Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
When we originally developed the show, the show was a much more straightforward coming-of-age slice-of-life drama. It didn’t have the genre element, the mystery, the crime, the noir of it. When Fox bought it, it was that—it was just a high school show, and in the developing of it, they really pushed us to figure out how its voice would be different from Saved By The Bell or O.C. or Dawson’s Creek or things like that. One real touchstone for me and a couple of the other producers was Twin Peaks. What made it particularly germane to Archie was that the central mystery of Twin Peaks is what happens when a high school homecoming queen is murdered. That was like, “Wow, what would happen if one of the Riverdale kids had been murdered?” And rather than follow an F.B.I. detective through the investigation, you follow the ramifications of that through the points of view of the students.
Another big influence was—there was a great movie called Brick with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which was a suburban noir. That was, I think, an early influence as well. The two other big touchstones for me were movies that I loved when I was a kid and that were coming-of-age movies. One was Stand By Me, which is, of course, about four friends who go on a journey to see a dead body, and River’s Edge, the Keanu Reeves movie, which is about these high school misfits that know one of their friends killed one of their other friends, and the body’s by the river’s edge. When the idea to make Archie more like River’s Edge or more like Stand By Me or more like Twin Peaks—really even more than Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, which is one of my favorite movies—it framed every story we wanted to tell, but gave it a genre element, a genre twist to it. It really became a guiding principle, which was, every story we’ll tell on the show has to work as an Archie story, a high school story, but then also has to work as—there has to be some David Lynch element to it. So in episode three, there’s a slut-shaming story, but there’s a much darker solution to that story that’s almost like something out of a Brian De Palma movie. That’s why the episode is called “Body Double.” It became a way for us to be different from other shows. But you know, every show has a shorthand, and O.C. meets Twin Peaks is a great shorthand.
(Thanks to Frank!)
Meanwhile, on March 21st, Phantom Of The Paradise will screen in 35mm at the Stockholm Cinematek. The screening will be introduced by Ari Gunnar Thorsteinsson, a film critic who has written for IndieWire, among others.
Rhode himself begins the list with his choice of Brian De Palma's The Untouchables:
When I consider media which brings me good cheer, one movie immediately comes to mind. In any moment, for any reason, for any question, there is a single answer, and that is Brian DePalma’s The Untouchables. You know that movie you love? Well, all the movies you love secretly adore this flick, and have been writing fan letters to this piece of pure American kino. Oh, the greybeards and Philip Roth will say that this is not a cheerful movie. You know what makes me cheerful? Knowing when they go to sleep and wake up they are wrong, wrong, wrong.
The Untouchables is one of most encouraging movies ever made. I’ll spare you a recitation of the plot, since we have all watched at least five minutes of TBS in our lives and thereby absorbed DePalma by means of osmosis. What can account for the cultural cachet of this epic tale of brotherhood and bloodspill?
You know all of those empires which have fallen? Looks like they weren’t Untouchable. There are Oscar-winning movies that cover tweens learning violin, kids discovering that dinosaurs were just like us, and how the yam farmer is the noblest of God’s creatures … but they don’t have Kevin Costner pushing a Prohibition baddie off a roof and into a car. Does your beloved Jennifer Lawrence vehicle feature Sean Connery chasing an assassin out of his house in his suit-vest, only to be shot himself? No? Oh, how disappointing that must be for you.
Does your movie happen to be the most heartwarming bro-picture of all time? In the other movies, does an accountant discover in the moment of trial that he can go full truffle-shuffle and wreck shop on Capone’s illegal hooch empire with a gun in his hand, and an even bigger gun in his chest—his heart? Yes, the heart is a gun. The Untouchables teaches this lesson, and so many more. DeNiro’s Capone isn’t even acting; it’s as if the memes from all his Scorsese movies (“To-day! To-day! To-day!”) plugged into an feedbacking amp the size of the world. This movie does not chew the scenery, it devours the backdrop for the fuel to rise above the concept of scenery. That’s the Chicago Way.