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Are Snakes
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De Palma Masterclass,
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Pics, quotes from
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Donaggio records
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Washington Post
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Exclusive Passion
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Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
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Tuesday, May 22, 2018
DE PALMA FRIEND JENNIFER FOX'S 'THE TALE'
DE PALMA TOLD HER LAURA DERN WAS THE ONLY ACTRESS TO HAVE THE GUTS TO TAKE THIS ROLE


The Tale, a deeply personal story of abuse from filmmaker Jennifer Fox, premieres on HBO this Saturday (May 26th). Fox is a friend of Brian De Palma's, who, by several accounts below, was instrumental in bringing this project to the attention of Laura Dern. Broadly's Kerensa Cadenas posted a profile/interview piece on Fox today-- this is from the introduction:
Jennifer Fox isn’t new to Hollywood—the accomplished documentarian has directed and produced many of her own docs and supported others work as well. She can count Hollywood legends like director Brian De Palma and Oren Moverman as friends and mentors. (Both of whom were more than willing to call up Laura Dern on her behalf.) Though many would be apprehensive to divulge their personal histories on film, Fox was excited to do so with The Tale.

Premiering on HBO this Friday, May 26, The Tale tells the true story of Fox’s own childhood. When Fox (played by Dern) was 13, she wrote a short story documenting her relationship with an older man. When her mother Nettie (Ellen Burstyn) discovers the story decades later, Fox is forced to take a hard look at her childhood sexual abuse and the memories she twisted and repressed.

The Tale is gut-wrenching and tough to watch, but with Fox’s deft hand as a documentarian and a towering performance from Dern (who De Palma told Fox was the only actress to have the guts to take this role), it is a complex and unflinching look at the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.


Also today, Deadline's Joe Utichi posted a summary from Sunday night's director and cast panel at the AwardsLine screening of the film at LA’s Landmark Theatre, which Utichi moderated:
Based on Fox’s own life—Dern and Nélisse play Jennifer Fox at different ages—The Tale deals with the moment, years after the fact, that Fox was forced to grapple with the memories of her first sexual encounter aged 13. “It wasn’t until I was in my 40s that what I called a relationship, all of a sudden I realized was abuse,” she noted.

Fox, whose storied work in documentary film includes the highly personal series Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman, turned to narrative film for the first time to construct a wholly unique portrait of the way memories can shift and rewrite themselves in our minds. It is with the rediscovery of an essay written when she was 13 that the older Jennifer Fox, played by Dern, is forced to confront the 13-year-old version of herself (Nélisse), who framed her relationship with a much older running coach in the language of first love and unforced desire.

“It took me years to write [the film] because it was such a complicated telling, and it’s really more about the stories we tell ourselves to survive, and why we need to tell ourselves stories,” the filmmaker explained. “There are so many things that are too heavy to deal with when you’re younger, that it takes until maturity to be able to face.”

Dern’s journey with The Tale stemmed from a conversation with filmmaker Brian De Palma, an important mentor to Fox. Dern recalled De Palma’s powerful and compelling brief: “[He] said, ‘You’re going to receive a script that is difficult and painful and brave…But take it seriously. It’s so radical, it’s so brave, and you should go on this journey.'”

For Dern, “What’s extraordinary about this time is that we all are considering together how we’ve normalized behavior, to ourselves, as a community, as a culture. It has been a reckoning for many of us individually, to see how we said things like, ‘Well, it was the ‘70s,’ or ‘I looked very mature for my age.’ We took the blame, and we were silenced by our own cultural shaming.”

It was a welcome, if unexpected, climate in which to launch the film, she said, noting the conversations about taking on this story began many years ago. “This zeitgeist has said that there is restorative justice here,” Dern said. “There is reward in being a witness to something and sharing your voice, and that has really changed the conversation. There is therefore less fear, through a piece of art that you make, to all have conversations together, and hopefully, allow it be the groundbreaking time we all so desperately need.“

Fox noted the particular courage shown by Jason Ritter in taking on the role of her abuser Bill. “I think, Jason, you’re the most courageous, actually, of all of us,” she said. “We know from statistics that 93% of perpetrators are known by the children who they abuse. That means that they don’t look evil; they’re part of communities; they’re successful, they’re loved. Jason really embodied the kindness and the complexity of what I wanted to bring to this telling.”

But by the time he’d read it, he insisted, “there had already been so many incredible acts of courage that led up to this moment—Jennifer writing it, people coming on board. If I was going to be the coward to back out at the end, I wouldn’t have been able to look at myself. The truth was that I read the script and I thought it was so profound and incredibly honest, and I felt like I was opening doors in my mind that I hadn’t even cared to open, looking at this experience and getting a deeper understanding of what this can be like.”


