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Washington Post
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Exclusive Passion
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AV Club Review
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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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Monday, August 1, 2016
CRAMPTON FLESHES OUT 'BODY DOUBLE' SCENES
"IT WAS AN HONOR TO WORK WITH ONE OF THE GREATEST FILMMAKERS OF ALL TIME"(BUT STILL WAITING FOR BRIAN TO CALL)
Back in 2012, Barbara Crampton spoke briefly about filming Body Double to Fangoria's Chris Alexander. In an article today at A.V. Club, Crampton goes into even more detail about the scenes that were cut prior to filming, and also about becoming friends with Brian De Palma, and then seeing him again years later. Here's the excerpt:
When I was first offered the role, [my character had] three scenes. There were two where Craig Wasson’s character tries to talk me into going back with him, because my character had broken up with him. And then, in the last scene, he finds me in bed with another guy. So I was quite excited, right? I went in an auditioned for this role, and I got the part. I was thrilled that I was going to be working with Brian De Palma. But then the night before I was scheduled to work, somebody called me and said, “Listen, they cut the two acting scenes. You only have the scene where you’re in bed with the guy.” That’s it. No dialogue. I said, “Really? You’re cutting all of the dialogue?” And he says, “Yeah, but they’re going to shoot it all day, and they really want to make a big deal out of it. You’re going to be on screen on a long time. They really want you for the role.” And I thought, “Well, it’s Brian De Palma. I should do it, because it will lead to other things. They always work with the same people, so I’m going to do it.”

So, I show up on the set, and I shoot my scene, and in fact, I did do that scene all day. We did it for six or seven hours. I mean, all day. And I became friendly with Brian, and I had a party at my house the following week, and he came. I even started dating his first AD for a short time. I felt all cozy with these guys. And then, years later, I still hadn’t gotten a call. Even years later, when I’d been working, and people knew my work a little bit, [I was] still trying to get a job with Brian.

Then I’m sitting in the Century City mall, which doesn’t exist anymore—this is maybe 10 or 15 years ago—with my friend Shanti. [We] were sitting there having lunch, and somebody walks up, and he says, “Hey, Barbara.” And I look up, and it’s Brian De Palma. And I look at him, and I say, “Brian!” And he goes, “How are you? What are you doing?” I was kind of amazed that he remembered me and that he came up and talked to me, because he could have been having lunch and decided he was going to pay his bill and leave. Well, he came over, and noticed me, and said hello. So, I thought, “I’m going to use this opportunity to tell him my little story about, you know, I got the part, then I lost the scene, but I did it because I want to work with you again, and maybe you’ll use me again,” and he’s like, “Oh, yes! I will, Barbara. You’re right. I’m going to call you. Yes. You’re on my mind. I’m going to think about you. I am definitely going to use you in something else.”

Well, I am still waiting for that call from Brian De Palma. I haven’t given up, but I’m still waiting. But all in all, I will say that even if that was the only time I ever got to work with him, I’m glad that I did, because it was an honor to work with one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. To be on on set with him and have him direct me. So, in whatever small capacity of a role that I had, I’m really happy that I did it. And Brian? Are you listening? Are you reading this? [Laughs.]


Posted by Geoff at 10:11 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 9, 2016
VIDEO: 'BODY DOUBLE' SCENE ANALYSIS
FROM BRAD DEANE, TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX SENIOR MANAGER OF FILM PROGRAMMES

Posted by Geoff at 6:32 PM CDT
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Thursday, February 11, 2016
VIDEO: UNBOXING CARLOTTA'S 'BODY DOUBLE' SET

Posted by Geoff at 6:09 PM CST
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Monday, January 4, 2016
DOUBLE FEATURE - 'BODY DOUBLE' & 'BODY HEAT'
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AT THE BRATTLE THEATRE IN CAMBRIDGE
The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA, will screen a double-double feature Wednesday night (January 6th), with two screenings of Brian De Palma's Body Double (projected from DCP) at 4:30pm and 9:30pm. Sandwiched in between will be a single screening of Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat, at 7pm (from a 35mm print). The screenings are part of the series, "Sex & Death & Venetian Blinds: Neo-Noir of the 1980s & 90s," which runs through January 14th.

"For this particular series," reads a description on the Brattle website, "we focus on the neo-noir films made during the 1980s and 1990s when an explosion in popularity filled movie screens with sultry femme fatales, hapless everyman heroes, corrupt cops, convoluted plots, and a plethora of sliced shadows due to a practically pathological fetishization of venetian blinds. Join us for this knockout line-up of stylistically bold and provocative cinema ranging from 1981’s BODY HEAT to HARD EIGHT from 1996 – the directorial debut of Paul Thomas Anderson. (N.B. Unfortunately, the apotheosis of ‘90s neo-noir, L.A. Confidential, is unavailable for theatrical screenings at this time.)"

