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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


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Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
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AV Club Review
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Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Selena Gomez & Petra Collins share 'fetish' for Brian De Palma films

Via Dazed:
Petra Collins: What is your current obsession or ‘fetish’?

Selena Gomez: Right now, I have a fetish for Brian De Palma films. The way he shoots women is so sexy. I’m printing out pictures to hang up in my new house right now. Melanie Griffith in Body Double. So sexy.

Petra Collins: Oh my God. Brian De Palma. I love him. I’m with you on that one, that’s my fetish right now too.

Posted by Geoff at 10:49 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 10:57 PM CDT
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https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/homecomingteaser.jpgLast week, during a Television Critics Association panel for Amazon Prime's upcoming series, Homecoming, Sam Esmail, who directed each episode, mentioned Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma while discussing the cinematic style of the show, which stars Julia Roberts. Here's an excerpt from a report of the panel posted by Deadline's Dade Hayes:
The audience saw a clip from the show, which details a social worker’s efforts to help soldiers returning from war (though perhaps, it seems, to nefarious corporate ends). In one continuous take, the scene shows Roberts taking a phone call at her desk, standing up and walking down stairs and through a densely populated office. In a fluid tracking shot, the camera follows her both from afar and overhead, passing over the walls dividing each room. Such explicitly cinematic flourishes, Esmail said, were inspired by films by Hitchcock and Brian De Palma.

Esmail said the cinematography and atmosphere of paranoia borrows from Mr. Robot. Like that show, he said, Homecoming taps into a seemingly bottomless well of feeling about the current era of “corporate greed,” as he put it. “We’re still reeling” from the 2008 financial crisis, he said, notably from the fact that no financial executives wound up criminally prosecuted for the meltdown. “I don’t want to say all corporations are the villains but there is that un-trustworthiness,” he said.

Blow Out & Carrie haunt Mr. Robot flashback prologue

Posted by Geoff at 8:31 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 6:08 PM CDT
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Friday, July 27, 2018

When Tom Cruise saw Carlito's Way, his mind got to thinking about what a Mission: Impossible movie might look like with Brian De Palma at the helm. "I want to see that movie," Cruise said to himself. The rest is history. This week, the sixth film in the series is opening to overwhelmingly positive reviews, and De Palma's first film has been getting mentioned in reviews, as well as reviewed itself in the past several weeks. Here are some links, with more surely to come:

Jacob Knight, /Film
How Brian De Palma Subverted the Blockbuster With ‘Mission: Impossible’

A Different Kind of Blockbuster

If you hire Brian De Palma to helm your nearly $100 million blockbuster (whose budget seems unusually small come 2018), chances are it isn’t going resemble anything else hitting multiplexes that (or any other) year. This is precisely what happened when Tom Cruise and his producing partner Paula Wagner brought the notorious Hitchcock conversationalist aboard for Mission: Impossible. It obviously wasn’t the first time De Palma had manned a massive studio picture – as he’d already churned out the ultraviolent gangster remake Scarface in ’83, its massive, David Mamet-penned period successor The Untouchables in ’87, and the infamous bomb Bonfire of the Vanities in ’90. However, his signing signaled the direction Cruise was headed with his own 007 companion piece: it was going to be an eccentric series, led by bona fide auteurs as opposed to anonymous journeying workmen.

With that in mind, it’s no wonder Mission: Impossible is possibly one of the most subversive, stylistically defined franchise entries – let alone inceptors – in cinema history. Cruise’s first outing as Impossible Mission Force Agent Ethan Hunt is just as much a showcase for De Palma’s peculiar fascinations as it is the front man’s considerable star power. Looking back on the third-highest grossing picture of ’96 twenty-two years on is a beguiling investigation of how both the series and studio filmmaking on the whole have radically evolved; notions of “shared universes” a mere glimmer in some future executive’s eye. In fact, it’s tough to watch M:I and imagine that anyone involved (beyond Cruise, of course) expected it to stretch into a decades-spanning action/adventure serial.

