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Domino is
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Listen to
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Washington Post
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Exclusive Passion
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Karoline Herfurth
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AV Club Review
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Sunday, May 20, 2018
DE PALMA-ESQUE 'TERMINAL' & 'BAD SAMARITAN'
DEAN DEVLIN - "I WANTED TO DO A SCARY MOVIE THAT WAS A THROWBACK TO EARLY DE PALMA"


Earlier today, I posted links to reviews of Yann Gonzalez' Knife + Heart, which premiered at Cannes the other day and reminded many critics of the films of Brian De Palma. Two other thrillers were recently released in the United States that brought De Palma to mind of critics-- and, in the case of Bad Samaritan, it seems the director, Dean Devlin, had De Palma in mind from the get-go. "You know, there’s a lot of good scary movies in the last couple of years," Devlin tells Colleen Bement at Nerd Alert News. "They tend to be either something to do with a creature or they have some supernatural aspect to it, or they’re sort of violence porn. I wanted to do a scary movie that was a throwback to early Brian De Palma, or even like the movie Disturbia. This is scary because it could actually happen."

Devlin expands on that a bit more in an interview with Collider's Christina Radish:
When this came your way, it came to you as a spec script that screenwriter Brandon Boyce was asking for advice on, and then you decided you wanted to do it. What was it that made you so passionate about telling this story?

DEVLIN: Well, the first thing is that it was a page turner. I couldn’t put the script down, and that’s so rare. Usually, I’m not a great reader. I have to push myself to read through a script. And the other problem I have is that, very often, I’m rewriting a script while I’m reading it, and then I get half-way through it and I realize the movie in my head is totally different from the one I’m reading, so I’ve gotta start over again. This one was absolutely compelling, from the first page to the last. I just couldn’t put it down. It also reminded me of early Brian De Palma movies that I fell in love with, like Dressed to Kill, and things like that. There are a lot of great scary movies in the last couple of years, but they tend to be either supernatural or have a science fiction aspect, or creatures, or aliens. To me, the most horrifying and frightening thing in the world are other people. If you had a psychotic person, who had no ability to feel guilt or empathy, and you married that with someone who had all of the resources and money in the world, that’s a very terrifying idea, but not so unrealistic that you couldn’t run into that, in real life. That’s what chilled me.


Here's an excerpt from a review of the film by The Daily Herald's Dann Gire:
What Alfred Hitchcock (or his disciple Brian DePalma) could have done with this cat-and-mouse "Silence of the Lambs"-lite material boggles the brain.

Director Dean Devlin, who gave us the ludicrously silly weather disaster drama "Geostorm," can't boggle, but he races over logic lapses with such speed that the frequent surprises, power-shifts and reversals easily take up the credibility slack.

Irish actor [Robert] Sheehan executes his role as an out-of-his-class hero with aplomb, although he's operating in a story that supplies a humongous amount of Oregon scenery for British actor Tennant to chew, and he gorges himself on it with unbridled gusto.

Resembling a cross between Norman Bates and Charlie Sheen on a bender, [David] Tennant tunes into the movie's melodramatic excesses better than his co-stars. (If Tennant wore a mustache, he probably wouldn't twirl it, but we'd see him thinking about it.)

David Connell's impressive, widescreen cinematography keeps our eyeballs occupied with kinetic, well-framed compositions, although Joseph LoDuca's crushing suspense score overpowers a climactic, snow-dusted showdown with distracting notes.

If nothing else, "Bad Samaritan" might be just enough of a horror film to give us pause every time we toss our car keys to a parking attendant.


