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Warren Beatty's
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moving forward

Filmmaker Mike
Cahill believes
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Rie Rasmussen
to direct remake
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Mentor Tarantino
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AV Club Review
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with De Niro,
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James Franco
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& star in
adaptation of Ellroy's
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Coppola on
his recent films:
"What I was
trying to do with
those films was to
make three student
films in order to
try and set a new
trajectory and try to
say, 'Well, what
happens if I have no
resources?' Now, having
done that, my new
work is going to be
much more ambitious
and bigger in scope and
budget and ambition,
but now building on a
new confidence or
assurance. The three
little films were very
useful. I'm glad I did
it. I hope George Lucas
does it, because he
has a wonderful personal
filmmaking ability that
people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
direct De Niro
as raging comic
in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
directorial feature
debut with
Capote story

Keith Gordon
teaming up
with C. Nolan for
supernatural
thriller that
he will write
and direct

Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-Picture emerging
for Happy Valley

-De Palma's new
project with
Said Ben Said

-De Palma to team
with Pacino & Pressman
for Paterno film
Happy Valley

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De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
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Carrie...A Fan's Site

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(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

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Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

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italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

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Hope Lies at
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Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

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This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

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EatSleepLiveFilm

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Sunday, March 23, 2014
R.I.P. JAMES REBHORN
'CARLITO'S WAY' ACTOR PASSED AWAY FRIDAY FROM MELANOMA


James Rebhorn, who so memorably played DA Norwalk in Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon from Melanoma. Rebhorn was a well-loved character actor who appeared in many many films and TV shows, and appeared with Al Pacino in Martin Brest's Scent Of A Woman, a year before the two worked together again on Carlito's Way. His agent, Dianne Busch, tells Deadline, "He was a wonderful, wonderful man. I represented him since 1990, and I represented him for my entire career. He was an absolute joy to work with. He was very funny and was warm. He was drawn to projects with a social conscience. One of his favorite movies that he did was Lorenzo’s Oil because it made a difference. He had a very strong faith and loved his family. His family was extremely important to him and I saw him make career sacrifices for them."


Posted by Geoff at 7:25 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, March 23, 2014 7:27 PM CDT
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Tuesday, November 26, 2013
MOVIEHOLE CELEBRATES 'CARLITO'S' 20TH
DE PALMA'S "TECHNIQUE IS IMMERSIVE & OPERATIC", WHICH SUITS THESE CHARACTERS
Moviehole's Colin Moore bids a happy 20th anniversary to Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, finding "too much to like" to put up a fight when dubbing it among the best films of the 1990s. "Pacino is electric in the title role," writes Moore, "strutting the streets of New York in a knee-length leather coat, playing it cool, politely turning down illicit job offers; one of his most sympathetic roles to date." Here's an excerpt from Moore's article:
------------------------

But even Gail can’t protect Carlito from what’s coming ~ the shysters, former crew members and youthful entrepreneurs of sin that populate mid-70s Spanish Harlem. The most colorful of these entrepreneurs is Benny Blanco from the Bronx (John Leguizamo), a volatile rising street hustler who mixes it up with Carlito in some of the film’s most memorable scenes.

“I don’t know, maybe there’s a mis-fuckin’ understanding here, I don’t know man. Maybe you don’t remember me. My name is Benny Blanco…”

“Maybe I don’t give a shit. Maybe I don’t remember the last time I blew my nose either.”

I chuckle at those moments but the language feels real, has slang and street color that’s both dangerous and funny. No surprise at their mixed effectiveness given that writer [Edwin] Torres walked those streets, he lived them, and channelled through screenwriter David Koepp (“Panic Room”) the dialogue seems honest. Nothing as iconic as, “Say hello to my little friend!” but “Here come da pain!” has a special place in many hearts, I’m sure. The cast is solid. From the majors to supporting players Viggo Mortensen and Luiz Guzmán as Pachanga, there’s not a loose brick in the wall. Leguizamo plays Benny like a knife with a slimy handle; if he can’t schmooze you with one end, he’ll stick you with the other. [Sean] Penn, not surprisingly, is a wonder as Kleinfeld, nothing less than mutated into the frizzy haired, deliciously corrupted lawyer that earned him Golden Globe and Chicago Film Critics Association acting nominations. Of course, in the hands of Brian De Palma, presentation is personality.

