1968 OPENING PARTY WITH BARTEL'S SHORT, 'SECRET CINEMA' AT THE GATE IN NY
Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
As previously reported, a few days prior to De Palma's Cinémathèque Masterclass, De Palma and Lehman will sign copies of Are Snakes Necessary? at 7pm May 30th at Librairie Millepages in Vincennes, an eastern suburb of Paris.
The day kicks off with the original King Kong from 1933.
Barton Brock is director of the campaign for a US Senator named Joe Crump. Unscrupulous, he judges that all shots are allowed, which is why he is recruiting a young waitress named Elizabeth de Carlo to compromise the opponent of Crump, a notorious Don Juan. But Elizabeth has more than one trick up her sleeve ...
In recently published update of the book Brian De Palma : entretiens avec Samuel Blumenfeld et Laurent Vachaud, De Palma revealed a bit more of how the novel came together:
My partner Susan Lehman and I wrote a novel together you know? A political thriller, according to an idea I had for a scenario. I am very good at designing the plot and dialogues, it's the characters, and all the rest has been written together [with four hands]. It was sent to one of my agents at ICM who didn't know what to do with it. I think it's very commercial material. And as I am in France, I thought maybe I could edit it in your country. I sent the manuscript to a friend in Paris who recommended an editor in France, we'll see. As you get older, you always have ideas, but it's more difficult to be able to mount them when you reach an age like mine. So it's easier to make novels. Kazan knew that too.
What is the subject of your novel?
It's pretty close to Blow Out. I combined several ideas that I had. The main character is a senator who comes to the elections. There is also his campaign director, a malicious character, and a photographer who finds himself hired to take pictures on a film that is the French version of Vertigo! After all, you know that Vertigo is inspired by a French novel by Boileau and Narcejac. There's all this and I had a lot of fun. We did this last summer.
There was an intimate VIP gathering after the “Scarface” reunion at the Tribeca Film Festival, spies said.
Walking into the Carlyle following a screening at the Beacon Theatre were director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino, along with Robert De Niro, Barry Levinson and Marthe Keller, Pacino’s co-star from the 1977 film “Bobby Deerfield.”
The high-powered group took over a table in the lower level of the Gallery.
Levinson’s latest HBO project, “Paterno,” stars Pacino, while his previous HBO film, “The Wizard of Lies,” was with De Niro and “Scarface” star Michelle Pfeiffer.
Also there were De Niro’s wife, Grace, and Levinson’s wife, Dianna.
Hey @DailyMail-- I wasn't the moderator at the Scarface panel. I didn't ask that question. I wasn't even in the room. I was, originally, going to be the moderator, but it was changed the morning of.
I have interviewed hundreds of people on my podcast. There is zero chance I would have asked Michelle Pfeiffer that question. If you've ever listened to my pod, you know that.
1) And further, now that this is being falsely attributed to me, let me say this: I prepared really hard to do the panel and was really looking forward to it. But someone on here sent DePalma an old quote of mine, and he had me kicked off the panel the morning of the event.
2) I had said, 10 years ago, that he didn't deserve to be thought of in the same way Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas and Spielberg are. And when I was first asked to do the gig, I warned the people to get DePalma's approval. They did. And then, at the last minute, he booted me.
3) Well, I hope he's happy with the result. For the record, I think Scarface is a masterpiece. And that Pfeiffer's performance captured the mood of that place and moment in time better than almost anything or anyone ever. END.
btw, I never should have publicly said anything against DePalma's work 10 years back. I was tired at the end of a junket. It's wrong for any filmmaker to do that about another. I was looking forward to really making this night special for him, the cast and the audience.
Elsewhere in the on-stage discussion, according to AP's Jake Coyle, Brian De Palma slyly linked Tony Montana to an unnamed Donald Trump: "I've always been interested about making movies about people who start rather humbly and then acquire a great deal of power and then ultimately isolate themselves and live in their own world. Could that be anything we're experiencing now?" De Palma said, laughing.
Coyle's article continues:
The reunion wasn't without its hitches. When the post-screening panel moderator Jesse Kornbluth — as seemingly an opening to discuss Pfeiffer's character's gaunt, cocaine-snorting habits — asked the actress how much she weighed when making the film, boos echoed around the theater. But the affection the crowd had for "Scarface" was palpable throughout the evening, with applause bursting out frequently during the nearly three-hour film for favorite scenes and cherished lines.
De Palma's 1983 film, penned by Oliver Stone, was a remake of the Howard Hawks-directed 1932 gangster film of the same name. (De Palma even dedicated the film to Hawks and screenwriter Ben Hecht.) The project began with Pacino being enthralled by the original.