"A CLEVERLY CONTRASTING DOUBLE BILL THAT BOTH VENERATES THE GENRE AND PUNKS IT"

The Artery's Sean Burns previews the double feature with fine insight:

Things kick off on Wednesday, Jan. 6, with the dynamic duo of “Body Heat” and “Body Double,” a cleverly contrasting double bill that both venerates the genre and punks it. A case can be made that “Body Heat,” screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan’s 1981 directorial debut, kick-started this entire noir revival, updating old-timey 1940s tropes for Ronald Reagan’s America by adding a healthy hunk of R-rated eroticism. Riffing on Billy Wilder’s “Double Indemnity,” Kasdan’s picture stars William Hurt as a dim-bulb, ambulance-chasing lawyer who finds himself head-over-heels and in way over his head with Kathleen Turner’s man-eating Matty Walker. “You aren’t too smart, are you?” she notes upon their first meeting, “I like that in a man.”

Turner, then just 27, commands the screen with the brassy presence you’d expect from a Stanwyck or Bacall or any of the bygone icons in whose period fashions Kasdan has Matty rather anachronistically dressed (during the rare scenes when she’s wearing clothes). The hilarious Hurt has an awful mustache and the self-satisfied smirk of a man not nearly as clever as he thinks he is. She’s constantly touching him, keeping the schmuck in a slack-jawed state of arousal while he stumbles through her nefarious plan. Check out where Turner’s hands are just beneath the frame-line during a crucial scene and you can see she’s literally leading him around by the you-know-what.

Amusing as this may be, there’s something a bit studious about “Body Heat.” Kasdan’s ceiling fans and, yes, Venetian blinds often come across as film school affectations. Much of the film’s second half is the inelegant dispensing of information crucial to the plot. It’s rescued by loosey-goosey performances from the supporting cast, most famously a brief, star-making turn from Mickey Rourke as a gentle-hearted arsonist lip-syncing to Bob Seger. But watching the film again I was even more taken with Ted Danson’s ballroom-dancing prosecutor. His job is basically to stand next to Hurt and provide exposition, and yet the future Boston bartender is tirelessly toying with props and putting unexpected spins on unexciting lines. These original side characters break through Kasdan’s hermetic homages and references. They keep the movie from feeling too much like a museum.

You’ll see no such reverence in Brian De Palma’s “Body Double,” a spectacularly sleazy send-up that finds the puckish, thin-skinned director confronting his critics and, if you’ll forgive the term, doubling down on everything that upstanding, respectable people hate about Brian De Palma films. In his New York Times review, Vincent Canby described the director as “someone at an otherwise friendly dinner party who can’t keep himself from saying the one thing that will infuriate everybody. It’s as if he were daring the host to ask him back.”

Chafing at the then-widespread complaints that he was just a misogynistic Hitchcock knock-off obsessed with graphic violence and nudity, De Palma concocted this hilarious mash-up of “Rear Window” and “Vertigo” that just so happens to be chock full of graphic violence and nudity. Middle finger aloft, he cast the daughter (Melanie Griffith) of one of Hitch’s iconic blondes (Tippi Hedren) as a porn star and has the villain penetrating helpless women with a massive power drill held at crotch-level as the most unsubtle phallic symbol in the history of cinema.

If you can get on its perverse wavelength the film is screamingly funny — one of the more playful entries in De Palma’s filmography, boasting one of his rare happy endings. “Body Double” teases and explodes those old noir conventions that Kasdan and “Body Heat” hold so dear, simultaneously coating every sinuous camera movement with a slick sheen of totally ’80s gloss. The notorious centerpiece sequence is a dialogue-free porno movie shoot scored with Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Relax” that doesn’t look anything remotely like any porno movie ever made, but it’s a pretty good excuse for some cheeky virtuosity and dirty jokes.

As you might imagine, “Body Double” was not warmly embraced by audiences upon its theatrical release in 1984. (It opened the same day as “The Terminator” and was gone in three weeks.) But the film found a second life on late night cable, where Melanie Griffith became an object of considerable fascination for a generation of pubescent boys. Indeed, one of the nice chances afforded by the Brattle series is to finally see these films in an actual theater, instead of sneaking around the house watching with the volume turned down low after your parents or the babysitter have gone to sleep.


