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De Palma a la Mod

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De Palma Discussion
Forum

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Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-De Palma attached
to The Truth and
Other Lies

-De Palma hopes to
shoot Lights Out
in summer 2016

-De Palma doc
in theaters 6/10/16
Poster is here

-Raising Cain Blu-ray
due June 28, 2016,
extras 'in progress'

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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« May 2016 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

No Harm In Charm

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
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The House Next Door

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Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

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A Lonely Place

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italkyoubored

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Hope Lies at
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So Why This Movie?

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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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Thursday, May 26, 2016
JIM HEMPHILL ON BRIAN DE PALMA
"IT'S HARD TO THINK OF A DIRECTOR WHOSE WORK YIELDS MORE REWARDS ON REPEAT VIEWINGS"
Screenwriter/director Jim Hemphill has posted an article in anticipation of the American Cinematheque series on Brian De Palma, which begins next week. "It takes a lot of confidence to begin a movie with a clip from perhaps the most famous film noir of all time," begins Hemphill in the article, "as Brian De Palma does in the first scene of his 2002 erotic thriller Femme Fatale. That film’s opening scene, which unfolds via a virtuoso long take in which we're introduced to the lead character and major themes of the film without a cut, begins with an image from Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity on a television and ends with a hotel room curtain being pulled aside to reveal the Cannes Film Festival red carpet. Inviting comparison with Wilder and referencing the most prestigious film festival on earth makes a bold statement right off the bat, but De Palma doesn’t merely invite the comparisons he’s making – he earns them, and then goes beyond Wilder’s influence to create a film that is both a superb example of the film noir form and a commentary on it, as well as an evolutionary step forward in terms of the tradition’s approach to women. While it would be a stretch to call Femme Fatale a feminist manifesto, in its own sly way it answers the charges of misogyny often leveled against film noir by setting in motion a gleefully complicated puzzle of a plot in which one commanding man after another finds his sense of order disrupted by the female jewel thief at the movie’s center. It’s not just that Laure (Rebecca Romjin) undermines the guys and their world; De Palma himself subverts a century of established cinematic 'rules' to place the audience in the position of the bewildered men stripped of their power – and he does it with so much pizzazz that we’re grateful to have the rug pulled out from under us."

Below is the closeing paragraph from Hemphill's article, and you can read the whole thing at American Cinematheque.
De Palma’s career is all the more remarkable for his ability to adapt to changing circumstances – both his own and those of the film industry at large. Regardless of the size of his canvas, the potency of his vision is undiluted, whether he’s working in the low-budget experimental realm (as in Redacted or early apprentice efforts like Murder a la Mod and Dionysus in ’69) or on the kinds of big-budget tent-poles that stifle less robust personalities. When De Palma takes a studio assignment on a film like The Untouchables or Mission: Impossible, he fuses his own preoccupations with the demands of the material in a way that serves both; his stylistic and thematic obsessions expand to broader dimensions thanks to their expression in a new form, and the films’ escapist set-pieces are more entertaining and charged with energy because of the artistic drives motivating them. There’s never any sense of De Palma following the old “one for me, one for them” (them being the studio) formula in his career – they’re all for him, and they’re all for us. It’s hard to think of a director whose work yields more rewards on repeat viewings, or whose dense visual representations and allusions gain more from being experienced on the big screen –making the Cinematheque’s retrospective one of the essential repertory events of 2016 thus far.

Posted by Geoff at 7:54 AM CDT
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Friday, May 13, 2016
CZECH MAG 'FILM A DOBA' - FOCUS ON DE PALMA
CURRENT ISSUE FEATURES ESSAYS ON DE PALMA & HIS WORK, NEW INTERVIEW WITH DONAGGIO


Brian De Palma is the focus of the new issue of the quarterly magazine Film a doba, which has a still from De Palma's Sisters on its cover. The issue includes a new interview with Pino Donaggio by Jan Švábenický, as well as several essays: "Double View Brian De Palma" by Rudolf Schimera, "The Sixties - the Emergence of Poetics" by Jan Křipač, "Hitchcock à la De Palma" by Milan Hain, "Not a Gangster Like Gangster. Scarface vs Carlito's Way" by Jana Bébarová, "Snake Eyes on the edge of eccentricity: analytical notes on the poetry of Brian De Palma" by Radomír D. Kokeš, and "Hidden intensity. John Lithgow in Brian De Palma" by Michal Kří̀.

