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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
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in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
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De Palma developing
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in the news"

Supercut video
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edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
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Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
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AV Club Review
of Dumas book


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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brian De Palma's Passion will get the U.S. big-screen treatment this week when it screens twice at the Provincetown International Film Festival in Massachusetts. The festival runs June 19-23. According to the fest's official Film Program, a print provided by eOne will screen at 9:30 pm Wednesday, June 19 (at Art House 2), and also at 10pm Saturday, June 22 (at Town Hall). Also screening at the fest will be Pedro Almodóvar's new film, I'm So Excited, which was shot by José Luis Alcaine, who also shot De Palma's Passion.

In writing about the festival, Edge on the Net's Jake Mulligan states, "There’s no film festival like Provincetown. While other festivals focus on independent films, or genre films, or foreign cinema; The Provincetown International Film Festival casts a wider net. They program their festival based not on arbitrary specifications but based on a mood; each film achieving some semblance of the fierce authorial vision that defines the festival itself."

Mulligan picks ten movies to see at the fest, including Passion, which he says is De Palma's best in more than ten years. "Brian De Palma’s latest film doesn’t open until August," writes Mulligan, "but fans of the Hitchcockian auteur will surely flock to P-Town to see his latest, Passion - it’s his best picture in over ten years. Not since Femme Fatale has the Carrie auteur had this much fun; setting up Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace here as two flirty PR executives engaged in a Parisian battle-of-wits. It’s De Palma, so the sexual tension quickly amplifies into actual sex, and then violence, and then total madness. But the real beauty is in the compositions, in the return of his trademark split-screen, and in his completely visual style of storytelling. Passion doesn’t just show that De Palma is back, it shows that he never went anywhere in the first place."

(Thanks to Patrick for the Passion pic!)

Posted by Geoff at 7:45 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 7:52 PM CDT
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Ed Pressman recently sat down with Huffington Post's Rob Taub to discuss Happy Valley, the Joe Paterno film he is producing for Brian De Palma to direct, with Al Pacino starring. Taub's article originally stated that Frank Langella will portray Jerry Sandusky, who will be a major part of the film. However, by the next day (June 19, 2013), the article had been revised and Langella's name had been removed. A source says that Langella is one of several actors currently under consideration for the part of Sandusky. In any case, Taub writes that Pressman "is a bit cagey" on what exactly the film will cover. "People know the horror of Sandusky's acts," writes Taub, "and are aware of Paterno's complicity, but based on my conversation with Pressman, this film will give audiences a clear understanding of Sandusky's rise to power in the Penn State program and exactly how it brought about Paterno's demise." Pressman is quoted as saying, "It's a complex story." Taub adds that David McKenna has completed a treatment for the film. Here is an excerpt from Taub's article that includes a Paterno anecdote uncovered by McKenna, as well as a quote from Pressman about De Palma:

I have a few friends who were recruited by and played for Paterno, so when Pressman and I sat down recently to discuss the project we swapped JoePa stories. Screenwriter McKenna has compiled many anecdotes and tales about Paterno and one story that struck Pressman was when Paterno took his two daughters to a restaurant where one ordered a la carte while the other chose the buffet. The daughter who ordered a la carte reached over and took a pickle from her sister who had ordered buffet. This made Paterno so furious that he stormed out of the restaurant and had to drive his car around the block in order to calm down.

College coaches -- even the good ones -- have the power of third world despots and come to enjoy the authority and control provided by their positions. Pressman certainly understands this and describes Paterno's story as a "Greek tragedy." His past experience in handling films with scandalous characters has worked out well, as he proved with Reversal of Fortune, where they told Claus Von Bulow's story from the perspective of the victim -- his wife, Sunny. According to Pressman, the Paterno story poses similar challenges, but nothing they can't handle. "It's been many years since I've seen Brian (De Palma) so excited," said Pressman.

Posted by Geoff at 4:17 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:29 PM CDT
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Monday, June 17, 2013

I posted about the video above here at De Palma a la Mod years ago, but it has been bouncing around the internet the past few days, as it seems to have been rediscovered by several outlets, including The Playlist and The Film Stage. The video is an episode of Mark Cousins' BBC series Scene By Scene, in which he interviews Brian De Palma about his life and background before showing him some scenes from his films and discussing them with him.

Meanwhile, Hollywood Outbreak's Greg Srisavasdi, in posting about the upcoming release of De Palma's Passion, added a SoundCloud clip from a radio interview De Palma did at a press junket for Femme Fatale. In the clip, De Palma says: "Well, I'm very influenced by music, so I tend not to listen to it very much at all. Because it too emotionally kind of grabs me. And when I make movies I have to, you know, listen to a lot of orchestral music to figure out what... the composer should write. So I tend to keep away from listening to music. You know, I live in an apartment that has literally nothing much on the walls. I can't be... I'm best in some kind of motel room with nothing around me, because those kinds of things influence what's going on in my head. So I don't tend to expose myself to stimulus like that."

Posted by Geoff at 6:51 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 17, 2013 6:52 PM CDT
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Posted by Geoff at 12:06 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, June 16, 2013 2:02 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 15, 2013
WWD's Kristi Garced caught up with Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon on the red carpet for last Tuesday night's screening of Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, which opened in theaters yesterday. "[The Bling Ring] goes into the archive of great L.A. movies along with Brian De Palma’s Body Double,” Gordon told Garced. “I think that a lot of the [celebrity obsession] drives Los Angeles. The city that people gravitate towards following the setting sun in the west symbolizes death.”

Posted by Geoff at 5:17 PM CDT
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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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