MARGOT ROBBIE GOES FULL FEMME FATALE IN 'TERMINAL'

Vaughn Stein's Terminal has also led to at least a couple of mentions of Brian De Palma in critics' reviews:

Jake Cole, Slant Magazine

The latest in a long line of post-Tarantino imitations, Terminal paints its setting in broad strokes. The train station where the film's action takes place abounds in retro-modern colors that are redolent of so many 1990s-era industrial music videos. It's a generic space occupied by stilted characters: two hitmen (Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons) who trade wince-inducing banter while waiting for new assignments; a terminally ill teacher (Simon Pegg) who's looking to speed up the shuffling off of his mortal coil; and a disabled janitor (Mike Myers) who just might be more shrewd and observant than he lets on. Interacting with them all is Annie (Margot Robbie), a woman who's introduced via a series of images that, in the way they reduce her to flashing, emerald eyes and pursing ruby lips, lamely prop her up as a femme fatale.

In fact, Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale stands out as the closest analog to this film, as Annie is constantly slipping on various disguises as she seduces and double-crosses those who dwell throughout this terminal at the heart of an anonymous city. Yet the comparison to De Palma's freewheeling, deconstructionist take on noir does this lugubrious thriller no favors, as writer-director Vaughn Stein doesn't so much as dust off the cobwebs from the tropes he recycles throughout. Terminal's actors are awkward and stiff in trying to project hard-boiled cool, and all while delivering lines—from “Hello, handsome, dangerous men” to “Hello, beautiful, semi-clad girl”—that sound as if they had been passed multiple times through an online translation tool.


Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
“There is a place like no other on Earth … to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter.” – Margot Robbie’s Annie in “Terminal.”

With lines like that, it’s not as if the lurid and highly stylized and neon-noir “Terminal” isn’t announcing itself as a derivative B-movie borrowing elements from pop culture touchstones ranging from old-timey gangster films of the 1940s and 1950s to “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” to “Pulp Fiction” to “Sin City” to “Blade Runner” to certain films by Brian De Palma and Guy Ritchie.

This is a dark and bloody and mind-bending trip, alternately fascinating and ridiculous, featuring some bold and outrageous plot twists, and juicy performances from one of the more eclectic casts you’ll see in a film in 2018.

We’re talking Margot Robbie, Simon Pegg, Matthew Lewis from the “Harry Potter” films — and Mike Myers playing one of the sickest sickos in recent memory.

Oh, and one of the aforementioned has a dual role, and let’s just leave it at that.

Every year, we get a handful of movies that have a legit shot at appearing on some “Best of the Year” lists and some “Worst of the Year” lists.

"Terminal" is just that kind of movie.


Posted by Geoff at 3:11 PM CDT
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'KNIFE + HEART' SPINS DE PALMA, ARGENTO, ANGER
VANESSA PARADIS STARS IN YANN GONZALEZ THRILLER SET IN 1970s' PARIS
Yann Gonzalez' Knife + Heart premiered in competition at Cannes the other day, and brought the films of Brian De Palma to the mind of several critics:

Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter
If Dario Argento, Brian De Palma and Kenneth Anger conceived a three-way love child while watching Cruising and listening to a Giorgio Moroder mix tape, the result would be something like French director Yann Gonzalez’s Knife + Heart (Un couteau dans le coeur).

Taking the erotic kitsch and glamorously trashy aesthetics of his many shorts and first feature, You and the Night, to the next level, Gonzalez uses a murder mystery set in the late-'70s gay porn industry to explore deeper themes of desire, abandon and sexual repression, all of it with plenty of humor and blood splatters. Playing the same late slot that Good Time and Drive did in previous festival editions, the film should add a needed dose of glitz and gore to an otherwise tame Cannes competition, with potential for crossover appeal in France and elsewhere.

Shot on 35mm by Simon Beaufils and backed by a throbbing retro score from Gallic electro rockers M83 (one of whose founding members is the director’s brother), Knife hits you from its very first frame — and this is really a frame of celluloid and not a file of gigabytes — as a work engulfed in the pleasures of filmmaking's past.

In the beguiling opening sequence, Gonzalez cuts between an editor splicing 16mm footage; a porno movie shot somewhere in the countryside; and scenes of its young, waifish star heading out to a nightclub and meeting a man in a leather mask. Anyone who’s seen the 1980 Friedkin-Pacino movie or the works of giallo auteurs like Argento or Lucio Fulci can imagine where this late-night encounter is headed, though the director tosses in one of several surprises when the murder weapon turns out to be a black dildo armed with a switchblade. This is not your typical slasher pic.