That De Palma Touch

De Palma has always been a pop dissident. From his earliest days helming Godardian farces such as Greetings (’68) and Hi, Mom! (’70), there’s been an air of angry rebellion contained in even his funniest work (just look at the harrowing Be Black Baby sequence from the latter for the best example). Phantom of the Paradise (’74) doubles as the director’s commentary on how commercialization can bastardize great art (having been inspired by hearing a Muzak cover of the Beatles in an elevator), and Carrie (’76) is just as much a scathing indictment of every popular high school kid – who this self-described “science dork” was the antithesis of at the same age – as it is a rip-roaring psychedelic horror show. Even his dizzying erotic thriller – the perverted, porno chic nightmare Body Double (’84) – is a knowing middle finger to the criticisms he received for his previous Hitch riffs, its title derived from the jabs taken at the stylist for using a stand-in during Angie Dickinson’s Dressed to Kill (’80) nude scenes. In short, De Palma is an artist often fueled by “fuck you”, willing to antagonize his detractors by doing whatever the hell he wants.

However, if there’s any entry in BDP’s filmography that his Mission: Impossible shares the most in common with, it’s the paranoid conspiracy thriller Blow Out (’81). In that near inscrutable masterpiece, B-Movie sound man Jack Terry (John Travolta) accidentally captures a Senatorial assassination while recording new foley effects for his latest body count picture. Using the tools of the cinematic trade, Terry reconstructs the murder into a moving image, all while an unhinged government operative (a lecherous John Lithgow) pursues him and the only other surviving witness to the crime: a lovable floozy name Sally (De Palma’s then wife Nancy Allen). Blow Out is a motion picture awash in both distrust of authority and its author’s punch-drunk love of cinema, as he utilizes all the tricks in his deep magician’s bag to craft one of our finest motion pictures.

With Mission: Impossible, De Palma essentially becomes Jack Terry, disassembling the elements that made Bruce Geller’s prime time pulp a cultural touchstone and then rebuilding them in his own image*. Hunt’s initial mission – which we bear witness to through a series of the director’s trademark Steadicam POV shots – is quickly dismantled by an unseen killer (via a rather grisly upending of expectations), placing the baby-faced operative on the run while higher ups like IMF Director Eugene Kittridge (Henry Czerny) treat him like Public Enemy No. 1 (their initial tense, post-op meeting a barrage of split-diopter shots scored by Danny Elfman’s rising strings).

Mike Ryan, Uproxx
The First ‘Mission: Impossible’ Is Crazy And Confusing — And That’s Why It’s Awesome

At no time does Mission: Impossible care if you’re confused. Why would Ethan risk the identities of hundreds of agents just to save himself? When does Kittridge start to trust Ethan again? What if Jean Reno’s Franz Krieger doesn’t buy Ethan’s little magic show and doesn’t throw his (real NOC list) disc in the trash? Yep, it doesn’t care. It just keeps going. And for all the stunts Tom Cruise does in the later films (which, to be clear, are insanely fun to watch), nothing can beat the tension of Cruise hanging an inch above a weight sensitive floor at CIA headquarters. (Again this scene is awesome. Does it make any real sense why they are there or why that room would exist? No, but holy crap it’s a great scene. Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the scene where Ethan tells Kittridge, “You’ve never seen me very upset,” then throws the explosive gum at the aquarium. This scene is gorgeous.)

Also, the craziest thing is just the fact that Brian De Palma directed this movie. Yes, De Palma has directed some movies before that could qualify as “action,” like The Untouchables and maybe even Scarface, but Mission: Impossible is his only true “big blockbuster type movie” (as we define it today) and, not surprisingly, by far his highest grossing movie.

