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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Posted by Geoff at 4:14 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, June 2, 2019 4:16 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (22) | Permalink | Share This Post

Sunday, June 2, 2019 - 5:02 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

Finished reading the Variety review by Owen Glieberman claming in the review that De Palma has said the film was taken from him and re-cut. Of all the trade online mags I can trust Variety.

I'm sorry Mustafa feels this way about Domino. I'll be watching it tomorrow night. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019 - 5:44 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blog

I would have thought we could trust Variety, as well, and yet... I have yet to find any source where De Palma has actually said anything about the cut being taken away from him...??? No source for any such quote. Somehow the running time from Brimstone continues to be the running time for this supposed longer cut, despite the assistant editor of DOMINO stating there never was any such cut. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019 - 6:13 PM CDT

Name: "jjabely"

Where did this rumor of a supposed "uncut" version even originate? 

Re Mustafa's valid points, I still wonder if the portrayal of Salim was more nuanced in scenes that were never shot (and that many scenes were not shot seems certain, unlike the mystery uncut version).

De Palma definately pushes boundaries with respect to racism and society's sometimes faux-liberal hypocricy towards it - see "Be Black, Baby" - so I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. There's nothing in his long career to indicate that he's a racist.

If anything, he calls out opportunists of all colors with respect to racism, including the Al Sharpen-like character in "Bonfire of the Vanities," which was released not long after the notorious Tawana Brawley case. As a New Yorker at that time, I got exactly what De Palma was saying. Everything, no matter how awful, can be manipulated and served up as "spectacle" or "product" to be consummed and to provoke, much like the deliberately edited and uploaded video in "Domino's" finale. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019 - 6:40 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

There has never been any verbal quote from De Palma but my paranoia tells me De Palma's silence speaks volumes.


Sunday, June 2, 2019 - 8:06 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blog

The rumor of the 148-minute cut orginated when that running time appeared in 2017 on the Domino IMDB page. I noted at the time that 148 minutes was the precise running time for Brimstone from a couple of years earlier-- a movie with some of the same producers as Domino, and which also starred Guy Pearce and Carice van Houten. Then we found out that Donaggio recorded the score for the film early in 2018, and De Palma stated in June of 2018 that the film had finally been completed in May 2018. 

At that time, De Palma also was talking about the horrible production. People taking these words out of context, coupled with the (false) 148-minute running time, led to some people saying the movie was taken out of De Palma's hands-- but he never said anything like that. Still, this rumor persists, even after the assistant editor of Domino posted on Twitter that "there was never a 148 minute cut of the film or anything even approaching that."


Sunday, June 2, 2019 - 10:57 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

M2M was hope for something better in the universe for mankind. DOMINO dated one day after the date of M2M can be interpreted as mankind looking for something better in the universe then the global terrorism that has taken over the planet. In a way the film can be seen as a sequel to M2M.

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 1:15 AM CDT

Name: "The Player"

I have read an older draft of «Domino», which was 124 pages long and very good. This was when Swedish director Hans Petter Moland was attached  to direct the film. I haven’t seen De Palma’s version, but if he shot the same script, you’ll loose a lot of neuance if you do 124 pages in 89 minutes. 

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 1:24 AM CDT

Name: "Mustafa"

Thanks to everyone for their valuable input and for keeping the discussion constructive and civil.

In my book, De Palma has always been the ultimate renegade who always gave a voice for those with no voice, this has added to my passion to the art of the man, the man himself!

I am still in shock how he made this movie, no other explanation other than the movie was edited out of his hands to make it look the way it did, or there could be a hidden subtext in the movie I didn't read so far.

It is hard to forego linking the historical values of the names, Salah Al Din and Christian with their counterparts from the crusades, among ALL names in the world, coincidently screenwriter chose Salah Aldin, a key historical leader in the siege of Jerusalem with the Crusaders, aka Christian who is doing a crusade in the movie! And again, there was no time to portray Salah Al din in the movie as caricature f a character, not a really dangerous person, nor they isolated him as a deranged pathogen, They just portrayed him as a dangerous real person with obviously countless like him to emerge based on instructions from hi above, not part of his delusional mind.

