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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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« December 2020 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

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
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
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Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

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italkyoubored

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Hope Lies at
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Diary of a
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So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

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Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
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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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Thursday, December 10, 2020
'PHANTOM' POSTER ARTIST RICHARD CORBEN HAS DIED
POSTER FOR SECOND MARKETING CAMPAIGN WAS BASED ON A SKETCH BY NEAL ADAMS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/phantomrichardcorbenmedium.jpg

Richard Corben, the artist who illustrated the fantastic pulpy poster for Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, "died December 2, 2020 following heart surgery," according to a post by Corben's wife, Dona, this morning on the Corben Studios Facebook page. After the initial release of Phantom Of The Paradise did not gain traction in most markets, Corben was commissioned by Ed Pressman to create a poster for a revised marketing campaign. With the wonderful Swan Archives currently on hold, we thankfully have a terrific summary, with quotes from the Swan Archives' Ari Kahan, via Eddie Shannon's Film on Paper:
The brilliant fan site The Swan Archives, curated by Ari Kahan, features a thorough history of the promotion of the film and shows the initial two styles of poster, one of which was designed by Anthony Goldschmidt and illustrated by the late John Alvin and also featured on the album cover. As Kahan notes:

‘The involvement of A&M records (which issued the soundtrack, and which more or less owned the exclusive rights to Paul Williams’ life at the time) in the co-marketing campaign with 20th Century Fox meant that the film was initially pitched towards what A&M and Fox believed to be the teens-through-college “rock music demographic.” John Alvin’s beautiful painted graphics on the posters and soundtrack album emphasised guitars, keyboards, microphones, patch cords, and other musical ephemera, and a photorealistic depiction of songwriter/star Paul Williams, signalling the studio’s intention to rely heavily on Williams’ existing fame in its promotion of the film.’

The rest of the ill-conceived initial campaign is detailed on the Swan Archives page linked to above. After a disastrous few months at the box office, the film’s producer Ed Pressman convinced the studio to allow him to reposition the film with a revised marketing campaign. Kahan explains:

‘Pressman went into action by launching a second campaign, in mid-1975, which tagged the film as “The Most Highly Acclaimed Horror Phantasy of Our Time,” pushing the horror angle and perennial plot line, and downplaying the music. De Palma, Finley, and Graham were made extremely available to give interviews to Castle of Frankenstein, Monster World, and every other horror magazine that would make time for them’

As part of this second campaign Pressman commissioned noted comic book artist Richard Corben to illustrate a new poster image and fellow comic book artist Neal Adams provided an initial concept sketch from which Corben worked (according to Kahan, ‘Adams drew the sketch for free, to aid Pressman in pitching a never-realised Phantom of the Paradise companion comic book, which he hoped might result in some paying work’) . The new painting emphasised the horror aspect and the Phantom’s mangled face and completely downplayed Williams’ presence – you can just spot him at the bottom of the marquee (see the close-up image). The new campaign proved to be more successful but as Kahan notes:

‘The film gradually took on life, bringing in decent (though never great) box office and some positive reviews. As De Palma put it, “When we revised the campaign in the U.S and made it seem more like The Phantom of the Opera than a horror/rock film, we got an entirely different response.”‘

For more on the film’s promotional travails, I again urge you to check out the excellent Swan Archives site. Corben also painted the style B one sheet for the Heavy Metal film, the magazine of which he’d been involved with for several years.


Posted by Geoff at 8:40 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2020 8:42 PM CST
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Sunday, December 6, 2020
PODCAST EPISODES DELVE INTO DE PALMA'S CINEMA
WATCHING THE FILMS "BACK-TO-BACK" ALLOWS OPPORTUNITY TO APPRECIATE DE PALMA IN A WHOLE NEW WAY
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/jimandteal.jpg

In late November, the podcast Stuff We've Seen with Jim and Teal began a series of weekly episodes in which the hosts delve into the films of Brian De Palma. Here's the description from the first episode, "Brian De Palma: Jim and Teal Get Obsessed" --
Fake outs. Doubles. Doppelgangers. Twists and surprises. Dreams, and dreams within a dream. Dutch angles and split diopters. Overhead angles and split screens. Bizarre sexual fantasies, and stalkers, peepers, and observers. It’s all part of the Brian De Palma mystique, and this week Jim and Teal launch the first of several episodes devoted to the film work of Brian De Palma.

