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Warren Beatty's
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Rie Rasmussen
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Mentor Tarantino
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James Franco
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Coppola on
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"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
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and bigger in scope and
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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
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has a wonderful personal
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people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
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as raging comic
in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
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debut with
Capote story

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

Recent Headlines
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-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
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De Palma discusses
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Friday, April 4, 2014
'CAPTAIN AMERICA' ELEVATOR SCENE
DID IT TAKE SOME INSPIRATION FROM DE PALMA'S 'DRESSED TO KILL'?


The brief clip above is an ESPN ad for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, showing two people waiting for an elevator, unaware of the mayhem taking place as they wait. It shares a comedic/tension cross-cutting tone with the elevator scene in Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill.

Captain America co-screenwriter Stephen McFeely tells Superhero Hype's Edward Douglas how the film's directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, applied other inspirations to the movie, leaving the impression that the elevator scene, at least in part, was perhaps directly influenced by De Palma. "The very first draft of the screenplay looks a lot like the movie," McFeely tells Douglas. "That said, the Russos came in and had all the same and even better touchstones than what we were talking about. They came in and would say, "This feels like a William Friedkin section, feels like a Brian De Palma section," so like that elevator scene was something not quite as interesting as that elevator scene but the Russos came in and went, "Why don't we do this tense built-up elevator thing" and it was all very exciting the whole time we were working on the second draft with them. Chris and I would talk to each other and say, "They're talking a great game. If they can do what they say they want to do, this will be great," and then we had no idea whether the guys from TV would be able to do this. In a way, it was a really great mesh of that they really got the material and they elevated it. It was a real pleasure.

In an interview with Mother Jones' Asawin Suebsaeng, the Russo brothers talk about how the film was influenced by Sydney Pollack's Three Days Of The Condor, itself a film that heavily influenced De Palma, particularly on Mission: Impossible. They also mention several other movie influences, as well as how their film reflects current political anxieties. Here is an excerpt from the Mother Jones article:

------------------------------

According to Joe, the brothers pushed to make their Captain America political thriller even more political and topical than it initially was. "There were already things in the script that just needed to be pulled out to make it more [relevant]," he recalls. One of the film's stars, Robert Redford, was approached for the role in large part because he starred in the 1975 political thriller Three Days of the Condor.

"[That film] was a big influence on this movie," Joe says. "You could really call this movie 'Three Days of Captain America,' if you wanted to. The structure is so similar...We felt like we had a decent shot at getting [Redford] because the script had a political component to it and we thought that might motivate him."

But don't take any of this to mean the film is a stern lecture on American foreign policy. It's thrilling as hell, and also the best to emerge in the recent string of Marvel movies. "We're action fetishists," Joe says. "And we love '70s thrillers." The brothers drew on the influence of some of their favorite action-flick moments: The famous bank heist and shootout in Michael Mann's Heat. William Friedkin's The French Connection. John Schlesinger's Marathon Man. John McTiernan's Predator. Gareth Evans' The Raid: Redemption. (And for the Washington, DC-set car chase in The Winter Soldier, the brothers consulted YouTube, searching for videos of actual car chases. One video—wherein two escaped convicts in Brazil get stuck in traffic and plow through cars as police pursue them on foot—was especially helpful.) "Choreographing action, it's like choreographing a Broadway show," Anthony says.

But at the heart of the explosion and melee -filled film are the political themes, including targeted killing. "The question is where do you stop?" Joe says. "If there are 100 people we can kill to make us safer, do we do it? What if we find out there's 1,000? What if we find out there's 10,000? What if it's a million? At what point do you stop?"

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Posted by Geoff at 7:19 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, April 5, 2014 10:41 PM CDT
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Saturday, March 29, 2014
SCHWARZENEGGER ON 'SABOTAGE'
HOMAGE TO BRUTAL MASCULINE MOVIES MADE BY THE LIKES OF DE PALMA, PECKINPAH, HILL
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap:

"Nothing really gets sabotaged in Sabotage, unless you're counting the career of director David Ayer, who got some of his best reviews to date for End of Watch just two years ago. Apparently forgetting everything he knows about filmmaking in the intervening months, he's delivered up a schlocky and semi-incoherent shoot-'em-up, the most notable factor of which is a torrent of fake blood that rivals the gallons of Karo syrup Brian De Palma sprayed over Scarface.”

