Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
"The Tribe is a vortex of filmmaking style and humanity's darker impulses, during which you may find yourself clawing the seat to resist its severe, sometimes exceedingly graphic pull. But denying its power is tough. A former crime reporter, Slaboshpytskiy has made one of the most unusual and disturbing films about criminality of the new century.
"Before the first image appears, the movie warns you of its gimmick: The characters all communicate in sign language, with no subtitling or narration. As raw as that deal may seem between an ambitious director and foreign-film audiences normally unfazed by language barriers, Slaboshpytskiy uses it to free up his visual storytelling and direction of actors, which is nearly always illuminative.
"It also fosters an abiding appreciation for the gesticulative art of the all-deaf performers, whose interactions — whatever the emotion at hand — have the expressiveness of choreography. Be assured, there's no lack of narrative clarity here, only the persistent sense that nothing cheerful is in store...
"The Tribe is marked not just by wordlessness — the ambient sound makes it not truly silent — but by Slaboshpytskiy's mesmerizing long takes. Each one is a mini-drama of movement, suspense and revelation, whether tracking characters around the rooms, hallways and grounds of the school, or parked in one spot for a scene of mischief, conversation, explicit sex, or, late in the film, an excruciating real-time abortion. It's shooting style, patient yet predatory, that feels one part Eastern European directors' penchant for protractedly gloomy tableaux, one part Brian De Palma in voyeur mode, with a dash of Martin Scorsese articulating the kinetics of gangster life.
"The film is made up of only 34 shots — fewer cuts than Michael Bay would use to film a commercial. But stitched together, the effect is bracingly alchemic in connecting us to a corrosive world, and characters for whom the mobility of sight is everything. Few first films have so confidently executed such a formalist approach to visuals and communication."
The above poster by Stephen Romano imagines an R-rated sequel to Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise. This is the 13th poster in Romano's "RETRO 13" series. "You’re going to see thirteen all-new movie posters," Romano wrote on Dread Central last March, "done in the exact style of the eras they represent, complete with fold marks and aging, and it will be the MOST authentic series like this ever created."
Here is Romano's introduction/description of the new poster from Dread Central:
This week we come to the end of RETRO 13. Yep, this is NUMBER 13, kids. And what could be finer for our climax than the resurrection of horror’s most beloved Faustian rock star and king of 1970s camp? I’ve saved one of my very favorites for last, and that’s The Phantom of the Paradise Must Die! An epic tale of lust and revenge, music and madness, with all of your favorite characters from the original back from the dead and ready to party in the ultimate rock show from beyond the gates of hell!
The die-hards among you already know there was never a 1979 sequel to Phantom of the Paradise, but wouldn’t it have been damn cool if there had been? I can see it all now: legendary genre director Brian De Palma (desperate for a hit) and legendary songwriter/actor Paul Williams (stoned out of his mind)—collaborating one more time on a film that never would have been made in the real world. In our bizarro universe of infinite possibilities, the fat cats at 20th Century Fox somehow miss the fact that the original film made exactly nothing and failed with every citric in America who saw it. They also approve a ridiculously whopping EIGHT MILLION DOLLAR budget and pump every available resource into getting the sequel made (that was a bloody fortune in 1979; remember Star Wars only cost TEN MILLION a few years earlier) and then, of course, the film goes millions over budget, with fistfights and temper tantrums on set, affairs and lawsuits and drug binges on screen and off screen, as the film becomes the most controversial and talked-about Hollywood train wreck in recent memory. Finally, the results are unleashed on an unsuspecting public in the glorious summer of Alien and Phantasm and Mad Max. Is the film any good?
Well, fuck YES it is, people. It’s the sequel to Phantom of the Paradise.