James Murphy, MovieViral
Throwback Thursday Viral Vault : James Murphy looks back and chooses to accept the FIRST and arguably BEST Mission : Impossible (1996)


De Palma’s direction on Mission:Impossible maintains great atmospherics and sense of paranoia. There are close-ups of blood being washed off hands or staying on a floppy disk: touching on the horror genre, without ever going TOO far into the gratuitous or adult. Indeed, there is an almost child-like innocence and curiosity about the film; perhaps in line with Cruise’s own (then) younger worldview? Upbeat tone and pace, despite the nominally shocking premise for the hero.


DePalma does channel Hitchcock here whilst making it his own. Notice that for all the consequence free escapism, this IS a film with real stakes. If Ethan Hunt is captured? He is dead and disgraced. Career. Reputation. Family. Mortality. ALL on the table. So his gamble with stealing secret information from his own side / Faustian pacts, a necessary step that sets up the film without too much contrivance, despite criticisms to the contrary. Plot is clearer and simpler than many believe. Indeed, I’d cite it as essential script study for all film writers in waiting. Every scene has something to say in a meta way about cinema, whilst existing as a self contained thriller and never breaking the 4th wall.

Some fantastic and distinctive set pieces: the Prague chase; Restaurant explosion; the CIA Heist (Kubrick meets Star Wars); the Train. Great use of sound design and editing, throughout.

And Waterloo Station (also seen in future years in franchises: Bourne Ultimatum and Mission Impossibles’ own Rogue Nation) a character in itself:.

Tom Cruise, as always, in love with London. They should give him an honorary knighthood for his services. He is second only to Richard Curtis and the rom-com brigade for the visual odes to our Brits’ beloved capital.

There are thematic layers hidden away like data in a secret vault but DePalma manages to sneak in some hints (foreshadowing fates in a brutal opening; a love triangle between the Voight /Cruise/Beart characters in the past?). And for all its high class and money glossy escapism (TGV first class, naturally!), there ARE references, albeit briefly, to dying parents, bankruptcy and a military intelligence establishment that has lost its way post Cold War yet pre 9/11. The film is set in that mid 90s, Clinton/Blair third way era calm before the storm.

Speaking of transitions and styles of leader? One could argue that the rumoured creative clashes between Cruise and DePalma actually brought out the A + Game in BOTH parties. The conflicting agendas fused in such a way that the film’s own clash of genres and tones and purposes, as well as its own, inner motif of two military intel teams competing against each other..just..works. Against the odds, backs to wall = mission, accomplished?

It is apt that the mentors here are also villains; yet thereby bring out the best in the heroes. Much needed, because Cruise’s ‘Ethan Hunt’ is simply a device, an avatar, for this series to progress. Even the name sounds like they just picked it at random. Why not just call Cruise’s character ‘Jim Phelps’ from the tv series counterpart and call the thing a reboot? Or better still: Tom Cruise is…Tom Cruise?! Yes he can act and should have Oscars to that effect (American Made: HELLO? You. woz. ROBBED!). But here? It’s HIM. Still is, in the franchise years later. Just call it out. 😉 But they had their reasons and it stands on its own terms, despite intersection / overlap with some other (then) in vogue franchise properties /aesthetics.

Stephanie Zacharek, TIME
Mission: Impossible—Fallout May Be the Best Since the Original


Before internet cat videos, before flip phones, before Beyoncé could talk–let alone sing–there was Tom Cruise. A nuclear blast might kill him, but don’t be so sure. He’s as enduring as the pyramids, if not nearly as impressive. Yet even people who don’t care for Cruise often have a weakness for the Mission: Impossible movies, and that’s as it should be. Their outlandish plots and over-the-cliff stunts are the most suitable delivery systems for his energy and undimmable wattage: he just makes sense in them.

Mission: Impossible—Fallout may be the best Mission: Impossible movie since the first, made in the dawn of the cat-Internet age, 1996, by Brian De Palma. Or perhaps it’s just the one with the mostest: even by the franchise’s extravagant standards, Fallout throws off Hope-diamond levels of grandeur.