Posted by Geoff at 2:24 AM CDT
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Friday, May 6, 2016
NYC - DE PALMA RETROSPECTIVE IN JUNE
AT METROGRAPH; FULL LINE-UP TWEETED BY THE FILM STAGE

Posted by Geoff at 3:03 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 6, 2016 3:05 AM CDT
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016
WEDNESDAY TWEET

Posted by Geoff at 11:51 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 11:52 PM CDT
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Saturday, April 23, 2016
TWEET - DE PALMA ITINERARY 2003, L.A. TO PARIS

Posted by Geoff at 11:10 AM CDT
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Tuesday, April 19, 2016
TWEETS: DE PALMA SPOKE AT CLASS IN NY TODAY





Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Monday, April 18, 2016
'THE RADICAL COMEDIES OF BRIAN DE PALMA'
PODCAST LOOKS AT DE PALMA'S COMEDIES FROM 1968-1980
Illusion Travels By Streetcar: A Podcast About Cinema looks at "The Radical Comedies of Brian De Palma" in episode #98. The podcast discussion takes off from the idea that the De Palma of Hi, Mom! would be the perfect choice to direct a version of The Bonfire Of The Vanities, if that latter film had been made in De Palma's early days. From there, the conversation goes off in several interesting directions, and includes rare discussion and pointed references from films such as Get To Know Your Rabbit, Dionysus In '69 (even though it's "not a comedy"), and more. Definitely worth a listen.

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 12:34 AM CDT
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Saturday, March 12, 2016
MORE FISK, ON WORKING WITH DE PALMA
"HE REALLY TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE SETS, PROBABLY MORE THAN ANYONE I WORKED WITH"
Following our post from earlier this month in which we linked to an interview with production designer Jack Fisk by The Playlist's Charlie Schmidlin, and the current Fisk series at New York's Museum Of The Moving Image, the current issue of Film Comment also has Michael Sragow interviewing Fisk. In the following excerpt from the latter, Fisk answers Sragow's question, "Why haven’t you worked with Brian De Palma recently?"
I’d love to work with De Palma again. When I finished Badlands, Ed Pressman the producer said come and work with Brian De Palma on this film I’m doing, Phantom of the Paradise. Brian can appear kind of gruff. I showed up, kind of assigned to the project, and he asked, “What have you done?” Well, I hadn’t done much. I had finished Badlands. I had done a lot of Roger Corman and Gene Corman films up to then. I started working on that film, and I don’t pretend to know everything but I started presenting ideas about the character. We were doing this great thing about the music industry. I came out of my house one morning and there was this dead bird lying on the side of the road. And I picked it up, and I got this idea for an image for Death Records. It was actually a sparrow, but I was thinking of it poetically as a songbird, and I thought it could be a logo for Death Records. I took a picture with a process camera and made an image of it. And I think Brian responded to that. Long story short, three years ago one of my daughters shows up with a shirt on with that bird on it, and someone’s marketing it on the Internet 40 years later. That was a fun thing.

And then I had these ideas of Swan’s office desk being an old record, his bedroom being a turntable with gold record sheets. I never really knew what Brian thought but I was working like crazy. And we were about to do the scene when Finley [Winslow/The Phantom] breaks out of a brick wall—somebody has locked him in this office to write and fixed it so he’d never get out, and he does bust out. Well, I was new to film and I was making the bricks and mortaring them together during lunch. The grips came back, and they were ready to shoot, and I wasn’t quite finished. I was covered with mortar and sweat and stuff, and one of the grips started giving me hard time: “You’re not a professional: you should have done this a long time ago!” And I can’t tell you exactly what Brian said, but it was something like, “Shut up, he’s making the film look great.” It was the first time I knew he was excited with what we were doing, because it was really kind of out there—out there like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. I called a friend of mine who was a costume designer, and said, “I’m doing this film with Brian De Palma, it’s about the Devil, Faust, and all that,” and she said, “You can’t use black and red, that’s for sure.” The way she said it, I just got it into me, “I’m going to use black and red” and so I did. Sometimes I just like to go against what everybody thinks. She was a woman of taste but I thought, I like black and red. Also, we didn’t have a lot of money, so you could black out something and not see it and it would work really well. Sometimes I wanted the sets to go black and the DP overlit them, and I get upset to this day when I see it, because there are things that were supposed to be black that are gray. All we had to do was just shut off a few lights. Working with Brian was great fun, and with Carrie, the same thing.