And one more article, from USA Today's Patrick Ryan
When filmmaker Jennifer Fox was 13, she wrote a story for English class about a young girl who is coerced into a sexual relationship with her 40-year-old running coach.

Little did her teacher know, the story was true.

"I got an A," says Fox, now 58. "My teacher wrote on the back, 'If this is true, it's a travesty. But since you're so well-adjusted, it can't be.' "

Four decades later, Fox has adapted her account into a harrowing feature film, The Tale, which premieres on HBO Saturday (10 ET/PT). Two-time Oscar nominee Laura Dern plays an adult Jennifer — a successful documentarian and professor — as she confronts the truth that her childhood "romance" with Bill (Jason Ritter) was sexual abuse. With the support of her mother (Ellen Burstyn) and boyfriend (Common), she reconnects with people from her past in an effort to remember what happened after years of suppression.

"The film is about memory and the stories we tell ourselves to survive," says Dern, 51, who was brought the script by director Brian De Palma, Fox's friend and mentor. "I think we all find that relatable, not just people who have experienced sexual abuse or assault."

Dern identifies with Fox's story, having grown up as a teen actress on movie sets, where she experienced sexual harassment. She says she never recognized it for what it was until the Me Too movement started last fall, as women and men came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct and abuses of power.

"I didn't realize until recently that my experiences of harassment were harassment," Dern says. "For so many young girls and boys, behavior is justified because it's like, 'Well, they did that. Maybe that's normal.' We presume that's just the way it works in Hollywood."

Like her fictionalized character in The Tale, Fox didn't fully process her trauma until middle age, as she interviewed women around the world for her 2006 documentary Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman and began to hear similar stories. She's careful to make the distinction between sexual assault and abuse, when someone is manipulated into thinking "he or she is agreeing to something which is sexual, but it isn't often violent," Fox says. "It's different from rape."


Posted by Geoff at 8:39 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 9:31 PM CDT
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Saturday, May 5, 2018
VIDEO - ADAM ZANZIE'S 10 FAVORITE DE PALMA FILMS
'CASUALTIES' & 'UNTOUCHABLES', MADE BACK-TO-BACK IN LATE '80s, RISING IN RANKS & RECOGNITION?
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/zanzievid.jpg

Between Brian De Palma himself set to present a Masterclass next month in Paris following a screening of Casualties Of War, and EMPIRE's podcast ranking of The Untouchables as De Palma's best film (really guys??-- great film, but ... really?!?), it is interesting to note that this expertly-made video, in which Adam Zanzie picks his ten favorite Brian De Palma movies, has each of those two films within its top three. Zanzie's preference is not simply directed toward the more mainstream of De Palma's features-- he states at the beginning of the video that his "favorite De Palma movies are the ones where he has married his trademark visual talents with good characters and good storytelling." Of course, those latter characteristics are subjective, but it is Zanzie's subjective viewpoint that make his video essay so compelling. A step up from the EMPIRE ranking, if for no other reason than the simple fact that Zanzie has at least seen all of De Palma's feature films, whereas the EMPIRE crew had admitted holes in its viewing.

Posted by Geoff at 1:36 PM CDT
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Thursday, April 12, 2018
THE RINGER'S ADAM NAYMAN ON DE PALMA
HIGHLIGHTS TITLES CURRENTLY STREAMING - SISTERS, CARRIE, SCARFACE, PASSION
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/naymanringer.jpgAdam Nayman at The Ringer yesterday posted "What’s Streaming: The Wild World of Brian De Palma," highlighting four De Palma features that are currently streaming at various websites: the "weirdly profound" Sisters (on Filmstruck), Carrie (on Amazon Prime), Scarface (on Netflix), and Passion (Amazon Prime).

Writing about Carrie, Nayman writes that "while it’s reasonably faithful to the source novel, it’s also 100 percent a De Palma film, piling enough perverse eroticism, winking Alfred Hitchcock allusions, tricky compositions, and athletic camera moves to be remembered first and foremost as an auteur work."

