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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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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

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The Virtuoso
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The De Palma Touch

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Carrie...A Fan's Site

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No Harm In Charm

Paul Schrader

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The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

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and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
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The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

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Offices of Death Records

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italkyoubored

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De Palma a la Mod
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Entries by Topic
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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Tuesday, July 14, 2020
OLIVER STONE MEMOIR EXCERPT ON 'SCARFACE' - EW.COM
"DE PALMA, IT SEEMED TO ME, WAS MORE INTERESTED IN 'THE BIG PICTURE'"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/scarfacestone1.jpg

Oliver Stone's memoir, Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game, will be published July 21, 2020 (a week from today). Yesterday, Entertainment Weekly posted an excerpt from the book's section on Scarface. Here's an excerpt from the excerpt:
Meanwhile, Bregman went painstakingly through the script with me, with Pacino separately making incisive suggestions. We never discussed the Born on the Fourth of July debacle, but as I grew to know Al better, I found him surprisingly humorous, coming up with one-liners to fit Tony Montana, whom he was evolving into with a broad Cuban accent and all. It surprised me that Al had never snorted cocaine or known anything about drugs. According to Marty, he’d had a serious problem with alcohol when younger but was now completely dry. Yet he had no problem behaving onscreen like the ultimate coke addict. Al definitely belonged to the “Method” school of acting, worshiping the aloof Lee Strasberg, who with his wife seemed to be making a rather good living teaching theater to a new generation. Al also kept a respected acting coach, Charlie Laughton, close to him, which greatly irritated Marty, who still wanted to“manage” Al in all ways, particularly his “warped” thinking. Al, to my mind, always had one goal — the play. Nothing else seemed to exist.

I continued to refine the script, and without much delay, Ned Tanen at Universal, Bregman’s friendly studio, agreed to make the movie for some $14 to $15 million, which was quite good for a violent gangster film that, even on paper, was gathering a reputation for being “over the top” — another Midnight Express type of extravaganza from Oliver Stone, now paired with the excessive and violent Brian De Palma, who’d made Dressed to Kill and Carrie. Bregman asked me to take DePalma down to see the locations and meet the figures I’d come to know while researching. Brian was a cold man, like Alan Parker — it comes with the territory — but he wasn’t threatened by me and seemed to want me around. So did Bregman, who stayed very much in control of the film, sitting with Brian through every casting call. At one session I attended, I fought hard for Glenn Close to play the role of Al’s mistress in Scarface, as she’d been great in the reading. I’d written the original Elvira role as an upper-class New York girl whom I knew, slumming in South Beach with a gangster boss when Tony meets her. Marty dismissed my idea as nuts — “She’s got a face like a horse!” He was married to a beautiful actress, Cornelia Sharpe, a blond, and generally had a big thing going for blonds. Marty and De Palma ultimately chose a twenty-four-year-old newcomer, Michelle Pfeiffer, who scored hugely in the film and went on to a distinguished career. But at the time, I had to grudgingly rewrite Elvira’s part down to make the role more of a materialistic South Beach bimbo.

Al asked Marty to keep me on the set to help him, presumably with a director he wasn’t quite sure of. At first I was glad to stay on, although I was being paid only in per diem to cover my expenses, but I regarded it as a learning experience. Al was still, at this time, quicksilver of nature, turning on a dime, very sensitive to his environment, eyes, ears, skin on fire. If he saw a new face on the set, he’d react. He was just that way. At all costs I’d avoid his line of sight when he was in acting motion lest my concentration disrupt his own — somewhat like particle waves. Billy Wilder described this sensitivity in recounting how Greta Garbo banned him from Ninotchka for appearing in her sightline. It wouldn’t be easy to direct Al, but De Palma seemed indifferent to that; he was never really an actor’s director like Lumet, whom Pacino had wanted. De Palma, it seemed to me, was more interested in the “big picture,” and in that vision actors were more or less an important part of the scenery.



