Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod


De Palma Discussion


Recent Headlines
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


« May 2011 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31


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.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
Cinema Studies
Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Conversation, The
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dick Vorisek
Dionysus In '69
Dressed To Kill
Edward R. Pressman
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Genius of Love
George Litto
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Hi, Mom!
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jack Fisk
Jared Martin
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Newton 1861
Noah Baumbach
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parties & Premieres
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Peet Gelderblom
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Responsive Eye
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Rotwang muß weg!
Sean Penn
Sensuous Woman, The
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Stephen H Burum
Sweet Vengeance
Taxi Driver
The Tale
To Bridge This Gap
Toronto Film Fest
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untitled Hollywood Horror
Untitled Industry-Abuse M
Venice Beach
Vilmos Zsigmond
Wedding Party
William Finley
Wise Guys
Woton's Wake
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Okay, it has been a while since the last post, and it's not due to a lack of activity in the De Palma-sphere. I've just been busy (although had there been any news news it would have been posted right away). With that said, don't be startled to see a flurry of posts in the next couple of days as I try to put up everything I've been keeping my eye on.

And what better way to kick off that flurry than to get us grounded with De Palma's current project, Passion, the remake of Alain Corneau's Love Crime. Corneau's film will be hitting U.S. theaters this summer (July 1st in New York, and August 26th elsewhere). It will also play as part of the International Showcase at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June. Producer Saïd Ben Saïd has been promising that the main cast of De Palma's film will be announced at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which begins this Wednesday, so here we go. There has been no writer mentioned yet for this project, which leaves room for the possibility that De Palma himself is writing the screenplay. It could also mean that they've hired someone. Perhaps they might address that information at Cannes, as well. The film is to be shot in Cologne, Berlin, and London beginning this August. De Palma has been in Paris working to cast the picture.

At New York's "Rendez-vous with French Cinema" last March, Ludivine Sagnier was present for a Q&A following a screening of Love Crime. According to Beast McGuffin, Sagnier said that for many years, Corneau had been obsessed with making a movie about "the perfect crime," and "this was the end result." McGuffin adds that the working title for the film was "The Perfect Woman." McGuffin continues:

The film is competent, spare (even down to the evocative saxophone soundtrack, which reminded me of the spate of American neo-Noir movies of the 90s), and entertaining, but what in a weird way, after the crime is committed you begin to feel that the movie is about, really, not 'the perfect crime' but instead, how to write the screenplay about 'the perfect crime'. This is hard to explain without giving away elements of the film's plot... But if you see the film, or the remake, I think you'll see what I mean

Erica Abeel at indieWIRE
The wickedly entertaining “Love Crime,” the last film of the late Alain Corneau, brings on the mother of all catfights. Kristin Scott-Thomas is perfectly cast as a ruthless exec in some vague multinational, more serpent than warm-blooded mammal. She both caresses and exploits her ambitious young assistant (Ludivine Sagnier), tossing off such lines as “You have a great talent and I made the most of it.” After humiliating Sagnier at a company event, the assistant doubles down for an elaborate revenge. The scenes of company business, filled with mumbo-jumbo, hardly bother to appear authentic; and hey, what happened to the lesbian vibe in the early scenes? But the bitchery is a hoot, the chilly chrome color design is an extension of the characters’ inner world and the final sting in the tail a nasty surprise. You can bet that in his remake Brian De Palma will pick up on that lesbian motif.

Doris Toumarkine at Film Journal International
A much-anticipated offering that offered less than anticipated was the late Alain Corneau’s corporate-crime melodrama Love Crime, starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier as dueling, fired-up execs at a multinational agro giant. Part soft-core tease (Scott Thomas hits persuasively on Sagnier, who utters “I love you,” but it’s all gratuitous), part executive-suite close-up of Machiavellian scheming, and part murder intrigue, the film—slick, ballsy, silly—fails to deliver one frame of authenticity or emotional tug. But, hats off to the cast, it does entertain. Reportedly, Brian De Palma has remake rights for a U.K. shoot.