The young victim was the latest muse of 40-something gay porn producer Anne (Vanessa Paradis), who has built up a sizable filmography of semiautobiographical skin flicks with cheeky titles like Anal Fury or Homocidal. With the help of her favorite actor-director Archibald (a hilarious Nicolas Maury), her editor and former lover Lois (American actress Kate Moran) and a fluffer nicknamed Golden Mouth (Pierre Pilol) — or Bouche d’or in French (not to be confused with Palme d’or) — Anne is as passionate about her oeuvre as any self-respecting Gallic auteur, even if her movies only play at a seedy Parisian XXX theater that also doubles as a cruising spot.

Gonzalez has a good time exploring the slapstick behind-the-scenes side of Anne’s productions, although when we first meet the woman, she's totally grief-stricken after breaking up with longtime girlfriend Lois, who’s had enough of her drunken shenanigans. Anne’s work is further compromised by the fact that castmembers keep dying left and right, with each killing beautifully, and sometimes comically, staged in a different setting: a forest during a wind storm, a late-night parking lot, the movie set itself. She soon decides to embark on an ambitious new feature that re-creates the murders in front of the camera, while investigating the murders behind it, as Knife transforms into a film within a film that blurs the boundaries between reality, fiction, dreams and disaster.

The whodunit side occupies much of the movie’s second half, with Anne turning into an amateur sleuth who uncovers a trail of bread crumbs involving a former actor and his doppelganger (Khaled Alouach), a blind crow that looks a lot like the one in Game of Thrones, and a series of black-and-white flashbacks that reveal a dark family secret involving a character named Guy (Jonathan Genet) who may or may not be dead. It’s too much to handle at times, and the film’s rhythm dips a little during the closing reels, but the ending adds some needed thematic weight to all the B-movie antics by focusing on how sexual repression — specifically of gays — can spiral dangerously out of control.

Like in Gonzalez’s debut feature, Knife indulges in the seductive, sleazy stylings of thrillers and horror flicks from the '70s and '80s (alongside movies by Argento and De Palma, the cult classic Liquid Sky also comes to mind here), with cinematographer Beaufils bathing scenes in oversaturated shades of blue and red as M83’s vintage beats blast on the soundtrack.


Peter Debruge, Variety
Someone is killing the cast and crew around the production of a gay French porno in “Knife + Heart,” which provides an inspired opportunity to set an erotic thriller within the milieu of vintage Parisian blue movies. In the hands of gifted French director Yann Gonzalez, who leaps from Critics’ Week to the official competition with this hyper-stylized follow-up to “You and the Night,” an environment that might have once given exploitation helmers the excuse to stage some red-blooded voyeurism (à la “Body Double” or “Crimes of Passion”) instead serves as a backdrop for queer empowerment in what should be one of the hottest tickets for gay audiences this year.

Picture “Cruising” as directed by Brian De Palma, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this frisky parody-homage, which is equal parts kinky and kitsch, rendered with the kind of meticulous attention to lighting, composition, and sound (including a reunion with M83, who also scored Gonzalez’s first film) that all but guarantees a cult following.


Tim Grierson, Screen Daily
Gonzalez, cinematographer Simon Beaufils and composer M83 (fronted by Gonzalez’s brother Anthony) conspire to make a moody whodunit with a dream logic that can frustrate anyone looking for a more straightforward crime story. In Knife + Heart, the investigation is given equal heft as Anne’s romantic woes and her company’s attempt to make their latest porn, although eventually these disparate strands will (somewhat) come together.

