Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
The Swan Archives is parting with its entire collection of original 35mm and 16mm film related to Brian De Palma's 1974 masterpiece, Phantom of the Paradise. Most of this material is ONE OF A KIND.
Among this footage is the material that was borrowed from us and used as the basis of the outtakes and deleted scenes bonus material on the recent bluray editions of the film in the UK (from Arrow Films) and the US (Shout Factory).
You are bidding on:
- Approximately an hour's worth of deleted scenes and outtakes from Phantom of the Paradise on the original 35mm negatives and interpositives, in the original film cans, with the original labeling from the processor, from 1973/1974. Most (but not all) of this footage was used on the Shout/Scream blurays. There are still a few surprises left in there!
- Three 35mm "coming attractions" trailers: one from the first campaign in 1974, one from the second campaign in 1975, and one negative from the first campaign. The negative is pristine, and the positives have very light use.
- 16mm Negatives and separate audio track for 2 60-second TV spots, plus one positive. These are as minty as they can be.
- Original runcards from the processor, as well as dozens of pages of handwritten notes about how to piece the film together, plus dozens of pages of invoices and related correspondence between the processor and the production. You can see much more about the footage on the Swan Archives website, on our Promotion, Production Fiasco, and Production Outtakes pages.
I will pay shipping within the USA. Sorry, I'm not willing to ship this item internationally; I don't want to deal with the customs hassles. If you're outside the USA, maybe you have a friend in-country...I'll be happy to ship it to them.
You're also welcome to pick this item up at the Archives, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area. We're always happy to meet other fans.
This is a piece of cinema history. Sale of this film does not imply any rights in the footage embodied in the film. There is a reserve price on this auction. If the reserve price is not met, the item won't sell. Thanks for looking, and for bidding!
The greatness of his performances mean that sometimes the roles that he has played have taken on lives of their own. This has never been as true as with Scarface, in which he played the Cuban immigrant turned drug baron Tony Montana. The character and the life he lived have become a go-to for criminals, and lauded by a plethora of gangsta-rappers. The rags-to-riches story has been used to glorify violence. Does Pacino feel that his film has impacted culture in a negative way?
“Well I don’t know what to say about that, I don’t know.” But his moment without an opinion is short-lived.
“I look at Scarface and I don’t see that as the metaphor. I see what Brian De Palma was talking about when we made it. It was the crazy Eighties, the decade of avarice, greed and introducing that into the world; greed is good and the whole thing from Gecko in Wall Street. I thought it was a very socio-political statement, which is why rappers took to it. Hip-hop people were so buoyed up on Scarface. I know a lot of people who don’t deal drugs who are inspired by it. It’s about a kind of ingenuity, suddenly coming from the bottom and rising, which is why the original was so inspiring for me. There is something else too that seems to trigger off a certain thing, and that is this sense of his ideals as an outsider.”
That Synching Feeling from Insane Horizon on Vimeo.
In the audiovisual essay above, That Synching Feeling, Yusef Sayed focuses on the way that Brian De Palma's Blow Out is concerned with synching sound and vision, and how two key references (the Zapruder film and the Watergate tapes) each lack either audio or image, respectively. Along the way, Sayed also includes riffs on three films that strike him when thinking about Blow Out (read about those below or in Sayed's accompanying tumblr text). Don't expect to find any references to Chappaquiddick or The Conversation here, but what is here is rather interesting, nonetheless. Here is an excerpt (all but the first two paragraphs) from Sayed's essay (or read the entire essay at the Insane Horizon tumblr) :
"Jack Terry’s desire to prove beyond question that Governor McRyan was murdered depends on his ability to reconcile image and sound; to succeed where the Zapruder film and the Watergate tapes failed; to provide as full an account of the event as possible, to resolve as many unanswered questions as he can. But does truth really exist at the point of sychronisation? The irony is that Jack himself makes his living by fabricating reality, dubbing heterogenous audio onto low budget exploitation films. This paradox is what structures That Synching Feeling. The eyes and ears must strive to put things into place.
"It draws upon two key cinematic influences, Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-up (1966) and Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder (1954) and source materials relating to the political events described. It handles these different materials in a way that reflects the techniques of Jack’s own working practice. Sound is aligned precariously with image and at times it will fool the viewer. We are displaced from one reality to another, as we are in the opening moments of Blow Out when the slasher pic we are immersed in is suddenly revealed to be the film that Jack is currently foleying for.
"The essay calls for the viewer to question what they are seeing and what they are hearing, to notice a detail that might stick out – a punctum, in Barthes’s term – a sudden puncture, that impacts on our senses and creates meaningful engagement with the matter at hand. All the while it aims to put all the pieces together into a meaningful whole; to create a pattern; to create resonances; to reconstitute a stable order amidst the violence and lies, with attention to shot composition, camera movement and gesture, aural echoes.