Regarding Scarface, Nayman contrasts it with and favors it over The Untouchables, which is the movie ranked by the EMPIRE podcast the other day as De Palma's best:

In the 1980s, De Palma switched genres from stylized, Westernized giallos to muscular riffs on gangster pictures. The unofficial trilogy of Scarface, Wise Guys, and The Untouchables reached back to the classic crime films of the 1930s. Scarface was literally a remake of Howard Hawks’s veiled 1932 Al Capone biopic of the same name; working with screenwriter Oliver Stone, De Palma updated Hawks’s template for the vicious, me-first mentality of the Reagan era, reimagining the main character as a Cuban immigrant who begins the film by denouncing his country’s embrace of communism before turning into a ruthless, bloated, coked-out avatar of capitalistic excess. As usual with De Palma, it’s hard to tell how seriously we’re supposed to take this extravagantly violent film, its moralistic crime-pays-until-it-doesn’t messaging, or Al Pacino’s borderline-minstrel-show acting and accent. I’ve always felt that while the Stone(d) script meant every profane, Quaalude-driven word about the hypocritical futility of Captain Ron’s War on Drugs (as well as the revelation that the true holy trinity underneath the American Dream was not life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but money, power, and women), De Palma was flat-out spoofing his antihero’s materialistic mentality—not to mention the idea of studio blockbusters, to the point that he actually got his old friend/industry overlord Steven Spielberg to direct part of the film’s cranked-up action climax. Reviled upon its release, Scarface has become one of the true cult-movie monoliths of its era, casting a long shadow over hip-hop culture and also its director’s subsequent work; a few years later, The Untouchables made more money and won Sean Connery an Oscar, but it can’t compare to its predecessor’s ugly, incandescent spectacle.

Nayman closes with a nice bit about Passion:
To the untrained eye, De Palma’s most recent effort—a remake of the disposable French trifle Love Crime starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace as coworkers turned rivals—is a strained, ridiculous mess. And that’s what it looks like to the trained eye, too: At times, it’s as if Passion is a parody of a modestly sleazy direct-to-video thriller rather than a late work by a great stylist. But no less than Sisters (which is referenced in a mid-film revelation about identical twins), the film’s ripe cheesiness has a whiff of satire to it. From the appearance of the credit “written and directed by Brian De Palma” overlaid on the sleek outer casing of an Apple MacBook Pro to a shot of a car driving into and destroying a parking-lot Coca-Cola machine, there’s a through line of anticorporate humor that juxtaposes the ideas of “art” and “product”—never more so than in an amazing, extended split-screen scene in which footage of a ballet performance competes for our attention with a knowingly clichéd, Halloween-style slasher-on-the-loose set piece. In the end, Passion might not be much more than a glib, embittered bit of gamesmanship by somebody who’s pretty much been on the sidelines since the mid-’90s, but there’s something sort of sweet about seeing its maker continuing to play by his own rules.

Posted by Geoff at 4:42 AM CDT
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Tuesday, April 10, 2018
EMPIRE PODCAST DISCUSSES DE PALMA, RANKS FILMS
"DE PALMA CAN OVER-LITHGOW"; "NO, HE LITH-GOES FOR IT!"
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/empirerankingdepalma.jpgOne of them makes a case for Mission: Impossible that the others make fun of him for, one of them tries to tell the others that Scarface is not thought of as anything great except by rappers and footballers, and there is disagreement about Phantom Of The Paradise, but there is also a lot that the four guys on this podcast agree on regarding Brian De Palma. Here's the introduction from EmpireOnline:
The latest episode of The Ranking — our show that ties in with the magazine (hashtag brand synergy) and sees four Empire writers argue the toss on a filmmaker's CV — is here. And this time we're delving deep into the work of a man who's orchestrated more tracking shots than you've had hot dinners: Brian 'Bri Bri' De Palma.

Discussing his progression from early promise to his virtuoso Hitchcockian phase and then the more commercial fare of the Eighties and Nineties (but without focusing on the not-so-great output of recent years), Chris Hewitt, Ian Freer, Nick de Semlyen and Jonathan Pile discuss the ins and outs, ups and downs of a great, if somewhat erratic career. And, for the first time, you'll be able to hear the top ten being counted down in this podcast. Give it a listen on Soundcloud, Planet Radio, or your podcast app of choice.

This isn't the only Empire Podcast dropping this week — in fact, we have a new episode arriving every day. Yesterday was an interview special with Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill, and still to come are Spoiler Special episodes on A Quiet Place and Ready Player One, ahead of Friday's regular pod. Enjoy.

Enough squabbling, let's vote! (Stop trying to make 'enough squabbling, let's vote!' happen, Chris.)


Posted by Geoff at 7:22 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2018 7:27 PM CDT
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Saturday, March 31, 2018
VIDEO - DE PALMA ON NIGHT FLIGHT, 1988
LONG CAREER PROFILE INTERVIEW w/CLIPS, INCLUDES THE TV-VERSION OF 'RELAX' VIDEO
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/nightflightdepalma.jpgHere's a great archived interview from the 1980s late night TV show Night Flight. In 1988, the show did a lengthy profile on Brian De Palma, with a very interesting interview with the director, loaded with clips from his films. I'll try to add some quotes or a transcription from the interview later on, but it also includes discussion of the music videos De Palma directed, and includes the TV-version of his video for Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax, complete with its parodic homage to Flashdance, a movie De Palma almost got corralled into directing. Thanks to BrianDePalmaArchives for the link to the video.

