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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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De Palma interviewed
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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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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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Wednesday, December 9, 2015
VIDEO: BRIAN DE PALMA - SPLIT DIOPTER SHOT

Brian de Palma // Split Diopter Shot from Jaume R. Lloret on Vimeo.



Over at Press Play, Max Winter writes of the above video, "Because Brian De Palma is fascinated by the inherently Byzantine nature of human activity, be it war, detective work, murder, or espionage, it makes perfect sense that he would be drawn to the split diopter shot, which uses an attachment that gives equal focus to both close and distant objects. De Palma doesn't want us to miss anything. Even as Caruso sings on stage, the murderous Al Capone sits a matter of feet away from him, in The Untouchables; even as a drone scratches his head in Mission: Impossible, a stealthy thief hangs above him; even as a blond, all-American teen boy sits bored at a classroom desk, a tortured girl writhes inwardly not far away from him in Carrie. What's the effect? It's a tightening in the chest, it's a sense that there's something we missed previously, it's the feeling that something bad is about to happen, or could. This video by Jaume Lloret is a tight visual hymn to De Palma's famed use of the shot--watch it, and see if you don't feel uncomfortable afterwards."

Posted by Geoff at 1:04 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, December 13, 2015 11:44 AM CST
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
DE PALMA FOCUS IN NORWEGIAN MAG Z
TWO OF THE ARTICLES ARE ONLINE
The new issue of Z, a Norwegian film magazine, focuses on the films of Brian De Palma. Two of the issue's 11 articles are currently available to read online. One of those, It Has Nothing To Do With Satan, Mama by Roskva Koritzinsky, looks at downtrodden youths and supernatural powers in De Palma's Carrie and Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In.

In the other online article (one of four in which a cinéaste "from home or abroad" chooses either three favorite scenes, or a flash from a De Palma film that they find memorable), Andrew Grant looks at scenes that use New York as a backdrop, from Hi, Mom!, The Bonfire Of The Vanities, and Dressed To Kill.

Posted by Geoff at 1:12 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 1:14 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
LEGUIZAMO: 'I WOULD WORK w/DE PALMA ANY TIME'
"HE IS ONE OF THE GREAT, AMERICAN, ORIGINAL DIRECTORS"
John Leguizamo, who has appeared in two Brian De Palma films (Casualties Of War and Carlito's Way), has adapted his one-man-show Ghetto Klown into a graphic novel, illustrated by Christa Cassano and Shamus Beyale, and published by Abrams ComicArts. A couple of weeks ago, Alex Dueben posted an interview with Leguizamo at Comic Book Resources, which included the following exchange:
Dueben: In the book you talk about some of the people you worked with, and I have to say that both Brian De Palma and Steven Seagal seem nuts -- De Palma in a different, more interesting way than Seagal. What was it like working with them?

Leguizamo: I disagree -- Brian does not come across as nuts, he comes across as a filmmaker who knows how to work actors and manipulate them to get the best performance out of them. If you have ever worked with actors, it's a lot of psychology, babysitting and handholding. I know; I've directed. I love actors and they bring so much to their work but you still have to do lots of diplomatic tiptoeing. I would work with De Palma any time. He is one of the great, American, original directors.

Now Seagal is not interesting crazy, just dickish! He has no respect for others and that is so damaging to the whole creative process that real actors subscribe to. I'm not the only person he's hit without warning. He's done it many times and it's inexcusable. We are there to make a great story and help everyone achieve this task, be they the director or the writer or the other actors. He only cares about himself to the point of inflicting harm to others.


Previously:
LEGUIZAMO TALKS 'CASUALTIES OF WAR'

Posted by Geoff at 12:18 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 12:21 AM CST
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