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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


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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Last Friday, Arrow Films announced it will release a limited edition Region B Blu-ray of Brian De Palma's Carrie December 11, 2017. This comes after last year's Scream Factory edition of Carrie. New to this edition will be a commentary track by Lee Gambin, author of Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, author of Cultographies: Ms. 45 and Devil’s Advocates: Suspiria. Gambin also recently interviewed Sissy Spacek about the film. Also new to this limited edition is a 60-page booklet featuring new writing on the film by Neil Mitchell, author of Devil’s Advocates: Carrie, and numerous reprints and interviews. There will also be a brand-new visual essay comparing the various versions and adaptations of Carrie across the years. The new cover art is by Laz Marquez.

Posted by Geoff at 2:31 AM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 2:04 AM CDT
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Monday, September 25, 2017

This year's Torino Film Festival will feature a complete Brian De Palma retrospective, the festival announced Friday. And by complete, they mean complete: "For the first time ever in Italy," states the press release, "the festival will organize a screening of all the works by the great American director; not just his feature films but his short films, documentaries and video clips in their original version, with subtitles."

The Torino Fest site adds, "From his early works in the sixties to the masterpieces that made him one of the key directors of contemporary cinema, Emanuela Martini (curator of the retrospective and the director of the Turin Film Festival) will lead us to a rediscovery of the author that has had a fundamental influence on Cinema history." The 35th Torino Film Festival, which is held in Turin, Italy, will run November 24th through December 2nd.

Posted by Geoff at 12:29 AM CDT
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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 11:21 PM CDT
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The above images are included in the trailer for Susan Lacy's HBO documentary, Spielberg, which hit the web a couple of days ago. On Thursday, PRI's Sam Kim posted a radio interview with Lacy in which they discussed the documentary. Recall that Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's De Palma doc opened with a clip from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo, a film that had a major effect on Brian De Palma early on. Lacy similarly opens Spielberg with a clip from David Lean's Lawrence Of Arabia, which kicks of the following bit of conversation between Kim and Lacy:
Spielberg (from film clip): A movie came into town called Lawrence Of Arabia, and everybody was talking about it. And when the film was over, I wanted to not be a director anymore, because the bar was too high.

Sam Kim: That was great!

Susan Lacy: Yeah. The minute he told me that story, I knew that I was going to open with that.

SK: Of course.

SL: But I didn’t tell him that. And so when he saw the film for the first time, I think he said something like, “Pretty bold of you, to open a film about a filmmaker with somebody else’s movie!” I said, yeah, and he said, “I love it!” It’s about inspiration, it’s about what he aspired to.

SK: And about what you see when you’re an adolescent, you know, which affects us all. One of the great parts of this film of yours are these—a lot of these 8mm films that he made as a kid…

SL: They’re amazing, aren’t they?

SK: They’re totally amazing! Did he have them all?

SL: Yeah. He keeps a pretty good archive.

SK: I’ll bet!

SL: But, he’s very protective of them.

SK: Right.

SL: All that footage you see in the film of him hanging out with Paul Schrader and De Palma and…

SK: Never seen any of that, either.

SL: Even his own staff hasn’t seen most of it.

SK: That was his…?

SL: All of it was shot by him.

[Film Clip, possibly Spielberg’s voice] This is Martin Scorsese, director of Mean Streets.

[Spielberg’s voice again, but this time closer to the microphone]: This is Brian De Palma, wild as ever!

Posted by Geoff at 11:31 AM CDT
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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 10:12 AM CDT
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Friday, September 22, 2017

The photo below was posted to Instagram today by The Faery Academy, with the following caption: "Today Luca Deiana, president of the #faeryacademy and special effects teacher of the regional makeup artist courses, has curated the special effects of the #domino movie directed by #briandepalma award-winning American director, featuring @nikolajwilliamcw and @carice_vanhouten, the protagonists of the series #gameofthrones"

Posted by Geoff at 12:32 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2017 8:47 PM CDT
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Brian De Palma and his cast and crew will spend the next week in Sardinia, Italy, for the final leg of filming on Domino. According to ADN Kronos, Domino will film in Sardinia, "touching several locations including the cities of Cagliari, Capoterra, Domus De Maria and Pula." The production plans to be in the region through September 28th. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau posted a video today to his Instagram, mentioning that he is in "the beautiful city of Cagliari." Carice van Houten posted a pic on her Instagram today that shows herself swarmed within a group of people-- she included the caption, "Italian fans are the best."