The Telegraph:

"Arnold Schwarzenegger has defended 'brutal violence' in movies ahead of his new film Sabotage, in which the 66-year-old plays the head of a special unit of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) whose members are viciously killed and mutilated after a cartel bust.

"Schwarzenegger, the former Governor of California, said: 'It's a bit of an homage to the films that I grew up on, and directors like Brian De Palma, and Walter Hill and Sam Peckinpah who made very brutal kind of masculine movies. I think violence is political now: "maybe if there is no violence in movies, there will be no violence in the world." I don't believe that. The video games our children play are much, much more violent than anything in this movie.'"

Matt Singer, The Dissolve:

"The results are deliberately off-putting, a nasty film about mean people doing horrible things. That’s surely by design. Ayer is trying to paint a broad portrait of the poisonous effect this never-ending conflict has on its combatants, and to make a movie that mirrors its protagonists’ fractured psyches. Like Wharton’s DEA unit, Sabotage gets off on the adrenaline rush of badass brutality—but feels traumatized by its aftermath.

"That jibes perfectly with late-career Schwarzenegger’s onscreen persona, the man overwhelmed with grief and regret. Action heroes have rarely killed more people onscreen than Ahnuld—or done so while completely dismissing the emotional weight of those killings by delivering shamelessly goofy puns while committing murder. But as viewers slowly realize over the course of the film, John Wharton has witnessed the effect of violence first-hand, and it’s scarred him. That almost makes Sabotage Schwarzenegger’s (much less effective) version of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven—his chance to wrestle with all the death he’s perpetrated onscreen, and to consider, once and for all in his twilight years, whether it was really worth it. The film’s final scene—one of the most fascinating of Schwarzenegger’s entire career—makes the Eastwood comparison even more overt, turning Wharton into something of a Western cowboy."


Posted by Geoff at 12:04 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, March 29, 2014 4:37 PM CDT
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Friday, March 28, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 10:43 PM CDT
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Thursday, March 27, 2014
MIRA ON 'GRAND PIANO'
SCRIPT IS OPEN LOVE LETTER TO HITCHCOCK & DE PALMA, MESMERIZING EFFECTS OF SILENT FILM
Ain't It Cool News' Jeremy Smith interviewed Grand Piano director Eugenio Mira a couple of weeks ago, and they talked quite a bit about Brian De Palma. Mira also indicates a cinematic kinship with Open Windows director Nacho Vigalondo. Here are some excerpts:
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Q: I think we both speak fluent De Palma.

Eugenio Mira: Totally.

Q: It's interesting making a film in that style today. Everything is so much about coverage now.

Mira: And cutting.

Q: This is definitely a more modern film, but you are hearkening back to that style of filmmaking. Does that make things difficult for you?

Mira: Me being a kid born in Spain and being completely affected by American pop culture in the '80s, Steven Spielberg and Joe Dante, then going into David Cronenberg, David Lynch, the Coen Brothers... from the very beginning, I always loved directing as a performance. It's true that could've been a problem had I moved to Hollywood at nineteen years old, but staying in a country like Spain, the good news is that movies were made not because a producer wanted to do it. It's because there was a possibility, a chance... some people went for subsidies and stuff and they didn't give a fuck about what movie was going to happen, but a whole generation of directors, Nacho Vigalondo included, nobody had the balls to tell us how to do our [movies].

Yes, I know I'm in trouble when it comes to a world that is completely opposite to what I am defending and what I am crafting. On the other hand, after three movies, it's true that maybe there is some momentum. Maybe you can anticipate what problems you are going to have. What I've learned is that rather than have a hidden agenda, it's better to show your plans from the very beginning. Every single director is an asset before you start shooting, and if what you're shooting feeds what your selling - the storyboards and animatics - producers are like "Oh, he's doing it as planned. He's not behind schedule." The problems come with the editing. But if you do it properly, you are going to have just two or three major fights - compared to shooting a lot of coverage and losing control of the whole movie.

Q: When you got the script, how quickly did you figure out how you were visually going to tell this story?

