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De Palma a la Mod


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Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


Warren Beatty's
Howard Hughes
moving forward

Filmmaker Mike
Cahill believes
he has world's
first double-
vertigo shot

Rie Rasmussen
to direct remake
of Cronenberg's

Mentor Tarantino
says she's the "perfect
choice" to direct

AV Club Review
of Dumas book

Spielberg Predicts
'Implosion' of
Film Industry

Scorsese tests
new Zaillian
script for
The Irishman
with De Niro,
Pacino, Pesci

James Franco
plans to direct
& star in
adaptation of Ellroy's
American Tabloid

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
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

« August 2014 »
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De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags


The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

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FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema


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A Lonely Place

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Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

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So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

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This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

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No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 12:41 PM CDT
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

"[Scarlett] Johansson plays Lucy as a mouthy hanger-on who’s transformed into a ninja Carrie White in The Matrix."
David Edelstein, Vulture

"For himself, Besson manages two intriguing bits: When Lucy kisses an Arab cop (Amr Waked) and tells him 'You’re a reminder' and a DePalma-style scene where she likens fast-motion film to human experience: 'Time is the only measure of existence.' Flashy and pithy. Take that, Richard Linklater!"
Armond White, National Review

Posted by Geoff at 2:08 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 27, 2014 8:11 PM CDT
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Sunday, July 20, 2014
The A.V. Club has posted a midyear look at the best films of 2014 so far, dubbing the article "a halftime report in superlatives." For "most jarring mid-film gear change," Mike D'Angelo writes about Zack Parker's Proxy, stating that the "slow-burn thriller about the dark side of motherhood is among the year’s most divisive movies, and a specific scene at its midpoint tends to divide yea-sayers from naysayers. The first half follows a young woman (Alexia Rasmussen) who turns to a support group after she’s viciously attacked while in the late stages of pregnancy, losing the baby as a result. Her subsequent friendship with another grieving mother (Alexa Havins) takes a series of increasingly odd turns, with Parker repeatedly upending assumptions about who these people are and what they want. Then comes the scene: a strikingly stylized set piece, equal parts Brian De Palma and Lars Von Trier, upending the narrative so completely that it takes a while to realize it wasn’t a dream sequence. Not everyone will appreciate Proxy’s abrupt new direction, which shifts focus to a degree meriting comparison to Psycho, but Parker’s willingness to risk failure and alienate viewers heralds an ambition too infrequently seen in contemporary genre fare. He’s the real deal."

Back in April, D'Angelo reviewed Proxy for The Dissolve, writing that Parker "combines a Hitchcockian penchant for disorientation with a Brian De Palma-esque formal bravado, and he’s made the rare film that’s impossible to peg all the way up to its final minutes—a truly unnerving study in multiple pathologies."

Posted by Geoff at 8:38 PM CDT
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Monday, July 14, 2014

Nacho Vigalondo's Open Windows, which he has previously indicated was partially inspired by Blow Out, will screen at this year's Fantasia International Film Festival, as part of a themed section dubbed "Antisocial Media." Fantasia's co-director, Mitch Davis, tells the Montreal Gazette's T'Cha Dunlevy that Open Windows "takes place entirely on a character’s computer screen. It’s almost like a Brian De Palma thriller, by way of Mike Figgis. It’s super-dynamic, volume-11 storytelling. Vigalondo sets these bizarre limitations, but by going into close-ups of all these different (computer screen) windows — hence the title — and shifting focus in a propulsive way as the lead character goes into a rabbit hole of criminality and conspiracy, it works brilliantly."

Meanwhile, Sensacine's Alejandro G. Calvo interviewed Vigalondo a couple of weeks ago, mentioning that with Open Windows, there is a lot of talk about Alfred Hitchcock, "but the truth is that [it] has a lot of Brian De Palma. Blow Out, of course, but also Redacted."

