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Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Alice Lowe discusses her directorial debut, the horror comedy Prevenge, with iNews' Alex Watson, mentioning several of her horror influences:
The perpetually hard-working Lowe is no stranger to either the small or silver screens (you may remember her from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Hot Fuzz) and has many writing credits in both TV comedy and film, but Prevenge is her directorial debut.

Part of Lowe’s accomplished start in this field comes from her strong grasp of what inspires her, both visually and atmospherically.

“I think there’s a mixture of lots of different influences in Prevenge. There’s a lot of Giallo horror, which is like Dario Argento’s work, and even Brian De Palma was quite inspired by that sort of Italian horror as well, with all the bright colours. Also, Kubrick.

“I wanted to use really bright colours, I didn’t want it to be pastel.”

Last October, Lowe talked to Entertainment Weekly's Clark Collis about De Palma's Carrie, mentioning color again:
Lowe is a huge horror movie fan, who is drawn to family-oriented terror tales with female protagonists, like Rosemary’s Baby or Brian De Palma’s 1976 Stephen King adaptation, Carrie, which stars Sissy Spacek as an unpopular high school student who develops telekinetic powers.

“I think everyone identifies with her character,” says the actress. “I really like the idea of an underdog character going through this transformation where they take power. I also think the reason it’s so rewatchable is, every time you watch it, you are hoping there’s a different ending, you’re really hoping that she just kisses the boy, and is the pageant queen, or whatever. It just doesn’t work that way. I think it’s unique. She is the killer but she has our sympathy. She is also a victim to her mother’s insanity. It’s like a female Psycho in some ways. I love Brian De Palma, I love color in film. That was one of the things that I really wanted to do with Prevenge, was make sure it was an assault of the sense, that it’s about color and vividness — rather than the passion at the moment for sort of grey-blue-black horror. That was, for me, the experience of pregnancy, that it’s kind of a vivid experience. It’s not at all about pastel pinks. It’s all about bright, intense experiences, and revulsions, and strange shifts in your emotions.”

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CST
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Riverdale premieres Thursday night on the CW network, and A.V. Club's Danette Chavez asked showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa about the show's influences:
When we originally developed the show, the show was a much more straightforward coming-of-age slice-of-life drama. It didn’t have the genre element, the mystery, the crime, the noir of it. When Fox bought it, it was that—it was just a high school show, and in the developing of it, they really pushed us to figure out how its voice would be different from Saved By The Bell or O.C. or Dawson’s Creek or things like that. One real touchstone for me and a couple of the other producers was Twin Peaks. What made it particularly germane to Archie was that the central mystery of Twin Peaks is what happens when a high school homecoming queen is murdered. That was like, “Wow, what would happen if one of the Riverdale kids had been murdered?” And rather than follow an F.B.I. detective through the investigation, you follow the ramifications of that through the points of view of the students.

Another big influence was—there was a great movie called Brick with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which was a suburban noir. That was, I think, an early influence as well. The two other big touchstones for me were movies that I loved when I was a kid and that were coming-of-age movies. One was Stand By Me, which is, of course, about four friends who go on a journey to see a dead body, and River’s Edge, the Keanu Reeves movie, which is about these high school misfits that know one of their friends killed one of their other friends, and the body’s by the river’s edge. When the idea to make Archie more like River’s Edge or more like Stand By Me or more like Twin Peaks—really even more than Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, which is one of my favorite movies—it framed every story we wanted to tell, but gave it a genre element, a genre twist to it. It really became a guiding principle, which was, every story we’ll tell on the show has to work as an Archie story, a high school story, but then also has to work as—there has to be some David Lynch element to it. So in episode three, there’s a slut-shaming story, but there’s a much darker solution to that story that’s almost like something out of a Brian De Palma movie. That’s why the episode is called “Body Double.” It became a way for us to be different from other shows. But you know, every show has a shorthand, and O.C. meets Twin Peaks is a great shorthand.

(Thanks to Frank!)

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:03 AM CST
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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Always Shine director discusses her influences
Tweet: Always Shine "feels like De Palma's 3 Women"
Star Mackenzie Davis says the gaze of Always Shine feels very different from that of De Palma's cinema

Posted by Geoff at 11:34 PM CST
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Monday, January 2, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 2:03 PM CST
Updated: Monday, January 2, 2017 2:05 PM CST
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 11:54 PM CST
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Vulture's Kevin Lincoln talked with Mackenzie Davis about her role in Sophia Takal's Always Shine:
Watching Always Shine, I thought a lot about a male director, Brian De Palma.
But the gaze feels very different. I really like De Palma, but his gaze is aggressive and undressing and voyeuristic. I’m very aware of being a spectator in De Palma’s movies, especially of the female body.