"I was completely taken with Paul Muni's performance," said Pacino. "After I saw that, I thought: I want to be Paul Muni. I want to act like that."
The idea to update the immigrant story to Cuban refugees in Miami came from filmmaker Sidney Lumet, who was briefly attached to direct. The Mariel boatlift in 1980 brought some 125,000 refugees to Florida from Fidel Castro's Cuba. (An updated, Los Angeles-set remake to "Scarface" has been rumored, with "Training Day" filmmaker Antoine Fuqua recently attached to direct a script by David Ayer, Jonathan Herman and Joel and Ethan Coen.)
De Palma's film was a box office hit, the 16th highest grossing film of the year. But it received mixed reviews. Though some, including Roger Ebert, raved about it, critics like David Ansen of Newsweek called it "grand, shallow, decadent entertainment." Yet for many, its reputation has grown over the years, especially on dorm-room walls and in hip-hop, where "Scarface" became a revered influence.
"It's caught on in such a way, and we have experienced it," said Pacino. "This wasn't the way it started. When 'Scarface' first came out, it was extremely controversial."
The hyper-violent film initially received an "X'' rating from the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings board. De Palma said he went through three edits on the film without receiving an "R'' rating before he and producer Martin Bregman decided to withdraw any changes.
"Marty said, 'We'll go to war with these people,'" said De Palma, still relishing the battle. "And that's what we did."
Some also took issue with how the film depicted Cuban immigrants as vicious drug-dealers at a time when many were trying to get a foothold in the United States.
"A lot of the old-school Cubans were concerned with me almost to the point that they weren't really sure that my participation in a Hollywood movie was worth me downgrading or degrading or tainting the image of their accomplishments in the new society," said the Cuban-born Bauer. "What I tried to convey to them was: Relax, man. It's a movie."
Pfieffer, too, said she's been asked over the years about playing a female character with so little agency in "Scarface."
"I felt that by allowing people to observe who this character is and the sacrifices that she's made said more (than) getting up on any soap box and preaching to people," said Pfeiffer.
The actress added that her experience acting alongside Pacino was life-changing.
"One of the things that hit me the strongest was watching him fiercely protect character, really at all costs and without any sort of apology," said Pfeiffer. "I have always tried to emulate that. I try to be polite about it. I think that's what really makes great acting."
Pacino also shared one of his most vivid memories. While filming the final shootout, he burned his hand badly enough to shut shooting down for two weeks. "I grabbed the barrel of the gun I just fired. My hand stuck to it. It just stuck to it," said Pacino. Pacino promptly left the set to be bandaged at a hospital.
"This nurse comes up to me later and she says, 'You're Al Pacino.' I said 'Yeah.' And she said, 'I thought you were some scumbag,'" Pacino recalled chuckling. "There's something there."
In 2010, after the prequel became mired in red tape over who owned the untouchable rights to what/where/when, Koppelman and Levien were interviewed by Coming Soon's Edward Douglas about a movie they had just co-directed, Solitary Man. Douglas also asked them about Capone Rising:
Levien: "The Untouchables" is a situation where Art Linson is the producer and like right in the beginning, before we finished a second draft, he attached Brian De Palma to direct it, and as De Palma's fortunes have gone in Hollywood over his last couple of movies, that's the future of where "The Untouchables" has gone.
Koppelman: On the list of legendary directors, I don't think Brian De Palma has a legitimate place... so most guys who are considered masters I love and admire, and I think De Palma has had a long free ride that's deservedly coming to an end.
[Douglas]: Really? So you're saying that as long he's attached to it, it will never get made?
Koppelman: I don't think it will. Hopefully he'll drop off the movie though, and then they can find a great director for it.
Levien: Mamet says that Hollywood is the most obvious place in the world, so [De Palma's] movies have done so badly lately that the studios [don't] want to hire him right now. If he finds a way to make a movie that is well-received and a big hit, then it's an obvious place, they'll probably think it's a great idea. It's just not something we can affect right now.
Koppelman: Linson is a true impresario and an awesome movie producer and if anyone can figure out how to revive that, he'll do it.
Levien: Or maybe at some point, De Palma will let it go or Linson will decide that he wants to take it to somebody else. Art's a really loyal guy to the guys he's worked with, so it's likely they're fine the way it is and they'll just make it one day. They play like a long game.
[Douglas]: At this point, it's doubtful you could get anyone from the original movie back.
Levien: That was never the intention, because it's the prequel, so it would have been weird.