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Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
straight-forward"
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

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Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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« March 2015 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

No Harm In Charm

Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
BAMcinématek
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Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
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Bill Pankow
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Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Books
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Cannes
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Carlito's Way
Carrie
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
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Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Cop-Out
Cruising
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De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
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Dionysus In '69
Domino
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
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Femme Fatale
Film Series
Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
George Litto
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
Greetings
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Heat
Hi, Mom!
Hitchcock
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jared Martin
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Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Lithgow
Magic Hour
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Mod
Montreal World Film Fest
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Murder a la Mod
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Newton 1861
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Print The Legend
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Redacted
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Rotwang muß weg!
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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
WATCH TRAILER FOR PAULINE KAEL MOVIE
'WHAT SHE SAID: THE ART OF PAULINE KAEL' FILMING NOW, FOR RELEASE LATER THIS YEAR
The collage at left is cropped from the home page for the movie What She Said: The Art Of Pauline Kael. It includes an image of Sean Penn from Brian De Palma's Casualties Of War in the center area, right underneath the central image of Kael's face. Paul Schrader, who is one of several filmmakers and others interviewed for the movie, appears at the bottom. You can scroll down that page to watch a five-minute trailer for the movie, which is still being made, or you can watch it on Vimeo.

Posted by Geoff at 7:00 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 7:57 PM CDT
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Monday, March 30, 2015
FAMOUS '80s SPANISH ROCK SONG BY SODA STEREO
'PERSIANA AMERICANA' LYRICIST SAYS HE WAS INSPIRED BY ATMOSPHERE OF 'DRESSED TO KILL'
Wikipedia says that "Soda Stereo [was] an Argentine rock band that is considered by critics to be the most important and influential Ibero-American band of all time and a Latin music legend." The band's most famous song, Persiana Americana (1986), is likewise considered to be the most famous rock song in Spanish, chanted in stadiums throughout Latin America, according to Intemperie's Laura Quiceno.

In the Intemperie article, Quiceno interviews the song's lyricist, Argentine professor Jorge Daffunchio, who tells her that one day, he'd heard on the radio that there was a contest to submit lyrics for songs for several bands, including Soda Stereo. Members of the band liked the lyrics he wrote, and invited him to write something for them, as they were lyrically stumped, and also searching for melodies. Daffunchio tells Quiceno that in a week, he wrote about ten songs, one of which was Persiana Americana, inspired by the American thrillers he loved to read at the time by writers such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett. "Ceiling fans, rooftops, heat, cigarette smoke, etc.," Daffunchio explains. And of course, the window blinds.

The next day, band member Gustavo Cerati called him and said he really liked that one, but wanted something more "romantic." So Daffunchio then "wrote a second version, and this time I thought of Dressed To Kill by Brian De Palma."

And the rest is history-- you can hear the song on YouTube.


Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:16 AM CDT
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Sunday, March 29, 2015
ARMOND WHITE ON 'GET HARD'
INCLUDES "ONE OF THE BEST PARODIES OF ITS KIND SINCE 'BE BLACK BABY' SEQUENCE IN 'Hi, MOM!'"
From Armond White's review of Etan Coen's Get Hard, posted at National Review:

"[Get Hard] centers on the story of 'incarceration expert' Darnell Lewis (Kevin] Hart), who prepares convicted executive James King (Will Ferrell) to serve his upcoming sentence for fraud; the premise is winningly smart, unflinching, and ideologically complicated.

"Lewis in fact is a law-abiding black family man who wants to finance his own car-wash business. He is only pretending to be an ex-con, but King, an aloof white millionaire who lives in a Hollywood mansion, willingly believes Lewis’s miscreant shtick.

"With 30 days to go before King’s prison sentence begins, Lewis and King riff on a masculine survival crash course. The title comically alludes to a cultural shift in values since Bob Rafelson’s 1975 Stay Hungry: A defensive coarsening replaces the former all-American drive to succeed; the reference to erection suggests that we now pornographically fetishize macho traits. These traits include language, dress, and grooming styles from baldness to beards that have trickled upward from prison subculture. As Ferrell’s King learns to cuss, fight, and display “mad-dogging” facial expressions, he relishes “an ambrosia of primal sensations.” ... It’s the perfectly clueless flip side of Hart’s Lewis admitting “I don’t have to be a thug to portray a thug.”

