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De Palma a la Mod

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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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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
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The De Palma Touch

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Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

No Harm In Charm

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The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

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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

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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
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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
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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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Becoming Visionary
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Body Double
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Books
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Cannes
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Carlito's Way
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Catch And Kill
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Columbo - Shooting Script
Congo
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Cop-Out
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De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
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Dionysus In '69
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Dressed To Kill
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Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Genius of Love
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Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
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Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
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Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
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Magic Hour
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Mod
Montreal World Film Fest
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Murder a la Mod
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Paranormal Activity 2
Parker
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Print The Legend
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Raising Cain
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Redacted
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Rotwang muß weg!
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To Bridge This Gap
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Sunday, June 7, 2015
MORODER TALKS 'SCARFACE' / 'SHE'S ON FIRE'
AND FORMER CASTRO BODYGUARD SAYS MARIEL BOATLIFT PREMISE WAS TRUE TO LIFE
In this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly (June 12 2015), Giorgio Moroder gives Clark Collis "the stories behind the songs." One of the songs Moroder talks about is She's On Fire, which was sung by Amy Holland for the Scarface soundtrack. "Brian De Palma called me and said he's doing a remake of the old movie Scarface," Moroder tells Collis. "I read the script and loved it. I went to where they were filming some of the last scenes of the movie, so I got a little bit involved during the shooting. She's On Fire has some great lyrics and the melody's great. It's my favorite one off Scarface. I never tried [cocaine] and I'm so happy [I didn't]. I think I'm the only one in Hollywood, in the music business, who did not try it."

Meanwhile, last month, the New York Post posted an excerpt from Juan Reinaldo Sanchez' recent book, The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Lider Maximo. The excerpt suggests that there was a whole lot of truth to the premise of De Palma's film:

"In 1980, after weeks of negotiation, 100,000 Cubans were permitted to seek exile in the United States. Fidel Castro allowed them to go to the port of the town of Mariel and embark for Florida.

“It has been said that the Comandante took advantage of the situation by emptying the prisons. It is completely true: I saw him selecting them personally. I was present when they brought him lists of prisoners with the name, the reason for the sentence, and the date of release.

“Fidel read them and with a stroke of a pen designated which ones could go and which ones could stay — ‘yes’ was for murderers and dangerous criminals, ‘no’ was for those who attacked the revolution. In total, more than 2,000 criminals found themselves free…in the streets of Miami.”


Posted by Geoff at 3:40 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, June 7, 2015 3:42 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 6, 2015
'HANNIBAL' SEASON PREMIERE
LEADS TO MORE DE PALMA MENTIONS FROM AT LEAST TWO VIEWERS


NBC's Hannibal had its third season premiere this past Thursday. Shock Till You Drop's Samuel Zimmerman mentions Brian De Palma, among other filmmakers, in his review of the episode:

"'Antipasto,' the premiere of Hannibal’s third season (directed by Vincenzo Natali and written by Bryan Fuller & Steve Lightfoot) is arguably the series’ most stylish installment yet. Though Hannibal is regularly a pageant of hypnotic, high fashion horror, its move out of the harsher seasons of the Mid-Atlantic to the wealth and fine arts appreciation of Europe would necessitate it even further. The sensual cinema of Peter Greenaway, De Palma, Bertolucci, Roeg, Peter Strickland—maybe even fucking travel ads—swirl through the streets, the suits, the dresses, the cuisine, the lectures, the wallpaper and yes, the bloodshed."

This past January, a Dressed To Kill action figure of Bobbi was created by Retroband and Gabe Hernandez, at the request of Hannibal series creator Bryan Fuller.

See also previous posts/tweets:

Matt Zoller Seitz: "Dear @NBCHannibal producers: Just go ahead and bring in Brian De Palma next season. You know you want to."

TWEETS: May 16, 2014 Episode of Hannibal brings De Palma to mind for several viewers


Posted by Geoff at 3:32 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 6, 2015 3:42 PM CDT
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Friday, June 5, 2015
OZON CITES 'DRESSED TO KILL' AS AN INSPIRATION
FOR HIS LATEST MOVIE, "THE NEW GIRLFRIEND"


Reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival last September, Variety's Justin Chang wrote that the "marvelously economical opening sequence" of François Ozon's new film, The New Girlfriend, was "marked by a distinctly Brian De Palma vibe with its elegant camera moves and morbidly beautiful overhead shots of Laura’s impeccably dressed corpse, plus the mildly unnerving sense that the film is simultaneously mourning and mocking its characters’ unhappiness, as signaled by the swoons and sobs of Philippe Rombi’s extravagantly soapy score."

According to GARÇONNE Magazine, Ozon recently revealed to i-D Magazine the five films that inspired The New Girlfriend: Some Like it Hot, In A Year of 13 Moons, Tootsie, Crossdresser, and Dressed To Kill. Of the latter, Ozon told i-D Magazine, "Dressed to Kill is a 1980 film by Brian De Palma. He plays with the idea of gender; it’s a little bit kitsch to watch but there’s a real pleasure there. It’s an erotic thriller centred on a murder, in which Michael Caine cross dresses."

