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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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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The New York Film Festival today posted its film schedule, along with new stills from Brian De Palma's Passion. Also posted is a mind-warpingly tantalizing description of Passion, which will screen at the fest on Saturday, September 29 at 9pm, followed by screenings on October 6 and October 11. Here is the NYFF description:

"Brian De Palma exhibits great panache and a diabolical mastery of frequent, small surprises in his cinematically most ingenious movie since his magical comedy-of-coincidences, Femme Fatale. With tongue planted in cheek, or maybe not—it’s up to you to decide—De Palma turns French director Alain Corneau’s 2010 Love Crime into a droll, erotic tale of female competition. Noomi Rapace more than matches her performance in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as the assistant to an unscrupulous advertising honcho (Rachel McAdams), who steals her ideas and acts as if it’s all good sport. It’s great fun until De Palma zeros in on the fury in Rapace’s eyes. The De Palma trademarks are all present and deployed with coolly calculated abandon: a brilliant use of split screen; a confusion of identical twins; dreams within dreams; and shoes to die for."

Posted by Geoff at 6:49 PM CDT
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Monday, August 27, 2012
Brian De Palma and Noah Baumbach will be on stage to discuss each others' films and influences October 7th, as part of the New York Film Festival's "On Cinema" series of master classes. According to the Hollywood Reporter, this will be the first time this event will feature two directors sharing a stage. Baumbach interviewed De Palma on a special feauture of last year's Criterion edition of Blow Out, and the pair attended films together at last year's Toronto International Film Festival. At NYFF, they will discuss their films and influences, show clips, and take questions from the audience, according to the Hollywood Reporter. De Palma's Passion and Baumbach's Frances Ha will each be screened at the festival.

Posted by Geoff at 8:03 PM CDT
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Thanks to reader Maurizio Rossi for sending along this past weekend's interview with Brian De Palma in La Repubblica. Arianna Finos interviewed De Palma via Skype, and mentions that De Palma's username combines his brothers Bruce and Barton. Finos then points out that Brian and Bruce shared a love of technology. They designed their own computers, "so when the technological revolution arrived we were ready," De Palma told Finos. Here, with the help of Google Translation, is a translation of the interview:

"Passion" is a remake of "Crime d'amour", a film by Alain Corneau 2010.
"I liked the complex and dark relationship Corneau created between the two women. It’s a good basis for developing a story more complicated and mysterious than the original, in which we discover immediately who killed whom. The pleasure of a thriller is to put together a system full of tricks and reveal them only at the end. "

So it will be a full revisioning.
"Yes. Beyond the sexual tension that was mentioned, my film goes well beyond. Initially I was looking for a mature, sophisticated actress similar to the manager in the original film. But Noomi Rapace won me over with her charisma. Rachel McAdams had read the script and arrived with Noomi. They had met on the set of "Sherlock Holmes" and have developed a strong relationship, which I used in the film. That way they play against each other, sexy and dangerous at the same time."

Five years ago, you brought to “Redacted” to Venice, instant-film on the war in Iraq. Now you return to the thriller.
"It’s been years since I did this kind of movie. I found this material and I started to see the images of the story: an exciting adventure. For the music I called Pino Donaggio, who's been with me on so many films, from "Dressed to Kill" to "Body Double." The thriller is a genre that allows me to stage my visions. In "Passion" there is a terrifying dream sequence: a ballet, "The Afternoon of a Faun" choreographed by Jerome Robbins, which fits perfectly in the film."

You are a regular at the Venice Film Festival.
"The public has always welcomed my films. I love Venice and I frequently attend as a guest of my friend Pino Donaggio."

With Scorsese, Lucas, and Spielberg, you founded the New Hollywood. Do you visit with them these days?
"We were friends in the seventies and eighties. We came a long way together. Every now and then we'll see each other. But each of us has our own world. We live in different places, do different things. I continued my research and I now have relationships with younger directors: Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson. I love and I attend this generation, living in Greenwich Village. We meet, we exchange scripts and advice."

Who is your heir? "Tarantino. He always does visually exciting things. I admire the visionary talents of Christopher Nolan. But apart from the blockbuster special effects, there are few films told in pictures. It is as if we are at the end of a way of storytelling".

