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Domino is
a "disarmingly
straight-forward"
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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Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
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A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
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Wednesday, March 6, 2019
LARA PARKER - BATHTUB SCENE WAS CUT FROM 'HI, MOM!'
"I WAS VERY NAIVE AND NOT VERY COURAGEOUS"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/larahimom.jpg

In 2016, Lara Parker spoke a little bit about working on Hi, Mom! to Den Of Geek's Tony Sokol. Yet somehow, until now, I missed this Collinsport Historical Society article from three years earlier, in 2013. In this interview, Parker had talked about a bathtub scene that De Palma asked her to improvise. Parker was used to having lines to read and wasn't really into it, and the scene ended up being cut from the film. Here's the bit from the Collinsport article:
(Director Brian De Palma) ended up not liking me. I was very naive and not very courageous. There was a scene in a bathtub, which was cut out of the movie, where he wanted me to be nude. I didn’t want to do it. It was all improvised. He wanted me to improvise sexual fantasies ... in a bathtub … with bubbles … in the nude. It seems strange today, because actresses will do anything to get successful. But I was way too shy and way too inexperienced to come up to his standards. I couldn’t do it.

He was a brand new director. He was treading water, too. He asked us to improvise these scenes, ‘You guys just talk,’ which is hard to do when you’ve been learning lines for however long I’d been acting. I didn’t know how to do it.


In the 2016 Den of Geek interview, Parker mentions that her own children appear in Hi, Mom! Just before delving into the De Palma film, Sokol asks Parker whether she sees her character on the TV series Dark Shadows as a kind of historic symbol of Women's Lib:
I've been asked that so many times because the women's movement had begun. Looking back historically, Angelique was one of the earliest strong women characters portrayed on television. She was really the first “Bitch Witch” that became so popular later. But at the time I wasn't aware of being any kind of social figure. I just felt that I had a good part and I was happy to have a job and go to work and be an actress. It's a gift. But I certainly didn't see myself in the larger sense of being any kind of a social influence.

I think it's rare to pick up on that in the moment. I think only looking back I see that I was actually fortunate to be, in a small sense, one of the movers and shakers in the women's movement.

I see you as more than that. I happen to be a big Brian De Palma fan and you were also part of the New York City independent film revolution. At the time, were you aware of how different Hi Mom! was from the Hollywood machine?

Well again, no. Brian De Palma cast me and they actually put in my two children. He was doing improvised theater. We were improvising on film, without lines, without a character to play. It was a whole different thing and I actually was not very good at it. But, yeah, I was aware that there was an experimental film movement, very much so, yes. It was actually very politically focused.

Hi Mom! has some kind of show [in] it called Be Black Baby where the people were all dressed up in black face. I was very young and I wasn't really very aware of what Brian De Palma was trying to do. He was young too. He was experimenting but he went on to do some wonderful films.


Posted by Geoff at 7:20 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 7:24 AM CST
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Monday, March 4, 2019
GERRIT GRAHAM TO PRESENT 'PHANTOM' IN CHICAGO 3/23
45TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING PART OF SCI-FI SPECTACULAR AT DAVIS THEATER
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/beeffist.jpgGerrit Graham will be a special guest at Sci-Fi Spectacular in Chicago to present a 45th anniversary screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise on March 23rd. The 14-hour event will take place at the Davis Theater, with tickets being sold for $30 plus service fees. Other films announced for the Sci-Fi Spectacular so far include Tim Burton's Mars Attacks!, Paul Michael Glaser's The Running Man, Stephen Herek's Critters, and Boris Sagal's The Omega Man.

Posted by Geoff at 12:03 AM CST
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Saturday, March 2, 2019
BEATRICE LOAYZA ON DOUBLES IN 'SISTERS', OTHERS
AT BLOODY DISGUSTING - "THE TERROR OF SEEING YOURSELF IN AN OTHER"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/sisterspairssmall.jpg

"Look-alikes, doubles, or doppelgangers are a common trope in horror," Beatrice Loayza writes in an article posted yesterday at Bloody Disgusting. "There’s the Jekyll and Hyde dichotomy, that pits an evil side against a good one, and there’s the appearance of an imposter that threatens to replace by force. In any case, a double implies a tension, and therefore a struggle between two forces that must either find a way to live in harmony or recede, while one side reigns dominant. Decades of excellent horror films have kept the tool fresh, reinventing and adjusting the eerie encounter of the duplicate to resonate with the times — suffice it to say, we’re really excited about what Jordan Peele has up his sleeve.

