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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

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


No Harm In Charm

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Scarface: Make Way
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(Blow Out)

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Deborah Shelton
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De Palma a la Mod

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Friday, October 17, 2014
Christopher Cole has written a terrifically insightful piece at Clothes On Film about the clothes in Brian De Palma's Passion, with details and quotes from the film's costume designer, Karen Muller-Serreau. Cole is particularly interested in the power dynamics at play in the film. "Ice-blonde Christine is a Grace Kelly lookalike who craves attention," Cole states, "usually wearing the most noticeable colour in the room; the solid colours help her stand out without patterns to get in the way."

Here's an excerpt from the article:
Muller-Serreau says she wanted to give Rachel a “contemporary Hitchcockian feeling with shapes that have a modern vintage style in bold colours.” Christine begins the film in an ice-blue shirt and palazzo pants combo topped off by a blueberry-vanilla coloured scarf tied artfully around her neck, while Isabelle’s black dress shirt and pants pop against the white walls and light-coloured furniture of Christine’s house. She has to be dominant so she gives the scarf as a gift to Isabelle, wrapping the blueberry-vanilla scarf around Isabelle’s neck; it stands out against her black coat.

The following morning, Christine struts her stuff down the path in her front yard in a double-breasted blood-red overcoat that would scare the bejeezus out of Tippi Hedren in Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964); Christine looks like a spoilt little rich girl about to be chauffeured to private school. If Christine sometimes looks like a child playing dress-up, there’s a scene late in the film where she wears a striking black overcoat worn with a wide-brimmed hat, round sunglasses and teal stiletto sandals. It’s a coat that Muller-Serreau wanted to look like a little girl’s coat, so she based it on a classic child’s coat since Christine’s twin sister died in childhood.

Isabelle, the second-in-command, wears black for most of the film signalling her lack of identity. Since Muller-Serreau didn’t have colour to work with for Isabelle, she gave her shape and texture. There’s a suit jacket with heavy shoulder pads that hint at Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierce (1945) and a side-breasted military jacket she wears when she has the upper hand. Her Edith Head hairstyle, fringe and all, helps make her look like she stepped out of an old movie.

One particularly inspiring moment is when an angry, depressed Isabelle at an office reception wears a black dress shirt and pants with a black tie. Underneath the slightly sheer shirt is a black bra. She’s dressed in a stereotypical male outfit, but despite the butch quality of the outfit, she still wants to be desired sexually as a feminine woman. Muller-Serreau says Isabelle’s look was supposed to be a “uniform”, presenting Isabelle as a “soldier” — a soldier who wants to be seen as a sexy woman.

While Isabelle wears only one colour, her assistant Dani wears many colors, and is the only person who threatens Christine’s status as the most colourful person in the room. She often wears animal prints and sometimes pairs it with clashing horizontal stripes. Her costumes are meant to garner attention, like the denim daisy dukes she wears paired with tights and knee-high stiletto boots, and an asymmetrically zipped purple leather motorcycle jacket. However, she also achieves elegance in a violet lace shirt. It’s a look Muller Serreau describes as “feminine and sexy” and that it’s a departure from the “butch lesbian cliché.”

Dirk wears braces with his pinstripe suits and checkered suits; the braces hark back to a much earlier era. His costumes consist of all suits, except for when he wears a tank top in his bedroom post-coital. Lying on a bed, his thin frame is more evident here, making him appear more vulnerable. He confesses secrets while smoking in a cigarette, becoming more feminine in his gestures and voice: he seems to be imitating Christine when he tells Isabelle that the blueberry-vanilla scarf looks better on her. It’s a perfect example of how men are emasculated in this film, and how the characters are much different in private.


Posted by Geoff at 3:20 AM CDT
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Brian De Palma's Carrie is the midnight movie Friday and Saturday (October 17 & 18) at the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, DC.

Posted by Geoff at 2:10 AM CDT
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Posted by Geoff at 8:24 PM CDT
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014
IndieWire's Thelma Adams spoke with Patricia Clarkson on stage last Friday at the Hamptons Film Festival. Clarkson discussed working with several directors, including Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen. Here is the section from Adams' article about Clarkson working on her first feature film, The Untouchables:
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."


The IndieWire article also includes quotes from Clarkson on working with George Clooney and on Lisa Cholodenko's High Art.

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."

Posted by Geoff at 12:57 AM CDT
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
According to The Buffalo News, Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will screen tonight (Tuesday) at 7pm at the Screening Room Cinema Cafe in Buffalo. Phantom will also play there this Friday, October 17th, at 9:15pm, just after a screening of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Both films are celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year.

Meanwhile, The Winnipeg Sun's Doug Lunney posted an article yesterday in anticipation of the upcoming anniversary celebration screenings at The Met on November 1st. Phantompalooza's Gloria Dignazio is quoted extensively in the article-- here's the first part of 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."


Posted by Geoff at 5:41 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 12:00 AM CDT
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Garry Marshall
Joe Mantello

Posted by Geoff at 8:46 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, October 13, 2014 8:52 PM CDT
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Sunday, October 12, 2014
Following up on his role as Twisty The Clown on this past week's season premiere of American Horror Story, The Star Tribune's Neal Justin profiled actor John Carroll Lynch the other day. Late in the article, Justin brings up HBO's currently-suspended production of Happy Valley, for which Lynch has been cast as Jerry Sandusky. Al Pacino will play Joe Paterno, and Brian De Palma will direct from a script by David McKenna. "Your guess is as good as mine,” Lynch tells Justin when asked if he thinks the movie will ever be made. “I believe it’s still alive. I think it’ll get done. It’s the perfect part for Al, and the script is excellent."

Posted by Geoff at 11:35 PM CDT
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Saturday, October 11, 2014
It's getting difficult to keep up with all the screenings of Phantom Of The Paradise happening around the globe as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Last night, Brian De Palma's classic screened at the Buffalo International Film Festival, according to Art Voice.

On Thursday, October 30th, Phantom will screen at 7:30pm at the Lawrence Art Center in Lawrence, Kansas. After the screening, there will be a concert that will include Kliph Scurlock, the drummer from the Flaming Lips who was fired from that band earlier this year. According to an article by Lawrence Journal World's Nadia Imafidon, "The different characters in the film will be represented by soloists onstage."

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!)

Posted by Geoff at 12:03 PM CDT
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

According to Guest of a Guest's Claire Peltier, Brian De Palma was one of many celebrity guests at a party at Omar's celebrating the New York Film Festival premiere of Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria. Assayas and the film's stars, Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, were there, as were filmmakers Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow. Viggo Mortenson, who played a small part in De Palma's Carlito's Way, was there, as was Chloe Sevigny, who starred in the remake of De Palma's Sisters. Other guests listed in Peltier's article: Patti Smith, Willem Dafoe, Sharon Stone, Peter Facinelli, Nicholas Hoult, Dakota Fanning, Ebon Moss, Sebastian Stan, Melissa George, Margarita Levieva, Condola Rashad, Pablo Schreiber, Joseph Cross, Brigitte Lacombe, Kim Gordon, Casey LaBow, John Krokidas, Antoine Verglas, Cory Bond, Daniel Benedict, Anh Duong, Will Cotton, and Andrew Saffir.

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.

Posted by Geoff at 10:54 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 9, 2014 10:01 PM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 9:27 PM CDT
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