When you were 30 you directed Orson Welles in "Get To Know Your Rabbit."
"Welles is a great example of what not to do in Hollywood. A master filmmaker who worked with me, for two weeks, because he needed money for his films. It is not easy to immediately make your masterpiece and spend the rest of your life trying to get back to that peak. At the time of "Citizen Kane" he was considered a money machine, but when he came out from the circle of Hollywood he suffered. He was a masterful director and an actor who could do everything. Fascinating storyteller."

You are also a director who divides and causes debate.
"I've always been an avant-garde auteur outside of the establishment. I remember a headline in the New York Times: "Here's another film by De Palma to argue about." The public knows that I do not pull back from uncomfortable subjects that are not politically correct, I'm not a member of the Academy. This means nothing to me. I know what's right and wrong when I film, the rest does not concern me."

Are a filmmaker’s films like children, all the same?
"Sometimes you do certain films because they are the only ones the business allows you. Sometimes you're in a low moment of your career and you have to accept the proposals. Sometimes you do films that are not exactly what you want. Sometimes great successes allow you to finance a film that is important to you that no one wants: thanks to "The Untouchables" there exists "Casualties of War". There are films ahead of their time, cut down and then re-evaluated. Others that I would like to have not made due to the circumstances or reactions. I’ve made so many different films. Not all I like, but I love them all."


Robbins' adaptation of The Afternoon Of A Faun sounds positively Brechtian from the way it is described in the video below...

Posted by Geoff at 12:38 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 11:13 PM CDT
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

The trailer for Brian De Palma's Passion popped up today, courtesy the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film will screen next month. This is the most exciting trailer I've seen in a decade, when the French trailer for De Palma's Femme Fatale made the rounds. With De Palma's name at the end punctuating those of Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, the trailer is marked as one in a long line of De Palma "invitations," such as that of the Dressed To Kill trailer. Instead of "From the director of Scarface," the trailer makes no bones that this is a true blue De Palma film. At just over a minute, it's more of a teaser trailer, seemingly sans any Pino Donaggio, but the brief flashes of images, shot by José Luis Alcaine, look terrifically stylish, and I love the way the whole trailer turns on McAdams' delicious delivery of the line, "Hmmm... well now I want to be loved." Very much looking forward to seeing this film...~!

A shot in the trailer shows Rapace in front of a poster for the ballet, The Afternoon Of A Faun. Last May, we learned that instead of going to a movie, as she does in Love Crime, in Passion Rapace's character attends a ballet. It appears that the ballet is the appropriately erotic and scandalous Afternoon Of A Faun.


The Wall Street Journal
"Take a large portion of Basic Instinct, add a healthy helping of Eyes Wide Shut, mix in a bit of Wall Street, sprinkle on the last two 'Sherlock Holmes' female leads (Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace) and heat to the temperature of Body Double and what do you get? Maybe Brian De Palma’s latest film, Passion?"

"Passion is Brian De Palma's remake of the recent French thriller Love Crime, but since this new teaser trailer is brief enough, we prefer to see the movie through our own specific lens: Obviously, this is a sequel to both Mean Girls and Prometheus. Noomi Rapace has clearly escaped the dangerous aliens and made her way to a lesbian business planet where Rachel McAdams, as Regina George, lives in exile. Very quickly, after a constant diet of corporate-training videos and sexually charged, Black Swan–themed slumber parties, Regina George is entrapping Noomi in devious mind games (watch out for her "So you agree?" and four-way phone-conversation gambits, Noomi!) and from then on, it's just a matter of time before they're stroking each others' faces and engaging in masked cunnilingus. Shut down the world! We have found the perfect movie."

"It’s not as crazy as the scene in Prometheus where Noomi Rapace’s character performs surgery on herself, but things do get kind of weird for the Swedish actress midway into the new trailer for Passion."

"If you're a Brian De Palma fan (and why wouldn't you be?), you know that a lot of his movies feature vaguely threatening women doing vaguely threatening things. Sometimes, those things are not always what they seem, WINK WINK (I'm winking, fyi), which means that there's a twist, or what M. Night Shyamalan would haughtily call a paradigm shift. There's no reason to suspect that De Palma's latest pyscho-sexual thriller, Passion, will be any different, as it features a gleefully self-centered Rachel McAdams and her lover (?), played by a strangely quiet Noomi Rapace. Intrigue and nakedness no doubt ensue."

