editions of the film.

ROBBIE COLLIN: WHY 'BODY DOUBLE' DESERVES ANOTHER LOOK - "IT ISN'T TRASH, IT'S UNREPENTANTLY TRASHY"

The Telegraph's Robbie Collin previews the Indicator release by saying, "When it was released in 1984, Brian De Palma's follow-up to Scarface was dismissed as exploitative trash. And that's exactly what he wanted." Here's a bit of an excerpt:

Few directors seize an opportunity like Brian De Palma. In 1983, riding high on the success of Scarface, De Palma was offered a three-film deal by Columbia Pictures, who wanted to see where this stylish and controversial pulp auteur would go next.

The following year, he repaid them with a film that was so squalid, so bloodthirsty, and so critically pummelled that three weeks after its release – roughly, the amount of time it took to vanish from cinemas – the studio had torn up his contract, painted out his private parking space, and thrown him off the lot.

The film the then-44-year-old director gave them was Body Double: a Los Angeles-set erotic thriller in which a Peeping Tom becomes the key witness in the murder of a nymphomaniac trophy wife. Among its notable traits are an apparently wilfully bad lead performance from a virtual nobody, entire scenes openly plagiarised from Alfred Hitchcock, walk-on appearances from genuine adult film stars, and a sequence in which the aforementioned desperate housewife is skewered on an enormous safe-cracking drill. As far as Columbia was concerned, it was a $10 million fiasco. But for De Palma, the outrage was worth every last buck...

...Talking to Quentin Tarantino for a 1994 edition of the BBC’s arts series Omnibus, De Palma admitted that “after these battles…I said, ‘OK, you want to see violence? You want to see sex? Then I’ll show it to you.’” In short, the film was an almighty up yours – aimed not just at the censors, but also the critics, commentators and Hollywood players for whom Brian De Palma films were just brand-name misogynistic trash.

Except Body Double isn’t trash, misogynistic or otherwise. It’s unrepentantly trashy – not the kind of film you watch while your parents or kids are in the house, or with your curtains open. But it’s also a complex, provocative suspense thriller that bears comparison with the three immaculate Hitchcock classics – Vertigo, Psycho and Rear Window – it gleefully drags through the sludge.


Posted by Geoff at 4:18 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016 4:31 PM CDT
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Friday, September 23, 2016
R.I.P. JOE NAPOLITANO - PASSED AWAY JULY 23 2016
FIRST ASSISTANT DIRECTOR ON 'BLOW OUT'/'SCARFACE'/'BODY DOUBLE'/'WISE GUYS'/'THE UNTOUCHABLES'
Joe Napolitano passed away July 23 in Los Angeles, following a battle with cancer, Variety reports. He was 67. Napolitano was a respected TV director who spent the early part of his career as first assistant director on feature films, where he worked most prominently on every Brian De Palma picture between 1981 and 1987: Blow Out, Scarface, Body Double, Wise Guys, and The Untouchables. He also worked with De Palma on the Bruce Springsteen music video, Dancing In The Dark (1984). Napolitano discussed the making of Body Double for the Carlotta Ultra Collector's Box of the film, which was released in France last December.

In her 1984 book on the making of Body Double (Double De Palma), Susan Dworkin describes Napolitano as one of the three major figures on the set (aside from De Palma). Napolitano "had worked with Brian on Blow Out and Scarface and knew him as well or better than anyone else on the production," Dworkin writes. "Short and good-looking, with an uptilting mouth always ready to grin, Joe was responsible for seeing to it that Brian got exactly what Brian wanted. Howard Gottfried called him by the affectionate Yiddish diminutive 'Yossele' because he gave the impression of being such a sweet guy, a regular pussycat."

Following Wise Guys, which had co-starred Danny DeVito, Napolitano worked as first assistant director on DeVito's directorial feature debut, Throw Momma From The Train.

Napolitano can be seen shadowing De Palma on the sets of Body Double and The Untouchables in the two pics below:


Posted by Geoff at 8:24 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016 10:57 AM CDT
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Friday, August 19, 2016
SONY 'BODY DOUBLE' BLU-RAY MOD COMING IN OCT
According to Blu-ray.com, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment today revealed five titles as part of its first waves of Manufactured on Demand Blu-ray releases. One of those titles is Brian De Palma's Body Double, which will be available beginning in October. Body Double will be presented in full high definition with lossless audio, as will the others in the program.
(Thanks to Adam!)

Posted by Geoff at 5:17 PM CDT
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Tuesday, August 2, 2016
REFN PRESENTS 'BODY DOUBLE' IN U.K. FRIDAY
SERIES OF MOVIES THAT INSPIRED REFN INCLUDED 'CARRIE' LAST MONTH


Picturehouse cinemas in the U.K. are hosting a series called "Nicolas Winding Refn Presents…" It began July 15th with Brian De Palma's Carrie ("Nicolas Winding Refn’s verdict: ‘a visual feast.’"), and from this Friday (August 5th) will be De Palma's Body Double ("Nicolas Winding Refn’s verdict: 'They should make more movies like this nowadays.'"). The other films in the series are David Cronenberg's Videodrome, Jonathan Glazer's Under The Skin, David Lynch's Mulholland Drive, and Dario Argento's Suspiria.

Previously:

'NEON DEMON' REVIEWS OFTEN MENTION DE PALMA

CAHIERS DU CINEMA ON 'NEON DEMON'


Posted by Geoff at 11:45 PM CDT
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