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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


« May 2016 »
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De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


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


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

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema


Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor


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


No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Film Stage's Jordan Raup celebrates the release of A Bigger Splash this past weekend by highlighting director Luca Guadagnino's top ten films, which he submitted to the Sight & Sound 2012 poll of the greatest films of all time. Listing his films alphabetically, Guadagnino included Brian De Palma's The Fury on his ballot, along with Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, Fritz Lang's Blue Gardenia, Jean-Luc Godard's Histoire(s) du cinéma, and Ingmar Bergman's Fanny And Alexander, among five others.

Posted by Geoff at 11:52 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Shock Till You Drop's Chris Alexander posted a highly positive review of De Palma yesterday. "It’s a rapturous gift to the hardcore De Palma admirer, of which this writer is one, loud and proud," states Alexander. "In fact, so smitten was I by this picture, I watched it 3 times in succession. It’s a master class. The first and last word on the man and his work."

Alexander later enthuses that the documentary is "remarkable not just because of its edifying look at an important body of cinema, but remarkable because of just how much the duo get out of the De Palma. I’ve interviewed De Palma, twice. There’s a science to it. He’s guarded. It takes the right questions, the right amalgam of word and gesture to get him to open up; one misstep and he closes down just as quickly. So to see De Palma so light and excited, speaking so freely and candidly is a joy to behold. The man is damn near jovial!

"Mind you, De Palma is masterfully edited, cutting between the chatty director and a flurry of incredible clips from the films themselves (there goes the budget!) and behind the scenes stuff from De Palma’s vaults (love the 8MM footage of Steven Spielberg, De Palma’s former best friend and the director’s ex-wife, actress Nancy Allen, sending love out to their colleague; a beautiful snapshot of a time and place that exists only in myth). So, who knows how hard Baumbach and Paltrow worked to get their mentor into his comfort zone. Either way, they did and it’s amazing.

"DE PALMA will be an orgasmic experience for the faithful. But it is also required viewing for every aspiring director who dreams of making commercially successful product, while still maintaining the pure vision of an artist. Truly, it’s difficult to think of another Hollywood filmmaker who has so deftly managed to make such personal work on such a grand scale."

Jesse Hawken of Torontoist posted a review of the documentary last week, in anticipation of the Hot Docs Film Festival:

This film is a chronological tour of De Palma’s complete filmography, guided by the director himself with a bounty of clips and juicy stories about a career full of fights with actors (he had a tough time working with Cliff Robertson on his first big budget film Obsession), studios (Columbia Pictures wouldn’t let him cast the porn star Annette Haven in his erotic thriller Body Double), and the ratings board (which came to a head when he got an X rating for Scarface after submitting three versions, finally putting all the violence back in). De Palma is candid when discussing the highs and lows of his 50-year directing career: he passed on directing Flashdance and Fatal Attraction; he says he lost his nerve adapting Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of The Vanities; and feels he never made a better film than Carlito’s Way.

The final section of the film is unexpectedly moving as it heads into the director’s decline, which began after his greatest box office success Mission: Impossible, as he got lost in making the visual-effects-heavy Mission To Mars; its spectacular failure at the box office was the end of De Palma’s American career, as he looked to Europe for financing and the years between features lengthened. As illustrated by the clips from his recent, less-consequential works like Passion and The Black Dahlia, De Palma understands, like his hero Hitchcock in the years after Psycho, that his glory days are behind him, that the industry has changed around him, that it gets harder as one gets older.

Directors Baumbach and Paltrow are obviously huge admirers of De Palma’s work, and the film succeeds as a solid testament to his career and importance. This film is a feast for De Palma lovers who may not be so familiar with the smaller, harder-to-see films from earlier in his career, like Greetings, Get To Know Your Rabbit, and Home Movies; conversely, this clip-heavy documentary might not be the best place to start for newcomers to De Palma’s work, as the twists and climaxes to some of his greatest films will be ruined for you, especially the magnificent downer ending of Blow Out.