Mira: I'm trying to capture the first impression that I have. If I'm on page thirteen, and there's something that the writer implied... I think my brain works very similarly to what Spielberg describes, it's like having this library of movies. I'm a musician, too, and we have notes. But notes are nothing if there's not a context. So I think that the same thing happens with cinema. Everyone thinks that everything is etherial, and you start from scratch every time. No. You know a shot from Tony Scott from one used by his brother, Ridley. Sometimes they are similar, but sometimes they are different. Alan Parker is different from Adrian Lyne. But those little nuances, some people don't give a damn, but to me I acknowledged those differences. So if I'm seeing a scene of a car parking in front of a diner, and someone steps out, I'm going to know if it's just an establishing shot, or if it's a dolly shot of a guy stepping out of the car and if we're going to go beyond the door or if we're going to be inside seeing the whole thing. It's what directors that I've been raised by do all the time. To answer your question, I wrote down every single thing. Damien Chazelle's script is an open love letter to Hitchcock and De Palma. So what I try to do is instead of just following that realm, I wanted to analyze where these mesmerizing effects came from, and that is silent films. Silent films are the pure sequential art. All you have is the size of the shot, the length and the semantics of the cutting. The semantics in cutting nowadays are two completely different things. Cut means shit nowadays. I can't stand it.

Q: I had the pleasure of interviewing De Palma last year, and I asked if he feels any pressure to shoot coverage nowadays. He said, "Coverage is a bad word."

Mira: I hate it. It's not in my vocabulary.

Q: But it's expected. And it weakens a director's position. They can easily take the film away from you because you've given them all of the options.

Mira: Totally. That's not directing. I will never do this if my work was confined to talking to the actors, going out to dinner and reminding them what we read in the script. The moment I don't have control of what you're seeing when you're seeing it and what level of attention, how am I going to sign [the film]? Coverage is for pussies...

Q: You feel like a filmmaker who could work on a bigger canvas. De Palma and Hitchcock made great big movies! You obviously like the widescreen. I think you could handle a big movie. But I read an interview where you said Jurassic Park 4 would just be about talking to the actors. The vision wouldn't be yours.

Mira: I'm glad you mentioned that. I felt a little bit... in terms of being political, it was a little controversial that I said that. But I'm disappointed. For Spielberg, coming from a filmmaker that I've always admired, I know there's a property, and I know there's a lot of stuff going on and different interests, but something tells me that when it comes to the big scenes of that movie, they were designed three years ago. They already have them. And they got a guy to go out to dinner. I love Safety Not Guaranteed, and I don't want to throw shit at it. I admire what [Colin Trevorrow] did, but if somebody tells me that they are going to hire for Jurassic World the director of The Spectacular Now, I would also be saying "What the fuck?" I don't get it. What about the kids who were raised with Joe Dante or Brian De Palma or Robert Zemeckis: people who really know how to craft movies.

Q: Those guys designed the whole world.

Mira: That's what I'm saying. You see a movie like Bonfire Of The Vanities... you can like it more or less, but that movie directs you into a world. You can talk about the movie, but as a vehicle of expression for Mr. De Palma, I don't see better or worse movies, I see more fortunate or more unfortunate vehicles for Mr. De Palma. That's the way I see it.

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Posted by Geoff at 2:37 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, March 27, 2014 2:39 AM CDT
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Saturday, March 22, 2014
COMPANION PIECES
'GRAND PIANO' & 'OPEN WINDOWS'


Variety's Justin Chang on Open Windows:

"A fiendishly inventive thriller built around an audacious if unsustainable gimmick, Open Windows elevates Hitchcockian suspense to jittery new levels of mayhem and paranoia. Essentially conceived as a technologically sophisticated mash-up of Rear Window and Rope, this latest mind-bender from Spanish genre trickster Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Extraterrestrial) unfolds entirely in one carefully manipulated 'shot,' with the camera glued to the lead character’s computer screen, employing desktop videos, images and pop-ups to tell its lurid tale of celebrity obsession, stalking, hacking, surveillance, blackmail and murder. Barely maintaining coherence if not plausibility, the compulsively watchable result should enjoy a vigorous fest and VOD life; fitting as it might be to stream it on your laptop, its complex visual layers and blink-and-you-miss-’em plot turns are best suited to the bigscreen.