By the way, I am avoiding to name a religion here, simply because I am not religious, despite coming from a certain background, I believe in the sanctity of humanity as a religion, and cannot stand discrimination, propaganda against people.

Anyhow, many of my friends whom I consider as true cinephiles and fans of De Palma watched the movie, and they really disliked it, irregardless of its obvious message, they said it is shameful for him to have his name in this amateurishly bad piece. I agree and disagree with them, it is his worse for me, but it still has his wit, dark sense of humor and few touches of creativity and distinctiveness here and there, but that is not enough, I would have rathered that he could pull out of it when he saw the direction of the production, ending with a hi note like Passion is better than his nadir here. Passion was a coherent stylistic twisted and complicated piece of art, which cannot be said on Domino. 

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 5:32 AM CDT

Name: "The Player"

De Palma has said in print that the film is «very good”  - something Susan Lehman confimed. 

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 6:56 AM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blog

Mustafa, I am very appreciative of your perspective here. It seems that DOMINO was a tough watch for you, and I thank you for pointing out these elements of the screenplay and the film, and for this discussion. It is a lot to ponder.

I agree that DOMINO, as it stands, is not among De Palma's best works, but it does have De Palma's wit, as you say, and some creative touches, with dark humor, as well. And lots of tomatoes.

Regarding the screenplay, thank you to The Player above, for the detail of the 124-page original. Yes, you would lose a lot of nuance, for sure. And we have seen how the production of DOMINO had unplanned stops and restarts, so who knows how much of what De Palma wanted to film, actually ended up in front of a camera.

It would be very interesting to read that screenplay.

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 2:46 PM CDT

Name: "Mustafa"

You're most welcome, and thank you for this discussion and De Palma Haven!

By the way, I think that this is the most brilliant thing in the movie, the Mission to Mars referrence, I interpreted it as a day after a proposed journey to Mars, it never happened! the camera always lie, never trust the camera/media, it is in a state of constant change.

Add to that, he could be saying that I had the same shitty production circumstances here like I did with MIM, a continuous struggle to make a movie, just one day after!

Brilliant move by a highly witty man, alas it needs more than a joke to make a great movie 

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 7:45 PM CDT

Name: "Christian G"

Mustafa... You write "(...) Christian who is doing a crusade in the movie!" 

I don't think Christian is participating in a crucade, what leads you to this conclusion?

This, maybe?

You write: 

"And again, there was no time to portray Salah Al din in the movie as caricature f a character, not a really dangerous person, nor they isolated him as a deranged pathogen, They just portrayed him as a dangerous real person with obviously countless like him to emerge based on instructions from hi above, not part of his delusional mind."

ISIS terrorist leaders are dangerous real persons, well trained, organized and financed. They are evil, not crazy. 

Where does their hate come from? Even De Palma has clearly stated that the U. S. invasion of Iraq created ISIS and recruited terrorists to the battle ground. This theory is fairly well accepted nowadays.

But I don't think he is naive about ISIS or its standing in certain Muslim communities. In another post you wrote this was a 0,001 minority (don't have the qxact quote in front of me). While it is certainly true that islamist extremist constitute a minority of Muslims, I think you understate the importance of ISIS and its supporters on world events. A quick search for "how many Muslims support ISIS" lead me to an interesting article by PEW research center. It's the first article that comes up. It has a number of statistics. In Turkey almost 1/3 of Muslims say they are favorable to ISIS or answer "don't know if I have a favorable or unfavorable view of ISIS. 73% say they have an unfavorable view. This is a European country.  If we move to Pakistan only 28% have an unfavorable view of ISIS. 

I for one, discard the idea that De Palmas message here is one of racist clash of civilizations, it simply does not at all jell with his political ideology. 

Monday, June 3, 2019 - 8:57 PM CDT

Name: "Mustafa"

The cosmic joke for me was, I am one of his biggest devotee and enthusiast, got my name in his movie, Mustafa Cafe, only to be mentioned as a character who is a terrorist collaberator!

