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Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

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
of Dumas book

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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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Thursday, May 16, 2019
GERMAN BLU-RAY & DVD OF 'DOMINO' COMING AUGUST 22
LEAVING POSSIBILITY FOR GERMAN THEATRICAL RELEASE BEFOREHAND?
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dominogermanblu.jpgThanks to Andreas for sending in word that Koch Films has announced a DVD/Blu-Ray Region B release of Brian De Palma's Domino, coming August 22, 2019. With Domino being released in theaters in Hungary May 30th, and in theaters in Italy on June 20th, and, of course, in California and New York on May 31st, we are keeping an out for any other theatrical releases out there.

Posted by Geoff at 7:30 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2019 8:08 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 15, 2019
PODCAST RECREATES LUCAS' 1ST STAR WARS SCREENING
LISTEN TO CLIP AT io9 - 6-PART 'BLOCKBUSTER' LOOKS AT SPIELBERG/LUCAS FRIENDSHIP
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blockbusterpodcast.jpg

Blockbuster is a new six-part podcast created by Matt Schrader that looks at the friendship between Steven Spielberg and George Lucas as a docu-biopic for the ears. The podcast boasts strong sound design elements to present a scripted narrative using top voice actors, and an original score. It can be listened to on Apple and Spotify, but io9 has posted an exclusive two-minute clip in which Lucas shows the first early rough cut of Star Wars to a small gathering of friends. According to io9's Germain Lussier, Lucas is voiced by Ray Chase, Spielberg is voiced by Max Mittelman, Brian De Palma is voiced by Lex Lang (who also voices Harrison Ford elsewhere in the series), and Marcia Lucas is voiced by Julia McIlvaine.

Here's an excerpt from Lussier's interview with Schrader at io9:

io9: As writer and filmmaker yourself, how do you see the podcast as a new form of storytelling going ahead? Is Blockbuster the first of its kind?

Schrader: I started my career as an investigative journalist with CBS and NBC, and I left to pursue my first documentary. After doing the whole theatrical release campaign for that, I really fell in love with this idea of immersive true stories...that I think transcends whatever platform it is, because there are so many ways to create stories nowadays: movies, TV, web videos, podcasts, Snapchat, etc. It all starts with a powerful story.

Steven Spielberg once said in an interview, “a great story is a great story,” which actually made it into one of his conversations with George in Blockbuster. So in some ways, I don’t know that the platform matters if it’s done well. It just so happens that podcasts are this massive new expanding world people are discovering right now, and sound and music are so vitally important to the story we wanted to tell.

io9: Did you have to get permission from anyone or any company involved to do this, or is it all fair rights? Meaning Fox, Universal, the individuals dramatized, etc.

Schrader: It was a very extensive process because these huge movies are part of the story arc, and how can you tell a story about Star Wars without mentioning Star Wars? I always kind of chuckle when I’m watching something on TV and there’s a generic version of “Coca-Cola” and it’s called something like “Cool-Cola.” We all know what they’re referencing, but it really takes the viewer away from the story. We wanted to make sure we weren’t overstepping anything creatively but could be realistic and use archival audio and music and film clips to tell the story. It did require the help of a legal and clearance team so we knew how we could include the opening of the 1976 Academy Awards telecast, for instance. I’m glad we went that route because it’s much more authentic and feels real.

io9: What were some of your primary sources in piecing together this story? Did any of the actual principals help at all? Did you reach out to them?

Schrader: Oh, so many sources. It ranged from letters and documents from their offices during that era, to newspaper clippings, and lots of video interviews. There have also been a number of books that touch on this era of filmmaking, so we were really trying to pinpoint the friendship of George and Steven in all of these sources, and create a biography of their friendship.

In my experience as a journalist, biographical stories can come off as “staged” if they directly involve their subjects, and we wanted to maintain journalistic standing, and avoid any criticism of being part of someone’s “public relations” team (which would do this story a disservice too). This is such a powerful story of inspiration, and struggle, and triumph—and it’s done in such respect and admiration for what George and Steven ultimately accomplished. We felt Blockbuster was best created 100 percent independently and journalistically. It’s always important to get as close as possible to the setting, however, so we prioritized interviews from the 1970s to try to get the most accurate descriptions of how it all really happened. We actually included one scene in which George meets one of the journalists who wrote about him on the set of Star Wars, which actually happened. So there are parts that can be very meta.

io9: The actual dialogue and interactions, closed-door private stuff—is that mostly educated guesswork or how did you go about approaching the writing of those scenes?