"To celebrate the upcoming release of Peele’s Us," Loayza continues, "we thought it’d be timely to look back at some of the most iconic uses of doubles in horror, and how the visual and narrative tool is used to convey psychological distress, societal tension, generational anxiety, and the ol’ crippling fear of death."

Along with films such as David Lynch's Lost Highway, Bryan ForbesThe Stepford Wives, David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, and Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan, Brian De Palma's Sisters is included:

If the patent on doppelgangers could go to only one filmmaker, Brian DePalma might very well have the strongest claim. With a filmography bursting with body doubles, the iconic director has proven he has quite the obsession with dueling manifestations of replicated bodies (see what I did there?). But if I had to pick one representative, the sash would go to DePalma’s phantasmagorical riff on Hitchcock– Sisters. Starring Margot Kidder as both halves of a pair of formerly conjoined twins, this tightly executed slasher has Danielle, the normal or “good” twin, wrestling with the deranged demands of “evil” twin, Dominique — all captured with the disorienting pizzaz of DePalma’s split-screen compositions. A voyeuristic glean activates this 1973 classic with erotic energy and a touch of humor, a tension that moves us forward as we get to the bottom of just how interdependent and fucked up these sisters really are.

Posted by Geoff at 11:29 PM CST
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Thursday, February 28, 2019
REVIEWS FOR NEIL JORDAN'S 'DE PALMA-ESQUE' GRETA
ISABELLE HUPPERT IN TITLE ROLE, OPENS IN U.S. THEATERS THIS WEEKEND
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/greta.jpg

We've heard Brian De Palma sing the praises of Neil Jordan in the past, and now critics of Jordan's new film, Greta, are seeing what they perceive as homages to De Palma. Here are some review links and excerpts:

Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press:

Imagine you're a 20-something living in New York City and you spot a particularly nice and structured green leather handbag on the subway. Do you report it to the MTA? Ignore it and move on? Claim it and its contents for yourself? Return to the owner?

For Chloe Grace Moretz's Frances, a wide-eyed transplant to the big city, it's obvious: You go alone to hand-deliver the bag to Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert), who, according to the identification card you find, is a tiny, nice-looking woman in her 60s. This is the first of many mistakes Frances makes in writer and director Neil Jordan's ("The Crying Game," ''Michael Collins") stylish and knowingly over-the-top "Greta," a dark, Brian De Palma-esque fairy tale about the dangers of trusting a lonely soul. She might just turn out to be a wolf, right?


Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
The psychological thriller Greta gets off to a promising start: As a camera discreetly follows Isabelle Huppert and Chloë Grace Moretz through a New York City subway, Julie London sings a silky version of “Where Are You?” and director Neil Jordan’s name appears on screen. Viewers familiar with Jordan’s previous work — from his script for Mona Lisa to the game-changing The Crying Game — will understandably feel prepared to encounter the kind of twisty but sophisticated puzzlers he’s best known for.

Er, not so fast.

As an exercise in style, Greta turns out to be a maddeningly mixed bag. Its New York setting (which should be another character in this tale of modern urban manners) is continually undercut by obviously foreign filming locations — Dublin and Toronto did the honors here — and its themes of vulnerability, obsession and ritualized violence are no less drearily familiar for being given a pseudo-feminist patina. An intriguing two-hander bursting with potential instead becomes something we’ve seen before — up to and including bizarre pivots into sadism and body horror.

Moretz plays Frances, a recent Smith College graduate who has moved to Tribeca with her best friend Erica (Maika Monroe), a wealthy fellow Smithie with no discernible job other than practicing yoga and tossing off cynical bon mots about crystal meth, colonics and how the Big (rotten) Apple is going to eat Frances alive. When the quiet, polite Frances finds an abandoned purse on the subway, she takes pains to find the owner, who turns out to be a French woman named Greta (Huppert), an eccentric but kind piano teacher who invites Frances for tea and conversation. Their relationship blooms, in part because Frances recognizes a nurturing figure she’s been missing since her own mother died, and soon the two are spending more and more time together, to the increasing consternation of the possessive Erica.