I would have liked to think that he read my name somewhere and put it in the movie, but I wouldnt want it to be as such a low character!


Monday, June 3, 2019 - 11:08 PM CDT

Name: "Mustafa"

Christian G, I came from Iraq, where 35 million people live there, let me assure u that more than 99.99 of Iraqis hates the guts of the name ISIS or any terrorists organization for that matter, one because we have burned by them more than most other countries, second because people in Iraq are really non-violent people who if were not so, they would not be ruled by criminals.

Anyone who wants to kill people based on their religion or race, is deranged pathogen, give them weapon, they will become dangerous ones. Hence, the psychopathy came frst! 

I dont want to turn this page from a movie discussion into political arena, I simple said that the movie did not seperate Salah Al Din the terrorsit from the religion, it kept playin verses of Quran whenever Salah committed violent acts, the movie kept reminding the viewer that this is the religion that is sommitting the acts, not the individual.

And I dont want to repeat myself on the referrence on the Crusades, anyone with the slightest knowledge to the idiological struggle in the region 800 years would see where the movie was going. The stereotype in the movie was naseating for me.

By the way, I hate ISIS and terrorists more than any European or American do, because: A They ruined my country and killed thousands of people there, B they ruined the image of certain people forever. 



Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 2:13 AM CDT

Name: "jjabely"

Christian G, Islamophobia may not jell with De Palma's political ideology - and I agree with you on that - but that doesn't mean that "Domino," as it now exists, doesn't have problems in terms of how it presents its terrorist characters (and we can split hairs all we want on what exact percentage of Muslims support terrorists, but I think we can agree that, in totality, only a minority do) (but sorry, giving figures for the largely ISIS-seiged Pakistan as somehow representive is a bit of a stretch). And yes, ISIS terrorists are real. I don't think anyone's arguing otherwise. 

How did this poltical mess happen? The production's countless problems are well known from this blog; financing pulled, days of crucial shooting days cut, etc. The terrorists weren't the only thing to get the short shrift, by the way. From what's presented, key elements in the relationship between Guy Pearce's FBI agent and Eriq Ebouaney's beared ISIS suspect (though it turns out he's not with ISIS) have been severely condensed to the point of total confusion, especially in the final third in Spain, where, for example, there's a brief shot of them getting ready to talk - then poof! - we cut away (the only reason the shot remains there, I presume, is to place both characters together so that their later arrival on the rooftop opposite the stadium makes sense).

"Domino's" moments of muddled politics surely do not represent De Palma's politics, but people can only react to what they're presented with. There's a reason De Palma's not talking. And given what he's been put through, I don't blame him. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 8:21 AM CDT

Name: "Christian G"


I also mentioned Turkey, did I not. 

From Wikipedia article Muslim attitutes towards terrorism:

 In a Pew Research study from 2006, at least 1 in 4 respondents in six Muslim-majority nations surveyed, except Turkey where itvwas 4%, had at least some confidence in Bin Laden, In Jordan 24% expressed at least some confidence, in Pakistan 38%, in Nigeria 61%. In the 4 European countries surveyed, it varied greatly. 5% of Muslim in France and 7% in Germnay expressed at least some confidence, in United Kingdom and Spain however this number was 14 and 16% respectively.[32]

Pew has shown a large drop in confidence in Bin Laden from 2003 to 2011 amongst nations it surveyed. Confidence in him decreased to 34% in 2011 in Palestine, from a high of 74% in 2003. The same trend was observed in other nations: 26% in Indonesia as compared to 59% in 2003, 13% in Jordan in 2011 as compared to 56% in 2003, 3% in Turkey in 2011 as compared to 15% in 2003. The lowest was in Lebabon where only 1% had any confidence in him, down from 19% in 2003. Change compared to 6 countries surveyed in 2010 was mimimal. Egypt however showed a confidence of 22% as compared to 19% in 2010.[33]

A 2010 Zogby poll reported that 69% of American Muslims supported stronger laws to fight terrorism.[34]"


Minority, yes, 0,01%, no. 