Brian De Palma isn’t Jim or Teal’s favorite director. In fact, as far as movie-going experiences go, they both have a lot of issues with him. But, when The Criterion Channel added Dressed to Kill to their site in November, Jim’s curiosity to rewatch this movie after 30+ years led him down a rabbit hole that he dragged a willing Teal into. Several weeks and more than a dozen watches and rewatches later, our two podcast hosts are a little bit more than obsessed.

“Getting a chance to watch so many of De Palma’s films, back-to-back, allows me the opportunity to appreciate him in a whole new way,” Jim said. “There is so much continuity to his themes and camerawork that I didn’t necessarily pick up on when watching his work spread apart.”

And Jim and Teal won’t just be covering the favorites and well-known work of De Palma’s like Scarface, Mission: Impossible, Carrie, and The Untouchables. They both went deep into his filmography to watch little-known work like 1976’s Obsession, and 2018’s Domino. Throughout this assignment Jim added a good seven De Palma films to his watch list, and rewatched a bunch more.

These episodes are going to be a lot of fun. This first episode is just a taste of De Palma, and Jim and Teal have a lot more to bring you. A second (possibly spit into two) is on its way, and they want to watch a few more of his films to round out his filmography. They hope you enjoy these episodes, and they will get you to consider seeking out more De Palma films you may not have seen, or even known about.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Monday, December 7, 2020 12:49 AM CST
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Saturday, December 5, 2020
VIDEO - SARA BALLANTINE RECALLS WORK ON 'PHANTOM'
INTERVIEWED BY JUSTIN LEVINE, REVEALS GEM AFTER GEM ABOUT DANCERS/GROUPIES IN THE FILM

Posted by Geoff at 9:03 PM CST
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Thursday, December 3, 2020
'THERE IS THAT ONE WEIRD PAUL WILLIAMS MOVIE'
BILLY CORGAN TRIES TO GIVE AN IDEA WHAT A SMASHING PUMPKINS MOVIE MIGHT BE LIKE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/juliettebrocal2019.jpg

First, look at this beautiful Phantom Of The Paradise illustration by Juliette Brocal, which she posted on Twitter last year.

It seemed an appropriate choice to accompany several Billy Corgan quotes from yesterday, in which the Smashing Pumpkins mastermind discussed the possibility of a Pumpkins movie, and mentioned "that one weird Paul Williams movie" along with Tommy and Pink Floyd The Wall as points of reference. Here's an excerpt from the Forbes article by Steve Baltin:

If Corgan has his way it would be bigger than an animated series, as he wants to turn the trilogy of albums, Melon Collie, Machina and the third album the band is working on now into a series of feature films in the vein of classic rock movies like the Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia and Pink Floyd's The Wall.

"My dream scenario is we'll not only play Melon Collie, Machina and the record we're working on now in mass theatrical stagings, but then I'll someday get to make a movie," he says. "And if those things ever get made into movies they would probably most likely have to be animation cause nobody's gonna write me that big a check," he adds laughing.

But he does have an idea on how the trilogy of Pumpkins' albums could make their way onto the big screen. "I have floated out here and there some kind of crowd-funding scenario and for whatever reason there seems to be a lot of energy there that fans would be interested in," he says. "So it's possible. Maybe it's one of those things if fans put up a million and I put up a million maybe we pull it off. I own all the music so that's the good part. But that's a lot of work."

When asked about reference points for what the Pumpkins films might be like he mentions the aforementioned Who and Pink Floyd films. "It helps if the album is classic," he says laughing. "There is that one weird Paul Williams movie where he's like a Phantom Of The Opera thing (Phantom Of The Paradise)."

Phantom Of The Paradise isn't the only unusual rock movie from the late '70s and early '80s, the same era that also saw the Village People's Can't Stop The Music, KISS Meets Phantom Of The Park and the much-maligned film adaptation of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club [Band] starring Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees and more.