Schrader: It was one of the most interesting research projects I’ve ever done, and arguably the most unique part of this series because we started to piece together these moments, sort of like a detective would if investigating something. We would find these old archival interviews where George talks about meeting Steven, and someone else’s interview that says where they were, and someone else who described the environment that day. We started to take those millions of little jigsaw puzzle pieces and start to form a picture. Where we could, we tried to use their exact words, like when Brian De Palma saw Star Wars for the first time and asked George, “What is this shit?”

io9: Did you have any trouble putting together a crew, both above the line and below the line, for this mostly unfamiliar approach to storytelling? Were people skeptical?

Schrader: Well, it’s new and new things always require a little explanation. I was fortunate to meet some of the crew on my 2017 film Score: A Film Music Documentary, but this was an entirely different format. We kind of settled on this as being a “biopic podcast series” or “biopod,” which is a term for this genre we’ve sort of coined now.

Fortunately, sound designer Peter Bawiec was into this idea from the very start, and his passion shines through this series, especially in the scenes where we see Steven and George grappling with chaos around them.

I realize I just said “see,” which isn’t technically accurate, but it’s kind of like a good book in that your brain puts you right there with them on the set of Jaws and Star Wars.


Matt Schader also did an interview with Goseetalk's Marc Ciafardini. Here's a small excerpt from that:
When you developed SCORE, you spoke to several industry professional in addition to the impressive line-up of composers. Who were your go-to subjects for Blockbuster, and what went into your research?

I come from a journalism background, so I’m comfortable in the deep dive research side of things and pulling information that can contribute to a broader understanding of what’s going on. We discussed the idea of doing a documentary, but I wasn’t sure this was the right approach, mainly because that, in some form, has been done before. What’s brand new here is this friendship and relationship between Spielberg and Lucas and how they support each other and are competitive with each other in this era. It really inspires them to keep going.

That’s a story that’d never been told. In the hundreds of archival interviews, books and other research documents that we sifted through for this, that’s a storyline that not been shared, but it’s one that any struggling artist relates to. It’s really interesting to me to see how these people who became the most influential people in the last four decades were just kids tying to aim for an achieve their dreams. That’s really powerful on a personal level aside from the fact that their work revolutionized the entire film business.

As a producer, you’re assembling new and pre-existing material into your product. To the listener, a podcast might not seem that difficult to pull off. But break it down for us. Do you have to know every single move before you something, or can you wing it?

Putting this together is like doing a jigsaw puzzle with a million pieces. [Laughs] Every piece relates to each other, but you don’t really know where each piece is supposed to end up. Short answer is that it’s harder than it sounds. [Laughs] When we started this, we didn’t know how many layers there would be to the research, the coordination, and the accuracy – journalistically and creatively – of all the elements that we’ve compiled over the entire series. It’s difficult to say without heavy creative feedback from legal consul whether we can or can’t do things in the storytelling, and it required careful navigation that to be able to bring all those elements together in a way that told a powerful story all the while referencing archival materials, books, documentaries, featurettes and interviews they had done. It’s part of what took so long to pull this all together; it’s a story, not just a set of facts.


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2019 12:00 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 14, 2019
VERTIGO'S NEW SET PICS & TRAILER FOR 'DOMINO'
UPDATED W/ENGLISH-LANGUAGE TRAILER - PREMIERES MAY 30TH AT THEATERS IN HUNGARY
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/sachliandbrian2.jpg

Brian De Palma's Domino will hit in theaters in Hungary May 30th, via Vertigo Media, which has some new set pics (above, with De Palma directing Sachli Gholamalizad, and below, showing De Palma sharing a laugh with Søren Malling and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). In addition, there is a Hungarian trailer (also below), shorter and slicker than the Saban trailer from a few weeks ago, with glimpses of different scenes, as well. Vertigo Media will open Domino in theaters across Hungary, in both dubbed and subtitled versions.


Posted by Geoff at 6:59 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 14, 2019 8:06 PM CDT
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Sunday, May 12, 2019
'DOMINO' OPENS MAY 31 AT CINEMA VILLAGE IN NYC
THEATER IN GREENWICH VILLAGE, 11 AM & 11 PM DAILY FOR AT LEAST A WEEK
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dominoturnitup.png

It looks like Brian De Palma's Domino will open in at least two U.S. theaters on May 31st. We found out last Monday that the film will open that day at AMC Rolling Hills 20, which is about a 30-mile drive from Los Angeles, in Torrance. Today we discover that Domino will also open May 31st at Cinema Village in New York's Greenwich Village. The Cinema Village theater will show the film twice a day, at 11am and 11pm, for at least a full week.