Hollywood Outbreak
It takes a lot to wake me up from my emotional slumber, but I applaud the Toronto International Film Festival (let’s just call them TIFF) for giving me my daily cup of cinematic Joe with the Official Trailer to Brian De Palma’s new film Passion."

Rachel Fox
"My friend curated a selection of his own unique cocktails, all named after Brian de Palma films. Can't wait to tell him about PASSION. Yum!"

"Watching the trailer for Brian De Palma's upcoming film Passion, I get the feeling that he could be a fan of SCTV's classic Whispers of the Wolf Ingmar Bergman parody. Yes, I know that De Palma's erotic thriller is based on the late Alain Corneau's final film Love Crime (2010), about two international business women locked in a power struggle — but there's something about Noomi Rapace's vacant stare in the first scenes of the trailer that reminds me of the great Andrea Martin's performance in the SCTV comedy gem. (You can see both videos after the jump.) And Rapace's co-star Rachel McAdams strikes me as a more vulpine version of the also-great Catherine O'Hara. I couldn't help but notice that both clips feature masks, by the way, although based on the contents of the sex drawer that gets opened in the Passion trailer, De Palma's movie is going to be way kinkier than anything that ever ran on Count Floyd's Monster Chiller Horror Theater."

Posted by Geoff at 12:50 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 14, 2013 1:59 PM CDT
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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Toronto International Film Festival revealed its schedule today. Brian De Palma is expected to be in attendance to present his new film Passion on his birthday, Tuesday September 11, at 8pm in the Winter Garden Theatre. Passion will also screen September 13 and 14. This will all follow the film's world premiere September 7th at the Venice Film Festival. Terrence Malick's To The Wonder, which, like Passion, features Rachel McAdams, will screen at TIFF the day before De Palma's film, on September 10. McAdams is expected to attend TIFF, and since the two films debut there a day apart, it seems likely she will be on had for both screenings.

Meanwhile, Karoline Herfurth, who is featured in Passion, and who had also appeared in Tom Tykwer's Perfume, is interviewed in the August issue of the German edition of Andy Warhol's Interview, and briefly mentions a story about Passion that she had previously mentioned on her Facebook page...
(Thanks to Screenfreekz for the link and the translation!)

HERFURTH: What could a perfumer possibly do if he got rhinitis?

INTERVIEW: He'd need a good disability insurance. But in your profession a blocked nose can't be helpful either. What would you do?

HERFURTH : During my last week of shooting with Brian De Palma I got an allergic reaction. The night before my most important scene, with the most English-language text, which I'd preped for weeks! But if I'd called in sick, the whole crew would have had to suspend shooting for the day. That's incredibly expensive, one should only do that in case of absolute emergency. Otherwise: go act!

INTERVIEW: Would you say you get sick out of sheer excitement?

HERFURTH: I don't think so. But it's true that before an emotional scene I get unusually sad or even cry. And then I remember that my subconscious is also rehearsing the scene. It's like I'm always double-checking whether I can call up a particular emotion.

INTERVIEW: Sounds tough.

HERFURTH: That's my job.

Posted by Geoff at 7:55 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:56 PM CDT
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Posted by Geoff at 6:21 PM CDT
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Thursday, August 16, 2012
The Film Society Lincoln Center today revealed its lineup for the 50th New York Film Festival, which runs from September 28 through October 14. Brian De Palma's Passion is one of the selections, making it two films in a row for De Palma, who brought Redacted to NYFF five years ago. Curiously, the article linked to above, written by Eugene Hernandez, states that this is De Palma's "first fiction feature since Femme Fatale." Despite being based on actual murders, the two films De Palma has made since Femme Fatale are both fiction films, as well: The Black Dahlia and Redacted. (Although Redacted begins with the onscreen disclaimer, "This film is entirely fiction, inspired by an incident widely reported to have occurred in Iraq," those words are themselves redacted to make way for a message that begins, "redacted visually documents imagined events...") In any case, the blurb included about Passion sounds tantalizing: "Brian De Palma brings great panache and a diabolical mastery of surprise to a classic tale of female competition and revenge. Noomi Rapace and Rachel McAdams are super-cool and oh so mean."