"Surprising connections are also presented, of a sort that might thrill a conspiracy theorist – or an auteurist, seeing links, intentional or not, among the works of their favourite directors in an attempt to root out some sort of consistent voice: There’s the fact that Jack is an audio specialist who finds himself in the middle of a political murder; that a professional drummer named Steve Barber heard police radio frequency recordings from Dealey Plaza, released on a ‘paper record’ with an issue of Gallery magazine in 1979, and was prompted to develop his own view on the assassination of JFK; that a drummer, too, is at the centre of another murder mystery, Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) – directed by Dario Argento, whose style bears intriguing similarities with some of De Palma’s best work – moments of which echo Blow Out; that Jackie Kennedy’s last words to her husband were 'Jack, can you hear me?' a line of dialogue which also appears in Blow Out.
"That Synching Feeling is intended to enter the world of the film and to immerse the viewer in the shifting realities, the doubts, the history, the fabrications, secrets and the melancholy that it evokes."
After Dressed To Kill, Rauch went on to a successful career as a film and television producer, and was an executive at Showtime for 15 years, according to Barnes. "Born in Troy, N.Y.," Barnes adds, "Rauch graduated from New York University with a major in art and landed a spot in the DGA trainee program, where he learned the business on The French Connection (1971) and The Godfather (1972).
"With Passion, De Palma is on more familiar ground, using the world of the erotic thriller to note how Skyping, sexting, and tiny pocket cameras are changing behavior, putting everyone in the spotlight and distracting the eye. That’s ultimately what makes Passion a more effective film than the one it’s remaking. While Corneau and Carter were telling a story about what their characters do and don’t see, De Palma is more engaged with what the audience sees. There’s always something to look at in the background of Passion, from the erotic paintings on the walls of Christine’s flat to the video billboards posted around Berlin, and always something eye-catching in what the characters wear, or how they’re posed. The movie is one long game of misdirection, playing tricks on viewers from scene to scene, and showing how easy it is to steer a crowd into missing something important. That’s the real De Palma touch, even more than the operatic overtones and excess."
The Dissolve: Does it frustrate you as a filmgoer to see the language of a film employed less carefully than that? All that work is elided in a lot of movies.
De Palma: Yes, I would agree. I’m astounded by—whether you’re making a science-fiction movie, a zombie movie, a Star Trek, a Marvel Comics Spider-Man movie—these action sequences that seemingly go on endlessly, without any type of shape or form. So much in action has to do with choreography, and orienting the viewer in where everything is. And I’m amazed all the time that nobody seems to pay much attention to that. So you basically get action and reaction, and it’s like an endless drumming without any shape.
The Dissolve: It seems like they’re trying to make up in sheer, visceral force things that could be done much more elegantly.
De Palma: And obviously, in order to have a crescendo, you have to have some silence. It’s just so simple, but nobody seems to pay much attention to it. They’re basically banging at you constantly. And then in a movie, it’s two hours, too, and then everybody says, “My God, when is this going to be over?” [Laughs.]
"Brian De Palma’s Passion starts out as a fairly flat and faithful adaptation of Alain Corneau’s Love Crime, but then after about half an hour, De Palma loosens up and starts making his most visually expressive and delightfully delirious movie since Femme Fatale. In Passion’s best sequence—and one of the best setpieces of De Palma’s formidable career—a ruthless businesswoman played by Rachel McAdams is stalked by a killer on half the screen, while the other half shows her protégée (Noomi Rapace) watching a performance of The Afternoon Of A Faun. The score rises to a peak, and the dancers look directly into the camera, underlining Passion’s theme of misdirection. De Palma keeps pulling viewers’ eyes back and forth, while heightening the tension to the point of distraction. He also calls back to some of his earliest films, like Dionysus In ’69 and Hi, Mom!, where the theater played a central role. Passion isn’t one of De Palma’s top-tier films, but it’s playful and creative, and the Afternoon Of A Faun sequence is a model of how to layer images and move characters with a multiple frames."
"Regardless, it became a weekly ritual for young Winnipeggers, playing into May of the following year, and encouraging repeat visits. A columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press claimed he had met many people who had seen it 13 or 14 times. 'In many ways, it was almost like a big rock ’n’ roll party for us,' says Carlson. 'At that age, the most subversive thing we might have seen would have been Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo or something.' Perhaps the permissiveness of Winnipeg parents played a role in Phantom’s success, but the film may have also been a generation’s introduction to rock ’n’ roll. For this audience, Williams’ glam rock played as the real thing, their first introduction to 'adult' music, a ripe starting point for a film and musician whose reputation within the city grew with nostalgia and age."
(Thanks to Drew!)