The film’s immutable take-it-or-leave-it ludicrousness has its bracing kicks, especially when Gonzalez stages the masked killer’s vividly violent attacks. (His weapon of choice is a dildo with a switchblade at the end.) Knife + Heart pays homage to disreputable genre films of old, not just mocking porn’s cheap production values but also the grimy pleasures of B-movie horror. Whether it’s Anne’s hip wardrobe or the flamboyantly revealed plot twists, Knife + Heart grins through its gruesome murders, revelling in the power of cinema’s pure escapism.

At some point, though, that style needs to add up to something, and Gonzalez comes up short, resolving the mystery inelegantly and failing to make Anne’s existential crisis absorbing. One suspects the filmmaker spent more time worrying about how to construct his retro split-screen suspense sequences — a clear shout-out to De Palma — than he did in developing the human beings in those frames.


David Ehrlich, IndieWire
On paper, Yann Gonzalez’s “Knife + Heart” sounds like an entirely perfect follow-up to his 2013 debut, “You and the Night.” A pansexual fantasia about a gaggle of symbolic characters who get together for an orgy, the film compellingly melded elements of camp, smut, romance, Anger, and the self-aware stylization of Jean Genet into a chromatic fever that established its writer-director as a unique new voice in contemporary queer cinema (or just cinema, full-stop).

Flecked with some new giallo flourishes and a generous helping of De Palma-like psychological distress, Gonzalez’s frenzied second feature certainly finds that voice growing stronger and more confident. “Knife + Heart” outgrows (or obliterates) the black box constraints of its predecessor in favor of a broader canvas that stretches from a subterranean nightclub to an enchanted forest in the heart of France; from reality to fantasy and back again, using the scopophilic pleasures of sitting in the dark as a bridge between those two worlds.


Posted by Geoff at 2:12 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 3:16 PM CDT
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Wednesday, May 16, 2018
ILLEANA DOUGLAS - TWITTER FLASHBACK PIC
WITH BRIAN DE PALMA & KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS AT TIFF, YEAR UNKNOWN (MID-1990s, MAYBE?)

Posted by Geoff at 8:38 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018
TOM WOLFE DIES AT 88
AUTHOR OF 'BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES' REFUSED TO BLAME DE PALMA FOR FAILED ADAPTATION
Tom Wolfe, whose "novel of the 1980s", The Bonfire Of The Vanities, was adapted into the film directed by Brian De Palma, died Monday in a hospital in New York. He was 88.

Wolfe's novel, which had originally been serialized in Rolling Stone magazine, was published in 1987 and quickly became a well-loved, sensational bestseller. De Palma had recently had one of his biggest successes with The Untouchables, and signed on to direct the film version, which was to star Tom Hanks. The film was a high-profile endeavor, covered regularly in the New York and Hollywood press, and De Palma decided to allow Julie Salamon access to all of the goings-on as the film was being made. The resulting book, The Devil's Candy, stands today as a key text about the inside of an expensive Hollywood production. In her book, Salamon interviews Wolfe as the film is being made, and, later, after he has seen the film. Here's that first interview, from her prologue:
That morning the slender, contradictory man was eating grain cereal with stewed fruit and speaking in a thoughtful, slightly formal fashion about how the people from Hollywood were progressing with the movie version of The Bonfire of the Vanities. He mentioned diplomatically that they were being attentive to details.

"I must confess I get my shoes made at New & Lingwood," Wolfe said, dropping the name of the London fabricator of two-thousand-dolloar-a-pair men's shoes with his cultivated mixture of snobbery and modesty. "And the salesman was here in New York, and he said that Tom Hanks had arrived and wanted two pairs of shoes for the movie -- Tom Hanks or whoever was buying shoes for him -- and asked the salesman what kind should we get? And the salesman says, 'Well, in the book it says half-brogues,' and the movie person says, 'Okay, give us those.' I was rather impressed by that because, unless they make a point of it in the script to have the camera focus on the shoes, who's going to know? You have to have a very picky eye like myself to sit around and figure out where the shoes are from. They seem to be concerned with accuracy -- inn certain respects."