To which Vigalondo responded, "Well, Blow Out is my favorite De Palma film. That is a reference with which I feel very comfortable. I think he's a very ambitious, but at the same time, very human filmmaker. His films have both virtuosity and weaknesses, all wonderful. I feel much more comfortable with De Palma with Hitchcock, as I name them. If you allow it to be tagged as such, it is a beast of an ambition that seems an unattainable task. Then people write things like "this guy is trying to be the Hitchcock of the 21st Century" and, well, I do not mean anything! They are the ones who have written it! (laughs). So I prefer to think about De Palma, someone who I see as like family."

Posted by Geoff at 8:32 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 25, 2014
In a recap of this week's episode of FOX-TV's 24, Vulture's Aaron Aradillas states that one moment brought Brian De Palma's The Untouchables to mind:

"[This] led to the centerpiece action sequence of the episode," writes Aradillas. "Unlike the car chase from a couple episodes ago, the shootout and cat-and-mouse hunt for Margot’s precise location was a terrifically sustained piece of action moviemaking. Director Milan Cheylov does some nice close-quarter handheld camerawork, especially when Jack is working his way up several flights of stairs to get to Margot’s hideout. The score by Sean Callery during this sequence had a thrumming, Tangerine Dream–like intensity. Jack managed to stop the drone from destroying Waterloo Station in a classic bit of 24 keyboard precision. Margot looked particularly pathetic as she continued to taunt Jack even when she was in custody. She sneered, 'Hundreds of people died because of you and Heller … Their deaths are on your head!' Then, in a shocking moment that had echoes of Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables, Jack pulled an Eliot Ness and threw Margot out the window. 'The only death tonight on my head is yours!' he snarled. We can debate the murky morality of the moment, but there’s no denying the immediacy of it. Jack Bauer had done our dirty work. Again."

The full episode can be viewed at FOX.com.

Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 10:39 PM CDT
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Friday, June 13, 2014
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's 22 Jump Street, which opened in theaters today, features an apparently inspired use of split-screen that at least one reviewer has deemed De Palma-esque:

Scott Foundas, Variety
"...Lord and Miller also know how to sell a joke visually better than most contemporary comedy directors, and 22 Jump Street is rife with delightful throwaway visual gags, from De Palma-esque split screens to a car chase (between Hummer and helmet-shaped golf cart) that might have been designed by ‘60s-era Richard Lester."

Sam Cohen, Under The Gun Review
"There are even some sly winks at filmmakers like Michael Bay and Brian De Palma through the film’s multitude of comedic set pieces. The film begins with a shot that pans in over Schmidt and Jenko conversing on the top of a parking garage with the sunset in the background. Naturally, some stakes-raising music along with a complimentary lens flare occupy the sequence as an almost direct stab at the generic Hollywood blockbuster aesthetic. That’s the best part about 22 Jump Street, it knows what films to make fun of it but it invites you to be a part of the joke as the viewer."

Posted by Geoff at 7:13 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, June 13, 2014 7:15 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 6:13 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The influence of Brian De Palma's Carrie on the climax of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds has previously been mentioned/discussed here and here, and now the Tea And A Movie Tumblr has posted side-by-side frame comparisons that make the links between the two movies pretty clear. When you go to the tumblr, click on one of the images to see larger versions.

Posted by Geoff at 7:49 PM CDT
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Monday, June 9, 2014

Brice Dellsperger's video series, Body Double, which is titled after the Brian De Palma film of the same name, is currently on exhibit at New York's Team Gallery. The show, which consists of all thirty videos in the series, began yesterday, and continues through August 1st. According to the Team Gallery website, "the program changes weekly, repeating itself mid-way through the exhibition to give viewers several chances to view all the pieces."

The press release states, "For the past two decades, Dellsperger has developed a vast, nearly overwhelming body of work, titled Body Double after Brian De Palma’s psycho-sexual thriller of the same name. The oeuvre consists of thirty video works, investigations into the conceptual, social and formal tropes that inform cinema and spectatorship. Both reverent and destructive towards his source material, the artist’s practice voraciously cannibalizes and digests iconic moments in film. The resultant works are arresting, both viscerally affecting and deeply cerebral, heavily informed by film and queer theory.