A profile piece by Bor Beekman from Wednesday, about Els Vandevorst (pictured above in Almería), the Dutch co-producer on Domino who was brought on as a skilled "crisis manager" following her drive to get Brimstone made a couple of years ago, mentioned that Guy Pearce has a supporting role in Domino. The IMDB had Pearce on the cast list a couple of months ago, and then Pearce's name was removed. Now it is back up. Yesterday, a Dutch news item at NU added that Pearce plays a CIA agent in the film. Pearce met van Houten, who plays one of Domino's main protagonists, on the set of Brimstone, and the pair have a son together.

Beekman's article on Vandevorst at De Volkskrant is fascinating and full of many details about filming Domino. Here is a Google-assisted translation:

This woman is the Dutch silent force behind (international) top films
The Unbreakable Vandevorst

After the completion of Brimstone and a few agile years, film producer Els Vandevorst needed to take sabattical. But yes, they were looking for a crisis manager on the set of Brian De Palma.

By: Bor Beekman September 20, 2017, 19:30

In the crest of the bullfighting arena of Almería, Spain, the film hairdresser's scissor moves over the skull of director Brian De Palma. White-gray picks of hair flutter between the wooden benches of the 19th century plaza de toros. It's just a break, a little after one o'clock at night. So why not? The 77-year-old American - loose-fitting shirt, shorts even wider - blank stares ahead. In 15 minutes, the shooting of his new feature film will continue.

Co-producer Els Vandevorst is in the stand, 2 meters behind the maker of Scarface (1983) and The Untouchables (1987). Leaning forward, the cross on a chain around her neck dangles freely. "That's not bad," she says, eyes focused on De Palma's cut. "I do not know the man, anymore. But I see this as a good sign. He feels comfortable.”

It is day 28 of the shoot on Domino, a thriller about two police detectives (played by Game of Thrones colleagues Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Carice van Houten) and their hunt for a terrorist cell across Europe: Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain.

One of the sections of the arena is packed with about two hundred dedicated extras from the southern Spanish city. There cameramen running around, stuntmen, actors, security guards. Whether De Palma's Dutch coproducer noticed any of all that this evening is the question; The Danish-Dutch-Belgian-Spanish-Italian Domino has six producers. Nevertheless, the 55-year-old Dutch was of vital importance to De Palma's film.

Ploep, goes her phone: text message from the French equity partner. The main financier, who has not been in contact with the Danish executive producer for two weeks and called for a halt on the cash flow needed for filming. Since that day, the disgruntled French party who had been appointed "mediator" no longer calls Vandevorst. "It's not convenient, no," she says. In English she sounds of Brabant descent. She arrived late on the Domino producer team, as a kind of crisis manager.

'Balls of Steel'

So there is hassle. That's not so surprising. Hit the books about the creation of several memorable films: it's always a fuss. But sometimes there is more hassle. Perhaps this is because main protagonist Christina Hendricks (Joan from Mad Men) dropped out very late. And because the profile of the initially Norwegian-directed thriller changed when De Palma was snared: such a renowned American director comes with some demands and has his own view of the European locations, with all the consequences already agreed upon for local funding.

In addition, the emotional video message from Belgian actor Mourade Zeguendi, who said with pain in his heart, that he had to refuse an offer from De Palma because he did not want to play a Molenbeek terrorist: "I have my belly full of this type of typecasting.”

Finally. They are filming, production is over halfway through. And the French version of Vandevorst has just brought good news: some money has been transferred again. Nothing to the Spanish producer, who has already made all kinds of charges and is struggling with an art director to pay, who threatens to quit his job at any moment. But to Vandevorst, who also has her expenses, including the salaries of her actors: Van Houten and her friend Guy Pearce, in a supporting role. At the bottom of the arena, on the sand of the plaza, she immediately promises to transfer to the bank account of the Spanish producer. They have known each other for twenty years, [from the subject]. The Spaniard's face cloaks something. For the time being, Domino can continue.

"There's nobody like Els," assures the experienced Spanish producer during a producer lunch at sea, prior to night shots. "She has balls. That sounds like a macho comment, but it's true." He treats - his location, his honor - and holds a hymn on the prawns, picked out of the sea. Vandevorst is currently trying to call the French financiers. "Put that phone away," summons the Spaniard. "Look, there is the Méditerranée."

