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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

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.
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Genius of Love
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Hi, Mom!
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Iraq, etc.
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Lights Out
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Thursday, June 11, 2009
According to a blurb in the latest issue of Tv Guide, Tom Cruise has invited J.J. Abrams, who directed MI:3, to produce a fourth feature film in the Mission: Impossible franchise. You can read the entire blurb at left, but Abrams says that he and Cruise have a "really cool idea" for a new film, which may have a new director, unless Abrams decides to stay on and direct again. Cruise is smart to stick with Abrams for such a project, given that Abrams is currently on a high with Paramount, the studio for which he just made the Star Trek movie, which is a big hit. Paramount, of course, owns the rights to the Mission: Impossible franchise.

The scan of the article at left is courtesy of Spoiler TV.

Posted by Geoff at 2:02 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 11, 2009 2:04 AM CDT
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Today Jim Emerson's Scanners blog discusses the way a film review can set expectations for a work that make actually viewing the thing a letdown. His first example is Pauline Kael's "intoxicating" review of Brian De Palma's The Fury. Emerson writes: The movie itself was a bit of a letdown for me after that review, but Kael's enthusiasm proved infectious. I'm sure I've seen The Fury at least half a dozen times and it remains one of my favorite De Palmas (and Carrie Snodgress is one of the most heartbreaking of the tender, funny oddball heroines of early-ish De Palma, alongside Sissy Spacek, Betty Buckley, Amy Irving, Genevieve Bujold and Angie Dickinson). Kael's description of the movie's climactic crescendo has never left me:

This finale -- a parody of Antonioni's apocalyptic vision at the close of Zabriskie Point -- is the greatest finish for any villain ever. One can imagine Welles, Peckinpah, Scorsese, and Spielberg still stunned, bowing to the ground, choking with laughter.

Well, once that image has been implanted in your head to accompany the one(s) in the movie (and the villain is John Cassavettes, so there's even more auteur glee on display), it's hard to shake it.

Emerson discusses a couple of other examples before getting into a discussion of A.O. Scott's review of Sam Mendes' Away We Go, and how the review impressed him so much that he is now hesitant to see the actual film.

Posted by Geoff at 1:14 PM CDT
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Monday, June 8, 2009

William Katt was interviewed for yesterday's SciFiPulse Radio podcast. Katt talked about working on Carrie, saying that he had seen Brian De Palma's earlier films, such as Greetings, Hi, Mom!, and Get To Know Your Rabbit. Katt recalled that as they set out to make Carrie, there was a general feeling in Hollywood that this was going to be De Palma's breakthrough film. Katt said that during a two week period before filming, the actors would meet at De Palma's California apartment and improvise scenes together, while De Palma recorded them on a reel-to-reel tape, and then had the script revised accordingly. Katt said this rehearsal process made for a very relaxed set on Carrie, because the actors were already comfortable with each other, and had already played out the scenes together a number of times. Katt also discussed other projects throughout his career, including, of course, his TV show The Greatest American Hero.

Posted by Geoff at 3:02 PM CDT
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Sunday, June 7, 2009
In alignment with the Produced By 2009 Conference in Culver City, which began Friday and continues through today, JoBlo has posted the full text of Jimmy O's recent interview with Gale Anne Hurd (see my post from May 19 2009). In one part of the interview, Hurd is asked about her strategy, and says the key is "the best movie you can" make. She then moves into a discussion about marketing:

But at the same time, make sure that when the film is marketed, it is marketed properly, and that the studio is selling the same film that the filmmakers made. Because you can’t do a bait and switch. And that is primarily because of the internet, and the fact that the first fans that see a film, when they are lead to believe they’re seeing one thing and they see it and it is something else, that word gets out. You don’t have the weekend anymore. And also, box office grosses are reported in the mainstream press, immediately available on-line and I do think that the consumer is now aware of what films are underperforming. And I think that there are remarkable films that under perform on a Friday and because that becomes a story, people who otherwise might’ve gone to see a film, an actually remarkably good film, won’t go to see it for whatever reason, its been branded unsuccessful. You know, after one night.

Jimmy O's interview concludes with a slightly extended discussion of The Boston Stranglers:

[Jimmy O] What is next for you that you are really excited about?