Stephen Holden at the New York Times
In this vicious psychological cat-and-mouse game, Kristin Scott Thomas plays the chief executive of the Parisian branch of a multinational corporation who does lethal battle with her protégée (Ludivine Sagnier). The movie plays like an entire season of “Damages” compressed into about 100 nasty minutes.

Edmund Lee at Time Out Hong Kong
Whilst remaining thoroughly cold and precise, Love Crime then unveils a ludicrous revenge plot, so matter-of-factly presented that the audience may be forgiven for expecting a little more passion from the proceedings. This, incidentally, looks to be exactly where Brian De Palma plans to enter the equation himself: for better or for worse, the thriller veteran of Dressed to Kill, Scarface and Femme Fatale is all set to direct an English-language remake of the film, titled, well, Passion. It’s surely something the original could have done with a lot more of.

Posted by Geoff at 8:45 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
We all know that today is the day Criterion releases its highly-anticipated edition of Brian De Palma's Blow Out (which includes a newly-remastered version of De Palma's Murder A La Mod, as well as a new hour-long interview with De Palma, and... Oh, I could go on and on!). But there is another nice surprise today-- a new book from David Greven, author of the thought-provoking Manhood In Hollywood From Bush To Bush. While that book took a lengthy look at the masculine dynamics on display in De Palma's Casualties Of War, among other films, Greven's new book, Representations of Femininity in American Genre Cinema: The Woman's Film, Film Noir, and Modern Horror, takes De Palma's Carrie as the prime example of how horror movies are, according to Greven, "concealed woman's films," female-centered melodramas in horror guise. The book includes a chapter on Carrie, as well as a discussion on De Palma's The Fury. Other films Greven discusses in the book include Now, Voyager, The Heiress, Flamingo Road, the Alien films, and The Brave One. There is also a discussion of the slasher genre.

Posted by Geoff at 1:09 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Arrow Films has posted a page for its Blu-Ray edition of Brian De Palma's Obsession, with a stated June 27 release date. However, it does not say anything about a standard DVD version (perhaps that may be released in August?). In any case, we now know that the short films included in the package will be De Palma's Woton's Wake and The Responsive Eye. Also included will be Paul Schrader's original uncut screenplay "in a perfect bound booklet," and a two-sided fold out poster.

Meanwhile, with the De Palma Suspense series going on at BAM, the New York Post's Lou Lumenick has declared his obsession for Obsession, even though he dislikes most of De Palma's other films. Lumenick thinks Obsession is one of the greatest films of the '70s, but was afraid that, watching it again after so many years, it might not hold up. To his delight, it did indeed:

Why does "Obsession'' stand out? I think it's because of screenwriter Paul Schrader, who shared DePalma's obsession with "Vertigo'' and wrote this movie just before his other '80s masterpiece, "Taxi Driver'' (which had Bernard Herrmann's final score). DePalma and Schrader sadly never worked together again. Reportedly, they had a falling out when DePalma, on Herrmann's advice, decided to scrap an epilogue set a decade after the main story (Schrader's original script, "Deja Vu,'' can be found on the French Blu-ray edition, which hopefully will be released in the U.S. by Sony).

The film's theatrical distributor, Columbia Pictures, understandably had some reservations about the movie's incest angle. DePalma brilliantly decided to turn Robertson and Bujold's wedding (their cake is a brilliant visual gag) and wedding night into a dream sequence. Subtlety is a not a term that can often be applied to DePalma's other work, but it's this uncharacteristic restraint that helps make "Obsession'' his masterpiece. The only time I met DePalma -- at a junket for his 1986 comedy "Wise Guys'' -- he seemed puzzled that someone would love what he considered one of his less successful movies.