Like Spielberg and his often-assumed mentor, Hitchcock, the New Jersey born director De Palma (“Sisters,” “Mission Impossible”) is known for his visual style. Canted angles, 360-degree pans, extended takes ~ they’re ever present in “Carlito’s Way,” along with an Odessa Steps sequence that rivals his “Potemkin” shootout in “The Untouchables,” this time on the escalators of Grand Central Station. It’s here, in the club, and in the excellent (kick ass) pool-hall scene that you know exactly who is calling the shots. De Palma has a singular stamp. Given his earlier Pacino vehicle, “Scarface,” the director no doubt has experience delivering this world, of mansions and period style, of lives fueled by booze, drugs, narcissism and dreams. His technique is immersive and operatic, completely suited for these bold characters.


Posted by Geoff at 12:08 AM CST
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Sunday, August 25, 2013


Posted by Geoff at 12:26 PM CDT
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012
CARLITO ACTION FIGURE FROM BLITZWAY
COMING IN DECEMBER; TONY MONTANA FIGURE WAS RELEASED LAST YEAR


The face above may look like Al Pacino from Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, but it is actually an action figure of extraordinary detail. The Carlito action figure will be released in December from Blitzway, a South Korean company that specializes in action figures of mostly Asian cultural icons. Last year, Blitzway found some success with its first "global figure," Tony Montana from De Palma's Scarface. Both 12-inch figures come with extra sets of hands, among other accessories. Tony Montana goes for $180, while Carlito goes for $195. Pics of each are below.


Posted by Geoff at 11:54 PM CST
Updated: Monday, November 12, 2012 4:37 PM CST
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Monday, June 20, 2011
'VIVA RIVA!' DIRECTOR LOVES 'CARLITO'S WAY'
DJO MUNGA NAMES IT AS THE FILM HE WISHES HE HAD MADE

Viva Riva! is an African film about a gangster who makes a big score in the hijacked gasoline trade. The film, currently making its way through select cities in the U.S., was written and directed by Djo Munga. Munga was interviewed by Out Of Africa, who asked him to name his three favorite films, which are: (1) Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In America, (2) Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu Monogatari, and (3) Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way. When asked what one film he wished he had made, Munga replied with Carlito's Way. In the interview with Out Of Africa, Munga says that he used to tell stories through wordless drawings, but now has evolved his storytelling into the cinema, with its dialogues, music, and atmosphere.

Posted by Geoff at 11:12 PM CDT
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Wednesday, February 3, 2010
GREATEST EXTENDED TAKES
AS CHOSEN BY MIKE LE AT GEEKWEEK
Geekweek's Mike Le has posted his list of the "20 Greatest Extended Takes In Movie History." The list, which tops off with the famous nightclub entrance in Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas, includes two scenes from Brian De Palma films. The opening scene that follows Bruce Willis in Bonfire Of The Vanities is number 16, while the shot that follows Carlito on the run through Grand Central Station in Carlito's Way is number 7. (Thanks to John!)

Posted by Geoff at 3:43 AM CST
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009
SHEDDING LIGHT ON CARLITO
DE PALMA WANTED SCENE ILLUMINATED BY GUN FLASH


Yesterday, John Huntington at Control Geek relayed a story about how Brian De Palma had wanted a scene entirely illuminated by a gun shot for Carlito's Way. Here is what Huntington wrote about it regarding response time between audio cues and the lighting:

Years ago, when I was working at Production Arts Lighting, we got a call from Brian De Palma's people. De Palma (who I had encountered before on The Untouchables when working for Bran Ferren) was shooting Carlito's Way, and he wanted a scene entirely "illuminated" by the flash of a (blank) gun. They did some tests, and, if I remember correctly, the gun flash wasn't bright enough, and too short to be adequately exposed on the camera. They wanted to take a big 5K fresnel, and have it respond to the sound of the gunshots. We didn't have a lot of time, so we borrowed a pitch-MIDI converter, ran it through Bars and Pipes on an Amiga, and then I wrote some filters there that would generate MIDI messages for a lighting console, that would fire a dimmer which would then light up the 5K. It was very reliable, but with all that early 90's technology, very slow. We did some gun shots, and by the time everything was captured and processed, and the 5K heated up, it was like a second late. It looked pretty cool but was too slow in general to achieve the desired effect.