Posted by Geoff at 12:49 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 14, 2020 12:52 AM CDT
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Monday, July 13, 2020
'DRESSED TO KILL' ALTERNATIVE POSTER BY NICK CHARGE
AND HORROR BFFs DISCUSS DTK ON CORPSE CLUB PODCAST
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dtknickcharge.jpg

This past April, we saw alternative poster art for Body Double designed by Melbourne illustrator Nick Charge. This month, Charge has shared new art for two more Brian De Palma films: Blow Out (see Charge's poster here) and this one above for Dressed To Kill.

Meanwhile, at Daily Dead, you can listen to the latest episode of the Corpse Club podcast, in which "Horror BFFs" Heather Wixson and Patrick Bromley discuss Dressed To Kill. Here's the brief Daily Dead description:

Over the last several years on Daily Dead, we've celebrated the 30th anniversaries of notable horror and sci-fi movies in our "Class of..." retrospective series, and this year we're switching things up by commemorating movies that are celebrating their 40th anniversaries!

Horror BFFs Heather Wixson and Patrick Bromley continue Daily Dead's Class of 1980 retrospective series with a look back at Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill on this episode of Corpse Club!

Listen as Heather and Patrick take a deep dive into the classic horror film, from De Palma's innovative directing and clever camerawork to the film's killer mystery, psychological layers, and intriguing performances by a talented cast including Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Keith Gordon, Nancy Allen, and Dennis Franz.

So, whether you're no stranger to Dressed to Kill or you're gearing up for a first-time viewing, sit back, relax, and enjoy a special Class of 1980 edition of Horror BFFs!


Posted by Geoff at 8:06 AM CDT
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Sunday, July 12, 2020
CINEMA CATS - SCENE STEALER SUNDAY - 'FEMME FATALE'
"FINAL MEWSINGS: CURIOSITY FORTUNATELY DID NOT KILL THIS CAT!"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/ffcinemacats.jpg

"Our Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer) Sunday cat makes an adorable appearance at the beginning of this Brian De Palma film," Cinema Cats teased in a Twitter post this morning. Of course, the film with the "kitty cameo" is Femme Fatale, in which "the cat plays with the camera, thinking it is a toy," during the film's opening heist sequence at Cannes. "Eventually the cat jumps down from the computer and Racine can continue with his work," the post continues, using frames from the film, as well as a brief video gif. "Final Mewsings: Curiousity fortunately did not kill this cat!"

Posted by Geoff at 8:40 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 12, 2020 9:17 PM CDT
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Friday, July 10, 2020
GUADAGNINO EXPECTS HIS 'SCARFACE' TO BE 'TIMELY'
BOTH PREVIOUS VERSIONS "CAN STAND ON THE SHELF AS TWO WONDERFUL PIECES OF SCULPTURE"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/elvira4.jpg

Today at Variety, Brent Lang interviews Luca Guadagnino, and asks him about his upcoming remake of Scarface:
You have about a half-dozen projects listed as in development on your IMDB. What’s behind that?

I am a relentless workaholic. I’m someone who has never tried any drugs, because I’m too scared for my own health. But I feel like when I was born, I fell on a “Scarface” mountain of cocaine, because I work 13 hours a day.

Are you working on a sequel to “Call Me By Your Name”?

I call it a second chapter, a new chapter, a part two or something like that. I love those characters. I love those actors. The legacy of the movie and its reception made me feel I should continue walking the path with everybody. I’ve come up with a story and hopefully we will be able to put it on the page soon.

You’re also attached to a remake of “Scarface.” What attracted you to that project?

People claim that I do only remakes [ed. note: Guadagnino previously remade “Suspiria” and his film “A Bigger Splash” was inspired by “La Piscine”] , but the truth of the matter is cinema has been remaking itself throughout its existence. It’s not because it’s a lazy way of not being able to find original stories. It’s alway about looking at what certain stories say about our times. The first “Scarface” from Howard Hawkes was all about the prohibition era. Fifty years later, Oliver Stone and Brian De Palma make their version, which is so different from the Hawkes film. Both can stand on the shelf as two wonderful pieces of sculpture. Hopefully ours, forty-plus years later, will be another worthy reflection on a character who is a paradigm for our own compulsions for excess and ambition. I think my version will be very timely.