Meanwhile, The Montreal Gazette's T'Cha Dunlevy reports that at TIFF last September, Ozon told him the film was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, as well as Brian De Palma.

Previously:
Ozon's Young & Beautiful reminds critic of De Palma & Lynch.


Posted by Geoff at 7:36 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 6, 2015 3:34 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 2, 2015
PODCAST - 'PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE'
TWO GUYS WATCH DE PALMA'S FILM - ONE OF THEM FOR THE FIRST TIME - AND DISCUSS

Posted by Geoff at 8:05 PM CDT
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Monday, June 1, 2015
PODCAST & BOOK GIVE PROPS TO DE PALMA
FOR HIS "CRUCIAL" ROLE IN THE MAKING OF 'STAR WARS'
This week's Projection Booth podcast focuses on Star Wars (the film now known as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope). Beginning around the 11-minute mark, while discussing Michael Kaminski's book The Secret History Of Star Wars, co-host Mike White says that while the book talks about people coming in and giving advice to George Lucas, "one of the things missing, for me, was some of the people who gave input on the project—especially Brian De Palma, and just how, for me, crucial De Palma was in the history of Star Wars. And he kind of got short-shrifted in that. And really, not too many people talk about the role that De Palma has played in, at least, the first Star Wars film.

"So one of the things that De Palma is kind of infamous for," White continues, "was tearing down one of the first screenings of Star Wars, and, you know, it didn’t work for him, basically. But before that, before he was there as one of the initial audience members, it was him who really kind of helped out the very socially-awkward George Lucas with the auditions."

Another podcast to keep an eye out for: White also just recorded an episode of Geek Juice Radio, as the first part of a director series on De Palma.

BOOK: "HOW STAR WARS CONQUERED THE UNIVERSE" - DE PALMA & COCKS REWRITE THE CRAWL
A more recent book, How Star Wars Conquered The Universe by Chris Taylor, highlights De Palma's role in editing and rewriting the opening crawl of the film. Here's an excerpt:

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Star Wars remains one of the best examples of the storytelling dictum that it is best to begin in the middle of things. (Quite literally so, as it would turn out: Lucas's six-episode saga was the first in world history to open at its precise midpoint.) And he did insist that the roll-up remain, in the face of Fox executives who complained that children wouldn't read any kind of scrolling text at the start of a film. About the time they started, Lucas said.

Credit for the words that roll up the screen following the Star Wars logo is only one part Lucas: the other credit goes to the unlikely duo of director Brian De Palma and then Time movie critic, later filmmaker, Jay Cocks. Lucas had screened an unfinished cut for them in spring 1977, along with a house full of other friends. Over dinner afterwards, while Spielberg declared the film was going to be a huge hit, the naturally acerbic De Palma-- who had sat in on most of the Star Wars casting sessions, looking for actors for Carrie at the same time-- openly mocked Lucas: "What's all this Force shit? Where's the blood when they shoot people?" Perhaps urged on by Marcia, who knew George deeply respected De Palma, Brian later made a peace offering: he offered to rewrite the roll-up.

Lucas was crushed but agreed: the opening crawl had been too wordy in each of its four drafts, and he was down to the wire. His pastiche of lengthy, Flash Gordon-style introductions clearly wasn't coming across to viewers. De Palma sat down the next day, with Cocks at the typewriter. The result: an object lesson in the power of editing.

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Taylor then presents Lucas' version of the crawl, with his own editorial comments interspersed throughout. "The De Palma and Cocks edit is the crawl that survives to this day," Taylor continues afterward. "It is a spare and simple four sentences, revealing exactly what you need to know, with not a word going to waste."

Lucas himself talked a bit about this screening, De Palma's criticisms, and the rewriting of the crawl during a conversation on stage with Stephen Colbert at the Tribeca Film Festival this past April. You can hear the conversation on YouTube-- the bit about De Palma, etc., begins around the 42-and-a-half-minute mark.

SUPERSNIPE - COMIC BOOK STORE IN 1970s MANHATTAN
Another excerpt of interest from Taylor's book, from an earlier chapter:

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Meanwhile on the East Coast, yet another young bearded filmmaker, Edward Summer, had graduated from NYU's film school with dreams of making a science fiction film. He'd made a short film called Item 72-D. Because everyone kept mistaking it for THX 1138, he added the subtitle The Adventures of Spa and Fon. While he waited to get funding for his other science fiction scripts, he opened a comic book store in Manhattan. Called Supersnipe, it soon became a mecca for comic book and film nerds including Brian De Palma, Robert Zemeckis, Martin Scorsese, and their friend George Lucas.

Years later, in 1999, the critic Peter Biskind wrote a boook called Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. His thesis was that the "rock and roll generation" of directors split in two in the 1970s: that Spielberg and Lucas went one way, into space fantasy and other popcorn fare, which changed the course of cinema and pushed out the edgier work of directors such as De Palma and Scorsese. But Biskind completely missed the fact that those edgy directors spent a good portion of the decade just as Lucas did: in comic book stores, reading science fiction, trying to get space movies off the ground.