[Hurd] The film that Brian De Palma, my ex-husband and I are working on together is THE BOSTON STRANGLERS. Which is the true story of something that we think we all know the true story now, but we don’t. Which is that Albert Desalvo, who was branded the Boston Strangler, there was a movie about him, Tony Curtis played Albert Desalvo… as it turns out, he was never convicted of the crime.

[Jimmy O] How far along?

[Hurd] The film is set up at Overture, and we are in the process of casting and we hope to shoot in the fall.

[Jimmy O] Anyone that you are looking at specifically, that you’d hope for?

[Hurd] Not at the moment. Great ideas though.

On Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times posted edited highlights from a producers panel that Hurd participated in as a lead-in to this weekend's conference.

Posted by Geoff at 11:43 AM CDT
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Thursday, June 4, 2009
Austin's University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center recently opened to the public a treasure trove of film materials donated in 2006 by Robert De Niro. The materials cover De Niro's career from the 1960s to 2005, and includes several De Palma-related items that make a trip to Austin a necessity. One of the most startling discoveries among the collection (which I haven't yet seen) is a screenplay for Sisters, written by De Palma and Louisa Rose, with De Niro's notes included. The screenplay is circa 1970, the same year De Niro starred with Sisters' Jennifer Salt in De Palma's Hi, Mom!.

Speaking of the latter, the collection also boasts several scripts associated with that project, which began life as a screenplay by De Palma and Chuck Hirsch titled "Son Of Greetings." The De Niro collection contains the latter screenplay, also with the actor's notes, as well as an annotated typescript of the original story by De Palma and Hirsch. Also most likely related to that project is an original film treatment (circa 1970) by De Palma titled "Home Movie," which includes one single note written by De Niro. De Palma would go on to make a film titled Home Movies in 1979-80, but this treatment seems more likely something like the David Holzman's Diary-inspired section of Hi, Mom! that ended up transformed into the film we have today. But who knows-- perhaps when we visit the museum and look at the collection, we'll find something entirely different.

Also in the collection is an undated shooting script for De Niro's first film, The Wedding Party, complete with De Niro's notes. There is also a June 1964 calendar marked out with scenes from the project. There is also an early and incomplete draft of David Mamet's screenplay for The Untouchables, again with De Niro's notes, as well as a version dated July 22 1986, and subsequent revisions from September and October. There are also several photographs of Al Capone with De Niro's notes, and two copies of Neil Elliott's My Years with Capone, one of which is annotated by De Niro. There are also Untouchables-related production materials, including make-up/hair continuity, wardrobe polaroids, publicity materials, a premiere invitation, and a copy of John Kobler's 1971 book Capone with Mamet's handwritten notes throughout the text.

Also included in the collection are production photographs from Hi, Mom!, and publicity flyers and photographs from Greetings. Oh, and a couple of other gems of interest: two correspondences from De Palma to De Niro, along with notes from Scorsese, Spielberg, Coppola, Frankenheimer, and several outgoing letters from De Niro. View the preliminary inventory list right here.

And finally, the real reason I chose the above image from Taxi Driver: according to the Daily Express, Clarence Clemons, who coached De Niro on how to play saxophone for Scorsese's New York, New York, recently told the New York Daily News that De Niro got the famous "You talkin' to me" line in Scorsese's Taxi Driver from Bruce Springsteen. "[De Niro] had been to one of our concerts," said Clemons, "and the audience was yelling out 'Bruce!' In those days, Bruce would stop onstage and say, 'You talkin' to me?' De Niro was kind of channeling him."

Posted by Geoff at 12:04 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 4, 2009 1:57 AM CDT
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009
The Philippine Entertainment Portal posted an article yesterday that provided a full translation of what Quentin Tarantino had to say about Brillante Mendoza's Kinatay, for which Mendoza was awarded Best Director at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Here is the translation from Metro France, provided by PEP's Jocelyn Dimaculangan:

Metro France: You know already [all the good things] that people say about Inglorious Bastards. Quentin Tarantino remains one of the biggest cineastes of his generation. A well informed cinephile also, who has spent much time in Cannes theaters these past few days...

Is there a film that you've particularly liked since you arrived?

"I can't really speak about the other films in competition because if I mention two, they will ask me why I didn't mention two more! But if there is one that I would gladly defend, it's Kinatay by Brillante Mendoza because it seems [to be] receiving the worst critics up to now. But me, I found it extraordinary."

Precisely, what is your critique [of the film]?