"Though Get Hard is a minor film, it’s pertinent social satire. It reveals how easily The Wire’s stereotypes can arouse predictable responses, including the usually unacknowledged mix of fear and pleasure — satirized adroitly by Hart, Ferrell, and writer-director Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder). King has the statistic “one in three black men will find themselves incarcerated” in his head along with the usual attendant fantasies. The frequently, shamelessly, hilariously nude Ferrell makes himself the exposed buffoon-victim of racial and political stereotypes, as he haplessly mimes the black thug of popular imagination — one of the best parodies of its kind since the 'Be Black Baby' sequence in Brian De Palma’s 1970 Hi, Mom!"


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, March 29, 2015 11:11 PM CDT
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Saturday, March 28, 2015
VIDEO: PANKOW & GREENBERG FROM 2013
DISCUSSING 'DRESSED TO KILL', WITH CLIPS



While searching YouTube for video from Thursday night's conversation on stage between Bill Pankow and Stephanie Zacharek (see yesterday's post), I found the video above, from a Sight, Sound, and Story event presented by Manhattan Edit Workshop in 2013. This video is a small piece of that 2013 on-stage conversation. Two more short videos from the talk are up, as well: Bill Pankow discusses working with Jerry Greenberg, and Bill Pankow and Jerry Greenberg on "Kramer vs. Kramer" (Part 1).

Posted by Geoff at 6:58 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, March 28, 2015 7:00 PM CDT
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Friday, March 27, 2015
PANKOW TALKS ABOUT WORKING WITH DE PALMA
FILM COMMENT INTV AHEAD OF LAST NIGHT'S 'CARLITO'S WAY' @IFC; W/ ZACHAREK POST-SCREENING


I hadn't heard anything about this beforehand, but last night, a 35mm print of Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way screened to a sold out crowd at the IFC Center in New York. After the film, editor Bill Pankow was interviewed on stage by special guest host Stephanie Zacharek, whose Sight & Sound blurb accompanies the IFC event description: "One of the ten best films of all time." The film's description on the page also begins by noting, "Named the Best Film of the 1990s by Cahiers du Cinema."

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the screening, Film Comment's Violet Lucca interviewed Pankow last week, and posted it online yesterday. In this terrific interview, Pankow talks about editing two great set pieces in Carlito's Way: the pool hall scene, and the Grand Central sequence. He discusses working with actors such as Pacino, being attuned to their subtle nuances and physicality. He talks about how the split screens in Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale were very carefully planned beforehand. He talks about working with De Palma as the ideal working method, and De Palma's skills as a visual sotryteller. He talks about getting the right sound for the crowbar to the head wielded by Sean Penn's character in Carlito's Way ("That’s very giallo," jokes Lucca). He talks about working with Jerry Greenberg, and how he really came into his own during the editing of The Untouchables-- and how he made De Palma laugh with his initial cut of Sean Connery's death scene. Go read the interview now-- it's great stuff.


Posted by Geoff at 8:18 PM CDT
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Thursday, March 26, 2015
KEITH GORDON DEVELOPING NEW A&E SERIES
WOULD WRITE, DIRECT, PRODUCE POTENTIAL PILOT - BLIND SCRIPT COMMITMENT
Almost four years ago, Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr reported that Keith Gordon had been hired to write and direct a supernatural thriller, based on an undisclosed novel, that Christopher Nolan's company Syncopy was going to produce. No new information has come out about that project since. In the meantime, Gordon has been busy directing all kinds of terrific TV shows. His episode of HBO's The Leftovers last year ("Two Boats and a Helicopter") was a particular highlight, a character study of a preacher that included a supernatural element, and a surreal nightmare sequence that really took the series to another level.

However, in an interview last year with Curnblog's Simon Butler, Gordon noted that on most TV shows, the director really is relegated to presenting the vision of the showrunner. "The writing and acting on the shows I’m lucky enough to get to do is as good or better than anything in the feature [film] world," Gordon told Butler. "But the mixed blessing for a director is, it’s not a director’s medium. The show-runner producer/writer is the one creating the arc of the show, the style and the tone, and my job is to convey his or her vision. That’s a little less artistically satisfying than making your own film. That said, it’s also a fascinating challenge because often the show will have a different visual grammar than the one I instinctively go toward. I do feel I’ve learned a lot during that process, going outside my comfort zone, shooting things in ways I might not ordinarily and trying to make things fit the tone and style of a larger whole. But I do miss being the one who sets the tone and style of the larger whole."