In Iraq ISIS garnered considerable support among Sunni-muslims (in particular Baath-loyalists) mainly because ISIS was seen a resistance-fighters against the US and post-Saddam Shia-government. 

Again: the U.S. created ISIS. And for no reason, may I add. De Palma has always been highly critical of such US intervention. 

I'm not sure why the names for the characters were selected, but I assume De Palma edited the picture with his longtime collaborator Bill Pankow, and said the the shooting was a nightmare, but the film was "good". Lehman said it was "very good." So I assume he finished the editing with Pankow himself. 


If De Palma was so opposed to the politics in the film I'm sure he would speak out, just as he did with Redacted and DTK criterion blu-ray. 


The conclusion is simple : De Palma finished the film and seems reasonably happy with the finished product, although one can assume it's a comprised work for budgetary reasons - as the 124 page script would indicate. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 12:47 PM CDT

Name: "Mustafa"

Christian G, lets agree on one thing: terrosism is a plague and cancer on earth, any person who spport that idiology, is not a good person and need to reevaluate their values. if they had any values!

I wouldnt trust Wikipidia much, as far as Iraq is concerned, a place where I have lived there for most of my life, i can assure u that most Sunni hate the guts of ISIS, in baghdad at least where I lived, I never met Sunni who supported that sick idiology, even among those who previously supported Saddam. Sure u might find few disillussioned poor souls in western cities, but there r few, the media has blown that picture out of proportion, not different than WMD lie, just keep the wheel of fear turning.

My point was not on portraying the ugly face of terrorism as it is, but I disliked how it mixed the cards,  not differentiating terrorsim from religion, showing that they are both sides of one coin. Some people would go that way, starting to steer numbers of how many Muslims in each country support or against terrorsim, they contemplate that rather than going to common sense that ISIS are just a gang like any other gang in history, hiding behind religion to fulfill inner sick needs, and of course USA helped creating that monster!

In the end each to their own in watching the movie, personally, I saw unfavourable stereotyping in it, that would increase the gap between cultures rather than fill it.

As for technical merits, 2 great scenes amidst a major disappointment from the Master, he is far far far better than this. 

I never thought i will see this day where he makes a subpar movie, I even think that Bonfire of the Vanities is a great social satire, excellently made and hugely underrated. 

On the bright side for me, my name got immortalized in a De Palma's movie!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 9:26 PM CDT

Name: "anonymous"

Oh, Mustafa, come now, even the best of the best make a few clinkers here and there. In De Palma's case, "Wise Guys" leaps to mind (and I really wish it wouldn't). "Domino" is far from subpar De Palma. 

But hey, I'm not the one who has a De Palma cafe named after me, so what do I know. ;)  

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 11:41 PM CDT

Name: "Mustafa"

I like Wise Guys, I laugh everytime I watch it, sweet movie remind me of Abbott and Costello glory days

Sunday, June 9, 2019 - 5:32 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blog

Sorry for my delayed response on this, but a few days ago, above, jjabely wrote about the scene in the cafe between Guy Pearce and Eriq Ebouaney: "...there's a brief shot of them getting ready to talk - then poof! - we cut away (the only reason the shot remains there, I presume, is to place both characters together so that their later arrival on the rooftop opposite the stadium makes sense)."

Not so, I say-- Guy Pearce's character previously tells Ebouaney that he will meet him in that cafe, as they are both expecting Al Din to show up there. The brief scene is simply to add to the interweaving suspense and show that Guy Pearce did indeed come back and that these guys are waiting to pounce on Al Din as soon as he shows up to see Mustafa.

Monday, June 10, 2019 - 1:09 PM CDT

Name: "jjabely"

I'd have to see it again, but your explanation on the moment's story significance makes complete sense, However, I still maintain that it felt like a hasty insert shot. Everything else in this sequence flowed like a Swiss watch. The shot stood out, and not in a good way. 

Monday, June 10, 2019 - 5:34 PM CDT

Name: "Geoff"
Home Page: https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blog

I might be odd, but the shot made perfect sense to me, just two guys having a drink while they wait. Parallel editing, adding to the suspense of the moment.

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