Brian called me afterwards to work with him, but our schedules just didn’t work out. I love Brian. He’s a wonderful filmmaker. He actually storyboarded every shot. At the time he would do it on 3 x 5 cards, with stick figures. You could go into his office and see the whole film laid out on the wall. Every scene. So I knew what he was going to shoot and it was easier to design the sets because I knew what he wanted and who the characters were and where the camera was going to be. And he stuck pretty much to that. And he would show up on set and he would get so bored waiting for lighting and waiting for people to get made up, because he’d already made the film in his mind. He really took advantage of the sets; probably more than anyone I worked with, he would use them and took a certain delight in them. He was a fun director.

You know, someone did a remake of Carrie. I know Brian knows the director who directed it. And someone was talking to him and to her about how they did the bucket of blood that gets dumped on her. And the new one, they engineered with effects and levers and stuff like that. And I think it cost them about $200,000 to dump the blood on Carrie. And someone was talking to him and her about the new dump, engineered with effects and levers. And they asked Brian how he did it, and he said, “Jack Fisk just climbed up a ladder and dumped a bucket of blood on her.” That low-tech thing we did in the ’70s because we didn’t have much money. Sometimes it works just as well or better.


Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, March 13, 2016 12:00 AM CST
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Sunday, February 14, 2016
SCORSESE RECALLS 1973 NEW YORK CITY
MARQUEE IMAGE IN 'VINYL' PILOT CALLS BACK TO 'DEEP THROAT' DAYS
The pilot episode of HBO's Vinyl is directed by Martin Scorsese, who created the series along with Mick Jagger. The pilot, essentially a new two-hour Scorsese picture, begins with its main character, Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale) scoring some drugs on a New York street before being shaken by rowdy partiers into abandoning his car to follow them via some sort of Dionysian impulse into a building where the New York Dolls are performing to a crowd of rabid fans. Finestra observes motionless, but drugged-out impressed as the band has the crowd eating out of its hands. A little later in the movie (actually, after the story has flashed back a handful of days prior to its opening), Finestra is riding in a car and spies the marquee of a movie theater showing a double feature: Deep Throat and The Devil In Miss Jones.

"IT OPENED UP THE SOCIETY"

With the latter scene mentioned above, I couldn't help but be reminded of Scorsese's mention about going to see Deep Throat with Brian De Palma in the 1970s. The following is from page 116 of Richard Schickel's book, Conversations With Scorsese, during a discussion of Scorsese's Taxi Driver:

Schickel: The woman—a society campaign worker—is attracted to Travis because he’s so out of her league, as it were. Her Junior League, I guess. Which makes this notion of taking her to a porn movie—

Scorsese: Oh! I know. Well, you have to remember, a lot of people don’t remember now, but at that time, they were trying to make porn acceptable, with Deep Throat and Sometimes Sweet Susan, and pictures like that.

Schickel: I went to a few of those.

Scorsese: It was okay to go with a girl. But Brian De Palma and I went to see Deep Throat, and he said, Look at the people around us, it doesn’t feel right. There were couples. I said, You’re right. We should be with all these old guys in raincoats. It was a wonderful kind of hypocritical thing that was happening—it opened up the society.


Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 15, 2016 12:23 AM CST
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Saturday, January 30, 2016
TRAILER: DE PALMA DVD COLLECTION IN BRAZIL
ALL-REGION INCLUDES 'BLOW OUT' - 'SISTERS' - 'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE'

The trailer above is for the just-released Versátil limited edition 2-DVD set, "A Arte de Brian De Palma". The set includes "restored versions" of three films: Blow Out, Sisters, and Phantom Of The Paradise, as well as extras that include separate interview segments with De Palma, Pino Donaggio, and Vilmos Zsigmond discussing Blow Out, De Palma talking about Phantom Of The Paradise, the making of Sisters, and the usual trailers.

Posted by Geoff at 5:54 PM CST
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