Posted by Geoff at 8:27 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 27, 2018 8:33 AM CDT
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Wednesday, July 25, 2018
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/depalmavsdepalma.jpg"De Palma vs De Palma" will be the leitmotif for the 2018 Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival, which runs November 9-18, 2018, in Catalonia, Spain. "At 77 years of age, De Palma is still one of the North-American directors whose work is expected around the world," states Albert Galera, Arts Director of the festival, in a statement on the fest website. "It is beyond doubt that his latest film, Domino, is bound to be one of the favourites of 2018. De Palma is a synonym of respect, cinephilia, passion, skills, talent… Besides the premiere of his latest film, this year is the 40th anniversary of The Fury (1978), one of the greatest horror films that he has offered throughout a filmography which has developed for almost six decades."

Galera closes by saying, "Our fascination for Brian De Palma’s films, his personal and essential way of approaching horror, and his ability to seduce us again and again are the reasons why the 37th edition of the Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival is going to focus on mainly three words: Brian De Palma. This is going to be a year concerned with long sequence shots, split up screens, direct and metaphoric open-ups, provocation, desire and meddling. Now, get dressed to kill, free all your fury and get ready for a prom night bound to have amazing effects."

In addition, a book will be published ahead of the festival, also titled De Palma vs De Palma. El Terror Tiene Forma's Jesus Marti provides a nice rundown of the book:

El Festival de Cine de Terror de Molins de Rei (TerrorMolins) and Editorial Hermenaute collaborate for the third consecutive year in what will be its 37th edition with a book about the career of the North American director Brian De Palma. The veteran festival, which will be held from November 9 to 18, this year has as its central theme the director of Sisters and Phantom of the Paradise.

The book reviews the extensive film career of the director of Carrie and Carlito's Way among other essential films. It is a collective essay around the work of the great filmmaker, the great protagonist of the 2018 edition of the Terror Film Festival of Molins de Rei.

Under the title of De Palma vs. De Palma, the book explores many of the essential concepts of the work of De Palma from the personal vision of six authors, each of which focuses its individual analysis on one of these constants. Keith Gordon, actor in two films by Brian De Palma and American filmmaker, contributes with an emotional forward.

De Palma vs. De Palma is a book that deals with formal duality, split identity, aspects such as the split screen and the methodical amplification of Alfred Hitchcock's legacy. A book that avoids the hackneyed chronological analysis and offers an interesting discourse about the work of the New York based director in six complementary articles. De Palma vs De Palma gets, from the analysis of the filmography of the director of Dressed To Kill, make us rethink the discourse of his work and discover new theories. A book that vindicates the figure of one of the best and most controversial filmmakers in history; an essential essay for every movie buff and any curious reader interested in psychology, art, sociology and other fields intimately related to the seventh art, the thriller and the fantastic.

Coordinated by Albert Galera, the book has the signatures of Antonio José Navarro, Gerard Fossas, Jordi Batet, Jaume Claver, Ignasi Juliachs and the same Albert Galera, artistic director of TerrorMolins, writer and film historian.

Cover design: Marta Torres.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 26, 2018 12:31 AM CDT
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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Posted by Geoff at 6:18 PM CDT
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible was released by Paramount this month in a 4K Ultra HD edition, along with all of the other M:I franchise movies, timed with the release of the newest one, Fallout, later this month. Paramount's Kirsten Pielstick tells Engadget's Devindra Hardawar that the film's director of photography, Stephen H. Burum, worked closely with the digital-mastering group to restore the film:
Mission Impossible is an unusual film franchise. It's spanned more than 22 years and five directors, each bringing his own distinctive touch to Tom Cruise's increasingly over-the-top escapades. Brian De Palma's 1996 film, which kicked off the series, hearkens back to classic '70s conspiracy thrillers while John Woo's Mission Impossible 2 is pure '90s action blockbuster excess, complete with dueling motorcycles, elaborate shootouts and his signature doves.