He wasn't willing to criticize the moviemakers -- just yet. "I think it's bad manners in the Southern sense to be sharp and critical of it," he said. "I did cash the check." However, with his good Southern manners the author had made it clear to the Hollywood people right after he accepted the $750,000 they paid him for the rights to his book that he didn't want to have anything to do with the making of their movie.

"To tell the truth, I've never wanted to write any script based on something I've done," he said. "From my standpoint it's too bad that movies don't run nine or ten hours. The way I constructed the book, almost every chapter was meant to be a vignette of something else in New York as well as something that might advance the story, and to me one was as important as the other."

The author paused briefly. "It's a fairly simple story. It's not a complicated story. But I wanted there to be all these slices, one after another. Not that I gave very much thought to how the movie could be made, but I never could see how you could do that."

 

In the final chapter of The Devil's Candy, Salamon again interviews Wolfe, who has just watched De Palma's film via a pre-opening day screening for the author and friends:

Tom Wolfe cringed over the movie, just as he'd cringed the first time he saw "The Right Stuff." He saw "Bonfire" two more times after that, hoping he might like it better. He didn't.
He never violated his rule of public silence on the subject of "Bonfire of the Vanities." He hinted that he didn't care for it much, but the worst thing he said was that "the great thing about selling a book to the movies is that nobody blames the author." Wolfe realized that in some way he was a collaborator in this venture, and that he was better off being polite about it all. He also recognized the fact that his books now had a bad track record in Hollywood and it was a good idea to be polite.
In private he confessed that he was dismayed by the picture, that he really disliked the writing in it. "My feeling is that Hollywood rules are always wrong," he said. "Everybody in Hollywood hates to think about writing. It's so uncompromisable in a sense. There's no easy way to improve it. It's so fundamental. You can't make it better with a better deal."
He sympathized with De Palma's dilemma and couldn't see any way to condense the book himself. He had liked the director's idea to use "Dr. Strangelove" as his model for "Bonfire of the Vanities." But Wolfe felt De Palma didn't pull it off. "Dr. Strangelove," he felt, was a bitter farce, with the emphasis on bitter. The director, Stanley Kubrick, had only one message and it was antiwar. In every scene Kubrick set the business of war against the idiocy of the people making the war.
Wolfe couldn't really understand what kind of farce De Palma wanted "Bonfire" to be. "It wasn't a bitter farce and it wasn't a bedroom farce and it wasn't a sweet farce or an agreeable movie," he said. "As far as I can tell they didn't take on a point of view and cleave to it. I'd be pretty hard put to tell you what the point of view is."
And though he understood that few people would believe it, Wolfe (the man who made up phrases like "Heh-heggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!") thought the film was too exaggerated. "It was as if Brian De Palma said, 'Well, I've got to do something extraordinary to pull this off in two hours, so I'm going to try all kinds of things. I'm going to try this "Dr. Strangelove" approach. I'm going to try the most extreme camera angles I've ever used.'"
Wolfe sighed. "If you're going to exaggerate, it has to be done just so, as in 'Dr. Strangelove.' The slightest false note can boomerang. I hesitate to find a great deal of fault with what was done because it was a tough problem to do this thing in two hours. De Palma took a chance. It really didn't pan out."

From today's obit by Rolling Stone's Tim Grierson:

Born in March 1931, Thomas Kennerly Wolfe Jr. grew up in Richmond, Virginia, holding onto his genteel Southern accent all his life. Attending Washington and Lee University, he studied English literature – there was no writing major – and edited the school newspaper's sports section, along the way co-founding the college's literary magazine Shenandoah. After receiving his doctorate at Yale, he worked as a reporter in Springfield, Massachusetts before moving to The Washington Post and then landing at the New York Herald Tribune, whose brash reporting style was summed up by its motto: "Who says a good newspaper has to be dull?" While there, he wrote for the paper's Sunday magazine, which would later become New York magazine, an upstart rival to the more refined New Yorker.

