Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
Fresh out of the Yale School of Drama, the New Orleans native auditioned for the casting director Lynn Stalmaster to play the wife of Eliot Ness in The Untouchables. She was "kind of glamorous," with big 80's Southern hair, which "seriously could just fit in through the door" and a racy fuchsia dress.
The agent clued Clarkson in – and toned her down. Clarkson returned to meet DePalma in a borrowed "goony" gingham dress, dowdy tresses and no make-up. She explained, "I walked in and I made a joke about it with Brian and we just got on immediately. We started laughing about it. He ended up reading with me. He played Eliot Ness and I was cast almost in that room...On the set, the first day I shot, Brian did 30 takes to see where I fell, if I reached it early or reached it late. He learned I was early, and by the 30th take I'm just not here."
Back in May of 2004, an interview article at the Washington Post (no longer available online without subscription) discussed Clarkson's voice, calling it "her most arresting feature." Described by the author as a "throaty" and "husky" voice that harkens back to the screen sirens of the 1930s and 1940s, Clarkson told how she would walk into auditions "blond, pretty, whatever. But then I'd open my voice and they'd say, 'Hmmm.'" The article then mentions De Palma as "one director who wasn't put off," casting Clarkson in The Untouchables. "I think he liked that I looked a certain way and I had this voice," Clarkson told the Post. "Brian is irreverent and brilliant and funny and I think he just kind of liked it."
It was 1975, I was 10 years old and for some reason I felt compelled to bring my Phantom of the Paradise album to school.
Most of my classmates at Angus McKay School brought theirs as well. Our teacher certainly didn't allow us to play it, but at breaks we would gather to read the lyrics, gawk at the soundtrack cover and discuss the movie.
Gloria Dignazio, like me, first saw the movie at the downtown Garrick Cinema.
"The album is fascinating to look at," said Dignazio, 51. "I remember drawing it in Grade 6 -- the pink, the neon and the lightning bolt.
"We brought it to school because it was so cool."
And on November 9th, Phantom will screen at Triskel Christchurch as part of the Cork Film Festival.
And of course, don't forget the anniversary screenings coming up in Winnipeg at the Met on November 1st-- as tickets sold quickly for the evening screening, an afternoon screening has been added at 1pm.
(Thanks to Chris, and to the Swan Archives!)
Clouds Of Sils Maria was co-produced by Sylvie Barthet, who was also a producer on De Palma's most recent film, Passion.
In his Toronto Film Festival review of Clouds Of Sils Maria last month, Twitch's Kurt Halfyard noted that the film's story includes a play that "bears remarkable similarity to Alain Corneau's final film, Love Crime (which was recently remade by Brian De Palma as Passion.)" According to Huffington Post's Erin Whitney, in an NYFF press conference, Assayas described the film's fictional play as a "condensed, brutalized version" of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. Whitney writes that the play within the film "follows a fatal attraction between an older woman and her manipulative young assistant. As the film progresses, the lines blur between Maria's relationship to the play 20 years ago and the dynamics between Maria and Valentine, Maria and Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz), the actress playing the younger role, and Maria and her past self."
Back in the mid-1990s, Binoche was offered a role in De Palma's Mission: Impossible, but she did not like the script, and turned it down. Around 2003-2004, she committed to star opposite Colin Firth in an adaptation of Gardner McKay's Toyer that De Palma had hoped to make (with Pino Donaggio tapped to compose the film's score), but the timing never quite worked out to get the project off the ground.
Stack then says, "I’m guessing you brought the Douglas Sirk." Murphy replies, "I did! If you watch this season as compared to last season, the camera barely moves this season. It’s a much more still cinematic exploration, which means our brilliant director of photography, Michael Goi, had a lot longer time to light. Everything had to be much more spot on because you don’t move the camera. But I really wanted it to be wider frames, bigger frames, stiller frames. And I really put much more of an emphasis this season on the production design and the costumes than ever before because it has that sort of Douglas Sirk ‘50s thing to it."
In my earlier post, I also mentioned that the music reminded me of Bernard Herrmann. Murphy mentions a different composer as he responds to Stack's question about how this episode seemed to use less jump cuts and a slower pace overall. "Yeah," Murphy tells Stack, "we’re using some George Antheil music who was a big composer from back then and whose music was used in a lot of ‘50s and ‘60s horror movies. I like paying homage to the early ‘50s and horror movies and back then they didn’t have Steadicam and they didn’t have jump cuts. So we don’t do as much as that. I felt like I wanted it to be in a more eerie world as opposed to a more startling abrupt world."
Later in the article, Murphy talks about how he ended up directing the episode, and the immense work Sarah Paulson put in to portray the twin sisters. A lot of great discussion in there, definitely worth checking out.
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