Alert readers will see the words “Huppert” and “piano teacher” in the same sentence and immediately sense impending doom. While Greta has none of the torturous rigor of Michael Haneke’s 2001 film The Piano Teacher, Jordan and co-screenwriter Ray Wright borrow heavily from other movies, especially classics from the paranoid canon of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

With a nod to Fatal Attraction here and one toward Single White Female there — not to mention brief homages to Brian De Palma all the way through — Greta feels as time-warped as its title character’s cozy but slightly confining apartment. Despite some clever work with cellphones and text messages, the story and atmosphere feel impossibly forced, shoehorned into a milieu that never feels authentic enough to elicit real dread.

The artificiality isn’t helped by an intrusive and cliched score, which prods the audience toward jump scares and creepy reveals with the uninvited pushiness of a musical mansplainer, and which returns time and again to a tiresome motif from Liszt’s maudlin “Liebestraum.” When Greta and Frances adopt a sweetly decrepit mutt named Morton, the foreshadowing couldn’t be clearer, and his fate hangs over the proceedings like a soulful, sad-eyed threat.

As those proceedings ratchet up, logic and intelligence give way to plot mechanics and pulp thrills. On behalf of Smithies everywhere, this one is here to tell you they’re brave but not this stupid.

Greta might pretend to turn the tables by presenting the sexualized predation of a young woman at the hands of a female malefactor instead of a male one. But the fetishistic leer is just as troubling and offensive. Disturbance eventually gives way to derangement in a story that grows exponentially more irritating the more preposterous it gets.

As Morton might say: When it rains, it pours.


Sean Burns, WBUR
The films of Irish writer-director Neil Jordan are all fairy tales at heart, though usually on the grimmer side of Grimm. Perhaps best known in this country for “The Crying Game” and “Interview with the Vampire,” Jordan can always be counted on for a tricky mix of literary sophistication and vulgar delights, brought off with a thick atmosphere of sinister enchantment and the showman’s flair of a wily Irishman spinning a yarn that’s half-malarkey and twice as enjoyable for it.

Greta” — his first film in eight years — has more malarkey than most. Built out from the bones of a Friday night slasher pic, the screenplay (credited to Jordan and Ray Wright, from a story by Wright) infuses its generic stalker plot with all sorts of wild and wooly weirdness, fashioning it into a high-camp showcase for international art-house treasure Isabelle Huppert.

She gives a gloriously nutzoid performance here, punctuating her placid demeanor with delicious flashes of mania. The movie is what the kids used to call a hoot.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as Frances, a timid Boston gal fresh out of school who’s just moved to big, scary New York City. She’s currently crashing with her ridiculously wealthy college roommate Erica (a very funny Maika Monroe) whose parents bought her a comically oversized SoHo loft for graduation. (In a visual gag designed to torment anyone who has ever endured Manhattan real estate woes, Frances rides her 10-speed bike around inside the apartment.)

One day Frances finds a forgotten handbag on the subway, and like a Good Samaritan looks inside for ID and sets about returning the purse to its rightful owner. (“This is New York,” Erica scolds. “You should have called the bomb squad.”) The bag belongs to Huppert’s Greta, a lonely widow living in a cluttered apartment lined with overgrown ivy.

This highfalutin’ French version of Eleanor Rigby has been longing for a friend like Frances, and the two take to one another almost instantly — though attentive viewers might already be wondering about that muffled pounding coming from the wall behind Greta’s piano. “Construction,” she claims.

It’s not exactly a surprise where all of this is headed, so credit “Greta” for getting down to business right away and dropping a big reveal most movies would save for the end of the second act somewhere around the 30-minute mark. It feels like Jordan wants to get all the pesky plot stuff squared away as quickly as possible, so he can concentrate on having Huppert terrorize young Moretz in increasingly baroque fashion as the movie jumps the genre rails into bonkersville.

Jordan and cinematographer Seamus McGarvey conjure a collection of gorgeously evocative images. Moretz has the face of a cherub in a church painting, and maybe the most startlingly beautiful shot finds her crying at the movies with her eyes hidden behind 3D glasses, a vision of sorrowful kitsch.

As “Greta” gets kookier the visuals become more vividly expressionistic — Huppert’s shadow stretching long across the length of the living room floor like the wicked queen in Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” while Moretz dons a little red riding hoodie.

Greta” is a feast to look at and pretty much a riot to watch, taking fiendish delight in the story’s inherent predictability by piling one fake-out on top of one another. There’s a dream within a dream sequence here that employs the same audience-taunting tactics as Brian De Palma’s “Raising Cain,” and it became unfortunately clear during the screening I attended that not everyone in the crowd was in on the joke.