What have you been watching during lockdown?

I watched again “Comizi d’amore” (Love Meetings) by Pasolini. I saw a great movie called “The Vast of Night,” and I watched for the second or third time “Doctor Sleep,” which is a movie I admire greatly.


Posted by Geoff at 5:49 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020
JUSTIN CHANG ON MORRICONE & 'MISSION TO MARS'
"IT'S THE MUSIC YOU MIGHT EXPECT TO HEAR AS YOUR LIFE FLASHES BEFORE YOUR EYES"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/m2mspacewalk1.jpg

Posted yesterday afternoon at the Los Angeles Times, Justin Chang's "Appreciation: ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ to ‘The Untouchables’: Ennio Morricone made music a movie star" begins rather unexpectedly:
It’s hard for me to recall the most vivid moments in “Mission to Mars,” Brian De Palma’s outer-space drama from 2000, without hearing the great music of Ennio Morricone.

That probably isn’t how you expected this to begin, but then, Morricone had a thing for unusual overtures, so bear with me. At one point in “Mission to Mars,” the astronaut characters maneuver their way through the vast emptiness of space — a moment of visual awe to which Morricone supplies a lyrical counterpoint that is at once weirdly playful and hauntingly spare. He helps transfigure the scene from a purely technical endeavor into a kind of weightless dance, a zero-gravity ballet. And when the adventure reaches its climax, Morricone rises to his own peak of spiritual and emotional extravagance — a mighty convergence of strings, celestial voices and insistently brassy melody. It’s the music you might expect to hear as your life flashes before your eyes.

Critically scorned upon release, “Mission to Mars” may not be the picture that springs most readily to mind when we think of this great Italian maestro turned Hollywood legend, who died Monday at the age of 91. If we must think of a “Mission” movie, surely it should be Roland Joffé’s “The Mission” (1986), a historical epic perhaps most fondly remembered today for Morricone’s lush oboe themes, as well as his clever dialectic of classical European and indigenous South American instruments. And if we must invoke one of Morricone’s signature scores for De Palma, one of his favorite collaborators, surely it should be “The Untouchables” (1987), which sets an old-timey underworld mood from the outset — all those low, sinister five-note progressions, timed to a succession of quick, metronomic pulses.

You surely have your own well-worn favorites. But Morricone was a dizzyingly prolific and madly inventive artist, and his career, during which he scored more than 500 films, is much more than a compendium of the obvious and the iconic. Any appreciation at this early stage will but scratch the surface of a mighty edifice that spanned nearly 70 years and ran from giallo horror flicks to classic westerns, and which could apply itself, with equal passion, to the most restless experimentation and the most sentimental bathos. The famously outspoken Morricone certainly had his own singular view of what constituted his best and worst work, and was never afraid to fly in the face of public opinion.


In the article, Chang describes further how Morricone's music is linked to the movies he composed for. "Listen to any Morricone score and 'accompaniment,' a word that critics sometimes default to when writing about film music, starts to feel even less adequate than usual," Chang states. "The effect of his work was not simply to achieve an ideal, harmonious balance of sound and image; he was a far more demonstrative artist than that. More often than not, he seemed all too willing to challenge the image, to draw out the image to languorous extremes, to pummel the image into lyrical submission."

Toward the end of the article, Chang mentions several filmmaking collaborators and the Academy Awards before bringing it back to Mission To Mars:

The Morricone signature is present even in his more restrained, less demonstrative scores for pictures like Gillo Pontecorvo’s “The Battle of Algiers” (1966). In that masterwork of ripped-from-the-headlines realism, Morricone’s terse, electrifying percussion seems to merge with the pounding footfalls of soldiers marching up and down the steps of the casbah. But the effect is entirely different when you watch a film like Marco Bellocchio’s 1965 debut feature, “Fists in the Pocket,” a startling angry-young-man portrait that finds an exquisite contrast in Morricone’s crooning, tinkling lullabies.