Posted by Geoff at 9:22 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, April 11, 2011 6:37 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Time Out New York's Joshua Rothkopf posted a three-way telephone conversation with Brian De Palma and Noah Baumbach a few days ago, in anticipation of the Baumbach-presented BAMcinématek series on "De Palma Suspense" that begins tomorrow. Baumbach explains that his parents (film critic Georgia Brown and novelist Jonathan Baumbach) were huge De Palma fans. "That was my initial experience of him," said Baumbach. "They would talk about his movies in a visceral, emotional way. So when I finally saw the films, I felt like I was being invited into a mysterious world that was scary and sexy and strange." De Palma met Baumbach about 15 years ago at a birthday party for Paul Schrader. "I was putting together Mr. Jealousy and he was writing Snake Eyes," Baumbach said. "It was a birthday party for Paul Schrader. The girl I was dating knew Paul, so I went along. And Brian was there. I think I got pretty loaded. I remember spewing out my entire knowledge onto him."

For his part, De Palma responds to Rothkopf's question about his "ripping off" of Hitchcock: "Look, it’s part of what I do," De Palma explained. "I build upon what I’ve seen throughout the history of cinema, which is really what everyone does in every other art form. For me, it’s somehow taken on this tone of stealing or plagiarism, but all art builds upon the past, whether it’s painting or writing or music. You want to use the best of what there is, and take it further."

De Palma was on the phone from Paris, where, Rothkopf mentions, he is currently prepping Passion, his remake of Crime d'amour. The conversation by this time had delved into feminism and De Palma's depictions of women, leading the director to once again explain, "It’s just a simple element of the form. Plus, like many artists, I like photographing women. They’re beautiful and empathetic." That context is called back when De Palma says near the end of the conversation, "I’m in the process of getting ready for Passion. And there are going to be a lot of beautiful women in it." Asked to provide more information, De Palma continued: "It’s based on a French film called Love Crime with Kristin Scott Thomas. It has an extremely complex relationship between two women executives who are basically destroying each other—plus it has a murder in the middle. It’s great material to visualize and make erotic and fun."

Posted by Geoff at 8:42 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, April 7, 2011 8:43 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (8) | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Ed Pressman and William Finley will take part in a Q&A at a screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise this Saturday (April 9) at New York's BAMcinématek. The screening is part of the series "De Palma Suspense," which is presented by BAM Cinema Club Chair Noah Baumbach, who will introduce the series' opening night film, Sisters this Friday (April 8) at 7:30pm. The Pressman/Finley Q&A will take place during the 6:50pm screening on Saturday-- Phantom Of The Paradise will play again at 9:30 that night. Finley's name was just added to the schedule within the past couple of days, so it is possible some more surprises are on the way at BAM... stay tuned. In anticipation of the series, the New York Press' Craig Hubert and the Village Voice's Nick Pinkerton have each posted articles summarizing these key De Palma films.

Criterion is set to release De Palma's BLOW OUT April 26th, and Baumbach's hour-long filmed interview with De Palma is being touted as a worthwhile special feature in early reviews. Check out the reviews at MovieMan's Guide To The Movies and Big Picture Big Sound.

Posted by Geoff at 1:44 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 1:46 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, April 4, 2011
Source Code wasn't the only film that opened this past weekend whose director discussed Brian De Palma as an influence. Last week, IFC's Stephen Saito talked with collaborators James Wan (director) and Leigh Whannell (screenwriter/actor) about their new movie, Insidious. The discussion turned to camera moves, mentioning Steven Spielberg's Jaws and Duel, Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill, and Roman Polanski. Here is an excerpt:

Speaking of twisting, it seemed like the camera was always moving, which seems like a break from other films like this where there might be long panning shots, but the camera still might be shooting from a stationary position.

JW: Even though the camera moves a lot, I think it's there to slowly build the tension and they're not fast camera moves at all. They're very controlled. I definitely wanted to make a very classical, old fashioned horror film based on very classical, old fashioned filmmaking. If you go back and see what Spielberg did with the first "Jaws," it's all very controlled camerawork - or "Duel."

