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De Palma a la Mod


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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

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The Black Dahlia 2006


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Carrie...A Fan's Site


No Harm In Charm

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Scarface: Make Way
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De Palma a la Mod

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Friday, June 14, 2013
Brian De Palma will be on stage to discuss Passion and take questions from the audience during an hour-long event at 7pm Monday, August 19, at the Film Society Lincoln Center. The event is part of a series called "Summer Talks," an extension of the New York Film Festival Live talks that took place last fall. These events (including the De Palma one) are free and open to the public. The Lincoln Center website states, "Complimentary tickets will be available only at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center box office on a first-come, first-served basis. Limit: One ticket per person." Video of each discussion will also be posted on the website (Filmlinc.com). Passion will open at Film Society on August 30.

"A salacious hit at the 50th New York Film Festival," reads the description at Filmlinc, "Brian De Palma's Passion is a film that is sure to have people talking. De Palma exhibits great panache and a diabolical mastery of frequent, small surprises in his most cinematically ingenious movie since his magical comedy-of-coincidences, Femme Fatale."

The rest of the description is similar to the one posted for the NYFF last year, but it's a fun description, so here it is: "With tongue planted in cheek—or maybe not, it’s up to you to decide—De Palma turns French director Alain Corneau’s 2010 film 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 10:57 PM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 12:20 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, June 14, 2013 7:05 AM CDT
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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Film.com today debuted the U.S. poster for Brian De Palma's Passion (above). "It’s been more than five years since Brian De Palma’s last film (Redacted)," states the article provided by the Film.com Staff, "but later this summer the master of the double-take returns with some vintage work, delivering a sexy and twisting psycho-thriller as only he can. Harkening back to the lusty Hitchcockian intrigue that informed early De Palma classics like Sisters and Body Double, his latest film, Passion – a title as blunt as it is deliciously enticing – is a seductively cutthroat tale about the perils of climbing up the corporate ladder (though, like all of De Palma’s best movies, it will inevitably be just as interested in its own internal logic). Starring Noomi Rapace in her most complex English-language part to date, and Rachel McAdams in a role that promises to make Regina George seem like a kitty cat in comparison, Passion will premiere on VOD on August 1st, followed by a theatrical release on August 30th."

The article also includes the film's "official synopsis": "Brian De Palma returns to the sleek, sly, seductive territory of Dressed To Kill with an erotic corporate thriller fueled by sex, ambition, image, envy and the dark, murderous side of PASSION. The film stars Rachel McAdams (Midnight In Paris, Sherlock Holmes, Mean Girls) and Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) as two rising female executives in a multinational corporation whose fierce competition to rise up the ranks is about to turn literally cut-throat."

Later in the day, The Playlist shared the poster in an article with the headline, "U.S. Poster & Lots Of New Pics For Brian De Palma's 'Passion' Starring Rachel McAdams & Noomi Rapace." Aw, how cute that they think those are all "new" pictures that we haven't seen before, ha ha.

Meanwhile, The Dissolve's Scott Tobias was so depressed about the "deflating" new poster for Passion that he posted a Tumblr exploring "posters unworthy of Brian De Palma." The depressingly Photoshopped U.S. poster for De Palma's Femme Fatale is included, as is the spark of life provided by the Criterion covers for Sisters and, magnificently, Blow Out.

Posted by Geoff at 4:37 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2013 5:58 PM CDT
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Above is a split-screen image from Brian De Palma's Passion that appeared with a DVD contest article posted today at Montages. "Brian De Palma is one of the idols here at Montages," the article states, "but nowadays he's unfortunately relegated to the video shelves. Neither Femme Fatale or Redacted got a theatrical release in Norway, and this was also the fate of his new work, Passion. Luckily the film, as we have written warmly about in this article, gets an early release on video." The contest is a page of still frames from seven De Palma films, and if one can name the correct seven films, they get a chance to win the DVD or Blu-Ray of Passion.

Meanwhile, several tweets on Twitter today indicate that Passion will go straight to DVD/Blu-Ray in the U.K., as well, with Metrodome releasing it in those formats on August 12.

Posted by Geoff at 5:07 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In a section of the terrific interview above, Steven Spielberg talks about the way he and his filmmaking friends would help each other out as they were all coming up in the industry:

