AHEAD OF TOMORROW'S RELEASE OF "DEVIL'S CANDY" PODCAST EPISODE 2 - "THE PLOT THICKENS"
It's prime time tonight on TCM, with five films directed by Brian De Palma. The night begins at 7pm central with The Bonfire Of The Vanities, followed by four superb De Palma thrillers, going deep into the night: Obsession, Sisters, Blow Out, and Body Double. Here's an article about it from TCM's Frank Miller:
From improvisatory comedy to classic horror films and thrillers, Brian De Palma has established himself as one of the screen’s foremost stylists, and one of his films in particular is the subject of TCM’s podcast The Plot Thickens: Season 2 - The Devil’s Candy. Drawing on influences as disparate as Andy Warhol, Jean-Luc Godard and, of course, Alfred Hitchcock, he’s created a body of work — 32 narrative features to date along with shorts, documentaries and music videos — among the most distinctive in modern cinema.
Along the way, he brought Robert De Niro to the screen for the first credited time (in 1968’s Greetings), introduced Martin Scorsese to De Niro and screenwriter Paul Schrader and helped George Lucas write the opening scrawl for the first Star Wars film. Along with De Niro, De Palma also fostered the careers of John Lithgow (in Obsession, 1976); Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, Amy Irving and Nancy Allen (in Carrie, 1976); and Melanie Griffith (in Body Double, 1984). He has been honored with awards from the Berlin and Venice Film Festivals and Amnesty International (for his 2007 political thriller Redacted) while also receiving a record six nominations for the Razzie Award for Worst Director. [Editor's note: blah-di-blah-di-blah.]
The Newark, NJ, native was studying physics at Columbia University when he fell in love with film after seeing Citizen Kane (1941) and Vertigo (1958). While earning an MA in theater from Sarah Lawrence College, De Palma shot his first film in 1963, The Wedding Party (1969), co-directed with Sarah Lawrence professor Wilford Leach and fellow student Cynthia Munroe and starring De Palma’s friend De Niro along with Jill Clayburgh and De Palma regular William Finley. Because of a dispute with financial backer Stanley Borden, the film was held from release until after De Palma’s comedy, Greetings brought attention to De Palma and De Niro.
De Palma moved from comedy to suspense for the first time with Sisters (1972), starring Finley, Jennifer Salt and Margot Kidder. This was also the first of two De Palma films (along with Obsession) scored by Bernard Herrmann, one Hitchcock’s key collaborators. De Palma’s first major hit was the Stephen King adaptation Carrie, which brought Spacek and Piper Laurie Oscar nominations. He scored another major hit with his remake of Scarface (1983), starring Al Pacino, followed by the equally successful The Untouchables (1987), which brought Sean Connery an Oscar. He also helped launch Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible film franchise in 1996, though he declined an offer to direct the 2000 sequel.
De Palma’s films are distinguished by a variety of techniques, including the use of split-screen, long pans, tracking shots and unusual angles. He is also noted for quoting generously from other directors, most notably Hitchcock, whose Vertigo inspired both Obsession and Body Double. Others he has cited as inspiration include Michelangelo Antonioni, whose Blowup (1966) is reflected in De Palma’s Blow Out (1981), and Sergei Eisenstein, whose Battleship Potemkin (1925) is referenced in the staircase shoot out of The Untouchables.
TCM presents five of De Palma’s films, including three network premieres:
You can read Frank Miller's plot descriptions of the five films at TCM.com, but the three TCM network premieres are The Bonfire Of The Vanities, Blow Out, and Body Double.