"One of former adult star Sasha Grey’s higher-profile vehicles since her mainstream debut in Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience, Open Windows also plays like a companion piece of sorts to Eugenio Mira’s Grand Piano, another recent thriller in which a justifiably freaked-out Elijah Wood found himself at the mercy of a menacingly disembodied voice. If that film suggested an ivory-tickling riff on Brian De Palma, then Vigalondo’s picture feels like a high-tech Hitch homage on speed, one that exerts a strong narrative grip for about an hour before tumbling down a discomfiting series of rabbit holes that strain credulity and internal logic to the breaking point."


Posted by Geoff at 5:18 PM CDT
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014
'THIS SCENE SHOULD BE LIKE EARLY DE PALMA'
SCREENWRITER USES ABOVE QUOTE AS EXAMPLE IN WORKING WITH CAPTAIN AMERICA DIRECTORS
At a press junket for Captain America: Winter Soldier, Den Of Geek's Don Kaye interviewed the film's screenwriting duo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. The movie, which will be released in theaters April 4, was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. In giving an example of what it is like to work with the directors, McFeely mentions Brian De Palma, suggesting a possible influence, at least for a scene. Here's the interview excerpt:
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Den Of Geek: What’s your interaction been like with the Russos? Is it interesting for you guys to work with a co-directing team?

Markus: It’s been really great, very collaborative. It is interesting to work with another team, because I think when there’s two versus one on either side it can feel unintentionally like ganging up. But when there’s four people it just becomes this very free flowing exchange where, you know, one of us and one Russo can side against the other Russo and the other writer.

McFeely: That happens a lot.

Markus: It’s like whole new teams have developed. It’s a different Marvel team-up.

Den Of Geek: Right.

Markus: But seriously, we had a draft before they came in and they saw everything we were trying to do and, you know, took it to another level and it had all the right reference points.

McFeely: When directors come in and say this scene should be like early Brian De Palma, we go, oh yeah, of course it should.

--------------

Screen Daily's Mark Adams has an early review for Captain America: Winter Soldier in which he says it "is closer to a 1970s conspiracy thriller than a muscle-bound superhero effects-driven romp." Adams adds that the casting of Robert Redford "helps consolidate" this link, evoking films such as Three Days Of The Condor.

Posted by Geoff at 7:51 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, March 20, 2014 4:38 PM CDT
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014
'HERE COMES THE DEVIL' DIRECTOR CITES DE PALMA
AS WELL AS FULCI, ON DVD/BLU-RAY COMMENTARY TRACK


According to The Oregonian's Marc Mohan, on the DVD audio commentary track for Adrián García Bogliano's Here Comes The Devil, Bogliano cites Brian De Palma and Lucio Fulci, among others, as influences on the film. "With its incestuous intimations, over-the-top violence and sometimes brazen sexuality, Here Comes the Devil isn't for the faint of heart," states Mohan, "but Bogliano's alternately tense and disorienting 1970s style works as more than an affectation. On the disc's audio commentary track, he cites influences including Richard Stanley's Dust Devil, the Italian filmmaker Lucio Fulci and Brian De Palma. Fans of any of those should find much to appreciate here."

Posted by Geoff at 11:35 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 11:37 PM CDT
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Friday, March 14, 2014
'OPEN WINDOWS' PREMIERES AT SXSW
SASHA GREY: INSPIRATION WAS MORE 'BLOW OUT' THAN 'REAR WINDOW'
With Grand Piano and now Open Windows, Elijah Wood seems to be working on a string of thrillers inspired by Brian De Palma. The latter film had its premiere at South By Southwest yesterday. Back in 2012, as he was getting ready to shoot Open Windows, director Nacho Vigalondo told Screen Daily's Melanie Goodfellow, "Just as in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out, the girl is captured. The hero will have to use every means at his disposal to discover where she is, and rescue her from the villain before its too late.” Vigalondo's 2007 film Timecrimes is said to be a variation on De Palma's Body Double. Judging by the trailer, Open Windows appears to have elements of Body Double, as well.

