SAYS SCORSESE SHOWED HIM A FEW A LONG TIME AGO, BUT THAT HE NEVER CONNECTED
Cine Vue's John Bleasdale interviewed Brian De Palma at the Venice Film Festival last September, and posted the article today, as Passion is released on DVD and VOD in the U.K. and Ireland. Back when talking about Passion was still quite fresh for him, De Palma compared it to The Women (a film he mentioned briefly in a more recent interview), and also answered a question about the giallo genre his films are often compared with. De Palma tells Bleasdale that with Passion, "I set out to make what I thought was a clever mystery even cleverer. Redacted is completely driven by men and so making this we're doing the opposite. It's a bunch of conniving business women who are passionately entwined, and it's like George Cukor's The Women. It's all these women manoeuvring."
When asked by Bleasdale about the idea that Passion uses many giallo tropes, De Palma responds, "That's a genre I've heard a lot about, but I'm completely unfamiliar with. Martin Scorsese talks about them all the time. He's shown me a few movies a long time ago, but I've never connected with it."
"I SHOULD HAVE BEEN A SILENT MOVIE DIRECTOR"
Bleasdale brings up the split screen sequence in Passion, which leads De Palma to discuss his love of silent pictures. "In my whole career, I've been fascinated by long, silent periods which are punctuated and scored by music. I should have been a silent movie director. I just love that form. And I'm probably one of the few directors who's still practising it. Whenever I do a sequence in a film everyone says 'Yikes! What's that?' Why isn't everybody talking all the time. Everybody is brought up on television. All you have is heads talking to each other. It's very easy to shoot - a close-up here, a close-up there - but for me this is boredom. We have a big visual screen here, we can do all kinds of things with the camera, so I try to find material which lends itself to that."
De Palma also talks to Beasdale about how screens are getting smaller and smaller, how the "big spectacular movies" on IMAX are basically kids movies, and how at 71 years of age, Marvel superheroes don't interest him anymore. When asked if he worries about the future of serious cinema, De Palma replies, "No, because there's a whole independent cinema. It's cheaper to make movies. You can make a film with your high definition camera and edit them on your Mac, so you can make personal movies that cost nothing. Whether you write a novel or paint a painting, it's always difficult to get anyone to look at it." The interview concludes with De Palma contrasting his early days working for studios with today: "When you're making a big studio picture there are a lot of meetings and you're getting a stack of notes on your script. I grew up in the era when the director was the superstar and said, 'Fuck you, take your notes and throw them out the window.' And we got away with it for a while."