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Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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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
Shivers

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
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

« April 2014 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

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

Directorama

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

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
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Cop-Out
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De Palma Blog-A-Thon  «
De Palma Discussion
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Sunday, March 10, 2013
DE PALMA DOSSIER, PART 2
SUMMARIES OF FIVE MORE ESSAYS
On Thursday, Feux Croises posted a De Palma Dossier made up of eight new essays about De Palma's cinema. That same day, I posted summaries of the first three essays. Here are summaries of the remaining five:

In Le mauvais œil, Feux Croises' co-creator Cédric Bouchoucha looks at the way De Palma and his characters attempt to reconfigure space via editing, whether by placing a body double in a shower, or, as in Snake Eyes, showing two different points of view of the same event via split-screen. "For De Palma," states Bouchoucha, "this coexistence in the space of the frame, though impossible, can take several forms," including split-diopter shots that collapse the space between two characters, the aforementioned split-screens, and cross fades, such as the one in The Untouchables where the still image of the four crimefighters is replaced by the face of a smiling Al Capone. Discussing the "infinite sadness" of some of De Palma's characters as they fall into a world of disillusion, Bouchoucha notes of Passion that after Christine humiliates Isabelle in public, she asks here where her sense of humor is. "The terrible, unexpected laughter of Isabelle is a distant echo of Selina Kyle in the ballroom scene of Batman Returns."

In Woton’s Wake: Un conte d’un sculpteur et d’un cinéaste, Li-chen Kuo looks at how De Palma constructed a film about the cinema via the myth of a sculptor. Kuo notes the opening shot, which shows a bookshelf full of film books, with one title, "Woton's Wake," in flames and leaning against them, signalling a film about cinema. "The idea to animate the inanimable has been linked to cinema from the moment of its invention," Kuo states, "and the story of Pygmalion and Galatea had also been staged in 1898 by Georges Méliès. The film attempts to fix the figures by placing them in another medium and sets motion to the image. Cinema fixes them in their 'life', and thus declares the desire for movement. In sculptural art is also this transformation into 'real', into 'life.' These two arts, film and sculpture, attach themselves to common desires: the desire to see and touch." Kuo links De Palma to the sculptor played by William Finley, the latter creating a woman out of metal trinkets, the former "sculpting a film" out of several types of material, physical or conceptual. "How would you define the act of Brian De Palma in this film?" asks Kuo. "Close to his character, the filmmaker collects fragments of images, movie scenes, diegetic motifs, by cutting the film reel, sticking them back together, and ultimately shaping a new form." Kuo adds that this early short from De Palma "does not explicitly explore the question of point of view." As Luc Lagier has pointed out, Kuo writes, Woton's Wake was made in 1962, prior to JFK's assassination, and "could thus be considered a work still 'innocent'."

In D’envol en chute : ce qui hantera toujours De Palma, Sidy Sakho states that "All De Palma is indeed a history of vertigo, that of a man - often a woman - haunted by an image, a unique sound. The line of nearly all his stories is that of the absolute abandonment of heroes and an ideal that is forever elusive." Sakho further states that the resolution of the puzzle in a De Palma film is "above all a false movement, already dead" (or a stalemate). Sakho elaborates on this by describing the bombastic fanfare of the opening shot (sequence) of Snake Eyes as, cruelly, also being a swan song for Nick Santoro, as well as for the viewer. Sakho suggests that the gaze in De Palma's cinema is, like Ethan Hunt dangling just above the Langley floor in Mission: Impossible, forever caught "between the fall and impact, when fear of death and the hope of a recovery question one another."