Sasha Grey, who co-stars with Wood in Open Windows, once joked that she was making Body Double 2, as she modeled herself for the lenses of Richard Phillips in the John Lautner chemosphere house, used prominently in Body Double. Grey tells The Daily Beast's Marlow Stern that Open Windows was inspired more by Blow Out than Rear Window:
-------------------------------

Marlow: Back to Open Windows, it seems to combine the voyeuristic Rear Window conceit with the whole “cam girl” phenomenon, which has really transformed into a huge sub-industry in the porn world.

Sasha Grey: I think Blow Out was more of an inspiration. But with the cam girl thing, it’s interesting because there were a few girls who did this in the ‘90s when no one was doing it, made millions, and retired. But now, with the advent of Internet porn, people can see professional-quality material online, and now we’re regressing and going back to not caring about the quality. But the fascination goes back to having a connection with the person you’re watching and having this “intimate” experience. It’s a need to satisfy the soul. The Internet has brought us together globally, but also separated us. And people now don’t have that intimacy in their real lives, so they go online.

-------------------------


Posted by Geoff at 1:45 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, March 14, 2014 1:47 AM CDT
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Saturday, March 8, 2014
MORE 'GRAND PIANO' REVIEWS
DE PALMA CONTINUES TO BE FREQUENTLY MENTIONED


Eugenio Mira's Grand Piano has been available on demand for about a month, and is now slowly making its way to select theaters. The screenplay was written by Damien Chazelle, who had originally planned to direct it, according to Deadline's Brian Brooks. Chazelle did end up directing another script he wrote, Whiplash, a story about a drummer (played by Miles Teller) that was the talk of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Music seems to be Chazelle's thing, as his next film, "La La Land," is said to be a romantic musical about an actress and a jazz musician.

Regarding Grand Piano, Mira tells Brooks, "The irony of this movie is that 20 years ago it would be a mainstream movie. Richard Donner and the late John Frankenheimer are directors that I grew up with and I loved and for some reason, Hollywood has failed to deliver [today].”

After Grand Piano's world premiere at Austin's Fantastic Fest last September, we posted links to several reviews that frequently mentioned filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock, Brian De Palma, and Dario Argento. With the theatrical release this weekend, there are more such reviews popping up. Here are some more links:

Drew McWeeny, HitFix
"If you saw Eugenio Mira's earlier film Agnosia, then you may have already noticed his fondness for Brian De Palma. Anyone making thrillers who holds De Palma as part of the pantheon is already on my short list of people I like, but when you see how well Mira pulls it all together for Grand Piano, it's obvious that he's graduated to a different level with this film.

"I think it's very fair to compare this to Non-Stop, which I reviewed earlier today, since both of them are thrillers that take place over a compressed period of time in a fairly restrictive setting with a ticking clock. For both filmmakers, the exercise is the same. Can you keep the film somewhat plausible while ratcheting up the tension and convincing us that things could unfold like this? In the case of Grand Piano, the answer is a resounding yes, and I was delighted by just how playful and fun this is."

Glenn Dunks
"Eugenio Mira’s Grand Piano has a thoroughly ridiculous premise that borrows liberally from films such as Jan de Bont’s Speed, David Fincher’s Panic Room, and, most strikingly, Joel Schumacher’s Phone Booth. Much like that 2002 thriller with Colin Farrell as a man stuck in a telephone booth with a sniper’s rifle fixed on him, Mira’s films features a more-or-less single location with a lone man aware of the stakes and an escalating tension that is seemingly at odds with its intimate focus. Needless to say, it is a better film than Phone Booth, but that may be because the Spanish director (Grand Piano is in fact a Spain/US co-production) decided to reference Brian De Palma more than his most direct influence, Alfred Hitchcock.

"There’s a playfulness to Grand Piano that is deeply rewarding. It’s slick, 35mm lensing is drenched in bold colours, interesting compositions and in some sequences a sense of virtuosic camera trickery. Despite its compact confines, Mira’s film recalls the more heightened sense of Hitchcockian style that ebbs and flows throughout De Palma’s Blow Out, Body Double, or Dressed to Kill rather than the elegance of Hitchcock’s boutique thrills like Rope or The Lady Vanishes. It is a style that is perhaps too obvious for its own good, and yet one that works. It elevates the film and allows its moments of flight and fancy to not strike one as absurd or over-the-top. The entire film is working on a level of OTT sublime that is as much seat-grippingly intense as it is giggle-inducing."

