Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod


De Palma Discussion


Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
work that "pushes
us to reexamine our
relationship to images
and their consumption,
not only ethically
but metaphysically"
-Collin Brinkman

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
next novel is Terry

De Palma developing
Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
based on real things
that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


Exclusive Passion

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


AV Club Review
of Dumas book


« September 2018 »
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29


De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


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


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

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema


Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor


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


No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod

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 ал
Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
Cinema Studies
Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dick Vorisek
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
George Litto
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Hi, Mom!
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jared Martin
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Newton 1861
Noah Baumbach
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parties & Premieres
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Peet Gelderblom
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Responsive Eye
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Rotwang muß weg!
Sean Penn
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Sweet Vengeance
Taxi Driver
The Tale
To Bridge This Gap
Toronto Film Fest
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untitled Hollywood Horror
Untitled Industry-Abuse M
Venice Beach
Vilmos Zsigmond
Wedding Party
William Finley
Wise Guys
Woton's Wake
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Ari Aster, the writer/director of Hereditary, tells South China Morning Post's James Mottram that Brian De Palma's Carrie was the first scary movie that "deeply affected" him. "I found the images were not leaving me and that really stuck with me for years,” Aster tells Mottram. "Sissy Spacek covered in blood with her bulging eyes … I had a very hard time shaking those images. It was definitely a film I was thinking about as I was writing this."

On the Blu-ray of Hereditary released today, Aster says that two of his main inspirations are Carrie and Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover. He discusses both of those films in a conversation with Scott Macaulay, from the summer 2018 issue of Filmmaker:

Filmmaker: What are some of your favorite horror movies?

Aster: I love Rosemary’s Baby—there are some big nods to that at the end [of Hereditary]. I love Don’t Look Now, which I see this film as being a spiritual sibling to. Tonally, Nic Roeg is somebody whose films made a very serious impression on me from an early age. His sense of the elliptical is really, really fascinating to me. He has this amazing sense for the fragmentary—his films often play like memory. I love, on just the level of atmosphere, The Shining. I really love Jack Clayton’s film, The Innocents. There’s a long list of Japanese horror films that I love, like Kwaidan, Onibaba, Kuroneko, Empire of Passion and Ugetsu. And then, beyond Ugetsu, I just love Mizoguchi a lot. He’s somebody who I’m always thinking about. I was really taken with this brilliant South Korean film, The Wailing. I really liked The Witch. I can say that the goal with Hereditary was to make a horror film that I would want to see. I wanted to make a horror film that would scare me, and I wanted to root it in things that really trouble me and bother me.

Filmmaker: And what are those things?

Aster: What are my fears? [long silence] Just like everybody else, I would say I have fears of abandonment. I have fears of losing my quality of life, my body breaking down. I have fears of, if not abandonment, then losing somebody I care about because of something I have done. Fears of harming somebody in my life, be it intentionally or unintentionally. I have fears that I have no control over, like fears of disaster, which is more of a philosophical problem—like, my glass is half empty. I think a big part of the film is a fear of the intentions of others because, ultimately, it is a film about a conspiracy as seen from the perspective of the unknowing victims of that conspiracy.

Filmmaker: I was going to ask you whether you saw yourself in the teenage son character, but some of those fears you just listed are dispersed among the different characters. Fear of abandonment is referenced by the sister very early on.

Aster: Yeah. I see myself in all the characters, and none of the characters are surrogates for anybody in my family or myself. They’re all total inventions. It was just really important to me that I attend to the family drama first, and that I honor whoever those people were first, and then have all the horror elements emerge from that, and only if those elements were organic to the story and coming out of that dilemma at the heart of the film.

So often I’ll go to a horror film and there will be moments that get to me, and imagery I might find disturbing, but I feel let off the hook. Like, “OK, you get your spike of adrenaline. You go on the roller coaster, and you can leave. Don’t worry about it. You can brush off the experiences.” But the films that really stayed with me as a kid, that really haunted me, upset me—and they were the films I was always looking for and at the same time was always kind of hoping I wouldn’t [find because they] provoked feelings that I wasn’t able to immediately resolve as a kid—had maybe more of a malicious streak. I hated them as a kid because I hated what they did to me.

Filmmaker: Were those some of the ones you mentioned?

Aster: Well, no, actually. All of those I found to be really fun. The films that really upset me, I can’t even put on the list, somehow, because of my relationship to them.

Filmmaker: Can you say what some of them were?

Aster: Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, which isn’t technically a horror film, but it feels evil to me. Brian De Palma’s Carrie—I do love that film, but I saw it when I was 13. It didn’t really scare me while I was watching it, but later I was walking through the house in the dark to get water in the middle of the night, and I kept projecting images from that film onto the walls, which is what happened later with The Cook, The Thief. It was this masochistic thing, where once you’ve done it once, then your mind keeps reminding you to do it again. I’d race to get to my bed, and then I had a hard time going to the bathroom at night or getting water at night for a few years because I couldn’t trust myself to not project those images into the dark. Especially images from Carrie—Piper Laurie chasing her daughter around the house with this giddy, ecstatic smile on her face. That taps into something so primal.

Filmmaker: Is that the effect that you want this film to have on your audience?

Aster: I guess so. It’s funny, I screened The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover to the crew before I made The Strange Thing about the Johnsons but not before Hereditary. I was certainly thinking about that film, though, and especially the way that Peter Greenaway plays with artifice. I’ve always had a thing for Brechtian distancing effects. I feel that if they’re done well—if the story and performances are really compelling—then they make the film so much more vivid. Like, for instance, Dogville is a film that I’ll never shake, and I wonder what I would think of it if it were not set on a bare stage. The Cook, the Thief is this really, really monstrous vision of humanity. It’s so clinical, and all the characters are so remote, except for the one who’s the most vile. He’s the one character who is, to a certain degree, charismatic, who has any life, despite the fact that he is absolutely the grossest person ever depicted on screen. Everybody else feels like they are just a part of this tableau that Peter Greenaway is building. He was a painter before he became a filmmaker, and that’s very apparent. Even just down to Sacha Vierny’s very sickly, theatrical lighting, and those dollhouse sets where the colors are very rich but they’re also over rich—the colors themselves are getting sick. I know that film was rated NC-17 for tone. That makes total sense when you see the film because it is just feels evil.

Filmmaker: Your interest in Brechtian distancing effects is evidenced by the first shot of the movie, which sets up the camera as having this pitiless point-of-view on these tiny characters on a stage.

Aster: Yeah, the miniatures were sort of serving as a running metaphor for what’s happening in the film, which becomes very apparent by the end: These are people with no agency who are being manipulated by outside forces, like dolls in a dollhouse.

Posted by Geoff at 11:13 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

View Latest Entries