LW: I read one review that said your direction was very reminiscent of "Dressed to Kill." That's pretty cool. Is that something you noticed at all [with the camerawork]?

JW: I look back at my body of work and I definitely see things that excite me in the same way that excite Brian De Palma for sure.

LW: The way he loves to move the camera in...

JW: It's not just that. He moves his camera, but he does it in a really interesting way.

LW: That opening shot of "Insidious," to me, is a very De Palma-esque shot. [The camera] comes in upside down and then twisting around.

JW: I was very inspired by someone like [Roman] Polanski as well, [in how] he takes slow, brooding movies that are made in such confined spaces and just builds on that and builds on that and builds on that. That's what we want to do. But instead of paranoia that we're building on, we're building on supernatural things.

Posted by Geoff at 1:32 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, April 1, 2011
Back in January, Comingsoon.net's Silas Lesnick posted an interview with Duncan Jones from the editing bay of his new film, Source Code, on which Paul Hirsch served as editor. In one section of the interview, Jones discusses having Hirsch on set during filming, and also cites Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma as two big influences on Source Code, which he says he took on "to have a project which gave me some real scope to try things visually." Here is the excerpt involving Hirsch and De Palma:

CS: Can you comment a little on the editing? It seems like a time jumping plot like this lends itself specifically to filmmaking which is literally that.
Well, as I mentioned, Paul Hirsch is the editor on the film and Paul Hirsch -- who I keep calling Paul Hirsch every time, even though it's so informal. I call him Paul -- was with us on the shoot. So while we're there, he might say, "Can you grab this, because it's going to be really useful later on." There a lot of little details that, I have no problem saying, his experience is just so vast that any advice on coverage or on what things could be really useful to him, we went with. He was downstairs in the studio all the time. We were at the big studio in Montreal and he was putting an assembly together while we were shooting. There was a constant loop of feedback from him as I was shooting.

CS: There's a common theme in science fiction of perspective and of returning to an event time and again. What films jump to your mind as having inspired you in the making of "Source Code"?
It's strange because they're not really obvious ones. Certainly not ones that directly reference that sort of mechanic. There's a lot of Hitchcock and De Palma. We were trying to have the sensibilities of old Hitchcock movies.

CS: Hirsch has a very classic editing style. Is that something you went after very consciously?
You know, one of the things that people loved about the making of "Moon" was that we went with model miniatures and what's not known is that we actually went with a good split of models and CG work. I had a background in both doing commercials. In this film, there are definitely a few moments of showy CG work. For me more than anyone else. Hopefully we kept it very light where we could because, otherwise, it could get quite grim with the train explosion. I think we've got the mood right that allowed me to get a little surreal at moments. I think it's really good fun and I hope that people will feel that way. But yes, Paul has a real simplistic elegance to the way he works. But for him as well, he also has a huge amount of experience on effects. He knew that I wanted to have these little beats where it got a little bit surreal and a little bit weirder. I think we got that.

CS: You mentioned Brian De Palma, who also has, while it's not science fiction, a lot of characters unsure of their identities.
In this case, it wasn't really about films I had seen in the past that made me want to see this film. I think it was about the opportunity to be a bit surreal. To do something where some of my influences were Lucien Freud and a certain period of Picasso cubist paintings. I wanted to create visuals of things that I hadn't seen in film before. I wish I could show you some of the stuff later on because it does get really weird. It was more visual things that I wanted to do. When I was reading the script, I guess I did sense that there were certain scenes reflective of "Moon," but it was really about getting an opportunity to do something visually where I otherwise may never have the chance to do that. So I think, for me, that was the really fun bit.

CS: There are certainly, though, with a lot of filmmakers themes that directors tend to revisit.
It's weird. Hearing you ask me questions about that and knowing what I'm going to do next, you're right. There is something there. I don't know why... I haven't analyzed myself well enough to know that.