A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club
"Mira, for his part, just gets his Brian De Palma on, most notably during a split-screen sequence that puts the harried hero on one side of the frame and a brutal murder on the other."

Kevin Taft, Edge on the Net
"A nifty little thriller that should cement director Eugenio Mira as 'the' director to watch, Grand Piano is filled with Hitchcockian suspense and gorgeous shades of Brian DePalma. With a compelling performance by Elijah Wood... the film is a noose-tightening 80 minutes of masterful direction... Credit must also go to cinematographer Unax Mendia who swoops around the stage like a magician making what could be a claustrophobic film feel spacious and alive. The music by Victor Reyes is flawless and, of course, Eugenio Mira handles the proceedings like an old school master. It’s a harrowing and nail-biting piece that is well worth tuning in for."

William Bibbiani, Crave Online
"Grand Piano is the more playful cousin of Chazelle’s other script this year, Whiplash (a film he also directed), a tale of a drumming prodigy and his abusive professor that also demonstrates the horrifying relationship between antagonism and perseverance. Chazelle seems fascinated by the notion that the ends might just justify the means, and that opposition to true villainy is a prerequisite for becoming a hero. He may be right but it’s a scary message to send to sensitive art students who have probably been bullied enough already, unless schools have changed dramatically since I attended them.

"So while Eugenio Mira may be having the time of his life finding ways for Selznick to secretly call for help, and in offing one-by-one the poor saps who might be able to save him, the real drama comes not from the enjoyable but contrived set-up, but rather the way that contrived set-up highlights the ongoing struggle for self-improvement, and the simply unfortunate need to be pushed in order to push back.

"To achieve these somewhat lofty goals, Mira crescendos Grand Piano’s suspense to ludicrous heights, formulating complex shots that Brian De Palma would be proud of, and setting the climactic battle against an impromptu, bizarre and deliciously overblown performance of 'Motherless Child.' What better way to finally stop the show than with a proper showstopper?"

Robert Levin, amNew York
"In short, Grand Piano is an extended set piece with tension that starts high and remains elevated throughout. Mira's camera spins, dives and soars throughout the concert hall, ranging from POV images to steady zooms and sustained long shots, with at least one of De Palma's favored split screens thrown in for good measure. You're constantly disoriented, hyper-aware of the stakes at hand."

Scott Pierce, MoviePilot
"It's being touted as Speed or Phone Booth at a concert hall, but in reality comes across as a mostly non-violent giallo mashup inspired by visual directors like Brian de Palma, Alfred Hitchcock, and Dario Argento. It's regimented and structured in a way that few movies today are despite its kitschy premise."

Eric D. Snider, Twitch
"I don't know what Elijah Wood's actual skill level is on the piano, but the way he fakes it here is nothing short of remarkable, and it speaks to his and Mira's commitment to taking the whole thing seriously. It would have been infinitely easier to avoid showing Wood's hands as much as possible, to focus on chest-level shots where we see his arms moving but not which specific keys he's hitting. Instead, Mira gives us long, unbroken takes of Wood banging away on the keyboard, our view of his hands unobstructed so we can see that what he's playing really could be the music we're hearing. The hand-synching, if that's what you call it -- sure, let's call it hand-synching -- is nearly flawless.

"Moreover, Mira and cinematographer Unax Mendia are constantly pulling off carefully orchestrated shots and marvelous feats of camera movement, applying the same type of sweeping, operatic bravura that Brian De Palma applies to everything he does. (I thought of Snake Eyes in particular.) There's something thrilling about seeing such technical precision used in the service of such lunacy. While the screenplay (by Damien Chazelle) is overly expository and larded with repeated dialogue, everything else about the film has energy and confidence and is perfectly capable of carrying you away if you'll go along with its fantastically goofy premise."