Martin Koolhoven made her world-famous in Venice in 2016, when he praised his producer during the international press conference of Brimstone. Why Brimstone producer needed 'balls of steel', then read the headline of an article in the British film magazine Screen Daily. That message needs a nuance: on and around the set, Vandevorst operates strikingly softly, amicably. She just doesn’t buckle under pressure.

Five days before the first recordings of the western, Mia Wasikowska and co-star Robert Pattinson suddenly dropped out of production. Contracts were not yet final, which was related to the complex financing structure: Brimstone's budget was culled through a chain of diverse cash flows. There were already studios booked, sets built, crews on the way. By postponing, the film would have been a bust, leading to a bankruptcy of N279 Entertainment, Vandevorst and Koolhoven's company.

It turned out differently: after 48 hours of bargaining with half of Los Angeles, agreements were reached with stars Dakota Fanning and Kit Harington, or "Jon Snow" from Game of Thrones. In between, Vandevorst gathered the grievance of troubled financiers.

Vandevorst: "When Brimstone went through a crisis, the people said: Els does not know how hot it is. I did, but if I'm going to be nervous, everyone will be nervous. But yes, they were of course."

"We also lost money because those actors walked away," says Vandevorst. "Then you end up in discussions with financiers: whether Dakota was no less than Mia Wasikowska? I thought that was unacceptable, I could also refute. Then count your relationships, what have you built up? There I always spend a lot of time: the personal. But your negotiating position is difficult at such a moment: you have to run, and that's what the financiers know. What I do not understand well about myself is that I actually became even more powerful. We'll do it, or you're just watching it. "

The battle for Brimstone continued, even after shooting. Three weeks before the world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, where the 148-minute film was selected for the main competition, the British Finance Party demanded 30 minutes be cut. "Contractually they could oblige us to deliver a 130-minute movie. So we do not get sold to America, they said. Martin was excited: they wanted to cut into his movie! But I had final cut: in the worst case, 18 minutes had to be done, but we were allowed to decide. I could play that hard and they demanded their claim. In the end, Brimstone sold very well in America without cutting a centimeter."

Vandevorst went to Asia, when Brimstone finally did not have a chance after the early attention of the Dutch release. All alone, on sabbatical. "Then I only felt how it was with me. Well, that was not so good. I do not have to do this again, I thought. "

The plan: once she returned home, she would just keep quiet aaround the office for half a year, not immediately throwing a new movie. And when she was in Indonesia, the people from Domino called. She had survived Brimstone, right? Then she could do this, too. "I knew I was not all right, but yes, De Palma. Money does not interest me. Prestige, it will be. This is a step to a higher plan."

Film closed

How do you end up in the film world? Sometimes it's a friend of a sister's sister, who is looking for an assistant for his student movie, preferably someone with a car. It had Vandevorst: 'Peugeot 204. Went three and a half years in.' At her 16th she had run away from Helmond, without middle school diploma. Father was entrepreneur and car buyer, a good one: "As a child, I saw how he did, how quickly he knew when somebody entered the business: this guy can I sell a car and not that one." Film, after a fast-paced career as a microbiologist. During her introduction to the Film Academy she met Mike van Diem, who was one year higher. "He did not speak to me, but on the return trip I said to him, "I want you to produce my final film." He still said nothing. Mike turned around, finished. That's the way he was.”

Their film, Alaska, won the student Oscar in 1990. After the academy she met at a festival Peter Aalbæk Jensen, the big man of the Danish film company Zentropa. He said, "The next time you have to be in Denmark, call me and we'll have coffee." I never had to be there, so I just went and called him up." Vandevorst worked for years as a co-producer of international films by Danish directors, such as Thomas Vinterberg's It's All About Love (2003) and Lars von Trier's Dancer in the Dark (2000) and Dogville (2003).

She also went almost bankrupt. 'A Belgian producer had hired me. In good faith, I provided him with money as he made that money and the return flow." She raised her office, sensing what was going to be remedied, did not produce movies for three unfortunate years, then scratched slowly. "I had no income. From the then Film Fund, the message came: We're done with you, you're never gonna make a movie again. I thought, well, if I stop producing myself, I decide."

Now, more than twelve years later, she is almost out of debt. Meanwhile, she produced again: titles like War Winter (2008) by Koolhoven and Above, It Is Quiet (2013) by Nanouk Leopold. Internationally acclaimed, well-visited Dutch films. Her current film company is named after a strip of asphalt: the provincial road N279, across North Brabant and Limburg. "That's what Martin thought about," says Vandevorst. "Many accidents occurred on that road, I heard later."