Whereas the voyeurism in Always Shine seems to come much more from a female perspective, like when Anna is watching Beth speak to the man at the bar.
Female friendships are so emotionally intense and rewarding and invasive — they’re my favorite friendships, but there is this extrasensory perceptiveness about betrayal, and also there’s just always a competition in women because we’ve been told that there’s a scarcity of opportunity. So there’s always this sense of like, Who’s being hit on? Who’s getting that job? I’m not saying that every woman feels that all the time, but I definitely felt it — a way that we’re raised culturally where it behooves us to beat the other girl, and you can see when you’re losing in a situation. I always grew up thinking that being undesirable is a mortal sin.

Always Shine Director Influenced by Hi, Mom!, More

Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2016 12:06 AM CST
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Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Ty Burr, Boston Globe

"Does it matter that Susan and Tony’s wife and daughter are all identical-looking redheads? Well, duh. Doublings and mirror images abound in Nocturnal Animals. Flashbacks and present-day sequences entwine around fictional scenes until Ford has us trapped in a web of guilty complicity. Like Hitchcock, certainly, and it’s no coincidence that Abel Korzeniowski’s musical score swoons like vintage Bernard Herrmann (or like Pino Donaggio’s Herrmannesque scores for Brian De Palma’s 1970s thrillers).

"Is Tom Ford a dilettante? Honestly, the jury’s still out. He gets committed work from his cast; even if Adams is arguably miscast in a coldhearted role (yes, she can do anything, but that doesn’t mean she should have to), Gyllenhaal expertly toggles between Straw Dogs meekness and madness, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson is the sexiest black hole of irredeemable evil in many a moon. And when Michael Shannon turns up as Bobby Andes, a lethal West Texas police detective, Ford guides the actor to one of his scariest and most controlled performances.

"Yet with Ford — and unlike Hitchcock (and, at his best, De Palma) — the mystery stays on the surface, caught in Seamus McGarvey’s clinically composed camera shots and Joan Sobel’s impeccably disorienting editing. The 'solution,' or the one that’s implied in the film’s final scene, feels small and incommensurate with the dark places the rest of the movie takes us, and it may occur to you that what concerns this filmmaker is the immediate effect rather than the lasting impression. I don’t mean it as a cheap shot, but Nocturnal Animals is very like an exquisitely rendered window display. It’s something at which you pause and peer into and catch your breath — and then move on."

Jesse Cataldo, Slant

"Matching updates of two dynamic variants of mid-century noir (the gonzo woman's pictures of Otto Preminger with the psychological nocturnal westerns of Anthony Mann), Nocturnal Animals gets close to a double-barreled satirical thriller commenting on the historic rift between city and country. But for all his panache, Ford lacks the focus and control of someone like Brian De Palma, whose work, including his recent Passion, routinely straddles such disparate divides. Nocturnal Animals, meanwhile, wastes too much time fulfilling the nuts-and-bolts demands of both of its genre exercises to transcend their limits, while remaining too scattered and routine to actually work as a satisfying example of either.

"The film's best achievement remains its illustration of the supposed lewd, overflowing vitality of the lower classes butting up against the frigid primness of the upper, which then vampirically exploits this divide as part of a ritualistic cultural transfer. This process, by which the rustic, the seedy, and the menacing are drained of residual danger and reimagined in chic aesthetic forms, is one of the trademarks of both the fashion world from which Ford hails the high-end art scene in which Susan operates, the latter seen in that flamboyant opening show and the stylishly shabby pieces that litter her gallery. The film itself carries off a similar act of transference, repackaging grim, nasty authenticity as shiny pop product, even its ugliest revelations sugarcoated within correspondingly gorgeous images.

"Such a combination might have yielded marvelous results were Nocturnal Animals willing to get truly weird, but Ford instead remains too reliant on overwrought imagery, residual prestige affectations, and conventional rhythms to break free of either genre the film experiments with, leaving one section stuck as a second-rate Cormac McCarthy adaptation, the other a tamped-down Fassbinder tribute. Its ultimate message, that the stereotypical façades which front these two worlds only serve to disguise how much they have in common, ends up getting muddled rather than expressively conveyed, leaving Nocturnal Animals as a film that stands tantalizingly close to greatness."

Pete Hammond, Deadline

"It has been seven years since Tom Ford added the job description of film director to his already famous fashion empire. That movie, A Single Man, was rightly acclaimed, and now with Nocturnal Animals he proves it was no fluke. Based on the 1993 novel Tony & Susan by Austin Wright, this adult thriller is a crazy mix of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Douglas Sirk, Brian De Palma, Stanley Kubrick and even a bit of Sam Peckinpah thrown in for good measure. But overall it is pure Ford, full of stylistic touches and fine acting."

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

"Ford is clearly a cinephile, and elements of other auteurs are all over Animals: the sexmad decadence of Brian De Palma, the formal control of Hitchcock, surreal dabs of David Lynch-ian grotesque. The movie’s lofty narrative ambitions never quite catch up with its aesthetics, but it’s still a fantastic beast of a film, intoxicating and strange."