CS: Is the next thing something else that was brought to you?
No, the next one is something I originated.

After Source Code premiered at SXSW last month, The Playlist's Drew Taylor posted a mostly positive review of the film. "And while the movie is very much a suspense piece," wrote Taylor, "with prolonged sequences of edge-of-your-seat tension that bring to mind what would have happened if Brian De Palma had directed a script by Richard Kelly, it has an incredibly romantic heart—one that is perhaps a little hokey at times, but a heart nonetheless."

Posted by Geoff at 2:40 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, April 1, 2011 2:42 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, March 28, 2011

New York Examiner blogger Danny Gonzalez started up a new series last week called "The Forgotten Soundtrack Spotlight," kicking it off by examining Brian De Palma's Wise Guys, and especially its whimsical score by Ira Newborn. This film always grabbed me from the start, with its animated opening credits sequence and Newman's playful theme. Even so, I never took a close look at Newborn, so I did not know until I read Gonzalez' post that he also composed the Naked Gun theme, as well as the scores for some of John Hughes' most popular movies. Gonzalez' column hopes to get some of the "forgotten soundtracks" such as the one for Wise Guys released, if the original session tapes can still be located. Here is an excerpt from Gonzalez' post:

Newborn's score not only emphisizes the comedy of the film, but it gives it flavor. The film opens and ends with a goofy Italian godfather like theme with a fun solo violin playing throughout and adding to it later on is a solo saxphone. There are other more "tense moments" like the Church killing scene and for the twist at the end of the film which add a little more dramatic weight, but still keeps the score light, yet frantic.

The reasons the score is very good is because Newborn had some very solid help in the orchestration stage with David Newman and Alf Clausen. Newman who is the brother of Thomas (who I recently revivewed The Adjustment Bureau) and cousin of Randy, (who won recently for Toy Story 3) and Clausen, who has scored virtually every season of The Simpsons since 1990, do a solid job giving the film what it needed, a strong, bouncy main theme. The work they both did with this score does transcend later on in Clausen's Simpsons' music for the mobster character Fat Tony (voiced by Joe Mantegna) and Newman would later revisit the mobster comedy film genre with the hit The Freshman starring Matthew Broderick and the late Godfather himself, Marlon Brando four years after this film came out. His score for that film is quite similar to this one and it's no surprise because the scores are sorta of interchangeable and have the same bouncy main melody and most of the instrumentation (saxophone, accordion, violin, and mandolin) are also similar. You have to give De Palma credit for going in a different direction with Newborn and to me, he does succeed in going in a more lighter, fun direction with the film and the score. He could've easily just have gone for the material straightforward and turned it into a dark, gangster film like he would with David Mamet for The Untouchables, a year later.

Posted by Geoff at 11:20 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (3) | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, March 26, 2011
British company Arrow Video has announced August 30th as the release date for its release of Brian De Palma's Obsession on DVD and Blu-Ray. They are still touting the same special features as mentioned earlier this month, although these are still being worked out.

Posted by Geoff at 1:23 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, March 25, 2011

While most critics seem to be panning Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch for not making sense, Marshall Fine says that is you want to see a film that makes sense, "see another film," because Snyder "isn't making that movie." Fine continues in his review, "There is something so unique about Snyder’s vision – right down to the most miniscule bit of background shmutz in any single frame of film – that he has, in the space of his last three films, become the most distinctive visual storyteller since Brian De Palma." The Miami Herald's Rene Rodriguez says "No, Sucker Punch doesn’t make any sense. But none of that matters, because the ride Snyder takes you on is so vividly conceived, so deliriously bizarre and wonderful. The movie provides all the bearings you need in this imaginary world, so that you’re never really confused, even when the action is set inside a dream within a dream, a la Inception." Snyder himself says that he was inspired by One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Brazil.

Posted by Geoff at 12:27 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink | Share This Post