Well, it looks like Gordon may get his shot to be the tone and style-setter. After directing and executive-producing the pilot episode of A&E's new American version of The Returned, Gordon has been signed to a development deal with A&E, Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reported last week. "It includes a blind script commitment for Gordon who would write, direct and produce the potential pilot," according to Andreeva. Stay tuned...


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, March 27, 2015 12:34 AM CDT
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015
'SCARFACE' REMAKE / 'CAPE FEAR' REMAKE
DE NIRO AFTER PACINO / SCORSESE AFTER DE PALMA



Courtesy girlpacino.tumblr

Posted by Geoff at 8:32 PM CDT
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015
REVIEWS FOR IMMERSIVE 'CARRIE THE MUSICAL'
INCLUDING ONE FROM A WOMAN WHO HAD NEVER READ KING'S BOOK NOR SEEN ANY FILM VERSION

Brady Schwind's audience-immersive stage version of Carrie The Musical runs through April 5th at La Mirada Theatre in southern California. Here are some review samples:

Renée Camus, Reel Life with Jane
"Full disclosure: I’ve never read [Stephen] King’s book, or seen the movie; either the classic 1976 Brian De Palma film, or the recent remake. I generally don’t watch horror films—yet my favorite musical is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the brilliant and hugely successful horror musical by Stephen Sondheim. So why not a musical based on Carrie?

"...The show starts with Carrie’s classmate, Sue Snell (Kayla Parker), under a harsh spotlight, being questioned about the events that happen at the end of the musical. We know we’re headed for badness—but most of us know that going in anyway (the ubiquitous pictures of Sissy Spacek dripping red told me this without seeing the film). Lights brighten as the cast joins her for the opening number, which dissolves into Carrie in the gym shower discovering that she’s bleeding. Not knowing this part of the story, I was surprised to see the women all stripping down to their underwear, and I wondered why it was necessary. Then I noticed Carrie off to the side, directly in front of a single line of audience members at the back of the space, completely nude.

"Apparently the story calls for at least a reference to nudity, with its close association of sex and sinning, but I didn’t feel it was completely necessary for the cast to strip down (they probably could have hid it or made it less obvious). Having the audience so close to the action made it that much more uncomfortable. Especially given Margaret’s warnings to Carrie not to shower at school, it’s surprising that she would.

"Director Brady Schwind and producers Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman set out to create an interactive, immersive experience by transforming La Mirada Theatre into Carrie’s high school. Audience members get wristbands that separate them into freshman, sophomores, faculty members, or other school delineations, based on their seating assignments. They’re then taken into the 'assembly' by class, passing by beat-up lockers and graffitied desk-chairs, and seated in bleachers built onto the stage. Despite the attempts at emersion and interaction, the staging didn’t add much. The four sections directly on the floor are pulled and moved around, which perhaps put those audience members more in the thick of it, but for those of us further back on the immovable bleachers, it wasn’t quite such an interactive experience. Well, except for the pain in our buttocks from the vastly uncomfortable seats (make sure to bring a cushion with you when you go)."

David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times
"Never underestimate the power of stagecraft. Case in point: Carrie: The Musical, now receiving a mind-blowing immersive production at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts...

"However, Carrie is a better musical than before, but it's still not a great one. Gore’s tunes are pleasant but, barring Carrie and Mom's songs, not very individuated, Pitchford’s lyrics are prosaic, at times prolix, and [Lawrence D.] Cohen’s book doesn’t explore its All Teens Are Alienated theme beyond surface considerations.

"That will scarcely matter to audiences craving a full-throttle theatrical experience -- Cirque du Soleil meets Disneyland, with pig’s blood -- and musical theater cultists should flock."

Eric Marchese, Orange County Register
"Lawrence D. Cohen, who wrote the screenplay for the 1976 film version, has crafted a book that gets at the heart of the story’s characters and themes. Composer Michael Gore’s gorgeous music and lyricist Dean Pitchford’s powerful, poetic lyrics express from-the-heart emotions, but without being sappy or trite.