Posted by Geoff at 11:56 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 9:48 PM CST
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015
CARLOTTA'S 'BODY DOUBLE' BLU IS REGION-FREE
SOURCED FROM SONY 4K REMASTER; BLU-RAY.COM REVIEW - "VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
Blu-ray.com's Dr. Svet Atanasov has an early review of Carlotta's Body Double Ultra Collector's Box. Atanasov states that the Blu-ray of the film, which was sourced from Sony's 4K remaster, is region-free. "Therefore," writes Atanasov, "you will be able to play it on your player regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu."

A highlight of this package is a new 39-minute Fiction Factory doc in which, according to Atanasov, "first assistant director Joe Napolitano recalls his first encounter with Brian De Palma (which was prior to the shooting of Blow Out) and discusses the director's working methods, the shooting of various sequences from Body Double (with some very interesting comments about Melanie Griffith's performance), the desire to make the sleezy side of the adult world depicted in the film look classy, production designer Ida Random's invaluable contribution to the film, the various locations that were used in the films, some of the unique framing choices that were made, the brilliant use of music, etc."

Atanasov writes, "This is a film with endless twists, but the majority of them are actually irrelevant. The bulk of the lines that are exchanged in it are also irrelevant. That's right. What matters here is the style that blends everything together and the mood that emerges from it.

"The events that ensue after Jake moves into the luxurious house send the film into two drastically different realities. In the first hordes of mainstream actors try hard to become stars while the wealthy enjoy the very best Los Angeles has to offer. This is the clean and healthy reality most people want to spend their time in. In the second a different group of actors are making the type of films the other reality does not recognize. It is here that Jake meets Holly Body (Melanie Griffith), a bubbly beauty and prolific adult actress, who agrees to help him get the mysterious man.

"The film's charm comes from De Palma's ability to effectively target various cliches that characterize the two realities. (See the incredibly funny sequence where Holly Body humiliates the mainstream actress). And while he does it, he also plays with the many genre rules Hitchcock's films established. The end result is truly remarkable. Despite the intended overstylization, or perhaps because of it, the film offers a strikingly accurate summation of Los Angeles from the 1980s and its people. This is a place of remarkable contrasts, wealth and power, beauty and cruelty, and people with admirable ambitions and dangerous desires.

"Pino Donaggio collaborated with De Palma on a number of different projects during the years, but his contribution to this film remains his best work. There are various sequences where the light electronic music -- not the visuals, the camera movement, or the actors -- actually changes the rhythm of the film. Also, there is a fantastic sequence that uses Frankie Goes To Hollywood's monster hit Relax."

And in his conclusion, Atanasov states, "I think that Brian De Palma's Body Double is similar to David Lynch's Mulholland Drive -- it offers a very unusual but strikingly accurate summation of Los Angeles, its culture, and its people during a particular moment in time. Like most of De Palma's best films, Body Double is full of fascinating contrasts and over-the-top visuals which together with Pino Donaggio's stunning soundtrack create a truly unforgettable experience. French label Carlotta Films' technical presentation of the film is excellent. I must also say that this new deluxe set is the most elegant Blu-ray release to reach my desk this year. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (In addition to the deluxe set, Carlotta Films will have available for sale a standard Blu-ray edition of Body Double. However, we have not tested it yet and at the moment cannot confirm its region code status)."


Posted by Geoff at 12:49 AM CST
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015
CARLOTTA 'BODY DOUBLE' SPECS REVEALED

FRENCH TRANSLATION OF DWORKIN'S 'DOUBLE DE PALMA' IS THE BOOK; NEW NAPOLITANO SUPPLEMENT

According to the listing at Amazon.fr, the book part of Carlotta's upcoming Body Double Ultra Collector's Box is the first-ever French translation of Susan Dworkin's terrific Double De Palma, which is all about the making of the film. In addition, the collection will carry each of the four supplements that were included on the limited Twilight Time Blu-ray edition of Body Double, as well as the film's trailer.

Not on the Twilight Edition: There will also be an introduction from Samuel Blumenfeld, co-author (with Laurent Vachaud) of Conversations With Brian De Palma, as well as a 38-minute featurette called "Pure Cinema: Joe Napolitano Talks About Body Double." According to the Amazon description, "Joe Napolitano, first assistant and right-hand man to Brian De Palma on the set of five of his films in the 1980s, revisits Body Double shooting locations by analyzing not only the 'De Palma method,' but also the contributions of other collaborators, such as Stephen H. Burum (director of photography) and Ida Random (artictic director)."

Carlotta's Body Double collectors set will be released on December 2nd. 


Posted by Geoff at 12:42 AM CDT
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