The director got into a bit of trouble and seemed to be banished for a little while after the calamitous reception of his last Hollywood picture, 2007’s “The Brave One” — a fascinatingly misguided attempt to remake “Death Wish” with Jodie Foster as an NPR talk show host in the Charles Bronson role. It’s a deeply weird movie that felt mostly like a semiotic exorcism for its star’s complicated history of portraying victimized women, while also trying to work as a trashy fantasy for the four people in the world who wanted to watch Terry Gross gun down rapists.

I’m relieved to report that “Greta” does not take itself nearly as seriously, while still carrying over Jordan’s knack for making New York City look like a forest primeval. (Everyone in his movies always seem to be on their way to grandma’s house.)

The nutty pleasures of the film’s final act come primarily courtesy of Huppert’s wackadoo flourishes — considering the internet’s affection for the actress, this will probably be the most meme-d movie of 2019 — and an extra level of irony for anyone who was traumatized by her career-defining performance in Michael Haneke’s “The Piano Teacher.”

Yet some of these scares still carry a Freudian kick, like a child’s toy chest re-purposed as an instrument of torture or the sinister properties of stuffed animals. Meanwhile, baking gingerbread cookies hasn’t been so perilous since the days of Hansel and Gretel. “Greta” is Jordan’s most gonzo fairy tale since 1999’s unfairly derided “In Dreams,” and in Huppert he’s found his ideal Big Bad Wolf.


Glenn Heath Jr., San Diego City Beat
A renowned Irish auteur whose diverse filmography jumps between genres, Jordan twists and contorts conventional thriller tropes to maximize Greta’s unshakeable neediness. The unpredictability of her actions eventually seeps into the aesthetics—a riveting and lucid sequence midway through the film pivots between dream and reality with effortless precision.

Blurred lines are Greta’s specialty. The gaps between companionship and obsession, kindness and guile, trust and doubt are much thinner than most like to admit. Frances experiences the slippery slope firsthand; most interestingly, though, Greta’s tactics merge digital stalking (texting and photography used with malicious glee) with old school confrontation.

Relying heavily on Huppert’s singular presence to keep its maniacal momentum alive, Jordan’s film uses her visage to successfully balance the tone between campy and creep out. This pushes Moretz into permanent victim status without much to do aside from screaming and clawing for life, the scared-straight woman to Greta’s big bad wolf.

Unlike Jordan’s previous film Byzantium, which tweaked the vampire construct with an impressionistic style, Greta (opening Friday, March 1) falls more in line with the neo-stalker narratives perfected by Brian De Palma. But it’s a film less concerned with voyeurism or sex than the idea of ultimate control manifesting itself in two ways: emotional and physical. When Greta is denied the former, she transitions to the latter. Huppert’s performance consistently lives between these two competing elements, giving her character volatility that is also rooted in desperation.

But what is the core of Greta’s particularly nutty frenzy? Jordan refuses to psychoanalyze and only infers answers. The film positions her as an omniscient and unstoppable force that is nostalgic for a time when domesticity could mask the destructive power dynamics between abusive parents and their children. Fables have a way of revealing the nightmarish implications of utopian façades, and Greta does exactly that.


Dann Gire, Chicago Daily Herald
Sometimes, a greasy cheeseburger hits the spot. Nothing high quality. Nothing particularly good for you. Nothing fancy. Just a cheeseburger.

Neil Jordan's "Greta" qualifies as the cheeseburgeriest thriller I've seen since 2018's "The Strangers: Prey at Night."

It won't win Oscars, unless the Academy approves categories for "Best Performance of a Dim Detective" or "Best Screenplay With More Holes Than a Machine Gun Target."

This long-fused thriller sneaks up on you. Just when you think it can't get slower or more boring, it attacks!

A sudden burst of playful suspense awkwardly inverts genre cliches, carefully avoiding the butcher knives, cheap jump-scares and heroes-resorting-to-savagery expectations in R-rated stalker films.

Instead, "Greta" (written by Jordan with Ray Wright) tries to out-DePalma Brian DePalma, especially with a daring twist on the obligatory dream sequence.

Even if these reworked devices don't quite work, thriller fans should appreciate the persistent attempts.

Courageously accomplished French actress Isabelle Huppert, never one to shy away from odd or challenging characters, plays Greta with full-throttle relish, fitting for a cheeseburgery performance where she emotionally simmers for a long, long time before flipping out.