Nocturnal Animals and Body Double

Posted by Geoff at 11:54 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2016 5:51 PM CST
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Sunday, November 6, 2016
Brannon Braga, creator of WGN's series Salem, was interviewed recently by Den Of Geek's Tony Sokol, who asked Braga, "What are your favorite devil movies?"
I'll tell you that Salem is chock-full of horror references. I'm quite a horror aficionado. I wrote science fiction most of my life, but my passion, really, has always been for horror. Everything comes out on the show, from Dario Argento to Alfred Hitchcock to the Japanese horror that could be harsh, a horror fan’s horror show. One movie that had a great influence was Roman Polanski’s Rosemary's Baby, the tone and style in which his movies were shot, or different directors, to keep the show grounded. I'm obviously a fan of Hitchcock's work.

I noticed similarities to Giallo horror films.

Oh, it’s all over the place. What a lost art. It's interesting when you looking at building things, like Brian De Palma was building on top of stuff. Everybody said he was doing Hitchcock. But no, he's not. He was doing Dario Argento. He was doing Giallo. We talk about that stuff all the time on the set. My favorite movie of all time is Notorious and we do pay homage that picture.

Which of those classic movies do you think have never lost power to scare? For me it's the scene in M when Peter Lorre breaks down in front of the criminal court.

Well, M is a masterpiece. In fact, child murder isn't exactly something that is probably ever going to be mainstream. That's a really good example of timeless horror. Some of the best modern 21st century horror has pushed the envelope and broken taboos. That's what horror does. I think one of the modern horror masterpieces of the 21st Century is the French film Martyrs. It is extreme horror, extremely frightening and extremely violent. It's a masterpiece. It was like they were taking things to the next level and I think horror has always done that. M is an excellent example of a timeless horror story. And I gotta tell you, Frankenstein is not necessarily as terrifying as it was to audiences when it first came out, but it is still the only true and truly successful horror science fiction story. That's a subgenre that you just don't see all that much.

I feel bad for the Frankenstein monster and King Kong. The witches on Salem have deep lives and we identify with them.

Oh, absolutely, I think these witches, mostly women, are oppressed, one of them is a slave, and powerless. Through witchcraft they found their power and I think the show’s feminist themes are relatable.

Posted by Geoff at 7:29 PM CDT
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Below The Line's Mark London Williams reports that, at a recent Los Angeles press conference for the release of his new film The Handmaiden, Korean director Park Chan-wook was asked about the directors who had inspired him:
He mentioned Hitchcock’s Vertigo as the film that made him want to be a filmmaker. He also talked about other “visualists,” as he called them — a list ranging from Fellini to Renoir to the also Hitchcock-inspired Brian DePalma, and more — and surmised, through a translator, that among the reasons we don’t have more such “visualists” among today’s directors might be multifold: For one, “young people don’t watch a lot of classic films,” he said. Or perhaps, even if they do, “they’re watching on a small screen. I’m not sure.”

Though he was surer about his next point, which was, “to make ‘visualist’ cinema, you need money.”

Posted by Geoff at 12:46 AM CDT
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Danny McBride, co-creator of HBO's Vice Principals, talked to Uproxx's Steven Hyden about the show, mentioning Brian De Palma in regards to the upcoming second season. Here's the excerpt from Hyden's article:
Even by the insane standards of the HBO comedy’s inaugural season, Sunday’s Vice Principals season finale was, well, very insane. Over the course of nine polarizing episodes, in which co-creators Jody Hill and Danny McBride walked the razor’s edge between pitch-black comedy and disquieting psychological drama, Vice Principals followed the efforts of school administrators Neal Gamby (Danny McBride) and Lee Russell (Walton Goggins) to overthrow their new boss, Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hebert). Along the way, there were some extremely uncomfortable moments, including an act of arson at Brown’s home and a horrifying night of destruction prompted by a bottle of gin.

And then there was Sunday’s episode, in which [SPOILERS AHEAD] Gamby and Russell finally succeed in getting rid of Brown. Better yet, they’re appointed co-principals of the school. But just when everything appears to have worked out for the show’s protagonists/villains, Gamby is gunned down in the school’s parking lot by a mysterious masked figure, and apparently left for dead.

Vice Principals ended its first season as it began — uneven, erratic, and yet also thrillingly unpredictable and unique. It wasn’t perfect, but Vice Principals was a welcome oddity amid an increasingly conformist television landscape. As the conventions of “Good TV” are codified and reduced to formula — with an established set of clearly defined storytelling perspectives and moral objectives — Vice Principals stubbornly went against the grain, never letting the audience off the hook by telling it how to feel about its deeply flawed characters.

Initially conceived as an 18-episode limited-run series, Vice Principals already has its second and final season in the can. “Everyone could watch it now if HBO would just release it. It’s ready. It’s there for you to see,” McBride told us Monday in a phone interview.

As for what viewers should expect from Vice Principals moving forward, McBride says “we were channeling a lot of John Hughes and ’80s teen comedy in the first season, and I feel like in the second season we start channeling a lot of Brian De Palma.”

Posted by Geoff at 12:22 AM CDT
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