He wrote much of his music for films directed by fellow Italian artists, among them Bellocchio, Bernardo Bertolucci, Lina Wertmüller, Sergio Corbucci, Dario Argento and Pier Paolo Pasolini, whose transgressive magnum opus, “Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom,” proved a fascinating if far-from-intuitive fit. At the opposite extreme was perhaps the composer’s most frequent collaborator, Giuseppe Tornatore, whose “Cinema Paradiso,” a soft-bellied ode to the magic of movies, might not have been the Oscar-winning art-house favorite it became without Morricone’s gently treacly imprint.

He earned one of his six Academy Award nominations for original score for Tornatore’s “Malèna” (2000), a choice that is viewed most charitably, in retrospect, as a sign of just how revered Morricone had become in Hollywood. It also revealed how eager the motion picture academy was to recognize him after nominating him for his superior work on Terrence Malick’s glorious “Days of Heaven” (1978), “The Mission,” “The Untouchables” and Barry Levinson’s “Bugsy” (1991).

He received an honorary Oscar in 2007, placing him in the company of numerous other venerated artists who were given the academy’s ultimate consolation prize. But Morricone would triumph on his own terms eight years later, finally earning his first and only scoring Oscar, for Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” (2015) — and becoming, at that point, the oldest winner of a competitive award in Academy Awards history.

While that particular score may not rank among his best work, there is something undeniably poignant about Morricone getting his successful final boost from Tarantino, who spent much of his career so lovingly and lavishly quoting the maestro’s greatest hits in movies like “Kill Bill” and “Django Unchained.” Tarantino knew that Morricone’s music was something primal and even physical in its presence, something that seemed to bubble out of the landscape itself. And those landscapes could be as different as a dust-choked Leone desert or the deadly Antarctic tundra of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (1982) — or, yes, the vast expanse of De Palma’s outer space, one of many cinematic cosmos that Morricone colonized with his own limitless sense of possibility.



Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Monday, July 6, 2020
ENNIO MORRICONE HAS DIED AT 91
LEGENDARY COMPOSER WROTE SCORES FOR DE PALMA'S UNTOUCHABLES, CASUALTIES OF WAR, MISSION TO MARS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/morriconered.jpg

Ennio Morricone died early this morning in Rome after falling and suffering a hip fracture. He was 91.

Morricone was extremely prolific and simply one of the best composers of film music that ever lived. His scores are innovative and often unforgettable. His propulsive "Strength of the Righteous" theme for Brian De Palma's The Untouchables is as striking now as it was in 1987. Just hearing Morricone's music for Casualties Of War brings De Palma to tears. The music Morricone provided for De Palma's Mission To Mars is truly inspired-- full of mystery and emotion, tangling hope and fear within a simple yet daringly otherwordly symphony of suspense. There's nothing else like it.

 


Posted by Geoff at 8:24 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, July 6, 2020 6:26 PM CDT
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Saturday, July 4, 2020
FULL MOON PROJECTIONS
WITH PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blowoutconspiracy4a.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 5, 2020 1:20 AM CDT
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Friday, July 3, 2020
PODCAST - RENA OWEN CHOOSES TO DISCUSS 'CARRIE'
"THIS WAS THE FIRST MOVIE...AT THE TENDER AGE OF 14...THAT MADE ME JUMP OUT OF MY CHAIR"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/renaowencarrie.jpg

Actress Rena Owen was invited to choose a horror movie to discuss for the latest episode of the Scream Addicts Podcast, and she chose Brian De Palma's Carrie. "This was the first movie in my lifetime, at the tender age of fourteen, that made me jump out of my chair," she tells the podcast host, Jinx. Here's the podcast description of the episode:
This week on Scream Addicts, Jinx welcomes Rena Owen to the show.

An actor known for her incredible performance in the 1994 Kiwi classic Once Were Warriors, as well as being one of only 6 actors in the world to have worked with both George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg during her illustrious career that spans 3 decades, Ms. Owen has chosen Brian De Palma’s 1976 Stephen King adaptation Carriefor discussion this week.