Posted by Geoff at 7:56 AM CST
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Monday, February 25, 2019
JAMIE DUNN PRESENTS 'BODY DOUBLE' IN EDINBURGH
"CINEMA HAS NEVER BEEN SO TRASHY AND SO INTELLIGENT ALL AT ONCE"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bodydoublecard.jpgAs part of The Skinny's February 2019 film series at Filmhouse in Edinburgh, Jamie Dunn tonight presented a screening of Brian De Palma's Body Double.

"Cinema doesn’t get more self-reflexive than this wry thriller about a claustrophobic Z-list actor whose voyeurism gets him in a heap of trouble," reads Dunn's pre-screening description. "With its gleeful perversion and baroque violence, the film was De Palma’s thinly-veiled provocation to the critics who clutch their pearls at his previous films. But it’s also a paean to filmmaking, from its winking film-within-films to De Palma’s feverish set pieces paying homage to Hitchcock. Cinema has never been so trashy and so intelligent all at once."

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2019 12:05 AM CST
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Saturday, February 23, 2019
BLUMENFELD TO PRESENT 'BLOW OUT' & 'BODY DOUBLE'
AT LUMIÈRE RETROSPECTIVE IN LYON MARCH 27; SERIES RUNS THROUGH APRIL 23
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/2019retro.jpgSamuel Blumenfeld, co-author (with Laurent Vachaud) of Conversations with Brian De Palma, will present two De Palma films March 27th at the Lumière Institute in Lyon, France. Part of the De Palma retrospective, Blumenfeld that night will present a double feature of Blow Out and Body Double.

Two nights after that, on March 29th, De Palma himself will be on-hand to present a Masterclass, followed by a screening of Phantom Of The Paradise. Earlier that day, De Palma and Susan Lehman will discuss their novel, Are Snakes Necessary?, at Théâtre des Célestins.

The Lumière retrospective includes most of De Palma's films from Hi, Mom! on, and while it includes The Bonfire Of The Vanities, it does not include the comedies Get To Know Your Rabbit, Home Movies, and Wise Guys. And although Redacted is included in the series, other recent films, for whatever reason, are missing in action: Mission To Mars, Femme Fatale, The Black Dahlia, and Passion.


Posted by Geoff at 10:05 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, February 23, 2019 10:13 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 20, 2019
NO. 21 MAKES 'DRESSED TO KILL' THE LATEST FASHION
DESIGNER STRUCK BY DE PALMA'S "VOLUPTUOUS USE" OF THE CAMERA & DONAGGIO'S "SENSUAL MUSIC"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/no21.jpg"No. 21 Explores Italian Film Noir," reads the headline of Kristen Bateman's article for Paper (the photograph at left, taken by Sonny Vandevelde, comes from that article, as well). But, according to Bateman, designer Alessandro Dell'Acqua said in a statement that he was inspired by an American film by Brian De Palma:
For fall 2019, No. 21 sought to reinvent the film noir icon as a stylish Italian bad girl. Nearly every single garment had a cut-out, some fully revealing the bottoms of models as they walked the catwalk. "It all comes from an impression I got watching Brian De Palma's 1980 film Dressed to Kill again," Alessandro Dell'Acqua, creative director of the brand said in a statement. "I was particularly struck by the atmosphere the director created both with his voluptuous use of the movie camera and with the passionate, sensual music of Pino Donaggio, mounting a true symphony of terror on the screen."

Taking the reader through several photos of the No. 21 show (part of Milan Fashion Week), Bateman continues:
Cut-outs on the backs of dresses exposed the biggest hints of skin. Along with matching jackets paired with simple bandeau bras, there was no shortage of revealing moments. "I wanted to recreate a similar mood, sending down the catwalk a strong woman who clearly craves to come on sexy and who, with equal awareness, exalts her own ambiguity through clothes that reveal her real intentions," explained Dell'Acqua.

The Associated Press' Colleen Barry also writes about the show:
No. 21 UNZIPPED

Alessandro Dell'Acqua's looks for next fall and winter were decidedly unzipped and mostly down the back.

From the front, the looks were prim and proper, mostly monochromatic. But down the back, everything was coming purposely undone, zippers left agape and matching panties showing. The designer said he was inspired by Brian De Palma's film noir "Dressed to Kill."

