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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


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De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

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The Black Dahlia 2006


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Carrie...A Fan's Site


No Harm In Charm

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The Master Of Suspense

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a la Mod

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Scarface: Make Way
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De Palma a la Mod

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Thursday, May 7, 2020
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/baldwinpodcast.jpgThis week, Alec Baldwin's Here's the Thing podcast features last October's on-stage conversation with Brian De Palma at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Baldwin provides an intro to the episode:
The Untouchables, Casualties of War, The Bonfire Of The Vanities, Raising Cain, Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible... Brian De Palma didn't just make all those movies, he made all those movies... in a row. Nobody balances suspense, action, and character better than he does. Each film is a master class in building tension, with tracking shots, disconcerting angles, and split screens. And then he releases that tension with the blunt shock of violence. In any De Palma film, the camera is ultimately the star. De Palma is the son of a surgeon, and he went to Columbia for physics. But he quickly discovered where his true passion lay. You know him as a virtuosic movie director, but before that, he was a fixture of the experimental Greenwich Village movie scene of the 1960s. That's where he cast a then-unknown actor named Bobby De Niro. Fitting, since De Palma later became known for working with all the greatest actors. His very first Hollywood movie starred Orson Welles. Last summer, the Hamptons International Film Festival gave Brian De Palma the Lifetime Achievement Award. I was honored to speak with him in front of a live audience when he came to accept it.

At the start of the conversation, Baldwin says to De Palma, "Directing is an unbelievably difficult task. When did you know you could do that?"

De Palma responds: "This is a long funny story. I was head of the Columbia players. And the Varsity Show is a very big thing at Columbia. So there were two shows up to be voted for. And I was just an apprentice that was going to take over the Columbia Players the following year. So, in these situations, everybody's, you know, got their own sort of corrupt intent, because, if you do my play, I get to play the lead, and you get to direct, da da da. I knew nothing about this. There were two really good scripts. One by Steve Rossen, who was one of my school mates at Columbia, and the other one by Terry McNally, a very funny comedy." [A Columbia College obit of McNally, who passed away earlier this year, notes that "McNally wrote the 66th Annual Varsity Show, The Streets of New York, in 1958."] "And they fought for hours, and they were deadlocked, you know, like six-to-six, and it was getting late, and it was about midnight, and they said, they looked over to me, because I had read both scripts, and they said, well, let the kid decide. So I said, well, I think that Terry McNally's script is funny, let's do that one. 'Great!' Everybody leaves.

"That night, I was shooting my first short, which consisted of Pan coming out of the tunnel at 116th Street. I was not the director, I was just author and cinematographer. I get to the location and my director arrives, Gene Marner, I'll never forget his name. And he comes with his very Sicilian girlfriend named Charley. And she comes over to me, and she says, 'You fucking idiot! You didn't vote for the Rossen play? Didn't you know that Gene was going to direct it?' And I go, 'Huh?' [Baldwin laughs] And then they walked off. And they took the lead actor with them. So here I am, at 116th Street, at three in the morning, staring into an empty tunnel, saying, 'I'm gonna direct this now.'

Baldwin: "And that's it."

De Palma: "That's it."

Baldwin: "And you found some waitress at an all-night diner and said, 'Come with me, you're my lead!' You didn't need any actress for the shot?"

De Palma: "No, I had to go out and find my own actors and start all over again."

Posted by Geoff at 8:43 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 9, 2020 11:07 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (9) | Permalink | Share This Post

Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 7:25 AM CDT

Name: "Sergio Angelini"

Thanks for posting this - it's a really fun interview and love the anecdotes. There are a few slip-ups of course, like Baldwin asking why Burum didn't shoot Scarface (because they had not worked together yet!); and De Palma mistakenly saying Blow Ouit was his first film with Lithgow instead of Obsession. 

Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 9:08 AM CDT

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

Yes, I noticed those slip-ups, too -- I guess that'll happen with live discussions from time to time.

Saturday, May 9, 2020 - 11:39 PM CDT

Name: "Tex"

DePalma's last film narratively a disaster. It's sad to see a director at the bottom of his game with such disinterest and banality.

Sunday, May 10, 2020 - 9:27 AM CDT

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

It really does seem to be bothering you, Tex, but I really don't know why you think there was a lack of interest on De Palma's part-- he worked very hard on Domino for a long, extended period of time, filming overnights, running out of money and having to deal with those consequences and find ways to move on with the film on a fairly regular basis throughout. You don't think that sounds stressful? You don't think it shows interest to somehow keep moving on so you can have a movie out of all that planning, replanning, and stress? Then I don't know what else to say. The stories about filming are well documented on this blog. De Palma worked very hard on Domino.

Sunday, May 10, 2020 - 6:05 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

 Watched DOMINO and the ideas in the movie had great potential. The idea of Islamist terrorists staging attacks as media productions for the internet had great potential and the most interesting aspects to the film for me. There are good sequences throughout the film as there are traces of what could have been a controversial masterpiece with all the setback of production preventing DePalma from making the film he intended and reshaping the script for low budget filmmaking.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 2:43 PM CDT

Name: "palisades"

I mean I get it, but Domino strikes me as exactly the film he would've made anyway given those budget constraints. There's nothing there that isn't within his wheelhouse, and it's not like we've haven't seen De Palma-with-budget-issues before (third act Mission to Mars, etc.)

I feel like people need to be aware of just how meagre these straight-to-DVD productions are. Stallone recently revealed that the last Escape Plan sequel was made in just 17 days. It's a tough process for the 80% of movies that get made that don't have Mission: Impossible budgets.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 5:01 PM CDT

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

Well, yes and no, though, because the production was originally promised money that was very suddenly not there, as if the rug was being pulled out while they were filming. They had to bring a superproducer into the fold to help finish the picture, and they had to look to sources in other countries to continue with financing. And along with all of that, I believe it all took much longer than 17 days, etc., etc.

But yes, overall, De Palma seems to have made the points that he wanted to make with this film. And it is a De Palma film. I don't know if we can say with certainty that it is precisely how he had envisioned it, however.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 6:01 PM CDT

Name: "Harry Georgatos"

It has been said DePalma had sequences and set-pieces planned for DOMINO that he had to take out of the script when his budget got slashed. DePalma had to reshape the script for low budget filmmaking. Unfortunately in most countries DOMINO ended up straight to home entertainment. It would be good one day DePalma can address what went on behind the scenes with a concept that had great potential for a great film.

Saturday, May 23, 2020 - 12:10 PM CDT

Name: "jj"

De Palma doesn't see like a kiss-and-tell type of director, so I doubt he'll ever get into what went down on "Domino." He's moved on. 

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