Ms. Owen and Jinx discuss their initial experiences with the film, how the film’s look at bullying still resonates, and the film’s indelible performances. Along the way, we chat about Ms. Owen’s overall opinion of the horror genre, the blessing and curse of an actor being inextricably linked to an iconic role, and…why Jinx doesn’t much care for De Palma’s direction?! [*note: Jinx states that he likes De Palma as a director, but in Carrie, he wonders if De Palma's p.o.v. runs counter to the viewpoint of a high school girl, etc. Owen says she would have to watch it again to pay attention to that perspective. For more on that perspective, see/listen to Karyn Kusama discussing Carrie on Kingcast: "I don't know, personally, the movie has such a sort of florid sensuousness that to me it's like the female in De Palma directed that movie."]


Posted by Geoff at 5:56 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 3, 2020 5:57 PM CDT
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Thursday, July 2, 2020
DAVID KOEPP POSTS SCRIPT ARCHIVE ONLINE
SCREENPLAYS FOR MR HUGHES, BLACKWATER, SAFE HOUSE, CARITO'S WAY, SNAKE EYES, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE, MORE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/snakeeyesapril1997b.jpg

David Koepp has posted several of his screenplays in the "Script Archive" section of his website, DavidKoepp.com. Along with multiple drafts of his screenplays for Snake Eyes, Carlito's Way, and Mission: Impossible, Koepp has included three unproduced screenplays that he had worked on with Brian De Palma: Blackwater ("Strange piece me and DePalma came up with that I was going to direct. Too strange, turns out."); The Safe House ("Early version of Blackwater. Too dark, too creepy, too impenetrable for mass taste. Plus, guess what? Mental illness isn’t for entertainment purposes, it’s real and painful as hell. Glad I grew up."); and Mr. Hughes ("Oh, how I love this Howard Hughes / Clifford Irving story DePalma and I came up with. Inches away from making this with Nic Cage, but then Snake Eyes came out and wasn’t a hit, and we were dead. It be’s like that sometimes.")

At the top of the Script Archive page, Koepp explains:

Here’s a couple dozen movies I wrote, in various stages of their evolution as scripts. Most of these managed to get produced, but were some unfairly neglected due to the insensitivity of the cinematic establishment, or were they just bad scripts? Judge for yourself. I think some of them are good, some of them are not, but I know all of them taught me something. Hope they might be helpful for you too.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 5, 2020 10:00 AM CDT
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Wednesday, July 1, 2020
'PHANTOM' HAUNTS OUTDOOR SCREENS AS SUMMER HITS
WINNIPEG DRIVE-IN LAST NIGHT, AND PARKING LOT WALL THIS FRIDAY IN VERMONT
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/andreanakasato2.jpg

As Andrea Nakasato shares this fantastic new Phantom Of The Paradise illustration on Instagram, the film itself is back on big screens of the outdoor variety this week. In Winnipeg, Brian De Palma's film played at the Winnipeg Richardson International Airport Economy Lot Tuesday night as part of the CAA Summer Drive-In Series. On Instagram, Melanie Brohm wrote, "First time seeing Phantom of the Paradise!! This movie has such a cult following in Winnipeg that in the 24yrs that I’ve lived here I could never get a ticket. The dark clouds, rain and lightening just added to the drama." Meggie Deleau, who was also there, said on her Instagram post that "it was legit magical. There was a thunderstorm while it was playing and it just added to it in the best way."

Meanwhile, in Brattleboro, Vermont, Phantom Of The Paradise will kick off an outdoor movie series at Backlot Cinema, "a safe, socially-distanced outdoor cinema." Epsilon Spires will turn its parking lot into a space where people can watch films projected onto its large outside wall. Friday night is billed as "Glam Rock a Go-Go," and the De Palma feature will be preceeded by short films by Tom Rubnitz & Rebecca Erin Moran.

"Sometimes, severe limitations can inspire truly innovative ideas," Epsilon Spires art curator Jessamyn Fiore said in a press release, according to The Commons. "Turns out the answer was right in front of us — or rather in back of us!” she said — “a big parking lot with a large wall that can support a sizable film screen — the essentials for an open-air cinema."


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 5, 2020 10:13 AM CDT
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