COLLIDER DELVES INTO A DOZEN DE PALMA FILMS; FILM SCHOOL REJECTS FINDS 12 TO WATCH IF YOU LIKE 'M:I'
"I'm not sure I would ever do one of those AMC private theater rentals, but if I did, and they could let me show any movie I wanted, I would pack the house and listen to them enjoy Snake Eyes for the first time." That's just one of several fun things Collider's Gregory Lawrence writes in his article, "12 Best Brian De Palma Movies: An Intro to the Director's Stylized, Provocative Pictures," which posted today. A refreshing viewpoint, and very fitting, as Snake Eyes is released on Blu-ray today. Interestingly, Lawrence does not include either one of De Palma's two Al Pacino collaborations in his De Palma dozen, and the way he writes, it becomes obvious from the start that he knows his stuff, delving into De Palma's work with a welcome flair:
Sometimes, recommending a "classic filmmaker" feels a little like recommending vegetables. In an age when free time is sparse and real life is full of inherent struggle, why use the precious moments we have to watch movies that require mental taxation, sitting through slogs, or reckoning with works wholly unconcerned with basic entertainment?
I promise you: You will not have this problem watching Brian De Palma, one of our most singular filmmakers concerned with the ideas of cinematic "pleasure." His prolific body of work, from 1968 until today, is full of pure entertainment, of provocative subject matter, of genres stuffy cineastes often denigrate as being lesser-than. De Palma is an all-caps DIRECTOR, an artist who blows out his frames with delicious techniques, a visual stylist of the most propulsive order.
We've curated a list of De Palma's 12 most essential films, an intriguing list of entertainment that will shock you, titillate you, and simply demand your attention. From his sleazy horror-thriller odysseys to his mainstream thrill rides to his surprisingly political experimentations, these Brian De Palma films will never bore you, will always surprise you, and will leave you wanting more. Enjoy watching...
Meanwhile, in Film School Rejects' "Beat the Algorithm" column, Anna Swanson presents 12 films to watch if you like De Palma's Mission: Impossible (which is also on Lawrence's list for Collider). "Without Brian De Palma," Swanson begins, "there would be no Mission: Impossible. No repelling off the Burj Khalifa, no slow-motion doves, no mask disguises, no HALO jump. De Palma’s established fluency with genre cinema, commanding visual style, and obsessive cinematography made for a uniquely energetic cloak and dagger caper."
Beginning with Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, and moving on chronologically through Robert Bresson's A Man Escaped and Stanley Kubrick's The Killing, the fourth film in Swanson's dozen is De Palma's Blow Out:
We’d venture a guess that, for a lot of folks, there’s a good chance that Mission: Impossible is their first foray into Brian De Palma’s filmography. And if all those obsession-fuelled close-ups and paranoiac split diopter shots turned your crank, we’d recommend diving into the deep end with Blow Out, arguably the crown jewel of De Palma’s career and the thriller genre, period. Jack Terry (John Travolta) is a skilled sound recording artist who works on B-grade horror films. One night, while recording some new audio, he captures something unexpected with his sound recording equipment: a gunshot, a blowout, and a car crashing into a creek. Driven by curiosity and a fervent sense that the public ought to know the truth, Jack rages against the ensuing cover-up, risking not only his life but that of the young sex worker (Nancy Allen) he pulled from the watery wreck that fateful night.