Posted by Geoff at 2:39 PM CDT
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Wednesday, March 21, 2018
LECTURE SERIES ON DE PALMA AT SUMMER FILM SCHOOL
CHRISTINA ALVAREZ LOPEZ & ADRIAN MARTIN TO PRESENT LECTURES & SCREENINGS IN ROTTERDAM THIS JULY
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/summerfilmschool.jpg

Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin will present lectures and screenings of five Brian De Palma features July 18-22 at Summer Film School Rotterdam. The film school will also include a separate lecture and screening series on Alain Resnais. Here's the rundown on the De Palma series:
Brian de Palma: Vision, Obsession and set-up

Brian De Palma (born 1940) is one of the most inventive film directors that America has produced. Formed in the counter-cultural scene of the 1960s, he has never abandoned his interest in formal, modernist innovation, nor his ultimately pessimistic view of society and politics. This series will take you through the major phases and tendencies of his career so far, from anarchic comedy and complex plotting through to Hitchcockian ‘pure cinema’ and social satire. The ultimate goal of the course is to elaborate the extremely complex and thrilling ‘machine of sound and vision’ that De Palma creates with the elements of film.

Cinema Experts
Cristina Álvarez López
Cristina Álvarez López is a film critic and video maker based in Vilassar de Mar (Spain). Her work has appeared in MUBI Notebook, LOLA, and De Filmkrant, and in books on Chantal Akerman, Bong Joon-ho, Philippe Garrel, and Paul Schrader. More info.

Adrian Martin
Adrian Martin is an art critic based in Vilassar de Mar (Spain). He is the author of eight books, including the forthcoming essay collection Mysteries of Cinema (Amsterdam University Press). His ongoing archive website of film reviews, covering 40 years of writing, is at filmcritic.com.au.

Lectures and Screenings on Brian de Palma

July 18 — De Palma’s Beginnings: Art, Music and the Counter-Culture
Phantom of the Paradise (1974, 92’, DCP)
July 19 — The Hitchcockian Model and its Variations
Obsession (1976, 98’, DCP)
July 20 — Vision and Sound: The Complex Machine
Carrie (1976, 98’, DCP)
July 21 — Story, Identity and Point-of-View
Body Double (1984, 114’, DCP)
July 22 — The Langian Model: Narrative and Society as Trap
The Black Dahlia (2006, 121’, 35mm)


Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 12:04 AM CDT
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Monday, March 5, 2018
MONDAY NIGHT TWEETS - HMM?? 'THE BACHELOR'??
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bachelor1.jpg



Posted by Geoff at 10:25 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 8:10 PM CST
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Thursday, February 15, 2018
THURSDAY TWEET - INDIEWIRE ON STORMY DANIELS
ARTICLE SUGGESTS "BEST DIRECTORS TO BRING STORMY DANIELS' STORY TO THE BIG SCREEN"
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetstormy.jpg

Late yesterday, IndieWire posted an article with the title, "Stormy Daniels, the Movie: We Suggest the Best Directors to Handle the Story of Trump’s Former Fling." The sub-headline reads, "Now that Stormy's shopping around her story, we're hoping the project lands with one of these first-rate auteurs." Here's what IndieWire's Zack Sharf has to say in the article about Brian De Palma:
If anyone can turn the Stormy Daniels scandal into something unforgettable on the big screen, it’s got to be Brian De Palma. The director perfected the art of the erotic thriller in films such as “Body Double” and “Dressed to Kill,” and his touch of heightened sensuality would really make the story about the shady dealings between an arrogant businessman and a porn star pop. Just imagine the meeting between Daniels and Trump with De Palma’s crooked angles, sharp editing, salacious dialogue, and suggestive lighting. He’d give the story the wicked sensationalism it deserves while going for the jugular by criticizing every viewer’s fascination with it in the first place. Trump wouldn’t stand a chance against De Palma.

Posted by Geoff at 8:23 AM CST
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Saturday, February 3, 2018
PIC - DE PALMA, GISH, WOODWARD, TRUFFAUT, NEWMAN
NY FILM CRITICS CIRCLE, 1973 - DE NIRO, TRUFFAUT, WOODWARD ALL WON AWARDS
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/nyfilmcriticscircle1973.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 9:12 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, February 3, 2018 9:19 PM CST
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Friday, February 2, 2018
FRIDAY TWEET - DARK GLASSES IN DE PALMA FILMS
http://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetdarkshades.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 8:11 AM CST
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