"We had such a wonderful kind of an incubator in the early '70s. Late '60s/early '70s. I really began directing in '69, that was television, I was 21, but... And I met all these people around that period of time. I met George Lucas in 1967 when we were both in college. I was at Long Beach State, he was at USC. And I met a lot of those fellows in college, and professional life, and it was not a clique, not a 'Brat Pack,' nothing that people claim we were. We were just a bunch of filmmakers that weren't afraid to show our rough cuts to each other, and weren't afraid of that kind of criticism. We weren't afraid of George Lucas or Brian De Palma. I'll never forget the day Brian De Palma and I saw the rough cut of Star Wars. And there were only about six of us in the room. And it was the very first time George had ever showed the picture to anybody, and chose the six of us to show it to. Well, Brian went off the deep end. [Smiling as he playfully imitates De Palma] 'Whaas... Makes no sense! Nonsense! What's this all about?' And through all of the contention of that wild evening where Brian liked the movie, but thought it was sort of mixed up... it was really mixed up, it just didn't have 89 percent of the special effects in them-- who could possibly make head or tails of Star Wars without all those, you know, 500 effects shots? But, Brian's contention did lead to George inventing the now very famous forward, like the old serials, that crawled up the screen. You know, 'A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.' Now that came out of that rough cut screening. You know, and that was exciting to see things like that happen. I sat with Scorsese, in the editing room, heloing him edit the last ten minutes of Taxi Driver. Which is a film totally unlike who I am. But he asked me to come in, and to give my opinion, and to make some comments, and I did. That was fun, you know, we've all helped each other with our movies. The shark blowing up in Jaws was not my idea. It wasn't in the Peter Benchley novel, wasn't in the Peter Benchley screenplay, and the Carl Gottlieb screenplay. It was simply some filmmaker friends of mine who read the script and said, 'The shark's gotta blow up at the end. You've got to find some way to explode it. Not just kill it, it's gotta explode!' And without that kind of, sort of selfless thinking, where the ego is not leading you around by your nostrils, but you're open to pain, and to embarrassment, and to ridicule, and by being open to that with peers that know what it's like to make a movie, that have made movies, that you can respect their word, their critique, so to speak... and it's a great way to work. A great way to make your movies even better."

Posted by Geoff at 10:57 PM CDT
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Posted by Geoff at 7:33 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 8, 2013

As Twilight Time gets ready to release its limited edition Blu-Ray of Body Double on August 13, the 4K Digital Restoration of the Brian De Palma film has been getting rave reviews all over the place. Christopher O'Neill hosted a small De Palma retrospective last month in Dundee, Scotland as a part of the Dundead Film Festival. In an e-mail, O'Neill said, "The three films - Dressed To Kill, Blow Out and Body Double - were screened from DCP. While all of the films looked well, I have to say I was blown away by the digital edition of Body Double. While the venue is equipped with 2K theatrical projection, the film was scanned at 4K and the transfer benefited from the higher resolution - it looked incredible."

Meanwhile, another De Palma a la Mod reader, Chris Baker, caught a screening of the 4K Body Double at San Francisco's Castro Theatre, where it was the tail end of a double bill with Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window on May 18th. Baker tells us that the film "looked and sounded phenomenal."

The month of July brings a De Palma series, "Deja Vertigo," to the Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon. The series starts with the digital restoration of Body Double on the weekend of July 5th-July 7th. The other three films in the series (running each weekend in July) will be presented from 35mm prints: Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, and Scarface. The theatre website admits that the latter film does not fit the theme of the series, which focuses on De Palma's Hitchcockian psychological thrillers. "This series will focus on the early 80′s," states the site's description, "when De Palma crafted gripping tales of mystery and murder, brimming with operatic set pieces, off-kilter camera work, steamy sexuality, and nail-biting suspense." As a bonus on the final two days, the theatre will also screen a 35mm print of Howard Hawks' Scarface from 1932.

Posted by Geoff at 7:48 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 15, 2013 10:37 PM CDT
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Friday, June 7, 2013
The New York Times posted an article online today that will appear in this Sunday's print edition. The article, written by Mekado Murphy, focuses on movies about movie sound recordists, centered on the current release of Peter Strickland’s Berberian Sound Studio, and featuring quotes from Brian De Palma about Blow Out, which the article states is "probably the best known" among the handful of films "that put sound work in the spotlight."

"A person holding a microphone or sitting at a mixing board adjusting faders may not at first seem like the most compelling cinematic subject," Murphy writes. "The challenge is supplying creative visuals to illuminate characters focused on the aural."

A bit later in the article, Murphy brings De Palma into the discussion...


Working on a larger spectrum was John Travolta, who played a sound recordist for B-horror movies who accidentally records the murder of a presidential hopeful in Mr. De Palma’s 1981 thriller, Blow Out. Mr. De Palma, known for his focus on visual style, drew from his own experience with a sound editor.

“When I was mixing Dressed to Kill, ” — his Psycho pastiche from 1980 — “I was working with sound effects editor Dan Sable, who had done a bunch of movies for me,” Mr. De Palma said by phone. “We were looking for an effect. We had some wind in the trees, and I heard the effect he used and said: ‘Dan, I’ve heard that same wind effect in the last three movies. Can’t you get me some new sound?’ ” (They both laughed; the next day Mr. Sable went out to record some new wind.) Mr. De Palma wrote a scene in Blow Out that is taken almost directly from this exchange.

While the film involves a serial killer and features elaborately staged action sequences, Mr. De Palma makes time for detailed moments that explore his main character’s work. In a crucial scene, he syncs his recording to film images of the same event. “I did this as an editor, and sound editors do it, but I don’t think anybody had ever seen the process,” he said.

The whirring reels, large recording equipment and rolls of audiotape seen in Blow Out and Berberian Sound Studio are artifacts of the pre-digital filmmaking eras in which these movies take place. The imposing hardware, as well as the sounds it produces, plays a supporting role, too. Joakim Sundström, the supervising sound editor for Berberian, said that his team used digital equipment but he gave the sound a retro feel.

“What I did was take the majority of sounds that were in the film and I retransferred them onto magnetic tape and quarter-inch tape,” Mr. Sundström said.

Posted by Geoff at 7:33 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Posted by Geoff at 11:07 PM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 12:29 AM CDT
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