To prime audiences for the next film, Fallout, Paramount re-released the entire Mission Impossible series on 4K Blu-ray last month. The new discs are not only a huge upgrade for cinephiles but also a fascinating glimpse at how studios can revive older films for the 4K/HDR era.

"In terms of any re-transfers or remastering that we are doing for our HDR releases, we will go back to the highest resolution source available," Kirsten Pielstick, manager of Paramount's digital-mastering group, said in an interview. In the case of Mission Impossible 1 and 2, that involved scanning the original 35mm negatives in 4K/16-bit. As you'd expect, the studio tries to get the original artists involved with any remasters, especially with something like HDR, which allows for higher brightness and more-nuanced black levels.

Pielstick worked with the director of photography (DP) for the first Mission Impossible film, Stephen H. Burum, to make sure its noir-like palette stayed intact. Unfortunately, the studio couldn't get Woo to visit for the second film's restoration, but Pielstick said they had multiple conversations with him about how it was being handled. Though they're very different movies, they each show off the benefits of HDR in different ways.

Watching the first film on 4K Blu-ray was like seeing it for the first time. I could make out more details in the dark alleys of Prague and in the infamous aquarium-explosion set piece. Mission Impossible 2's bombastic explosions and vehicle chases, on the other hand, almost seemed three-dimensional thanks to HDR's enhanced brightness.

"Our mastering philosophy here is always to work directly with the talent whenever possible and use the new technology to enhance the movie but always stay true to the intent of the movie," Pielstick said. "You're not going to want to make things brighter just because you can, if it's not the intent of how you were supposed to see things."When working with directors and DPs, Pielstick said some are more aggressive than others during the restoration process. But if it can't get the original talent involved, Paramount's mastering group relies on the original film as a reference and works together with studio colorists for every project. "[A remaster] should be what they were seeing through the lens of the camera at the time they were shooting it," she said.

"But on the other hand, we've also found times where there's a look where things were previously blown out, intentionally," Pielstick said. "We have to go in and work to get things brought down and blown out in this world. It's really hard to blow out any whites when you have 4,000 nits available to you [with HDR]. So there's a different approach to some of those to, again, maintain intent.

"You also have to remember that we're not putting in anything that didn't exist on the film [for HD remasters]," Pielstick added. "It was always there; we just didn't have the ability to see it. So we're not adding anything new, we're not doing anything to increase those. We're just able to look at the negative in a much clearer way than we ever could before."


Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2018 12:06 AM CDT
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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Posted by Geoff at 7:56 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 7:58 AM CDT
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Monday, July 16, 2018
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/sisterscriterion2018.jpgThe Criterion Collection today announced that it will release a new edition (on Blu-ray and DVD) of Brian De Palma's Sisters on October 23, 2018. Criterion had previously released Sisters on DVD in 2000. The new release features a cover by Jay Shaw. Not all of the special features that will be included have been worked out yet (the list, presented below, states, "More!"), but here is what Criterion lists for now:
Special Features

New 4K digital restoration, approved by director Brian De Palma, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray

New interview with actor Jennifer Salt

Interviews from 2004 with De Palma, actors William Finley and Charles Durning, and producer Edward R. Pressman

Audio from a 1973 discussion with De Palma at the AFI

Appearance from 1970 by actor Margot Kidder on The Dick Cavett Show


PLUS: An essay by critic Carrie Rickey, excerpts from a 1973 interview with De Palma on the making of the film, and a 1973 article by De Palma on working with composer Bernard Hermann

New cover by Jay Shaw

FLASHBACK: Carrie Rickey's Philly "Flickgrrl" column on De Palma from 2009

In 2009, Tony Dayoub at Cinema Viewfinder hosted a Brian De Palma Blog-A-Thon, which Carrie Rickey wrote about in her "Flickgrrl" column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's her brief summary of De Palma's career up to that point:

Few filmmakers polarize filmlovers like De Palma, whose love-'em-or-hate'em features include the marrow-chilling Sisters (1972) and the definitive high-school horror flick Carrie (1976). The director, a bearded barrel of a man, grew up near Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square (his father was the head of surgery at Jefferson Hospital) and attended Friends Central. De Palma directed Blow Out (1981), one of the best movies made in Philly, the addictively enjoyable Scarface (1983), the provocative peeping-Tomcat Body Double (1984), that slickly entertaining The Untouchables (1987) one of the most compelling among Vietnam films, Casualties of War (1989) and the stylish Mission: Impossible (1996). Though he hasn't scored a maintream hit since then, Femme Fatale (2002) is one of my guilty pleasures, an impossibly sexy dreamscape with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos and Antonio Banderas.

De Palma does not so much explore as present the connection between sex and power (and vice-versa), which in his films is often linked by an umbilicus of blood. (As Tony Montana, hero of the Oliver Stone-scripted Scarface, put it: First you get the money, then you get the power, then you get the women.") Another persistent theme is that of a man unable to save a woman in jeopardy.

The naked violence and sexuality of De Palma's films have made him a controversy magnet. During the 1980s some social critic observed that every time he made a movie he lowered the national IQ by 10 points. Since there are so few filmmakers with such swoony style, I'm inclined to forgive him for a lack of substance. You will not, however, hear me defending the indefensible The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) or Mission to Mars (2000), ravishing, but indecipherable.

Posted by Geoff at 7:44 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 8:35 PM CDT
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Friday, July 13, 2018

Trailers From Hell closed out its Brian De Palma week today with Larry Karaszewski's 2011 commentary on Get To Know Your Rabbit. Today, Karaszewski tweeted the image above (for a full-sized version, see his tweet), which features Vincent Canby's New York Times review for the film from September 21, 1973, side-by-side with its newspaper ad as the bottom half of a double-bill with Paul Mazursky's Blume In Love (Mazursky later played the judge in De Palma's Carlito's Way).

"Brian De Palma's Get To Know Your Rabbit was made three years ago," Canby begins in his review, "yet it did not arrive in New York until Wednesday, and then with less advance word than usually accompanies the opening of a Broadway shoe store. This casual treatment is unfortunate since De Palma (Greetings, Hi, Mom) is a very funny filmmaker. He's most funny, so far, anyway, when he's most anarchic, and Get To Know Your Rabbit, though somewhat inhibited by conventional form, has enough hilarious loose ends and sidetracks to liberate the film from its form."

TFH's Joe Dante, meanwhile, posted his own tweet today: "Have you gotten to know #GetToKnowYourRabbit lately? Director #BrianDePalma’s surreal comedy, starring #TomSmothers and #OrsonWelles, was his first studio film. TFH Guru @Karaszewski has your full primer on the flick as Brian De Palma Week concludes!"

Posted by Geoff at 8:04 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Brian De Palma is interviewed in the summer issue (#17) of La Septième Obsession, and talks a bit about Predator:
It seemed to me that the Weinstein affair was an excellent field for a psychological horror film called Predator. It will not be a realistic movie, far from it. I followed this story and the hashtag MeToo on television and in the newspapers. It gave me the idea of making an extremely terrifying movie.

Elsewhere in the interview, De Palma is asked if he thinks it is still possible to create political images in the United States:
Yes, but it's more and more difficult. Even for my film about Harvey Weinstein, I could not get enough funding in the United States. They are terrified by the idea of producing something so close to their own industry, they don't want to know anything about it, certainly not to see it on the big screen. It's unfortunate. My films that criticized US foreign policy have not been well received and have only found their audience in Europe. I often make films about power and corruption, whether in Phantom Of The Paradise or Scarface, because it fascinates me. Today, there is more and more paranoia, some people isolate themselves from reality; we live in a time when this is happening with our president, Donald Trump.

Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 12:59 AM CDT
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