Starting with a bang, the fallen Winslow Leach strikes a deal in hell with the Devil, played by John Lennon (in one of an unprecedented fifty-seven celebrity rock star cameos), and returns to Earth to haunt his one true love, Phoenix, played again by Jessica Harper—who has become the biggest rock star in history after the climactic events of the first film. Having only two weeks before his contract with hell expires, Winslow again becomes THE PHANTOM, wreaking a bloody vengeance on those who dare to cross Phoenix, including Beef, who was electrocuted in the first film and yet inexplicably has returned to Earth as a gay vampire. After a hilariously protracted battle, they all end up joining together to stage an epic rock opera production of Faust, which will open the gates of hell and bring about a “fiery apocalypse of music and mayhem.”
The evil Swann (again played by Paul Williams) also returns to earth, motivated by greed and vanity, having made an even darker deal with the BIG GUY UPSTAIRS—with just 48 hours left on his contract. The war is waged on stage, in a musical finale pitting titan against titan. If Swann wins, he will rule the earth and regain his fame as the number one rock star in history. If the Phantom wins, the universe will fall into fire. And so THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE MUST DIE!
No other film in 1979 was as batshit crazy as this motherfucker.
And it’s our final film.
So please… if you are a fan of the RETRO 13, seek out the original Phantom of the Paradise and all the other movies I’ve championed here. They are some of my favorite films and some of the best ever made in our beloved genres. I’ve had great fun with this series and hope to return one day with a sequel of my own. Perhaps RETRO 13 PART 2? Anything is possible in a bizarro universe of infinite possibilities. So keep your eyes peeled. We may not be quite done yet, kids.
Herschmann: How did the diary of Conrad, Isabelle’s youngest son, take shape – a multilayered compilation of a young boy’s mindset and perception?
Trier: We had to write it and then write it again and again and again during editing; it was like making a feature film, that diary. We have many versions of it and I’m very happy with the one we used. We even have the clip from Opera by Dario Argento in it. One of our producers is Italian and knows Dario Argento and we got that through him. We wanted to get different elements of different cultural expressions into the diary. We tried to find poetry in the truth of the character. I love the film Kes by Ken Loach. My favourite moment in that film – the one where I always cry – is when the kid, who doesn’t know how to express himself, is suddenly asked by his teacher to talk for the first time and tell them how he takes care of his bird – he knows the boy is with this bird all day. And the kid speaks for the first time and talks freely about who he is. That’s not exactly what we’re doing, but I wanted Conrad’s diary to be a revelation of the discrepancy between his social inability and his inner life, which is so rich.
It is not only a written text in the film, but presented in a very visual way, as a montage of imagery. You used a similar technique in Oslo, August 31st and they both work very well. How did you become interested in this form of expression?
I went to the National Film and Television School in London, we called it National Social Realist Film and TV School. Steven Frears was a teacher there and Mike Leigh, people that I now admire tremendously for their skills in drama, but at the time I was really into Antonioni, Alain Resnais and Brian De Palma. I wanted montage and the break of the image and the form to be really at the essence of what I did, and I think I changed. Also by going to that school, I discovered Ken Loach and the fact that, in the middle of social realism, there is poetry and truth and not only social commentary hitting you on the head. In the best of these films there’s something more that transcends. However, I still have one foot in that kind of formalism. Showing thought patterns in cinema through montage I find very interesting. And it’s been appropriated by commercials, but I always try to show that it could be more expressive and, ideally, more complex.
What do you mean by thought patterns?
The train of thought. How people think. The structuring of thought, which I think is the temporal experience of images on the screen. We always talk about stories, because it’s a literary term and it’s very easy to say, but the fact is we’re watching images in time and they either correlate or don’t with our sensomotoric thought patterns. And it sounds very technical, but I feel it’s a fact, you’re actually dealing with theme and image when you make a movie, all the time. It can be quick or slow: how do you pace the information? Is it possible to express, to show thinking literally, the association chain of a young boy thinking randomly about his life? Yeah, let’s try. That’s what I mean with thought pattern.
There are a lot of memories in the film, a lot of dreams…
That’s what we constitute our identity on, these frail things that we believe are truths about ourselves and that’s very scary and also liberating. AndI feel the film is very much about that: the questioning of identities.