Posted by Geoff at 11:30 PM CST
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
'NURSE 3D' INVITES DE PALMA COMPARISONS
GONZALEZ: 'PASSION' IS "A FIZZY SYMPHONY OF TERROR THAT COMMENTS ON PERSONALITY AS MEDIATED BY IMAGE RECORDING"


Doug Aarniokoski's Nurse 3D opened in theaters and on VOD last Friday, and several reviews have mentioned Brian De Palma. Here are some links:

Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com
"If you ever wondered what the result might be if the screenplay for a Brian De Palma thriller somehow landed in the hands of the late, great Russ Meyer, Nurse 3D is the film for you. Director Douglas Aarniokoski and co-writer David Loughery have concocted a film that plays like an explosion in a warehouse of grindhouse film prints. Within the course of a mere 86 minutes, they jam in gallons of blood, ridiculously ripe performances, tons of beyond-purple dialogue (with the tone set early on when Abby narrates Danni's first encounter with a gory fatality with the instant classic 'She lost her virginity and the blood flowed') and so many scenes involving showers, locker rooms and fetishy outfits that it sometimes feels as if All Saints may be the first hospital to require a two-drink minimum along with proof of insurance."

Devin Faraci, Badass Digest
"If Brian De Palma had directed Nurse 3D it probably could have been something amazing. In the hands of Doug Aarniokoski it’s more of a campy delight. The film straddles the line between serious and silly in all the right ways, never being tongue-in-cheek but also not taking itself too seriously. The film was inspired by the photography of Lionsgate’s chief marketing officer Tim Palen, and every now and again there’s a composition so striking and so well-done that I wonder if Palen lent his eye on the day. A scene where Abbie watches Danni in the hospital shower is perfectly shot, as is one where two characters run down a spiral staircase. Many of the scenes between these gorgeous set pieces are flat (and like, really flat, a problem with a 3D movie), lit with garish reds and blues like Creepshow.

"But the movie is a blast. It’s absolutely over the top, and while it has real slow spots (like every single legit exploitation movie) by the end it is so crazy - Abbie goes on a pointless killing spree in the ICU during a chase - that you’ll be clapping and hollering, just like a grindhouse crowd in 1974. This is definitely a film to watch with a crowd (or at least some friends; the 3D is so useless that seeing it at home will make no difference. Also, it’s only playing in a handful of theaters), and it’s definitely a movie that could have a future as a midnight staple."

Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
"While the film might have been a guilty pleasure had it been made by the likes of Brian DePalma or Larry Cohen -- not to mention Abel Ferrara, whose similarly themed Ms. 45 is a classic of the genre -- director Doug Aarniokoski and co-screenwriter David Loughery fail to infuse the overly familiar elements with the necessary dark humor."

Ed Gonzalez, Slant
"No sense of moral complication arises from the elaborate and conspicuously far-from-evidence-free bloodbaths that Abby sets into motion against her pussy-blockers. Rather than capture truly pained souls tangled in exuberant horror tropes, the filmmakers settle for retrograde anguish and warmed-over artistry. This isn't idea-rich trash like Passion, a fizzy symphony of terror that commented on personality as mediated by image recording. Capturing evidence of Danni's accidentally cheating ways doesn't complicate Abby, only reveals her to be cut from the same crazy quilt as your garden-variety movie psychopath. Of course, that Nurse 3D suggests a worst-case-scenario gene splice of Orphan and Side Effects, which is to say it's exactly the film that Brian De Palma's naysayers think they see whenever they patronize one of the auteur's works, it at least succeeds in proving the adage that one man's trash is another's treasure."

Jason Shawhan, Nashville Scene
"Director/cowriter Douglas Aarniokoski has a gift for stylish sleaze. There’s one sequence involving a pas de deux on a spiral staircase that has all the elegance of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill museum pursuit — and in 3D, it’s magnificent. There are also moments that flail about and thud against the walls of cheap studios. You never really know what exactly is going to happen visually, which certainly makes Nurse a different kind of suspense film."

Ryan Turek, Shock Till You Drop
"De La Huerta’s Abby Russell is a nurse by day and a man-eater by night until she meets Katrina Bowden’s Danni, who she develops an unhealthy relationship with – one that involves bad decisions, a three-way, photographs and blackmail. When Danni ultimately rejects Abby’s advances, the story takes a De Palma-esque turn and Abby begins to set Danni up for a string of murders."


Posted by Geoff at 12:41 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 12, 2014 5:19 PM CST
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