But Wolfe's first major breakthrough came in 1963 with a piece he pitched Esquire about Southern California's world of custom cars. After doing the reporting, though, he panicked about how to write the piece. On the advice of his editor, he sent over his typed-up notes, and the vivid, stream-of-consciousness observations became "There Goes (Varoom! Varoom!) That Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby," one of the landmark documents in the formation of New Journalism — a flashy, giddy prose style whose champions, including idiosyncratic writers like Hunter S. Thompson, were charting the country's changing, turbulent mood during the Sixties.

The techniques Wolfe brought to "Kandy-Kolored" – you-are-there portraiture, inspired digressions, obscene amounts of exclamation marks and italics – would be his trademarks in subsequent works, perhaps most memorably in his 1968 nonfiction book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which didn't just profile Kesey but also the LSD counterculture at large. (Wolfe himself didn't partake in the hallucinogen. "I felt it was really far too dangerous to take a chance," he said in 2016, "and they didn't try to pressure me.")

Wolfe always dove into unique ecosystems in order to present a macro view of American life. 1979's The Right Stuff, which started as a series of pieces in Rolling Stone about the Mercury Seven astronauts, became a commentary on the country's can-do spirit and the breadth of its ambition. No matter the topic, Wolfe learned quickly that trying to blend in with his subjects actually hurt his reporting — pretending to know more than he did kept him from learning the basics of the worlds he was embedded in.

"People really don't want you to try to fit in," he said in a 1980 interview with Rolling Stone. "They'd much rather fill you in. People like to have someone to tell their stories to. So if you're willing to be the village information gatherer, they'll often just pile material on you. My one contribution to the discipline of psychology is my theory of information compulsion. Part of the nature of the human beast is a feeling of scoring a few status points by telling other people things they don't know. So this does work in your favor."

In that same interview, he mentioned that he was considering writing his first novel. "I'm doing something that I've had on my mind for a long time, which is a Vanity Fair book about New York, à la Thackeray," he offered, later adding, "[N]ovelists themselves hardly touch the city. How they can pass up the city, I don't know. The city was a central — character is not a very good way to put it, but it was certainly a dominant theme — in the works of Dickens, Zola, Thackeray, Balzac. So many talented writers now duck the city as a subject. And this is one of the most remarkable periods of the cities."

After years of research and reporting, Wolfe achieved his lofty goal by publishing The Bonfire of the Vanities, an epic, swaggering tome that began as installments in Rolling Stone. The book introduced the world to Sherman McCoy, a wealthy and morally corrupt bond trader who, in another lively Wolfe turn of phrase, was a "Master of the Universe" during Wall Street's giddy Eighties boom. Receiving glowing reviews and enjoying phenomenal sales, The Bonfire of the Vanities tackled not just New York but also racism, masculinity, economic inequality, a broken justice system and the tabloid press — all the while being wickedly funny and unexpectedly moving. It was quintessential Wolfe: knee-deep in the messy vibrancy of American life but sharply insightful about the country's contradictions and shortcomings.

"When I was writing that book, it was with a spirit of wonderment," he confessed later. "I was saying [excitedly], 'Look at these people! Look at what they're doing! Look at that one! Look at that one!' It was only after I finished and read it over that I see that there is a cumulative effect that leads to [a dark reading of the book]."


Posted by Geoff at 8:45 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 11:18 PM CDT
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Monday, May 14, 2018
MARGOT KIDDER HAS PASSED AWAY

Very sad news today... Margot Kidder passed away Sunday at the age of 69. No cause of death has been reported at this time. Kidder was dating Brian De Palma when she starred with her good friend Jennifer Salt in De Palma's Sisters, released in 1973. De Palma had given them each a copy of the screenplay for Christmas. Kidder and Salt were sharing a Nicholas Canyon beach house together in Malibu in the early 1970s, where they held parties and met De Palma, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, John Milius, Paul Schrader, and many many more.