Posted by Geoff at 1:28 AM CDT
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Monday, May 2, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 2:46 AM CDT
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Friday, April 29, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 10:52 PM CDT
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Here are some of the other translated interview quotes from Brian De Palma, from his visit to the Beaune International Thriller Film Festival earlier this month.

From an article by Alain Grasset at Le Parisien:
Why do you like France so much?

BRIAN DE PALMA: In my youth, several French directors I was interested in: Jean-Pierre Melville, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Georges Lautner, whom I loved "Tontons gunslingers." I have always enjoyed the French culture, cuisine, good wines and the art of living. One day while I was in Paris, a friend (note: the singer Elli Medeiros) told me that there was a crime fiction festival in Cognac. We went. I felt good at home. I decided to settle in Paris in the early 2000s, when I shot "Femme Fatale". When Bruno Barde, the organizer of the Festival de Beaune, asked me to come here to honor my career, I did not hesitate long.

What do you think of the American cinema today, especially the proliferation of blockbusters?
For a guy like me who belongs to the generation of Martin Scorsese, Francis Coppola, Sydney Pollack, Woody Allen, etc., I do not recognize myself at all in the studio system. Hollywood, which lines up sequels, remakes, superheroes from comic books, I could not care less. "Batman," "Superman," "Iron Man," all these blockbusters, it's just money! I regret that Hollywood lacks both imagination and true creators, as in 1960 and 1970. It is also in Europe, Asia, South America, where things are now being creative. But I eat dinner often with young talented American directors - Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow - I hope they will make things happen.

You, the Democrat, how do you react to the candidacy of Donald Trump for the White House?
It's terrible! Here is a man who, for me, best crystallizes the curse of reality television. Donald Trump knows how to manipulate the media to his advantage and the impact of images. Better than any politician, he knows the rules, knows how to feed the news channels, starting with Fox News. Worse, he succeeded in getting them to talk about him every day. For me, who was 23 when JFK was assassinated in Dallas, Trump is a man very disturbing.

In your film "Redacted", filmed in 2007 on the war in Iraq, you had mentioned terrorism. The world is facing this problem today ...
Alas, nothing surprises me! The French know better than anyone. When it occupies Arab countries, what happens? Explosions in the West, in our streets. What to do ? Stop trying to control these regions as they’ve been trying to do for decades. When people are willing to blow themselves up to kill others, there is no defense.

Posted by Geoff at 12:06 AM CDT
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Posted by Geoff at 11:51 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 11:52 PM CDT
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Saturday, April 23, 2016
The Imagine Film Festival, which focuses on horror and sci-fi genre films with an increased interest in thrillers of late, has included screenings of De Palma this year. The third and final screening happens tomorrow, April 24th, the last day of the festival, which began April 14th. The fest's page for the film includes a quote of something Brian De Palma says to Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow at one point: "You start with character and work your way outwards, while I start with construction and work my way in."

Ravage Webzine's Ulrik van Tongeren calls the documentary "the best film of the festival," adding that "De Palma is surprisingly frank and honest about his work. Moreover, the film is packed with revealing anecdotes." Van Tongeren particularly enjoyed the details De Palma provides about the filmmaking process, including extensive discussion of Alfred Hitchcock. He also appreciated the way De Palma articulates the modern way action scenes are put together in most films today, which merely produce "predictable clichés." Van Tongeren concludes that "this unique masterclass should be studied carefully by any film student."

Posted by Geoff at 11:48 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, April 23, 2016 11:50 AM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 11:10 AM CDT
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Doug Kraner, the production designer on Raising Cain, died on April 4 at the age of 65, according to Variety's Maria Cavassuto, who adds that Kraner had been battling cancer and died in West Hollywood, California.

Prior to working on Raising Cain, Kraner was officially listed as a technical advisor on Brian De Palma's The Untouchables, apparently having worked in the art department for that film. His other credits include Louis Malle's My Dinner With Andre (set decorator), Mike Nichols' Working Girl (art director), and Phil Joanou's State Of Grace (production designer).