In Cils conducteurs, Claire Allouche suggests that Chris Marclay's Up And Out, which presents the moving image of Antonioni's Blow-Up against the sound from De Palma's Blow Out, allows us to see the latter's images again, despite the sound being dissociated from its images. This puts the viewer of Up And out in a similar position to Blow Out's soundman protagonist, Jack. "In this sense," writes Allouche, "the plot of Blow Up could pass for a 'film location scouting' and that of Blow Out for 'film postproduction.'" Allouche further notes that Blow-Up is longer than Blow Out by five minutes, leaving the Marclay film to end in silence. "We do not know the meaning ascribed to Thomas," writes Allouche, "and yet our lost gaze is directed towards the imaginary game of tennis. Up and Out ends in a world where reality does not provide anything more to see and hear. The dark room is an anechoic chamber, a heart beating intensely as at the beginning of the De Palma film. Between terrifying scream and spellbinding silence, Up and Out takes one last breath. The 'blow' reasserts itself. But this time, it is ours."

And finally, in William Finley, fantôme dionysiaque, Laurent Husson offers up a tribute to Finley as an important figure who "decisively contributed to forging the subversive tone of the De Palma cinema."


Posted by Geoff at 10:59 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 10, 2013 10:59 PM CST
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Thursday, March 7, 2013
DE PALMA DOSSIER
EIGHT ESSAYS POSTED TODAY @ FEUX CROISES, TIMED W/'PASSION' RELEASE
Feux Croises had been planning a Brian De Palma Dossier to post last month, as Passion opened in France, but the site had to postpone the series of essays for unknown reasons. The Dossier opened up today on the site, featuring eight essays exploring various facets of De Palma's cinema.

In De Palma ou l'art du visible, Jérôme Dittmar sees De Palma's cinema constructions (themselves full of cubist complications and deconstructions of their own systems and the viewer's gaze) as ultimately a search for the right image. "If Nicolas Cage should go back to the opening shot of Snake Eyes to solve the puzzle and understand what was behind this whole scene, the result ultimately matters more than the process," writes Dittmar. He later adds, "With its large YouTube collage, Redacted said the same thing: all the pictures are there, you just need to put them in order with a movie clapper in the face of modern cinema, to impose the logic of classicism."

In Brian Does Hollywood, Chloé Beaumont notes that De Palma's Body Double is "much more than a reading of Vertigo, but is "primarily a work of the actor." Where the hero of Vertigo has the job of the voyeur, the spy/detective, the hero of Body Double's job as an actor gets turned on its head as he is fired and becomes voyeur. The weapon of the voyeur, the "viewer", becomes the remote control, allowing him to dissect the images. Meanwhile, the villain of the film has no trouble playing his part, being the director as well as the actor. Beaumont also explores the two ends of the tunnel in which Jake has a bout of claustrophobia, with the white, glowing "movie screen" behind the Indian at one end, and the unattainable femme fatale at the other. "It is by meeting and saving the pornographic actress Holly, the inverse of Gloria, that the illusions of his own milieu vanish."

In Brian De Palma et le bonheur, Rémy Russotto suggests that despite all the wrangling with paranoid or fragmentary perspectives of his protagonists, De Palma's cinema produces solid images that fill in the holes: "a complete answer to the questions posed by the films." (This reminds of the working title for Armond White's never completed De Palma study, "Total Illumination.") Russotto looks at the endings of De Palma's recent films, noting of Femme Fatale that, "Against all odds, the film ends well. We go from black to white." And following the flash of the corpse on the front lawn at the end of The Black Dahlia, Scarlett Johansson is the mother figure that asks the hero to "come inside." Writes Russotto, "She closes the door. The end. All corpses are left outside, disappeared."

I'll post summaries of the other essays tomorrow or the next day.


Posted by Geoff at 12:46 AM CST
Updated: Friday, March 8, 2013 4:57 PM CST
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Friday, June 22, 2012
A GREAT IDEA...