In 1974, Kidder was part of the inaugural class of AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, along with Ellen Burstyn, Lee Grant, and Maya Angelou, among others. Kidder, of course, is most famous for her role as Lois Lane in Richard Donner's 1978 box office smash Superman (and its sequel, Superman II, which was finished by director Richard Lester after Donner was fired). Other notable films include Bob Clark's Black Christmas (1974), George Roy Hill's The Great Waldo Pepper (with co-star Robert Redford, 1975), J. Lee Thompson's The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975), and The Amityville Horror (1979).

From the New York Times obit today by Neil Genzlinger:

Margaret Ruth Kidder was born on Oct. 17, 1948, in Yellowknife, in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Her mother, Margaret, was a teacher, and her father, Kendall, was an explosives expert whose job entailed taking the family to whatever remote place ore had been discovered.

“I read books,” she told The Montana Standard in 2016, “and hung out with friends in the woods or at the hockey rink. We’d get Montreal on the shortwave radio once a week. That was about it for entertainment.”

Eventually her parents sent her to boarding school in Toronto, where she started acting in school plays. She later attended the University of British Columbia.

In the late 1960s she landed her first TV roles, in Canadian series like “Wojeck,” “McQueen” and “Corwin.” Her first film was the Norman Jewison comedy “Gaily, Gaily” in 1969.

Among her films in 1975 was “92 in the Shade,” written and directed by the novelist Thomas McGuane, whom she married in 1976; they divorced the next year. Her marriages to the actor John Heard in 1979 and the director Philippe de Broca in 1983 also ended in divorce.


From NPR's Bill Chappell today:
Margaret Ruth Kidder was born in Canada and honed her acting skills on TV shows such as McQueen, Nichols, Banacek and Mod Squad before becoming a movie star.

After landing a lead role in Brian de Palma's Sisters in 1972, Kidder's film career took off. It hit the stratosphere six years later, when she appeared as Lois Lane in the launching of the Superman film franchise. She went on to appear in three sequels over the next nine years.

Famous for her smoky voice and for portraying smart, indomitable characters, Kidder also struggled with addiction and bipolar disorder for much of her life. She suffered from a famous breakdown in 1996, when she disappeared for several days. When police found her in Glendale, Calif., she was hiding in the bushes behind a house.

After Kidder recovered from that incident, she became an advocate for mental health awareness.

"I'm not saying it's all over," Kidder told People magazine after her life derailed in 1996. "I'm saying this is the pattern of my life. In three years I might be having another wig-out. I have no idea. I just have to accept the fact that this is me, or I ain't gonna make it."

Kidder went to take dozens of other acting jobs, from recurring roles on TV's Boston Common in 1997 to 2009's Halloween II.

For decades, Kidder had lived in a log cabin near Livingston. In addition to promoting mental health issues, she spoke publicly as an anti-war and environmental activist.


Posted by Geoff at 3:13 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 14, 2018 8:36 PM CDT
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Sunday, May 6, 2018
ANOTHER 'SNAKES' SIGNING, JUNE 1 IN PARIS
AT FNAC DES TERNES, 6PM, w/DE PALMA & LEHMAN
Another book signing is scheduled in Paris for Are Snakes Necessary? Co-authors Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman will be at fnac des Ternes in Paris at 6pm on June 1, 2018, to sign copies of the novel. Two days earlier, De Palma and Lehman will sign books at 7pm May 30th at Librairie Millepages in Vincennes, an eastern suburb of Paris. On June 2nd, they will sign books at the Cinémathèque bookstore, following a De Palma Masterclass and screening of Casualties Of War.

A few days ago, Thierry Corvoisier posted the book cover for Are Snakes Necessary? on Instagram, adding what appears to be an adline blurb for the book: "Politics is a dirty business. It's war. Politics of the jungle. One big and dirty war. And in war, no matter what is right or wrong, you have to survive." A day earlier, Rivages' Nathalie Zberro posted an image of the book on Instagram, mentioning that the Saul Bass-inspired cover is illustrated by Vincent Roché. "A femme fatale, an election campaign, incisive dialogue and poisonous charm," Zberro writes in the post. "Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman publish their first novel at Rivages Noir."

