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Exclusive Passion
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

« July 2014 »
S M T W T F S
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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.
All topics
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Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Carrie
Casualties Of War
Columbo - Shooting Script
Cop-Out
Cruising
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion  «
Demolished Man
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Greetings
Happy Valley
Heat
Hi, Mom!
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Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
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Lithgow
Magic Hour
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Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
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Raising Cain
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Redacted
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Sisters
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014
AN ACIDEMIC LOOK AT DE PALMA & ARGENTO
BLOGGER: BORN SIX DAYS APART, THEY SHARE A "BIZARRE PSYCHIC TWIN CONNECTION"
Acidemic's Erich Kuersten takes a deep stab into the cinema of Brian De Palma and Dario Argento, dispensing early with the obvious Hitchcock comparisons (although Hitchcock does figure into the discussion) to focus on the pair's "bizarre psychic twin connection, a shared reptile dysfunction that springs from Catholicism, ancient Rome, and [a] kind of scopophilia-driven sexual obsession." Kuersten adds, "And I didn't even know this when I started this post, but they were born the same month (September) of the same world war-ridden year (1940), six days apart. They are both Virgo, sign of the virgin, sign of obsession, poring over film strips and sound boards with the repressed energy of a thousand unreached orgasms!"

Illustrated with a fascinating array of juxtaposed images from the films of both directors (as well as some other filmmakers thrown into the mix), Kuersten explores shared themes and motifs such as blindness, avenging angels, mirrors and doubles, dreams, photography, metatextuality, art, and more. A terrifically eye-opening and entertaining read, the post comes a year after Kuersten's post about Scarface, Suspiria and Carrie.

Posted by Geoff at 12:51 AM CDT
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Monday, June 30, 2014
LAURENCE KNAPP ON FINCHER & DE PALMA
'DAVID FINCHER: INTERVIEWS' IS PUBLISHED THIS AUGUST


Laurence F. Knapp, editor of Brian De Palma: Interviews, has edited a similar volume of David Fincher interviews, which will be published in August. Fincher Fanatic interviewed Knapp about the book and his views on Fincher, some of which are spoken in the video embedded above. Near the end of the interview, Fincher Fanatic asks Knapp if he, as a professor, has ever taught a class on Fincher, and if so, what would be discussed. Here is Knapp's reply:

"As mentioned, I have taught a Generation X class before. I welcome the opportunity to teach a Fincher/Tarantino seminar in the near future, or perhaps a Fincher/De Palma class. I’ve always felt that Fincher is as misanthropic and as formally schematic as De Palma, but because of Fincher’s upbringing (the Bay Area instead of Philadelphia) or generation (Gen X’ers are too jaded, melancholy, and overwhelmed by capitalism to openly resist the dominant order), Fincher does not share De Palma’s countercultural need to expose the cinematic artifice and contest and parody the prevailing ideology of postwar America. Fight Club is as contemptuous as Greetings, Phantom of the Paradise, or Body Double, but Fincher, like many Gen X’ers, doesn’t have it in him to risk a Blow Out, Casualties of War, or Redacted, or even an over-the-top film like Dressed to Kill, Scarface, or Femme Fatale. De Palma would never end Fight Club with two lovers holding hands. He would just blow up downtown Los Angeles and have Brad Pitt expose his penis and wave to the camera like Robert De Niro in Hi Mom!. Fight Club, in true Fincher fashion, prescribes my generation not to surrender to cynicism but to grow up, accept your significant other, and get married. That’s all the sanctuary you will get in this world. Worked for me."


Posted by Geoff at 1:23 AM CDT
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Saturday, June 21, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 11:55 AM CDT
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Friday, June 20, 2014
YOU SAY THAT
BUT IT'S REALLY NOT TRUE AT ALL
Two days ago, in an article about his disappointment with Brian De Palma's films post Blow Out, Movie Morlocks' Greg Ferrara wrote, "the Odessa steps/Railway station scene in The Untouchables is less a nod to Eisenstein than a 'look, here’s the Potemkin sequence with different actors' setup." Well, no, that's not true at all-- it actually is more of "a nod to Eisenstein," but uses the idea of the baby carriage, and specifically its shots of the wheels hitting each step on the way down, to add suspense and tension to the already suspenseful shoot-out happening on the train station steps. De Palma's contrast here of the innocent (the baby) and the dangerous men all around is part of a theme that runs through the entire film.

All anyone has to do is watch Eisenstein's Odessa Steps sequence side-by-side with De Palma's to see that aside from a lot of steps, a baby in a pram, and people falling violently, what De Palma has constructed in The Untouchables in terms of set-up, staging, story, cinematography, suspense, slow motion, sound, humor, etc. is far different from what is on the screen in Eisenstein's construction. YouTube it for yourself.