What she likes "very well" at Koolhoven, is his clear view of their division of work. "He's even angry when someone calls him a producer. He is authoritative director. We make all decisions about our company together. It's a kind of marriage. We can fight very well. We rarely do it. "

So Vandevorst Koolhoven talked about it, as he continued to watch all kinds of other film plans besides his dreamwestern. "I said, now you're doing everything, concentrating on what you really want in the next few years." Now the N279 companions flirt with a project in London, something with a well-known actress who wants to go to sea with them. Koolhoven also writes a period film produced by Vandevorst and N279, which takes place in Dutch-India in the late forties.

"I'd like to be there from the outset, as an initiating producer. But you'll never see me on the set next to the camera and say, I think it's different. Zero chance. '

'Scream!', calls De Palma, 'Scream it out!'. The director, pacing stiffly through the arena, waves firmly to the actors high in the gallery. 'Allahu-akbar!', a moment later. Followed by a shot. While the stuntman is rehearsing in his newest shirt full of fake blood, Vandevorst speaks quickly with Carice van Houten. "I have to take care of something," she apologizes, as an assistant accompanies her. She appears at the top of the arena, where a Flemish stuntman shows the actor the best way to kick an attacker in the crotch.

Shortly afterwards, in a restaurant, the producers draw the final contract presented by Vandevorst with the revenue distribution key. There you have to drink a bottle of Cristal, the Spanish producer knowing that his frustration about the despicable payments camouflages with happy anecdotes about his nights with Bernardo Bertolucci, who acknowledged in this restaurant that the Jamon Ibérico de Bellota they serve is really better than any ham from Italy. The Dutch production branch, which is the turn to pay, finds the 1,200 euro for a bottle of Cristal which is pricey: then rather Bollinger champagne, the James Bond brand. Spain agrees.

Once everything is signed, Italian producers fall into arms until one of them finds a wrong clause. Adjusted, Vandevorst sustains.

The next morning, in the hotel lobby: again a small crisis. With Spain, also a little with Italy. And the French, of course. It's about money again. "But with the movie, it's all right," says Vandevorst, with an encouraging look at the pale Danish head producer. "With the movie going well," repeats.

A month later, Vandevorst is sitting on a terrace in Venice. She has linked composer Pino Donaggio to Domino, the composer who provided not only many of De Palma's (Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out) music, but also the Koolhovens War Winter. De Palma is happy, of course. There are also people less happy because the filming is still not completed: the final days of shooting are being moved from Spain to Italy.

Koolhoven calls with news from the Netherlands. "We have nine nominations?", calls Vandevorst. 'Which one then?' Also the Golden Calf for Best Film, the prize being awarded to the producers. It is her fourth nomination in this category; she’s never won. "I'm still standing there," she says, gesturing to the red carpet, where the Brimstone baptism occurred a year earlier. "You have to enjoy, everyone said. But I was still in the shit with that finish, the sales agent, the money, the 30 minutes that should or may not be. I thought, how then?"

Now she is going to do everything else. "I'm going to be in full regalia in Utrecht at the Kalverengala. I really want to see that."

Two counts later: "Well, if you can work."

The Golden Kalveren ceremony is 29/9, right after the last shooting days of Domino.

Posted by Geoff at 5:42 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2017 6:17 PM CDT
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Carlotta Films posted the image above on its Facebook page today, with this caption:
One of the new Hollywood cult filmmakers in an exceptional interview book! Published in 2001 and very quickly exhausted, the mythical book of Samuel Blumenfeld and Laurent Vachaud will be released on November 11 in a new revised version and updated with unprecedented interviews with the director, on his films made since then! Also included in the box: 6 film star films in DVD (Phantom of the Paradise, The Fury, Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, Body Double and Scarface).

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2017 12:03 AM CDT
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Monday, September 18, 2017

Nate Lam, Before The Cyborgs
Brian De Palma’s Carrie Remains a Horror Classic

Where more traditional horrors films will frame the villain as monsters out to cause destruction or fulfill some psychopathic urge, Carrie sees the villain as human with redeemable qualities. As the film progresses and Carrie's telekinetic powers become increasingly violent she adopts more of an anti-hero persona than one of an actual monster. In essence you almost want her to exact her revenge on her bullies. Selling this capacity to cheer for Carrie is essential to how well the film plays out; a trait that is not as well conveyed in the 2013 remake resulting in an inferior film.