(Thanks to Hugh!)


Posted by Geoff at 6:17 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, May 12, 2019 6:19 PM CDT
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Wednesday, May 8, 2019
GEORGE LITTO HAS DIED
IMPRESSED BY 'SISTERS', MORTGAGED HOUSE FOR 'OBSESSION', PRODUCED 'DTK' & 'BLOW OUT'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/litto.jpg

George Litto, agent turned producer and then Filmways chairman, died April 29 at the age of 88. Litto began his long association with Brian De Palma when Edward Pressman was shopping for deals to distribute De Palma's Sisters, and asked Litto to come see the movie. Sitting in a theater in New York, Litto did not know who Paul Hirsch was, but Hirsch happened to be sitting right behind Litto. Litto turned to Hirsch when it was done, and said, "You know, I can sell this film. But the best thing in this film is the director. I think the director has a future."

Shortly thereafter, De Palma asked Litto to represent him, but Litto told him he wasn't going to be an agent much longer, that he was going to produce. He said he was going to quit being an agent in a year, and De Palma told him, "I'll be happy to have you for a year." Litto's daughter, Andria Litto, tells The Hollywood Reporter's Mike Barnes that Litto went on to mortgage his own house in order to finance De Palma's Obsession. Litto was also instrumental as a reference for Paul Monash, who wasn't quite sure about hiring De Palma as director of Carrie.

Litto went on to produce two highly regarded De Palma films: Dressed To Kill and Blow Out. On the latter film, Litto agreed with Hirsch and Nancy Allen that there should be a happy ending. De Palma did not agree. In a Fiction Factory interview from Carlotta's 2012 DVD edition of Blow Out (quoted in the Douglas Keesey book, Brian De Palma's Split-Screen), Litto says, "I always felt that the girl should be saved in Blow Out and they should go see Sugar Babies, but [De Palma's] view was different, and the film still has many admirers that way. But I was a firm believer in the Hitchcock concept: you meet two people you like; they get into jeopardy; and you root for them to extricate themselves safely."


Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 9, 2019 12:17 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 7, 2019
LISTEN TO DONAGGIO'S FULL 'DOMINO' SCORE ONLINE
DYNAMIC, MOURNFULLY MELODIC MUSIC FULL OF SUSPENSE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dominodigitalsermon.png

Pino Donaggio has worked up a truly inspired score for Brian De Palma's Domino, and you can listen to the entire thing at Music.Film. Suspenseful, tragic, and mournfully melodic, Donaggio's music for Domino complements De Palma's moving images in ways that feel naturally intuitive and alive. Donaggio knows when to use silence to his advantage, and some of the quiet moments carry the most tremendous emotion. It's a great score-- check it out.

Posted by Geoff at 1:31 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 1:49 AM CDT
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Monday, May 6, 2019
'DOMINO' AT AMC ROLLING HILLS, NEAR L.A. MAY 31
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/alexlooks4.jpg

Saban Films announced weeks ago that Brian De Palma's Domino will be in theaters and on demand beginning Friday, May 31st. Today, at least one theater was revealed: AMC Rolling Hills 20, which is about a 30-mile drive from Los Angeles, in Torrance. It looks like AMC Rolling Hills will be the exclusive theater to show Domino in the Los Angeles-area, at least for the film's opening weekend. It is unclear whether or not there will be other theaters outside of Los Angeles showing Domino May 31st (opening weekend).

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2019 1:38 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019
20/20 DE PALMA VISION - DOMINO CERTIFIED FRESH
YOUR HUMBLE NARRATOR AT DE PALMA A LA MOD HAS NOW SEEN DOMINO
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/rearviewmatch3.jpg

Brian De Palma's Domino -- and let's get this straight, this is Brian De Palma's film -- when you see it all the way to the end, I'm not sure how you can come away from it with any other notion -- is full of tomatoes. They're all over the place in this movie, and you have to think that De Palma would have had Rotten Tomatoes in the back of his mind as he thought of and shot Domino. Well, dearly beloved, I'm here to tell you, Domino is certified fresh, one-hundred percent De Palma. From shot design (check out an early shot that begins wide, verrrry slowly moving in as two characters move about the room, until the shot finally ends, in God's eye point-of-view fashion, to focus in on an item that will have lasting impact on the film to come) to the way Pino Donaggio's music evokes the lasting sadness of that God's eye view, watching the way these events unfold. I was reminded not only of Donaggio's score for Blow Out, but also of the way the music works in contrast to much of what we see on screen in films such as Snake Eyes and The Black Dahlia. There is a silent film sequence in slow motion, full of tension, that truly gets you on the edge of your seat, wondering how in the world this is going to end up. The sequence has a kicker of a climax that has to be seen to be believed, beautifully executed. There are scenes where the camera slowly moves in toward stunning emotional impact (one of them is pictured above).

