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Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

Washington Post
review of Keesey book

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Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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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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Tuesday, September 24, 2019
DE PALMA-BLUMENFELD-VACHAUD BOOK NOV 7
CARLOTTA TO PUBLISH VERSION FROM 2 YEARS AGO, WITHOUT THE DVDS
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carlotta2019b.jpgOn November 7, Carlotta will publish a book-only edition of Brian De Palma: entretiens avec Samuel Blumenfeld and Laurent Vachaud. This will be the same version of the book that Carlotta had published two years ago, but this time there will be no DVDs included. According to Vachaud, the size of this upcoming edition will also be about 20% smaller than the DVD version from two years ago, which makes it approximately the same size as the original version of the book from 2001.

Posted by Geoff at 11:18 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, September 26, 2019 7:31 AM CDT
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Tuesday, April 16, 2019
ZOOM ARRIÈRE BLOG PUBLISHES BOOK ON DE PALMA
138 PAGES, 55 ARTICLES FROM 13 CONTRIBUTORS, REVISITING DE PALMA'S 29 FEATURES
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/zoomarriere.jpgThe French-language blog Zoom Arrière has published its first book, Les Films de Brian De Palma. The plan is to create, over time, a collection of similar books on films and filmmakers. "You will find (for a small fee), spread over 138 pages, 55 articles revisiting all of the director's 29 feature films, and more," states a post on the blog. "These articles are written by 13 contributors who have all participated, at one time or another, to the animation of this blog." The price of the book is 5 euros (plus 4 euros for postage), and can be ordered via the blog's online shop.

Posted by Geoff at 10:01 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018
DE PALMA VS DE PALMA - BOOK & FEST IN SPAIN, NOV '18
MOLINS DE REI HORROR FILM FEST, NOV 9-18; BOOK INCLUDES FORWARD BY KEITH GORDON
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/depalmavsdepalma.jpg"De Palma vs De Palma" will be the leitmotif for the 2018 Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival, which runs November 9-18, 2018, in Catalonia, Spain. "At 77 years of age, De Palma is still one of the North-American directors whose work is expected around the world," states Albert Galera, Arts Director of the festival, in a statement on the fest website. "It is beyond doubt that his latest film, Domino, is bound to be one of the favourites of 2018. De Palma is a synonym of respect, cinephilia, passion, skills, talent… Besides the premiere of his latest film, this year is the 40th anniversary of The Fury (1978), one of the greatest horror films that he has offered throughout a filmography which has developed for almost six decades."

Galera closes by saying, "Our fascination for Brian De Palma’s films, his personal and essential way of approaching horror, and his ability to seduce us again and again are the reasons why the 37th edition of the Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival is going to focus on mainly three words: Brian De Palma. This is going to be a year concerned with long sequence shots, split up screens, direct and metaphoric open-ups, provocation, desire and meddling. Now, get dressed to kill, free all your fury and get ready for a prom night bound to have amazing effects."

In addition, a book will be published ahead of the festival, also titled De Palma vs De Palma. El Terror Tiene Forma's Jesus Marti provides a nice rundown of the book:

El Festival de Cine de Terror de Molins de Rei (TerrorMolins) and Editorial Hermenaute collaborate for the third consecutive year in what will be its 37th edition with a book about the career of the North American director Brian De Palma. The veteran festival, which will be held from November 9 to 18, this year has as its central theme the director of Sisters and Phantom of the Paradise.

The book reviews the extensive film career of the director of Carrie and Carlito's Way among other essential films. It is a collective essay around the work of the great filmmaker, the great protagonist of the 2018 edition of the Terror Film Festival of Molins de Rei.

Under the title of De Palma vs. De Palma, the book explores many of the essential concepts of the work of De Palma from the personal vision of six authors, each of which focuses its individual analysis on one of these constants. Keith Gordon, actor in two films by Brian De Palma and American filmmaker, contributes with an emotional forward.

De Palma vs. De Palma is a book that deals with formal duality, split identity, aspects such as the split screen and the methodical amplification of Alfred Hitchcock's legacy. A book that avoids the hackneyed chronological analysis and offers an interesting discourse about the work of the New York based director in six complementary articles. De Palma vs De Palma gets, from the analysis of the filmography of the director of Dressed To Kill, make us rethink the discourse of his work and discover new theories. A book that vindicates the figure of one of the best and most controversial filmmakers in history; an essential essay for every movie buff and any curious reader interested in psychology, art, sociology and other fields intimately related to the seventh art, the thriller and the fantastic.

Coordinated by Albert Galera, the book has the signatures of Antonio José Navarro, Gerard Fossas, Jordi Batet, Jaume Claver, Ignasi Juliachs and the same Albert Galera, artistic director of TerrorMolins, writer and film historian.

Cover design: Marta Torres.


Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:31 AM CDT
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Thursday, September 21, 2017
CARLOTTA DE PALMA BOOK NOV 11
BLUMENFELD/VACHAUD REVISED EDITION TO INCLUDE SIX DVDs


Carlotta Films posted the image above on its Facebook page today, with this caption:
One of the new Hollywood cult filmmakers in an exceptional interview book! Published in 2001 and very quickly exhausted, the mythical book of Samuel Blumenfeld and Laurent Vachaud will be released on November 11 in a new revised version and updated with unprecedented interviews with the director, on his films made since then! Also included in the box: 6 film star films in DVD (Phantom of the Paradise, The Fury, Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, Body Double and Scarface).

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2017 12:03 AM CDT
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Friday, June 16, 2017
UPDATED EDITION OF VACHAUD/BLUMENFELD BOOK
TO BE PUBLISHED BY THE END OF 2017 BY CARLOTTA FILMS


The end of 2017 will see publication in France of an updated edition of the book, Brian De Palma: entretiens avec Samuel Blumenfeld and Laurent Vachaud. The new edition will be published by Carlotta Films. The original edition was published in France just as De Palma was releasing Femme Fatale, which received only a brief mention at the end of the book. The new edition will include new interviews covering the four features De Palma has made since then (including Femme Fatale), as well as additional interview material to some of the previous films, according to Vachaud. We are very much looking forward to this one!

Posted by Geoff at 7:52 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, June 16, 2017 7:44 AM CDT
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015
WASHINGTON POST BOOK REVIEW -
'BRIAN DE PALMA'S SPLIT-SCREEN: A LIFE IN FILM'
On Monday, The Washington Post's Dennis Drabelle posted a review of Douglas Keesey's recent book, Brian De Palma's Split-Screen: A Life In Film. Here are some excerpts:
Keesey has taken an unusual approach to his subject. Rather than lay down a biographical foundation at the outset, he introduces elements of De Palma’s private life as they crop up in his movies: 29 in all, which Keesey summarizes and analyzes in chronological order. (To avoid plot spoilage, save Keesey’s chapter on a given film until after you’ve seen it.) This works better than one might expect because, more than most directors, De Palma pours his psyche into his work. “When you’re making a movie,” he has said, “you think about it all the time — you’re dreaming about it, you wake up with ideas in the middle of the night — until you actually . . . shoot it. You have these ideas that are banging around in your head, but once you objectify them and lock them into a photograph or cinema sequence, then . . . they no longer haunt you.” De Palma has also written the scripts for many of his films, but Keesey could have done a better job of helping us keep track of who did what. The book cries out for a filmography.

As it turns out, De Palma has a highly charged past to draw on. When he was in his late teens, his father, an orthopedic surgeon in Philadelphia, allowed the boy to watch him in action. “I was standing right next to him in front of the operating room table,” De Palma recalled of one episode. “He cut off a patient’s leg and then gave it to me!” When Dr. De Palma had an extramarital affair, Brian found out about it, sided with his mother and got busy gathering evidence on her behalf with a tape recorder and a camera. And for all his eventual success, Brian was not the standout among the offspring. That honor went to his mathematically gifted older brother Bruce, with whom Brian had to compete as a kid. (Bruce later descended into what Keesey calls “a kind of hubristic madness.”)

De Palma works out that sibling rivalry in Sisters, in which the eponymous women — both played by Margot Kidder — were born as conjoined twins and then surgically separated. De Palma’s harrowing experience in that operating room helps account for the dismemberment in Body Double. As for using a tape recorder to gather incriminating evidence, look no further than Blow Out...

One more thing about Blow Out. Although it obviously owes something to Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (as even the titles suggest) and Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, I think Blow Out outclasses both forerunners in sheer entertainment value. In any case, that seems to be the way with De Palma: He is one of those artists whose forte is spinning variations on themes pioneered by others. And what’s wrong with that? What contemporary mystery writer hasn’t been strongly influenced, at least indirectly, by Wilkie Collins and James M. Cain? What writer of romances doesn’t owe a big debt to the Brontë sisters and Daphne du Maurier?

Hollywood has shamefully neglected De Palma; he’s never even been nominated for a best director Oscar. Brian De Palma’s Split-Screen announces that it’s time for a reassessment of his unjustly slighted oeuvre.


Posted by Geoff at 1:15 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 28, 2015
KEESEY'S BOOK ON DE PALMA IS OUT NOW
I just received my copy of Douglas Keesey's new book, Brian De Palma's Split-Screen: A Life In Film. I'll have to write more after I've read it, but upon initial browse-through, it appears to be a thoroughly-researched examination of De Palma's cinema, and an interpretation of each feature film (each one has its own chapter) as it relates to De Palma's personal life and career.

There is also a nice bit in the Acknowledgments: "No accounting of intellectual indebtedness would be complete without recognizing the key role that Geoff Beran and his website, De Palma a la Mod, have played in keeping viewers informed about all things directly or even tangentially related to De Palma. Beran's site is an endless treasure trove of facts, interpretations, opinions, and Web links, and it would be impossible for me to count how many times I visited it during the writing of this book." In the same paragraph, Keesey goes on to thank Bill Fentum, Romain Desbiens, and Ari Kahan.