"For a film that puts you in the witness position, I believed it from the beginning to the end, an impression strengthened by the fact that the story is told in real time. The situation is at the same time horrible and ordinary, almost boring. And it is rather crazy that such a thing could be boring! In some aspects, Kinatay reminded me of Casualties Of War, the film of Brian De Palma. We are witnesses of a murder of this prostitute in Manila, a "disposable" being, if we refer to the world she lives in. And the filmmaker [makes] us aware of her humanity, showing her pain. I also adored the flight in the car, in the dark, exciting because we can make out the forms and the sounds."

Do you still go as often to the movies?

"From age 17 to 22, I was filling up a detailed list of all the films I would see in a year. I was averaging 197 to 202 per year and at that time I was broke! I am doing much less today. In real life, my own movies get in the way and one has to be a journalist to see so much!"

Posted by Geoff at 11:55 PM CDT
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Monday, June 1, 2009
Jessica Harper, who was "introduced" in Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise (1974) before going on to star in Dario Argento's Suspiria (1977), will speak in between screenings of the two films Friday, June 12, at The Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles. The Drive-In parking lot theater offers admission for $30 per car, or you can reserve a seat inside the theater for $8 per person.

Posted by Geoff at 9:57 PM CDT
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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Roderick Heath at Ferdy On Films takes a long look at Brian De Palma's Greetings, offering a critical essay that takes into account De Palma's later career works, as well as other early low-budget films from the same time period, such as Francis Coppola’s You’re a Big Boy Now, and Arthur Penn's Alice’s Restaurant. Heath writes, in part:

To be fair, Greetings’ budget was rock bottom, even lower than Penn’s and Coppola’s films. It is a counterculture document, but in a ground-level, distracted, self-critical fashion, attentive to the sights and sounds of its era, yet more caught up in analysing new habits in perceiving the world. It’s also a cinephile’s work that bears relation, in a way, to the films of Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers, with its three heroes as screwball foils interacting with a specific environment, surviving, and contending with the forces that assail them. Nonetheless, the film does have a specific political and social idea to communicate. It’s not found in scenes such as when Lloyd encounters a zealous radical magazine seller, or in the draft-dodging hijinks. Lloyd’s paranoia, Jon’s fetishist interest in realising voyeuristic fantasies, and the way these tendencies cross-pollinate in efforts to capture the obscured truth on film reveal the leitmotifs of De Palma’s career. It’s easy, for instance, to point to Lloyd’s constant citation of Blow-Up and his general obsession with assassination and political skulduggery and note that both inspired Blow Out (1981).

Posted by Geoff at 1:03 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 31, 2009 1:05 PM CDT
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Friday, May 29, 2009

A couple of days ago, the Boston Herald's Stephen Schaefer interviewed Sam Raimi, whose new film Drag Me To Hell opens today. Schaefer asked Raimi whether a scene of star Alison Lohman extending her hand from a muddy grave was an homage to the final scene in Brian De Palma's Carrie. Raimi said that while he admires both the film and the novel by Stephen King, there was no such homage meant. Meanwhile, DVD Talk's Jason Bailey loves the film, and compares Lohman's work in it to Nancy Allen:

Much of the success of the picture rides on Miss Lohman, who is really getting away with something here; she manages to be both utterly sincere and in on the joke, without tipping her hand either way. It's a tart, kicky performance, the kind of work that Nancy Allen used to do so well in those old Brian De Palma movies.

Posted by Geoff at 8:29 PM CDT
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, one of several films that have had a profound influence on the cinema of Brian De Palma, finally gets a proper DVD release this week. Armond White's review in the New York Press goes into the influence of its grand finale:

Zabriskie Point is part of Warners’ Directors Showcase package bringing back such overlooked films as John Boorman’s very fine Beyond Rangoon and Hal Ashby’s Looking to Get Out, but Antonioni’s masterpiece has already had notable influence: Bruno Dumont misunderstood and disgraced it in his horror-show/parody Twentynine Palms but Brian De Palma paid great tribute in The Fury. Daria’s affair with businessman Rod Taylor is repeated in De Palma’s John Cassavetes/Amy Irving finale where moral and generational conflict literally explode. It was Antonioni’s idea to unleash his heroine’s frustration while critiquing the spiritual emptiness of materialist excess.This still-amazing and thoughtful sequence (volatile yet measured and thematic) invented the “cinegasm.”

Posted by Geoff at 12:27 PM CDT
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