What does Corgan see when he looks at that era of rock movies? "You just see cocaine, right?" he says laughing. "You look at some of these and you think, 'There's gotta be cocaine in there somewhere because this doesn't make any sense.'"

Alright, so if the Pumpkins albums ever get turned into film expect more Pink Floyd The Wall than Phantom Of The Paradise.


Note that Baltin is the one who singled out Phantom Of The Paradise in his article as "unusual," and lumped it in with the KISS and Village People movies, while Corgan seemed to sincerely bring it up as a reference point.

Posted by Geoff at 7:31 PM CST
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Wednesday, December 2, 2020
SAM IRVIN WRITES ABOUT DTK FOR 'BOOBS AND BLOOD'
SPECIAL EDITION MAG AVAILABLE NOW IN PRINT OR ONLINE, PROFITS TO KEEP A BREAST FOUNDATION
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/boobsblood1.jpg

Sam Irvin writes about his time working on Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill for a special issue of Boobs And Blood magazine. The print and digital editions are available now via Mag Cloud. Here is the press release:
Brian De Palma’s Assistant Sam Irvin Reveals All About the Making of DRESSED TO KILL

Sam Irvin, director of ELVIRA’S HAUNTED HILLS, co-executive producer of GODS AND MONSTERS and former personal assistant to Brain De Palma, celebrates the 40th Anniversary of De Palma’s DRESSED TO KILL, with the publication of his personal experiences during the making of this classic horror-thriller, starring Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson and Nancy Allen.

Having been De Palma’s personal assistant during the late-70s and early-80s, Irvin definitely has a story or two to tell about Hollywood’s last golden age This special issue of BOOBS & BLOOD magazine is entirely devoted to Irvin’s definitive behind-the-scenes account of DRESSED TO KILL. In addition to this game-changing fan favorite, Irvin also writes of his time working on other De Palma features such as THE FURY, HOMES MOVIES, BLOW OUT, and several unmade De Palma projects. Packed with photos and artwork (many previously unpublished), the issue comes out just in time for the Holidays.

As Irvin says, “Working intimately with De Palma on DRESSED TO KILL allowed me to see his unique filmmaking process unfold before my very eyes in real-time. Despite my formal education in cinematic arts, my real film school was the time I spent with De Palma. Every riveting minute of it.”

B&B editor publisher Miles Flanagan states, “We’re so proud to have Sam donate his services for free as a writer for this very special issue. As someone who was De Palma’s personal assistant, Sam’s insightful account of the making of DRESSED TO KILL and De Palma’s work during this time is invaluable.”

Continued Flanagan, “We hope this will be our biggest seller to date and be a big fundraiser for the KEEP A BREAST FOUNDATION. That would definitely make my Christmas.”

All profits from BOOBS & BLOOD magazine are donated to the KEEP A BREAST FOUNDATION. So if you buy this, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

The DRESSED TO KILL Special Edition is available online:

https://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1877350

www.boobsandblood.com



Posted by Geoff at 8:09 AM CST
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Monday, November 30, 2020
'CARRIE' ART BY DAVID SEIDMAN
"I DECIDED TO DO THIS LITTLE PIECE AFTER RECENTLY REWATCHING 'CARRIE' FOR THE 100TH TIME"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/davidseidman.jpg

David Seidman, who describes himself on his Instagram page as an "artist specializing in dark surrealism," posted the image above on Halloween a month ago, with the following caption:
Happy Halloween everyone!! I am a die hard Stephen King fan, so I decided to do this little piece after recently rewatching Carrie for the 100th time! I absolutely love everything about this movie. Hope everyone is making the best of their spooky holiday!