Posted by Geoff at 1:58 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:41 AM CDT
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Thursday, June 19, 2014
EMBRACE THE STRUGGLE

Posted by Geoff at 7:15 AM CDT
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 2:55 AM CDT
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Sunday, June 15, 2014
VIDEO PAYS TRIBUTE TO DE PALMA'S CINEMA
HELLO WIZARD VID USES SONGS 'RELAX', 'SEXE', AND 'SIN CITY'

Posted by Geoff at 11:44 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 5:04 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014
AUDIOVISUAL ESSAY ON '[DE PALMA'S] VISION'
BY CRISTINA ALVAREZ LOPEZ & ADRIAN MARTIN, NOW ON MUBI


MUBI Notebook has published the latest audiovisual essay from Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin, "[De Palma’s] Vision." In the written introduction to the audiovisual essay, the authors explain, "There is a story of how Brian De Palma works with his film editors: he looks at what they have already done in assembling a scene, and then instructs them on how to improve it, to his precise specifications, by tapping out a particular beat: ‘1 … 2 … 3 … cut there!’ His work on cinematic form is rhythmic, musical—and always keyed to emotional, physical patterns of tension and relaxation. So he counts out the beats to draw all the elements of image and sound, gesture and architecture together, in a masterful choreography/orchestration of elements.

"In approaching an audiovisual analysis of De Palma’s films (which we dearly love, and find inexhaustible as objects of study), we too faced the task of not merely enumerating the abundant motifs and structures in his work, but also bringing them together and drawing out their unfolding logic—unfolding both within each film, and across his whole career."

Álvarez López and Martin then describe how various accounts of De Palma's cinema build from lists of recurring themes and motifs in his work. They note that in his essay for the Criterion edition of Sisters, Bruce Kawin "sought a logic to cohere and unify the various motifs in De Palma’s films, as do we. If we take a cluster of these motifs relating to the idea of vision, then we quickly realise that they allow De Palma to create compositional effects and narrative extravagances of every kind. But this director’s obsession for the visual does not cover only the style and narratives of his films; it is also, frequently, the true, deep theme of his cinema. The very act of looking and its consequences; the relationship between the subject who looks and the object of their gaze; the way of processing, decoding and interpreting what we see; the value of absolute truth that we tend to give the information that reaches us through the organ of sight ... All these issues are central to his films."

The essay, then, explores the question of "how, according to what concrete forms, does vision become such a central concern for De Palma?"


Posted by Geoff at 3:50 AM CDT
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Sunday, May 18, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 5:02 PM CDT
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Monday, May 12, 2014
ADRIAN MARTIN ON SIGNIFICANCE OF DE PALMA
"SEVERAL GENERATIONS...HAVE RECEIVED A THRILLING, FORMATIVE SENSE OF WHAT CINEMA CAN BE"
Adrian Martin has written a "World Wide Angle" piece for Film Krant that takes off from the blind spots that are inevitable in "Greatest Films" lists. "Whenever my eye falls upon yet another 'Greatest Films of All Time' list," Martin begins, "I think about the filmmakers — undoubtedly fine and significant filmmakers — who, on most occasions, do not come within a million miles of being deified by such exercises in canon-making. They get chopped off the list very early in the cull. Brian De Palma, Mario Bava, John Carpenter, Dario Argento, William Friedkin, even Sergio Leone: just a few of the directors (all of us can name many more) who have given us works that we enjoy, teach, analyse, write about and cherish."

After briefly going through some of the regulars that usually show up on such lists, Martin brings it back to De Palma:
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When it comes to the significance of a director like him in world cinema, there is another way of looking at the question. In short, some filmmakers are important not so much for the richness of their art (as judged by conventional terms), but the role they play, the significance they have, in a film spectator's life.

What really matters is your encounter, at some key moment of your developmental biography, with the work of a particular director. So there is a De Palma Age (for example) in the autobiographies of many of us — just as there is, for instance, a David Bowie Age or a Sylvia Plath Age or a Philip K. Dick Age.

Several generations of cinephiles and aspiring filmmakers have received a thrilling, formative sense of what cinema can be from the bracing experience of seeing, for the first time, Carrie (1976), Dressed to Kill (1980), Blow Out (1981), Carlito's Way (1993) and Femme Fatale (2002). It does not matter whether you were 15 years old in 1976 or 20 years old today, whether it's a Cinémathèque screen or a laptop: that formative thrill is the same.

Discovering a De Palma movie for the first time, soaking up its elaborate formal conceits, is to have one's eyes opened by boundlessly inventive tricks with time, space, narrative and perspective. Cinema is more than De Palma, but anyone can start to discover cinema through De Palma, as many of us have. And that is no bad thing.

It also does not matter if, later in life, we convince ourselves that we may have grown beyond what could be described, in retrospect, as an adolescent passion: it has lodged in there, inside of us, helped to form our sensibilities. And De Palma is one of the great sensibility-shapers of modern cinema.

----------------------

(Thanks to Yusef!)

Posted by Geoff at 11:41 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 12, 2014 11:43 PM CDT
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