"The 1970s was a perfect storm for something like Star Wars to happen," Summer says. He remembers Scorsese optioning stories by the great paranoid science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, while De Palma wanted to make a movie out of The Demolished Man, a science fiction classic by Alfred Bester. "Everybody, everybody wanted to make a movie of The Stars My Destination," Bester's other hit novel, Summer remembers. "I was involved with three separate productions of it, and nobody could get it right. The special effects were so difficult."

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Posted by Geoff at 1:26 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 1, 2015 1:38 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 28, 2015
KEESEY'S BOOK ON DE PALMA IS OUT NOW
I just received my copy of Douglas Keesey's new book, Brian De Palma's Split-Screen: A Life In Film. I'll have to write more after I've read it, but upon initial browse-through, it appears to be a thoroughly-researched examination of De Palma's cinema, and an interpretation of each feature film (each one has its own chapter) as it relates to De Palma's personal life and career.

There is also a nice bit in the Acknowledgments: "No accounting of intellectual indebtedness would be complete without recognizing the key role that Geoff Beran and his website, De Palma a la Mod, have played in keeping viewers informed about all things directly or even tangentially related to De Palma. Beran's site is an endless treasure trove of facts, interpretations, opinions, and Web links, and it would be impossible for me to count how many times I visited it during the writing of this book." In the same paragraph, Keesey goes on to thank Bill Fentum, Romain Desbiens, and Ari Kahan.

Posted by Geoff at 12:45 AM CDT
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Monday, May 25, 2015
CHASSOL RECALLS DONAGGIO'S 'BLOW OUT' SCORE
FOR SONG COLLABORATION WITH FRANK OCEAN
French pianist Christophe Chassol was interviewed recently on Gilles Peterson's BBC Radio 6 Music show, and talked about working on Frank Ocean's new album, which will be released in July. NME's Luke Morgan Britton transcribed part of the interview, including this bit in which Chassol talks about what it was like to work in the studio with Ocean: "The guy is smart. He’s really smart. The way he works in the studio is really cool. He has a printer, he has a lot of pictures of architecture, contemporary art, a lot of pictures of different kinds of things. So we start to work on a track and he says, this track is this - that car that you can see. He makes me work on a song, and I'm like, 'oh this sounds like Pino Donaggio's score for Blow Out, by Brian De Palma'. I start to work on a song and five minutes later on the pro-tools screen you have the movie, the score, stretched to fit the song - just to try. I’ve never worked with that much money in music. It's good sometimes to have money, because you can try things."

Elsewhere in the BBC interview, Chassol tells Peterson that he likes classic film composers such as Bernard Herrmann and Jerry Goldsmith, and Peterson plays a cue from Goldsmith's acore for Planet Of The Apes, which Chassol says is his favorite. Chassol tells Peterson that aside from Jonny Greenwood and Alexandre Desplat, the composers working today do not really compare with the older ones.

Posted by Geoff at 5:57 PM CDT
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Saturday, May 23, 2015
TORNATORE TO FILM MORRICONE DOCUMENTARY
DEADLINE: INTERVIEWS & NARRATIVE WILL EXPLORE SIDE OF COMPOSER NEVER BEFORE REVEALED
Deadline's Nancy Tartaglione reported yesterday from Cannes that Giuseppe Tornatore will direct a "documentary feature based on the life and work of legendary composer Ennio Morricone." Tartaglione writes, "Tornatore first collaborated with Morricone on Oscar winner Cinema Paradiso. He is shooting interviews for the doc in several locales and filming a narrative piece alongside. Both the narrative and the interviews are designed to highlight a side of Morricone that has never been revealed. The narrative component will reconstruct key moments, anecdotes, and situations which have been essential steps of the artistic and personal path that Morricone’s life has taken."

Posted by Geoff at 1:52 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 21, 2015
'BLOW OUT' THURSDAY NIGHT IN ASHEVILLE, NC
HOSTED BY XPRESS MOVIE CRITICS KEN HANKE & JUSTIN SOUTHER


Posted by Geoff at 12:46 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015
CRITERION POSTS NEW IMAGE OF NOAH & BRIAN
NEW INTERVIEW FOR THE 'DRESSED TO KILL' RELEASE!


This afternoon, Criterion posted the photo and caption above on its Facebook page. The listing for Criterion's upcoming Dressed To Kill release has also been updated since Monday's initial announcement to add the following: "New conversation between De Palma and filmmaker Noah Baumbach."

On Monday, I mentioned that I had e-mailed Criterion the day before with the idea of including De Palma's Home Movies as a bonus on the Dressed To Kill edition. If they are still adding features to the set, it sounds like perhaps that is still a possibility...

A comment on the Facebook post linked to above mentions that Baumbach's latest released feature, While We're Young, shows a De Palma influence, and I have to say I thought the same thing when I saw the film last month. [Mild spoiler, if you will] Baumbach's film includes a bit of conspiracy, and, like Blow Out (the previous Criterion edition for which Baumbach interviewed De Palma), a character who sees conspiracy "everywhere" has trouble convincing others of his perspective.


Posted by Geoff at 7:03 PM CDT
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