Posted by Geoff at 8:21 PM CST
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Sunday, November 29, 2020
SPANISH BLU OF 'RAISING CAIN' HAS SPLIT COVER CHOICES
INCLUDES GELDERBLOM RECUT, INTRO, VIDEO ESSAY, & 28-PAGE BOOKLET
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/spanishcaincarter.jpg

Reel One Entertainment's new Spanish Blu-ray edition of Brian De Palma's Raising Cain offers the buyer's choice of cover, with exclusive art by David Ribet. One shows Cain, and the other shows Carter. Both of them contain the theatrical version of the film, as well as Peet Gelderblom's recut, in which he reassembled the film according to De Palma's original screenplay. Also included are Gelderblom's intro to the recut, his video essay, and a 28-page booklet, which includes a forward by Albert Galera, curator of a 2018 De Palma exhibition in Catalonia, Spain, and coordinator of that exhibition's accompanying book, De Palma vs De Palma.

Posted by Geoff at 10:54 PM CST
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Saturday, November 28, 2020
THAT SON OF A --
MORE VARIATIONS ON A THEME, WITH SPOILERS, OF COURSE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/misonofabitch2.jpg

On repeat viewings of Brian De Palma's Mission: Impossible, the viewer now knows that Claire knows that Jim Phelps is alive. Armed with this knowledge, Claire's line to Ethan in the scene above -- "I want to get the son of a bitch who did this" -- sounds suspiciously scripted by Jim "I prefer the theater" Phelps himself. Phelps, in fact, will refer to that "son of a bitch" in his own meeting with Ethan later, in London.

In that meeting, we see a variation of the meeting in Body Double between Jake Scully and Sam Bouchard in the bar, which itself is a variation of the date between Jon and Judy in Hi, Mom!. In each of those previous scenes, a person (Jon in Hi, Mom! and Sam in Body Double) is attempting to manipulate the person they are speaking with through lies and improvisation.

In the case of Mission: Impossible, however, Ethan is not so easily duped, and Jim Phelps knows it. In fact, as much as Jim works from his own script that Kittridge was the mole, he watches Ethan intently to see if he is buying it. Ethan is also watching intently, because as soon as Jim Phelps tries to tell him that Kittridge is the mole, Ethan knows that none of it adds up. In his mind, he plays out the only scenario that seems to make sense, even is acting for Jim as if he believes his lie about Kittridge.

Martin Scorsese had a very similar dynamic in play in his 1991 remake of Cape Fear, a discussion that is punctuated by a hilarious cut to Nick Nolte forced to sleep on the couch. And to bring it all back home, the son-of-a-bitch being discussed in the Scorsese film is Robert De Niro. See it all below:


Posted by Geoff at 8:27 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, November 29, 2020 7:54 AM CST
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Friday, November 27, 2020
'HE HAD THIS KIND OF GRIN'
VARIATIONS ON A THEME
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/rogerparks0.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 8:58 PM CST
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GLOWING?
PODCAST DELVES INTO THE DETAILS OF 'BODY DOUBLE'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/glowing1.jpg

This week's episode of the podacst TheNecronomi.Com finds co-hosts James Sabata and Don Guillory welcoming guest Bob Pastorella to talk about Brian De Palma's Body Double. As they delve into the devious machinations of Sam Bouchard, one of the hosts defends some of the elements involved, saying that "De Palma doesn't tell us every detail of the story," and that some of those details display "a great level of forethought on De Palma's part." Yes, indeed.

Then the host brings up a radical possibility that makes the other two involved in the discussion stop to think: was Sam Bouchard the man who is, er, with Carol when Jake Scully walks in on them? It would make Sam's scheming even more extreme, but I do think after the people on this podcast go back and review the film, they will spot the telling moment when Sam, already on the lookout for a poor schmuck to play the part of the witness in his murder scenario, overhears Jake asking a friend if he knows of any apartments available.

Sam Bouchard here is a bit like Jon (Robert De Niro) trying to manipulate Judy (Jennifer Salt) in Hi, Mom!, taking what his pawn gives him and then bonding with him, improvising a story that may have been roughly sketched in his mind beforehand. Although De Niro's Jon in Hi, Mom! has actually weaved his way into Judy's life after surreptitiously spying on her with his camera from across the street, I think we can see the very moment in Body Double when Sam Bouchard begins to pay attention to Jake Scully:


Posted by Geoff at 12:34 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 5:04 PM CST
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