Posted by Geoff at 1:34 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, April 23, 2016 1:38 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 21, 2016
Sophia Takal's Always Shine (the followup to her 2011 debut, Green) had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival last week. "The early reviews have been positive," states Tasha Robinson at The Verge, "and occasionally rapturous. Like Green, Always Shine deals with jealousy and competition between two women. But where Green is a loose mumblecore drama, Always Shine is a nervy thriller that owes as much to Single White Female as it does to deliberate touchstones like Ingmar Bergman’s Persona."

In a review of the film for The Playlist, Kimber Myers writes, "Always Shine has echoes of Brian De Palma, David Lynch and Ingmar Bergman, though it simultaneously maintains a presence all its own. While the work of those filmmakers often focuses on female characters, a woman director brings a unique perspective to its story of friendship, jealousy and obsession, framing it within the larger concerns of feminism. While it does explore current issues, you’re not getting handed a syllabus in Women’s Studies 101. Instead, its energies are focused toward showcasing the environment its characters reside in and how that shapes who they are and their actions. Even though Takal was likely influenced by the aforementioned auteurs, her directorial vision is still distinctly her own. Always Shine is a film with plenty of style, from its title sequence with an '80s font and frenetic pace to its final cut to black."

Going back to Robinson's article at The Verge-- she interviews Takal, at one point asking about her influences:

You’ve cited Ingmar Bergman’s Persona, John Cassavetes’ A Woman Under The Influence, and Lynn Ramsay’s Morvern Callar as major influences on this film. What did these films bring to the table?

All the movies from the 1970s with slow zooms were visual influences. With my director of photography, Mark Schwartzbard, we watched Robert Altman’s 3 Women and Images, and I really wanted to build suspense through slow zooms and a moving camera like he does. Theme-wise, 3 Women was also a big influence, as was Cassavetes’ Opening Night. The idea of the ghost that becomes more and more threatening to Gena Rowlands’ character was something we wanted to incorporate. And with Morvern Callar — Larry showed me that movie, because a lot of the feedback we were getting from traditional financiers, when we were trying to make this movie in a more traditional way, was that the main character wasn’t likable, and it was unclear why she was doing these things. Larry said, "There’s this great movie you need to see, where the protagonist’s motivations aren’t really explained in a way where everything ties up neatly, and with a character who’s flawed." That really opened things up for me.

I don’t know if this is true, but I feel like female directors are better able to understand the complexity of a female character without needing to explain everything, and without needing to make the character "likable." Likability to me is such a frustrating thing. I think there’s more awareness around this now, but in general, male characters can be so flawed, but if a woman is mildly annoying, "She’s not likable!" It mirrors this box of femininity in the real world, too, where you have to be this one narrow, certain way, and if you’re not, you’re intolerable.

Who do you consider the main character? One of the interesting things about the film is that there’s such a balance between Anna and Beth, in terms of perspective and sympathy.

Psycho was also an influence, in that you start off being in one character’s psychology, and then it shifts. Anna is based on me, so I always thought of her as the main character. But I did want to start with Beth and have that shift, so you understand both characters’ point of view. I think you transition into Anna’s headspace around that scene at the bar with the handsome older dude. If we were aping Psycho, that was our shower moment, our transition moment.

Brian De Palma also feels like an influence here, given how much you’re looking at voyeurism and sex and the film industry, and questions of identity and escape. Was he part of the mix?

I’ve loved the films I’ve seen of his, and I’m sure he was an influence for Larry and my DP, but I’m not so familiar with his movies. I saw Body Double and a really good one with Robert De Niro called Hi, Mom! which was also an influence, because it’s not experimental, but it’s just totally wild, and it narratively goes off on these wild diversions, which I did in the scene here with Jane Adams. It’s just a diversion that may have been inspired by the diversions in Hi, Mom! I love that movie.

But I’m not that well-versed in cinema. Zach Clark, my editor, he knows so much about movies, and I’ve had so many collaborators who know so much more about movies than I do that they were able to infuse in choices I might not have thought of. They just have a bigger cinematic vocabulary.

Posted by Geoff at 11:34 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2016 11:36 PM CDT
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