"The act of doubling is among the work’s central conceits; contending not only with issues of material and visual replication, but also with the duplicative nature of film itself. Dellsperger elaborately reproduces famous movies with varying degrees of loyalty to the original texts. He most often casts just one or two actors, most often himself or the artist Jean-Luc Verna made up as women, in all roles. Certain elements – narrative chronology, characters’ original gender identities – are frequently abandoned, while others – score, dialogue – remain intact. Each artwork is the drag-queen doppelganger of its source: a dedicatedly faithful and wholly recognizable copy, but one that is forthcoming with its artificiality.

"The content and the title are direct references to Brian De Palma, specifically to the titular 1984 film, which skewers Hollywood through a depiction of its underworld double – the porn industry. The title Body Double refers simultaneously to this original source material, the artist’s use of surrogate actors and to De Palma's own repeated use of three films by Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window, Vertigo, and Psycho, as blueprints to build upon. Dellsperger’s similarly imitative works are complex and unending mirrors, reflecting their own reflections ad infinitum. He rejects the notion of artist as demiurge; the act of reframing pre-existing materialfunctions crucially and visibly at every level of his art.

"The works subvert the straightforward readings of sexual identity we expect when we go to the movies. For example, a scene from De Palma’s Dressed to Kill is re-enacted by the artist dressed as a woman, portraying both halves of a heterosexual couple. The original sequence relies on ambiguity: the viewer derives excitement from her confusion as to who is following whom. The Body Double version creates a secondary queer narrative of lust and narcissistic abandon, while also leaving the original power of De Palma’s film intact. Dellsperger’s piece also acts as a metaphor for the mimetic relationship between film and life – the 'chase scene' that takes the cinematic and the real as its ever-trysting protagonists.

"The gallery will show all thirty extant works from the series. The program changes weekly, repeating itself mid-way through the exhibition to give viewers several chances to view all the pieces. Our Grand Street space will show one video each week as a large-scale single channel projection. The Wooster Street space will be treated as something of a lab, in which five monitors display single-channel pieces, while a triptych of flat screens exhibit Dellsperger’s multiple-channel films. Many of these works have never been screened in New York. Among the texts re-interpreted by the artist are those of such vaunted auteurs as Kubrick, Anger, Lynch, Zulawski, Hitchcock and Fassbinder; lesser-respected works chosen by Dellsperger for their pop cultural power (Saturday Night Fever, Return of the Jedi and Flash Gordon among them) and, of course, many troublesome, still controversial scenes from the work of De Palma."

The Team Gallery website also features PDF's of print reviews of Dellsperger's works, including this recent article by Mara Hoberman from a recent issue of ArtForum.

Posted by Geoff at 8:25 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014 8:27 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The upper image above is a shot from the new short film by Romain Lehnhoff, Username: Carmen (the title is a play, of course, on the title of Jean Luc Godard's First Name: Carmen), juxtaposed with a shot from Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill (itself informed by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho). Username: Carmen, which you can watch here, is a comedy created for Welcome To The Other Side, a short film festival contest that asked entrants to create a film of six-minutes or less, that involves the provided synopsis: "Following a misunderstanding, an individual walks into a room of absurdity (or nonsense)." The film also had to take place on May 23, 2014, and include "Un plan à l’envers."

Username: Carmen won Lehnhoff the top prize in the contest in Lille, France. The film is in French, with no subtitles, but you can follow it if you know it involves a guy (a student) who has an essay due the next day about the place of opera in today's music. Desperate, he finds a forum of opera lovers and asks them for help.

Thinking he's being clever while his girlfriend is in the shower, he uses the name "Carmen" as his user name, but finds that the forum is full of horny guys who only want to help "her" if he shares a picture-- he's about to tell them he's sorry, but he is a guy, but they insist on the pic as the only way they'll help "her," so he posts a pic of his girlfriend. After they go gaga over how "pretty" she is, etc., etc., the student gets ticked off by the whole thing, resulting in a hilarious act of rage, which his girlfriend walks in on at the end.

Aside from the above nod to Dressed To Kill, Romain also threw in a "quote" from De Palma's Mission: Impossible -- when the student types in his password, you'll see that the password is "JOB314."

Posted by Geoff at 12:31 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 29, 2014 6:55 PM CDT
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