Dresses were worn off the shoulders revealing a knit-bra top. A ruffle-hem baby-doll dress was left carelessly unzipped, held together only by a strap at the nape. Open-back dresses were worn like tunics over trousers. Panels hung like trains down the back of trenches. Raincoats were left agape in the back.


The runway show can be viewed in its entirety at Daily Motion.

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2019 12:15 AM CST
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Monday, February 18, 2019
NEWSWEEK RANKS TOP 15 TRAVOLTA FOR 65TH B-DAY
USING DATA FROM METACRITIC, RT & IMDB, 'CARRIE' #3, 'BLOW OUT' #4
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carrietravolta.jpg

Today is John Travolta's 65th birthday. To celebrate, Newsweek's David Sim and Eve Watling have "collected data from critical review websites Metacritic, Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb to find his 15 most critically-acclaimed movie and TV projects in his career so far."

This method is a bit odd, as it leads to the inclusion of Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line, in which Travolta only appears very briefly-- yet the film ranks on the list one notch higher than the film that garnered Travolta his first Oscar nomination, Saturday Night Fever, a movie that, when all is said and done, encases the quintessential Travolta role.

In any case, the two films that Travolta made with Brian De Palma rank pretty high on the list: Carrie at number 3 ("Total score: 81.13%. IMDb users: 7.4. Metacritic: 85. Rotten Tomatoes: 8.4. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.4."), and Blow Out at number 4 ("Total score: 79.63%. IMDb users: 7.4. Metacritic: 85. Rotten Tomatoes: 7.8. Rotten Tomatoes users: 3.7.").

At the top of the list, of course, is Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction ("Total score: 91%. IMDb users: 8.9. Metacritic: 94. Rotten Tomatoes: 9.1. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.2.), while the number 2 slot goes to the Ryan Murphy TV series The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("Total score: 88.25%. IMDb users: 8.5. Metacritic: 90. Rotten Tomatoes: 8.7. Rotten Tomatoes users: 4.5.). Grease just missed the top ten, coming in at number 11.


Posted by Geoff at 6:52 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2019 6:56 PM CST
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Sunday, February 17, 2019
SPOILER IMAGES - MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE & WIDOWS
SHOCK REVELATION SHOT IN STEVE MCQUEEN FILM SEEMS DIRECTLY INFLUENCED BY DE PALMA IMAGE
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The images above from Steve McQueen's Widows, showing a character sabotaging his sham of a heist and blowing up a van to kill his gang of thieves and fake his own death, full of regret while holding the cell phone remote, seem directly influenced by the beautifully-rendered shot of Claire blowing up a car with Hannah inside of it, remote in hand as she turns her face toward the camera, from Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible. While both shots come at a point late in each film, meant to shock the viewer with disbelief in what is being shown, there are differences in subjectivity.

In McQueen's film, we are seeing Liam Neeson's character recall the event in his own mind, seemingly filled with regret about the deaths he has caused. In the De Palma shot, we are seeing a subjective possibility within the mind of Tom Cruise's Ethan Hunt, which is why Claire (Emmanuelle Béart) hauntingly turns to look directly at the camera eye, looking at Ethan with a cold stare. Deeply in love with Claire, Ethan immediately tries to wipe that image from his mind, struggling to find a way that it could have been her husband Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) who did the dirty deed. In De Palma's film, the shot is static, and shown in slow motion. McQueen's shot is a choreographed slow dolly or zoom before the film cuts back to Liam Neeson in present day. Both shots are meant as a shock to the system, so to speak.


Posted by Geoff at 9:48 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2019 10:07 AM CST
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Friday, February 15, 2019
DE PALMA DOUBLE FEATURE AT THE DAVID HOCKNEY POOL
'BLOW OUT' & 'DRESSED TO KILL' TONIGHT AT FELIX L.A. ART FAIR
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Felix L.A., an art fair that opened its inaugural edition Thursday (February 14) and continues through Sunday (February 17), includes a Brian De Palma double feature tonight at 8pm, when Blow Out and Dressed To Kill will be screened at the David Hockney Pool. The pool is located in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where the first Oscars ceremony was held in 1929. A Bloomberg article by Katya Kazakina provides some context for the location, the fair, and how it connects with other fairs happening this weekend in Los Angeles:
Three months after David Hockney’s swimming pool canvas sold for $90 million, the art world is gathering around an actual pool the British artist painted at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Hockney decorated the pool’s bottom with blue swirls in 1987, almost six decades after the historic Los Angeles building hosted the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929. This week, the surrounding cabanas will exhibit works by local and international artists as part of a new art fair called Felix.