Posted by Geoff at 12:36 PM CDT
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Thursday, September 17, 2009
BLOG-A-THON COMES TO A CLOSE
BLOW OUT VOTED DE PALMA'S BEST YET AGAIN
The extremely fun De Palma Blog-A-Thon hosted by Tony Dayoub at Cinema Viewfinder closed yesterday with an excellent final entry from Dayoub that juxtaposed Scarface with Carlito's Way. Dayoub begins his essay with a description of his own experiences growing up as a Cuban American in an Hispanic neighborhood in Miami in the late 1970s. He then moves on to describe how Carlito's Way is a "symmetrical counterpoint" to Scarface:

De Palma is always prone to symmetry in his work, often bookending his films with similar visual or thematic concerns: the menstrual blood at the beginning of Carrie (1976) with the pig's blood in its climax; the sexually violent shower dream that opens Dressed to Kill (1980) and the one that ends it; the way an empty gun helps Carlito escape during a shootout at the start of Carlito's Way, and seals his lawyer Kleinfeld's (Sean Penn) fate as the movie wraps up. But with the release of Carlito's Way, De Palma provided not so much an apology, as some have said—for his negative depiction of a Latin gangster in Scarface—as much as he provided a doppelganger, a symmetrical counterpoint to the earlier film that gives it some unexpected depth.

I have been working on something for the Blog-A-Thon that nevertheless was not finished in time-- my piece grew after I discovered some things about the films I was writing about that I hadn't picked up on before. As a result, I had to do a little more research (i.e. watch more films), which is great, but I was not able to complete my essay before the Blog-A-Thon ended. But I do thank Tony for giving me the incentive to write this piece in the first place, and I hope to have it completed and posted by early next week.

POLL RESULTS: RANKING DE PALMA'S FILMS
The last big survey of De Palma fans' favorite De Palma films was done in 2002 by Carl Rodrigue at Le Paradis de Brian De Palma (Romain at Virtuoso of the 7th Art also has one going right now through October 4th). As the Blog-A-Thon ended, so did the Cinema Viewfinder poll, which ended up with 168 votes tallied from users voting for their three favorite De Palma films, in no particular order. Amazingly, the top four titles are the same as the 2002 poll, with the exception that Dressed To Kill was number 2 back then (at Cinema Viewfinder it switches with Carrie and takes the number 3 spot). While Femme Fatale was number 5 all on its own back when it was brand new, it remains number 5 today, although now Body Double has jumped up to tie for the position (the latter was number 9 in 2002). The top ten are further filled out by The Untouchables, Scarface, Phantom Of The Paradise, and Sisters. Here is the entire list:

1. Blow Out
2. Carrie
3. Dressed To Kill
4. Carlito’s Way
5. Femme Fatale/Body Double (Tie)
7. The Untouchables
8. Scarface
9. Phantom Of The Paradise
10. Sisters
11. The Fury/Mission: Impossible (Tie)
13. Casualties Of War
14. Raising Cain
15. The Black Dahlia
16. Obsession
17. Hi, Mom!/Snake Eyes (Tie)
19. Redacted
20. Mission To Mars
21. Dionysus In ‘69
22. Murder a la Mod/Greetings/Get To Know Your Rabbit/Home Movies/The Bonfire Of The Vanities (each received one vote)
27. The Wedding Party/Wise Guys (each received zero votes)

We will see how these votes stack up against Romain's poll in October.


Posted by Geoff at 5:52 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, September 17, 2009 5:58 PM CDT
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Saturday, July 11, 2009
FABOLOUS FINDS CARLITO'S WAY
UPCOMING LOSO'S WAY INSPIRED BY DE PALMA FILM
In the shadow of Brian De Palma's Scarface, the director's other collaboration with Al Pacino, Carlito's Way, has its own cult growing. That cult will get a boost this summer when Fabolous releases his new album, Loso's Way, July 28, which features a heavy lineup of guest stars, including Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Ne-Yo. Fabolous told Billboard in March of 2008 that he wanted to make a concept album that would be similar to what Jay-Z did with his tie-in to Ridley Scott's American Gangster. Without naming the film at the time (keeping it a secret), Fabolous explained his idea to Billboard:

I always wanted to touch on this particular movie musically because I felt some of the things in the movie related to me and to lots of other people. A lot of scenarios and situations in the movie are relatable. Plus, I always wanted to use a theme for my album, like how Jay[-Z] used American Gangster because he saw a character that was relatable to him. I want to take scenarios and turn them into records, and vice versa.