A couple of Letterboxd reviews have talked about Domino being a sort of Redacted meets Passion, and there is definitely a bit of truth to that. Passion opens with our two main characters watching commercials on a laptop, discussing and critiquing, yet we never see what they see. Later on, one of them makes a commercial, and we see the result afterward as it is screened for corporate executives. There is a lot of that sort of thing in Domino, except in the new movie, instead of commercials, the genre is terrorist videos, which brings us back to the world of Redacted. Our two main cops in the new film are seen watching terrorist videos on a laptop, commenting on how they're shot and edited, using drones, etc. We are not watching with them, but simply watching them as they watch, the look of horror on their faces. Later on, we see the videos being made, and then the way they've been edited.

I could write a lot more about Domino, but let me end for now by saying that Domino takes place in the future: an intertitle near the start of the film tells us the date is June 10, 2020. An intertitle near the beginning of De Palma's Mission To Mars carries the date June 9, 2020. If that's not De Palma's idea of a cosmic joke, it's a split in the horizon, for sure.


Posted by Geoff at 8:04 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 1, 2019 5:46 PM CDT
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Saturday, April 27, 2019
MEANWHILE, BELOW... 'WOTON'S WAKE'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/meanwhilebelowa.jpg








Posted by Geoff at 9:33 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, April 27, 2019 11:20 AM CDT
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Friday, April 26, 2019
JENNIFER FOX TALKS OF DE PALMA AS MENTOR - THE TALE
FOX WILL PARTICIPATE IN SPECIAL EVENT SCREENING FOR P.A.X.A. SATURDAY IN CHICAGO
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/jenniferfox.jpg

Jennifer Fox will participate in a special P.A.X.A. (Parents Against Child Sex Abuse) event Saturday (April 27th) in which her film, The Tale, will be screened at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago. Fox has previously spoken about Brian De Palma as a friend and also mentor on this specific film. In a new interview with Reel Chicago's Colin Costello ahead of Saturday's P.A.X.A. event, Fox is asked, "What was it like casting older and younger versions of you?"
Brian De Palma is a friend of mine and was a mentor to me on the film. He said, “You know Jennifer this is a casting nightmare. How are you going to audition two versions of everybody?” But, we had really great casting help with casting director Matthew Maisto. We also had Oren Moverman as a producer. So, we did the best we could in every circumstance.

Below is the event description and agenda for tomorrow morning:
Description

P.A.X.A. was approached by HBO's The Tale to support its grass roots efforts to leverage the film and raise awareness of child sex abuse. After watching the movie, our organization wants to share Director Jennifer Fox’s true life story to as many parents as possible. It shows how a pedophile uses emotional manipulation and grooming to lead his victim into thinking that she’s making choices to be in a sexual relationship with him. Be forewarned: there are explicit scenes of sex with a minor (filmed with an adult body double) that will elicit disgust. But a greater good is served: this movie is impactful because it portrays the perpetrator—not as a monster—but as a nice guy who earnestly wants a sexual relationship with a child. This is the most insidious and disturbing part of the film: you will never think of sexual predators the same way ever again.

Why Attend this Screening:

P.A.X.A. invites parents to attend the screening of HBO's the Tale as a way to gain better an understanding about:

The type of settings where a child may find himself/herself vulnerable and a target for sexual predators.
Tactics predators use to manipulate a child into sexual abuse.
Tactics predators use to groom the child's parents.

Note: This film is intended for an adult audience only. If you are survivor or survivor parent, this film may trigger PTSD.

The Tale's Writer/Director, Jennifer Fox, will participate in this screening

Program Agenda:
10:00am – 10:15am: Introduction to P.A.X.A. and HBO's the Tale
10:15am - 11:15am: Movie showing (first 60 minutes of the movie)
11:15am – 11:30am: Break
11:30am - 12:20pm: Movie showing (remaining 52 minutes of the movie)
12:20pm - 1:00pm: Panel Discussion + Open Q&A with Audience and Jennifer Fox


Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, April 27, 2019 12:09 AM CDT
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