The event, co-founded by former Walt Disney Co. executive Dean Valentine, is among at least six art fairs taking place as the city vies to become an art-market epicenter, something that has eluded Los Angeles despite being home to major artists, patrons, art schools and institutions. Frieze, which hosts art fairs in London and New York, will debut this week at Paramount Pictures.

“Los Angeles has always had the artists,” said Valentine, 63, rattling off legends such as Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and Chris Burden. “Now there’s more art market infrastructure here. It’s firing on all cylinders.”

International players including Hauser & Wirth and Sprueth Magers joined L.A.’s vibrant, but decentralized, gallery scene in recent years, though some upstarts have since closed. Billionaire Eli Broad and the brothers behind Guess jeans, Maurice and Paul Marciano, opened private museums.

Southern California collectors used to head to New York and Basel to buy art, but now “collectors from all over the world are coming here because the art scene is so exciting,” said Jeffrey Deitch, a dealer and former director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. In September, Deitch opened a local gallery because he “saw an international market.”

Frieze will emphasize Los Angeles by giving prominent space to local galleries and offering VIPs a program that includes visits to studios as well as conversations with artists and collectors living in the area.

“We know that L.A. likes to tell stories about itself,” said Bettina Korek, executive director of Frieze Los Angeles, which will host 70 galleries.

At Blum & Poe’s booth, Dave Muller will create a site-specific mural, titled “Oh Hollywood.” David Kordansky will have a solo presentation of Kathryn Andrews, whose works feature film props and sleek surfaces, a hybrid of Pop art and minimalism. Landscapes and cityscapes of California by 98-year-old Wayne Thiebaud, as well as his iconic pastry images, will be the focus of New York’s Acquavella Galleries, with prices ranging from $350,000 to $5 million. Deitch will present abstract works by Judy Chicago, painted during her L.A. sojourn. Hauser & Wirth will stage the U.S. debut of “Unisex Love Nest,” a 1999 installation by Mike Kelley, a South Pasadena-based artist who died in 2012. The asking price is $1.8 million.

At Felix, 41 galleries will present paintings, sculptures and video art in hotel rooms and around the Hockney pool. The setting draws inspiration from an earlier era of art fairs: in 1994, the Armory Show took place at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York and the Chateau Marmont in L.A.

“It was amazing,” Valentine said, recalling works by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Thomas Schutte. “You walked from room to room, bumped into other collectors in the hallways and then had a drink at the bar.”

Some say that sense of discovery, fun and intimacy is largely absent from the relentless art fair circuit these days.

“It’s become this mega shopping experience,” Valentine said. “I find it hard to get into.” Felix is an attempt “to replicate the things that are missing from the art world,” he said. “More intimate, conversational and fun. Less hyper-capitalistic.”


More details about Felix are provided by The Hollywood Reporter's Laura van Straaten:
Felix joins two established L.A. fairs, Art Los Angeles Contemporary (now in its 10th year) and stARTup (hosting its fourth L.A. fair), as well as heavy-hitting newcomer Frieze, the influential London-based fair that is seen as the linchpin of what is sure to be the city's most robust arts week ever (all four fairs wrap on Feb. 17).

Valentine, a board member of the Hammer Museum, says the choice of the hotel format is meant to evoke the storied but short-lived Gramercy International Los Angeles at the Chateau Marmont in the mid-1990s, considered by some gallerists and collectors to be a key inflection point in L.A.'s emergence as an art city. The Roosevelt also has its own associations: It was the site of the first Academy Awards in 1929. And many rooms, including those being put to use by Felix, overlook the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Chinese Theater. Valentine hopes the varied spaces and presentations at the hotel will give visitors “the surprise of turning a corner” and finding an unexpected object, moment or connection with another art lover.

The name "Felix" came in part from one of Valentine's favorite cartoon characters, Felix the Cat; it's also a nod to a favorite painting, Paul Signac's seminal portrait of the 19th-century art critic and anarchist Felix Feneon. The allusion to anarchy may be apt because Felix is being produced somewhat on the fly, especially compared to Frieze, which has spent years laying a foundation for its expansion to Southern California and has a well-oiled, well-heeled and market-savvy operation (as well as majority owner Endeavor) behind its presentation of 60 galleries.


Posted by Geoff at 7:49 PM CST
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