The Film Society's program director, Richard Peña, headed a selection committee that included Melissa Anderson, Scott Foundas, Todd McCarthy, and Amy Taubin. Peña said, "The films making up the main slate of this year's NYFF have in common a general quality of fearlessness that unites otherwise very disparate works. These are films that go all the way, works willing to take the risk or chance that by doing so they may be bringing audiences to places they might rather not go

NYFF will open with the world premiere of Ang Lee's highly anticipated Life Of Pi, and close with the world premiere of Robert Zemeckis' Flight. Other films include Alain Resnais' You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet, Léos Carax's Holy Motors, Olivier Assayas' Something In The Air, Michael Haneke's Amour, and Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha. Resnais films bookend the NYFF's 50 years, as his film, Muriel, Or The Time Of Return, screened at the very first festival in 1963, according to the article.

Posted by Geoff at 5:06 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 5:15 PM CDT
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Joe Carnahan, who at one time was going to direct Mission: Impossible 3, had recently been pitching a version of a Daredevil movie to Fox, who needed to put the franchise back into production by this October or watch the rights to the character revert back to Marvel. Carnahan used the above "sizzle reel" to pitch his idea for the film, which would have taken place in the gritty Hell's Kitchen of the 1970s. According to Carnahan, too much time has passed, and the rights will indeed be reverting back to Marvel, thus ending the chance for his version. In the meantime, Carnahan posted the above video, which features sound bites of Robert De Niro's Al Capone from Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, along with clips from other films and media, to get across his vision for the project.

Posted by Geoff at 1:12 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 1:14 AM CDT
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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Toronto International Film Festival today announced more titles for this year's festival, including Brian De Palma's Passion. Two new stills from the film appeared on the TIFF site: the one above showing Paul Anderson and Noomi Rapace, and the one below of Rapace and Rachel McAdams. Passion is listed on the TIFF site with a running time of 98 minutes. The festival runs September 6-16, so it begin the day before Passion will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Here is the programmer's note written by Piers Handling for the TIFF site:

Brian De Palma is known for larger-than-life films. In a career that spans over forty years, he has made some of the most impressive works in American cinema, borrowing ideas from a multitude of sources: literature, pop culture and the movies themselves. Like a postmodernist magpie he has drawn inspiration from Hitchcock, Antonioni and Hawks to come up with some awesome imagery along the way.

Passion is a remake of Alain Corneau’s elegant thriller Crime d’amour, which we presented at our Festival in 2010. De Palma follows the structure of the original while making it entirely his own. The film centres around two women: Christine (Rachel McAdams), an elegant, ice-cool blonde career woman who holds a senior position with a high-powered advertising agency; and her assistant Isabel (Noomi Rapace), a shy and reticent brunette. Christine has a silky smooth charm, but underneath her veneer of control hides a tangle of kinky sexual needs. Isabel, smart and creative despite her hesitance, harbours a growing ambition.

When Christine claims credit for a daring marketing campaign that was entirely Isabel’s idea, the gloves start to come off in subtle ways. Isabel is initially disarmed by her boss’ candour: as Christine explains it, stealing her idea was simply business. But things change when Christine humiliates Isabel in public. With the plot set in motion, De Palma uncorks all the stops and, with wild abandon, launches into a labyrinthine revenge story.

As Isabel schemes, Christine parries her thrusts with calculated bravura. De Palma relishes these kinds of baroque plots; here he lets rip with a series of set pieces in the style for which he is famous. McAdams and Rapace revel in the expanse De Palma always allows his actors, while the story twists and turns in unexpectedly. Scratch below the surface: passions rage.


Posted by Geoff at 1:06 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:57 PM CDT
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According to a Variety article posted yesterday, Brian De Palma is no longer attached to The Key Man. The project, with a screenplay written by Joby Harold, had originally been announced almost a year ago, and projected to start shooting by the end of 2011. When that didn't happen, De Palma quickly got things rolling on Passion, which is now headed to the festival season. According to the Variety article, Open Road Films is currently in talks with Oskar Thor Axelsson to direct The Key Man. The article provides a new bit of detail about the main character, a single father who is also a puzzle editor (that latter bit is the new detail), targeted by government agents because his body holds clues to national secrets.

Posted by Geoff at 12:51 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2012 6:49 PM CDT
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