Posted by Geoff at 4:00 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 6, 2018 4:02 PM CDT
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Saturday, May 5, 2018
VIDEO - ADAM ZANZIE'S 10 FAVORITE DE PALMA FILMS
'CASUALTIES' & 'UNTOUCHABLES', MADE BACK-TO-BACK IN LATE '80s, RISING IN RANKS & RECOGNITION?
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/zanzievid.jpg

Between Brian De Palma himself set to present a Masterclass next month in Paris following a screening of Casualties Of War, and EMPIRE's podcast ranking of The Untouchables as De Palma's best film (really guys??-- great film, but ... really?!?), it is interesting to note that this expertly-made video, in which Adam Zanzie picks his ten favorite Brian De Palma movies, has each of those two films within its top three. Zanzie's preference is not simply directed toward the more mainstream of De Palma's features-- he states at the beginning of the video that his "favorite De Palma movies are the ones where he has married his trademark visual talents with good characters and good storytelling." Of course, those latter characteristics are subjective, but it is Zanzie's subjective viewpoint that make his video essay so compelling. A step up from the EMPIRE ranking, if for no other reason than the simple fact that Zanzie has at least seen all of De Palma's feature films, whereas the EMPIRE crew had admitted holes in its viewing.

Posted by Geoff at 1:36 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 1, 2018
50 YEARS AGO TODAY, MURDER A LA MOD
1968 OPENING PARTY WITH BARTEL'S SHORT, 'SECRET CINEMA' AT THE GATE IN NY

Posted by Geoff at 8:17 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 10:40 PM CDT
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Monday, April 30, 2018
DE PALMA TO PRESENT MASTERCLASS, SIGN BOOKS
AFTER SCREENING OF 'CASUALTIES OF WAR' JUNE 2ND AT PARIS CINEMATHEQUE; LAGIER TO PRESENT 'PHANTOM'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/depalmamasterclass2018.jpgLa Cinémathèque in Paris will present a Masterclass with Brian De Palma on June 2nd. The Masterclass, which will follow a screening of De Palma's Casualties Of War, will be hosted by Bernard Benoliel. Immediately after the Masterclass, Susan Lehman will join De Palma in the bookstore to sign copies of their novel, Are Snakes Necessary?

The event is part of a full retrospective of De Palma's films that kicks off May 31st with Blow Out. On June 7th, Luc Lagier will present De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, after which Lagier will discuss the film, and also look at De Palma's career.

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.

Previously:
Paris Cinémathèque teases De Palma Retrospective


Posted by Geoff at 8:24 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2018 8:10 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 26, 2018
GERRIT GRAHAM & 'PHANTOM' IN SYRACUSE SATURDAY
DAY-LONG SALT CITY HORROR FEST INCLUDES ON-STAGE DISCUSSION w/GRAHAM, 'PHANTOM' IN 35MM
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/phantomsaltcity.jpgGerrit Graham will spend a good part of his day at the 13th annual Salt City Horror Fest, which takes place at The Palace Theatre in Syracuse, New York, this Saturday, April 28th. Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, which features Graham as Beef, has the prime time slot in the fest at 6:45pm, following a sold-out VIP dinner with the guests. All of the movies at the fest are screened from 35mm prints.

Aside from Phantom Of The Paradise, Graham has two other movies in this year's line-up: Chud 2: Bud The Chud, and the closing film of the day (at 12:36 at night!), an "extremely rare 35mm print" of TerrorVision, courtesy of Full Moon Entertainment and Charles Band. Graham first takes the stage at 1:55pm to talk about his career ("from De Palma to Star Trek & beoyond," teases the schedule). At 2:20pm, David Irving, the director of Chud 2: Bud The Chud, joins Graham as a lead-in to that film's screening.

The day kicks off with the original King Kong from 1933.


Posted by Geoff at 8:04 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, April 26, 2018 8:06 PM CDT
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