Posted by Geoff at 12:45 AM CDT
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Thursday, January 15, 2015
NEW BOOK HAS CHAPTER ON DE PALMA
3RD VOLUME OF 'FAITH & SPIRITUALITY IN MASTERS OF WORLD CINEMA', PUBLISHED NEXT MONTH


Amazon link

Religious Imagery In The Films Of Brian De Palma
(blog post by Ryan M. Holt from February 28, 2014)


Posted by Geoff at 9:35 PM CST
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Sunday, November 2, 2014
NEW BOOK ON DE PALMA SCHEDULED FOR 2015
AUTHOR DOUGLAS KEESEY TO TAKE BIOGRAPHICAL APPROACH TO DE PALMA'S CINEMA
Amazon has a new book about Brian De Palma listed for publication on June 1, 2015, from University Press of Mississippi. The book, Brian De Palma's Split-Screen: A Life in Film, is by Douglas Keesey, who has previously written books about several filmmakers and actors, including Taschen books on Paul Verhoeven, Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, and the Marx Bros., as well as books covering the films of Peter Greenaway and Catherine Breillat. He has also written two books about erotic cinema, and one about Neo-Noir, which focuses on directors such as the Coen Brothers, David Lynch, Michael Mann, Christopher Nolan, Steven Soderbergh, and Quentin Tarantino.

Here is the description of the book from the Amazon listing:
Over the last five decades, the films of director Brian De Palma (b. 1940) have been among the biggest successes (The Untouchables, Mission: Impossible) and the most high-profile failures (The Bonfire of the Vanities) in Hollywood history. De Palma helped launch the careers of such prominent actors as Robert De Niro, John Travolta, and Sissy Spacek (who was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress in Carrie). Indeed Quentin Tarantino named Blow Out as one of his top three favorite films, praising De Palma as the best living American director. Picketed by feminists protesting its depictions of violence against women, Dressed to Kill helped to create the erotic thriller genre. Scarface, with its over-the-top performance by Al Pacino, remains a cult favorite. In the twenty-first century, De Palma has continued to experiment, incorporating elements from videogames (Femme Fatale), tabloid journalism (The Black Dahlia), YouTube, and Skype (Redacted and Passion) into his latest works. What makes De Palma such a maverick even when he is making Hollywood genre films? Why do his movies often feature megalomaniacs and failed heroes? Is he merely a misogynist and an imitator of Alfred Hitchcock? To answer these questions, author Douglas Keesey takes a biographical approach to De Palma's cinema, showing how De Palma reworks events from his own life into his films. Written in an accessible style, and including a chapter on every one of his films to date, this book is for anyone who wants to know more about De Palma's controversial films or who wants to better understand the man who made them.

Posted by Geoff at 10:13 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, November 2, 2014 10:17 PM CDT
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Thursday, May 15, 2014
GREVEN'S 'PSYCHO-SEXUAL' EXCERPT ONLINE
ON "DE PALMA'S INTERTEXTUAL HITCHCOCK PROJECT" AT ROGEREBERT.COM
RogerEbert.com published an excerpt today about Brian De Palma from David Greven's book, Psycho-Sexual. Here's the closing paragraph of the excerpt:

De Palma was one of the first film directors to treat Hitchcock as an established film grammar, a genre unto himself. By treating Hitchcock as a school rather than merely as a predecessor or competitor whose works could provide an example for commercial success, De Palma forced audiences to reconsider and relive the traumas and implications of Hitchcock’s cinema. The “proper” way to use a predecessor is, apparently, to evoke certain effects and instances of technique, but not to dwell on them. Steven Spielberg’s "Jaws" (1975) famously opens with a highly effective and disturbing variation on Psycho’s shower-murder sequence—the skinny-dipping girl’s nighttime swim and murderous attack from the shark—but then proceeds to camouflage all of its borrowings from Hitchcock. If Spielberg makes use of Hitchcock, he does so only sparingly, such as, to give another example, his evocation of the Mount Rushmore sequence in "North by Northwest" in his "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977), when the hero and his female ally try to scale Devil’s Mountain surreptitiously. De Palma’s use of Hitchcock certainly isn’t sparing; it’s the whole meal. He recreates Hitchcock’s major effects and then languorously, disturbingly distends them. In so doing, De Palma solicits criticism, but he also forces us to rethink Hitchcock and the work of the cinematic past generally. De Palma’s metatextual meditations are not ends to themselves but, instead, tethered to much larger political and social concerns. And these concerns are with the gendered and sexual logic of patriarchy and what happens to individuals when they attempt to challenge and, much more threateningly, break free of the social order.

Posted by Geoff at 11:56 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 15, 2014 11:58 PM CDT
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