STANDOUT TRACK IS "PACHANGA"
With the final product finally being released more than a year later, Fabolous now tells Billboard about how his own personal stories link with Carlito's Way:

To help tell his story, Fabolous looked for inspiration in Carlito's Way, the 1993 movie in which an ex-con pledges to shun drugs and violence despite the pressure around him.

"The concept of the album came from me watching Carlito's Way and seeing how he was a guy who came from jail and wanted to do something bigger and better," he says. "I didn't come from jail, but I came from the hood, and in many ways I felt just like Carlito, because even though I'm still connected to the streets, I wanted to do bigger and better things too. There were a lot of parallels between his story and mine."

Fabolous says the lead single, "Throw It in the Bag," produced by Tricky Stewart and featuring his labelmate the-Dream, doesn't fit in with the theme, but he explains that "it was so contagious and catchy that we just had to go for it." The motivational "It's My Time," featuring Def Jam newcomer Jeremih and produced by the Runners, which was released in conjunction with "Bag" and appears in a TV ad for the NBA draft, is an example of how Fabolous' and Carlito's stories coincide.

"This song is about how I generally feel about my life and my career, and it's relatable to people because it's the type of song that motivates you to do whatever it is you have to do, just like Carlito," Fabolous says. "Throw It in the Bag" and "It's My Time" recently entered Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Pop 100 charts at Nos. 94 and 99, respectively.

Created with help from producers like Jermaine Dupri and DJ Toomp, other tracks on the album include "Stay," featuring Marsha Ambrosius from Floetry, about a son asking his father not to go. "It's a personal record for me because in between the last album and this album I had a son, and so on this track I talk about my relationship with my son and with my father," says Fabolous.

"Last Time," finds collaborator Trey Songz singing, "'this is the last time but I gotta see my baby,' but it is a metaphor for him having to see the streets one last time, just like Carlito on his last run," says Fabolous.

But the record that plays off the movie the most is the stand-out track "Pachanga," named after Carlito's right-hand man, who betrays him at the end of the film. "A thug changes and love changes, friends become strangers, pachanga," Fabolous rhymes, sampling Nas' "The Message."


Posted by Geoff at 3:52 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 11, 2009 4:00 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009
BRILLIANT STRUT
EXTRA RECALLS WORKING ON SET OF CARLITO'S WAY

Nick Leshi posted today about his experience working as an extra on the set of Carlito's Way-- here are some excerpts:

Even though you can't see a glimpse of me in the final film, it's still one of my fondest memories.

I had done some stage work before and had just finished a stint as an extra on Law & Order, so to me this was the big time. I first had to go to Kaufman Studios in Astoria to get fitted for my costume. This was a period gangster film, so they had me decked out in platform shoes, bell-bottom pants, a polyester shirt like the kind Larry used to wear on Three's Company, and big framed slightly tinted glasses. Gotta love the disco era!

The film shoot took place at the Palladium, the old night club in Manhattan. It seemed like there must have been over 200 other extras for the scene in which Carlito Brigante and his lawyer were celebrating his release from prison. Even though I was one of many, I was thrilled to be on the same set as actors Al Pacino and Sean Penn, and director Brian De Palma...

...I was one of the lucky ones chosen to be near the principle actors. They had me walk behind the table where Pacino and Penn were doing their scene. I did it a bunch of times, and each time I strutted like I was the king of the world.

I stayed professional and focused while cameras were rolling. At one point between takes, I made eye contact with Pacino and I couldn't resist giving him two big thumbs up and a goofy grin. (I swear, I was still in character as a goofy nightclub patron!) Al Pacino just rolled his eyes at me. Correction -- Carlito Brigante rolled his eyes at me!

Months later, I went to see the movie and I wasn't surprised to see no trace of my brilliant strut on the silver screen. It didn't bother me too much. It was still a wonderful experience that I'll never forget.


Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 12:04 AM CDT
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