"Director Brady Schwind’s immersive production unfolds on the venue’s stage, where roughly 200 patrons are positioned amid the cast. The movable front sections of seats are pushed and rolled to and fro, making the experience all the more intimate.

"Schwind and choreographer Lee Martino make full and brilliant use of the play itself and of a superb cast of 19. To top it off, illusionist Jim Steinmeyer’s special effects make Carrie’s telekinetic powers real, as objects move, levitate or fly at her command.

"At every turn, Carrie the Musical puts the angst of teendom on full display, its climax a stunning, bloody explosion of chaos and mayhem. La Mirada’s intimate staging is at once gripping, horrifying and beautifully moving. It’s also one of the best shows you’ll ever see anywhere – one not to be missed."

Steven Stanley, Stage Scene LA
"Suffice it to say that King/De Palma fans won’t be disappointed...

"The La Mirada Theatre has found its dream Carrie in Emily Lopez, who not only gives us the heartbreaking, deeply-felt portrait of a troubled teen discovering strengths she never dreamed she had, she sings with gorgeous power pipes and makes us believe in Carrie’s transformation from ugly duckling to exquisite swan."

Don Grigware, Broadway World
"The stage is the back part of the regular theatre stage and it has been cordoned off, serving as the high school gymnasium. Audience sit in the three-quarter and watch the action literally a few feet away from them. There are seats on two levels. The first group of seats called the pods are level with the stage. There are levels above for audience through which cast members make entrances and exits and sometimes play/sing and then there is a third level playing area above for only actors. Those sitting in the pods are moved at various intervals to the left and to the right, sometimes mirror imaging each other and other times, not. Hardly your ordinary seating arrangement, but it definitely puts you smack dab in the middle of the playing field. You are there, feeling what the characters are feeling, almost a part of the action.

"I sat in the tier above the pods so I had the advantage of looking down at the action on the stage and also up to what was transpiring on the third level. One scene in particular in Act One involves Carrie praying to Jesus on the cross within a room of her house. Jesus literally comes down off the cross and while this is happening, on the third level, Tommy Ross (Jon Robert Hall) and his girlfriend Sue Snell (Kayla Parker) are making torrid love. Quite the contrast as blatant sexuality and spirituality clash in full force right before our eyes! In Act Two what served as the back wall of the gym with basketball scoreboard opens up and becomes the dance floor for the prom. Stephen Gifford's scenic design for the entire show is awesome as is Schwind's staging of the actors, who are literally everywhere within the space, putting audience at arm's length for every experience, good and evil."


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:06 AM CDT
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Monday, March 23, 2015
VIDEO: DOMINIK GRAF ON DE PALMA'S 'BLACK DAHLIA'
GERMAN DIRECTOR OF 'BELOVED SISTERS' INTRODUCES FILM FOR TONIGHT'S ARTE TV SHOWING


Arte TV is showing Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia tonight, presented by Dominik Graf, the German director who is getting high praise for his latest theatrical feature, Beloved Sisters. A 12-minute video in which Graf discusses De Palma and The Black Dahlia is up now at Arte. If anybody has the ability and/or time to translate or summarize for us what Graf is saying, please by all means send it on in (either by e-mail or as a comment below).
(Thanks to Jochen!)

Posted by Geoff at 7:21 PM CDT
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Sunday, March 22, 2015
NANCY ALLEN'S DTK HOOKER-WITH-A-HEART-OF-GOLD
MAKES VARIETY'S LIST, UPON THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF JULIA ROBERTS' 'PRETTY WOMAN'
March 23rd is the 25th anniversary of the release of Garry Marshall's Pretty Woman. To mark the occasion, Variety's Matthew Chernov has posted a slide show called "12 Hookers with Hearts of Gold." On that list is Liz Blake, the Wall Street prostitute played by Nancy Allen in Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill.

Here's what Chernov says about the character:

"The second of three hookers that Nancy Allen played for then-husband Brian De Palma (the others were featured in Home Movies and Blow Out), Dressed to Kill finds the actress stalked by a razor-wielding psycho after witnessing a brutal murder. Combining bold sexuality, streetwise humor and an unexpected degree of maternal empathy for the victim’s son, Allen is sensational playing an independent woman who’s smarter, and braver, than anyone gives her credit for."

Posted by Geoff at 7:06 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, March 22, 2015 8:03 PM CDT
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