Watching this film in 2017 (40+ years after its initial 1976 release), many of the Carrie’s more graphic scenes will seem tame by today’s standards (just compare the prom scenes) but it is not the graphic horror that makes Carrie a cultural touchstone rather it is a product of its progressiveness and De Palma’s sheer brilliance behind the camera. For one, Carrie puts female characters at the forefront - something today’s films still struggle with in their representation of women - and two - Carrie addresses adolescent issues in regards to bullying and identity long before John Hughes would popularize the teen genre in the 80s.

Stephen King would go on to write many more stories after Carrie, many of which would also be adapted for the screen to varying results. He would even return to explore themes of growing up and the challenges associated with that process in works like It and The Body (the basis for Stand By Me) but Carrie stands alone as the work that showcased the beginnings of a world renowned author and what a Stephen King movie could be.

Scott Beggs, Nerdist
Every Stephen King Film Ranked

3. Carrie (1976)
The world’s introduction to King as a writer became the world’s introduction to his stories as films. Before he was a brand, he was an author with a hit, and the success of Brian De Palma’s almost surely set the blood-covered stage for King’s long career in cinema. As the castigated girl with telepathic powers, Sissy Spacek plays Carrie to squirrelly perfection, and Piper Laurie embodies irrational fury as a mother who instills a terror of natural things into the heart of her supernatural daughter. Every scene is mined for discomfort and thematic exploration, finding the nooks and crannies of a girl offered no safe haven from her life. The prom gives us the memes, but the confrontation with her mother afterward is the scene of the film, exorcising all the tiny and gargantuan demons whispered into this young woman’s soul since she had her first period in the locker room showers. That’s two riveting, appalling finales for the price of one.

Parker Bowman, Visalia Times-Delta
Ranking the best and worst Stephen King movies

“Carrie” (1976) — Sissy Spacek was nominated for an Oscar for her titular role in this film about an awkward teen tormented by schoolmates by day and by her religious zealot mother by night. She realizes she can use her psychic powers for revenge, resulting in the split-screen prom climax scene that is synonymous with the film and is one of director Brian De Palma’s finest moments.

Anthony Breznican, Entertainment Weekly
How Stephen King scared a generation of storytellers into existence

There were legitimately great films made from King’s novels in the early days. Brian De Palma’s sleek and stylish 1976 adaptation of King’s first novel, Carrie, helped boost the author’s profile; David Cronenberg blended his brand of psychological dread with King’s in 1983’s The Dead Zone; and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is arguably one of the finest horror films in history. (Arguing against that claim is King himself, who strongly dislikes the movie.)

Kubrick was dismissive of King in return, telling an interviewer shortly after the movie debuted that he found the novel’s ending “a bit hackneyed,” although earlier in the same conversation he had called the book “one of the most ingenious and exciting stories of the genre.”

This seemed to be the attitude of most sophisticated filmmakers toward King’s early works. There was a stiff-armed approach, an acknowledgment that something meaningful was there, but a crippling condescension toward the horror or supernatural elements, as if the directors were slumming it with material undeserving of serious thought, unless, perhaps, they could elevate it.

King’s work literally scared many good directors away. Those who fully embraced his horror tales, like the makers of TV movies and some of the schlockier pictures, often responded to King’s visceral properties but missed the cerebral.

Manuela Lazic, little white lies
Every Stephen King film adaptation, ranked

1. Carrie (1976)
It seems inevitable that De Palma and King would work together. While King the writer tends to express overblown anxieties about more or less mundane problems through grotesquely exaggerated stories, DePalma the director employs cinematic language to evoke the visceral intensity of such fears, however absurd they may seem.

When adapting Carrie, De Palma understood that King’s far fetched story of periods paranoia needed to be translated into simple yet striking images of pure horror in order to bypass ridicule. Using visual style, performance, editing, and a gorgeous soundtrack by regular collaborator Pino Donaggio, De Palma managed to introduce Carrie’s untamed magical powers into the tacky, often amusing but cruel world of high school rivalries, with shocking vigour. Carrie’s outburst is made not only terrifying, but also heartbreaking by the fact that the director let his audience get attached to her suffering at the hands of her classmates, her mother, and her puberty, before unleashing her revenge in a wordless sequence of unforgettable bloodshed.

Posted by Geoff at 11:55 PM CDT
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