Posted by Geoff at 8:54 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2012 8:56 PM CDT
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Friday, March 30, 2012
CINEFILES LOOKS AT SELECTED DE PALMA THRILLERS
'SISTERS', 'DRESSED TO KILL', 'BLOW OUT', & 'RAISING CAIN' DISCUSSED


They get a couple of details wrong here and there, but this is a great old-fashioned discussion from a group of guys who generally seem to know what they're talking about. Not to nitpick, but I feel the need to set a couple of things straight. Eric Cohen takes Bernard Herrmann's quote during the making of Sisters out of context: it was when De Palma wanted to start his picture with the blind girl walking into the men's locker room that Herrmann insisted that, because nothing scary or thrilling happened in the movie until later on, Sisters should open with a title sequence featuring his ominous music. When De Palma tried to argue that Hitchcock did it, Herrmann reminded the young director that he was not Hitchcock, and nobody in the audience was going to wait for him to start his story.

This next thing is clarified near the end of the video, but... Later in the CineFiles discussion on Raising Cain, Cohen states that the film was taken out of De Palma's control, but in actuality, it was De Palma himself who decided to recut the film, with the help of editor Paul Hirsch. The discussion above also touches on Peet Gelderblom's Raising Cain Re-Cut.

Posted by Geoff at 8:16 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012 8:49 PM CDT
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Friday, March 11, 2011
DE PALMA DISCUSSION ACROSS THE WEB
FROM THE 'BRIAN DE PALMA FILM CLUB' TO AN A.V. CLUB PRIMER
Discussion about the films of Brian De Palma across the web are currently at a high point after The A.V. Club's Noel Murray and Scott Tobias posted a critically thorough "primer" on De Palma yesterday. As of this writing, "292 reasonable discussions" have been posted as comments in response to the three-page article, debating everything from the underrated status of Snake Eyes to the balance of style and emotional content in De Palma's films. The article covers every feature film in De Palma's oeuvre, each one falling under one of five headings: "101: The Thrillers," "Intermediate: The Genre Exercises," "Advanced: The Experiments," "Demerits," and "Misc." The article concludes with a list of "The Essentials":
1. Blow Out
2. Carlito's Way
3. Femme Fatale
4. Casualties Of War
5. Phantom Of The Paradise.

Meanwhile, about a month ago, The Abbott Gran Old Tyme Medicine Show opened up the "Brian De Palma Film Club," asking readers to watch a chosen De Palma film that everyone could then discuss together. The first film they watched was The Fury, and this week, Raising Cain. Each film has led to some terrific discussion, so check it out and, if so inspired, add to the dialogue.

Posted by Geoff at 1:37 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:20 AM CST
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Friday, August 20, 2010
MOVIE GEEKS EXAMINE "THE DE PALMA THRILLER"
TRIBUTE TO DE PALMA LEADS UP TO 70TH BIRTHDAY
Brian De Palma will turn 70 on September 11th, and Movie Geeks United! is preparing a fantastic-looking slate of shows that week leading up to the occasion, with a rich line-up of special guests. The guests are still being added, but here is what they have so far:

The De Palma Thriller: SISTERS - Monday, September 6 at 10pm EST
featuring special guests author/critic John Kenneth Muir and producer Edward R. Pressman

The De Palma Thriller: CARRIE - Tuesday, September 7 at 10pm EST
featuring special guests author/critic John Kenneth Muir, actress Nancy Allen, and additional insights from critic Armond White

The De Palma Thriller: DRESSED TO KILL - Wednesday, September 8 at 10pm EST
featuring special guests author/critic John Kenneth Muir, actress Nancy Allen, actor Keith Gordon, and producer George Litto

The De Palma Thriller: BLOW OUT - Thursday, September 9 at 10pm EST
featuring special guests author/critic John Kenneth Muir, actress Nancy Allen, and producer George Litto, with additional insights from cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.

The De Palma Thriller: RAISING CAIN - Friday, September 10 at 10pm EST
featuring special guests author/critic John Kenneth Muir and editor Paul Hirsch

Keep up to date at Movie Geeks United!.
(Thanks to Jamey!)


Posted by Geoff at 1:43 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, August 20, 2010 5:31 PM CDT
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Posted by Geoff at 9:45 PM CDT
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