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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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« February 2021 »
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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

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

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a la Mod

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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
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

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A Lonely Place

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italkyoubored

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Hope Lies at
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Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

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EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
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The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

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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Friday, February 19, 2021
NOTHING STAYS BURIED FOREVER
LOOKING BACK AT THE TRAILER FOR 'THE BLACK DAHLIA'


The new Netflix movie I Care A Lot, written and directed by J Blakeson, opens with an effective slow motion sequence, with voiceover, set to the song "Dirge" by the band Death in Vegas. It took me a long minute to figure out why the song felt so familiar to me: the track was, of course, used in the trailer for Brian De Palma's adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia. It had been a long time since I looked at that trailer, and I did not remember the blue-ish lights at the top and bottom of some of the film projections showing Mia Kirshner's embodiment of Elizabeth Short on film. A flourish for the trailer, in one freeze-frame the blue and its surroundings turn to black-and-white. Back to "Dirge", here's a paragraph from the Death in Vegas Wikipedia page that mentions all the films, trailers, and commercials that have used the song:
The band's second album, The Contino Sessions (1999), marked a slight change in direction with more attention to live instrumentation than their first and the inclusion of guest vocalists (including Dot Allison, Bobby Gillespie, Iggy Pop, and Jim Reid).[1] Although predominantly rock-influenced, the album still retained some electronic elements, in particular the opening track "Dirge" with its drum machine-based rhythm track. "Dirge" was featured on a Levi's jeans commercial, as well as the second instalment of The Blair Witch Project, and was used in the trailer for the 2006 film The Black Dahlia. The song was also used in the trailer for the 2013 film Cheap Thrills and used in the 2002 film 28 Days Later; at the end of the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left; near the end of the Being Human episode "The Longest Day"; and in the second episode of season two of Misfits. Along with "Aisha" (with vocals from Iggy Pop), "Dirge" helped the band gain more recognition, culminating in a Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2000. "Dirge" was the subject of a lawsuit by the band Five or Six, as it borrowed extensively from their song "Another Reason". The matter was settled with Five or Six receiving a writing credit.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, February 20, 2021 1:18 PM CST
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Thursday, February 18, 2021
BEAUTIFUL CONTRAST - BLOW OUT & THE CONVERSATION
BOTH FILMS MAKE TOM JOLLIFFE'S LIST OF TEN ESSENTIAL PARANOIA FILM AT FLICKERING MYTH
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/jacknoirreadsmag.jpg

Last week at Flickering Myth, Tom Jolliffe posted his list of "ten essential paranoia films." The list includes The Conversation and Blow Out. Here's what he wrote about each one:
The Conversation

Possibly the greatest paranoia film ever. Francis Ford Coppola’s masterful film sees Gene Hackman catch a suggestive conversation from two ‘targets’ he’s been asked to tap. A progressive trail of events unfold and Hackman, still haunted by the collateral damage from some of his previous jobs, believes he’s unwittingly put a young couple in danger.

The nefarious company Hackman deals with make vague threats when he questions them, and then his mental state begins to unravel. For a film that Coppola did as a kind of quickie between his two Godfather epics, The Conversation is stunningly crafted. The offsetting score really adds to this unsettling atmosphere. By the time Hackman has lost his marbles completely, and the film has ended brilliantly, you’ll be left stunned.

Blow Out

Back to a sound man finding himself drawn into a web of murder after recording more than he bargained for. Brian De Palma’s wonderful homage to vintage era Hitchcock (as well as no small nod to Antonioni’s Blow Up, and the aforementioned The Conversation) has everything you’d expect from his peak era work.

Travolta probably gives his best performance. Given how huge a fan Tarantino is of this film in particularly, and the surprising choice to cast Travolta in Pulp Fiction back in the day, it’s likely his work in this contributed heavily to why he ended up dancing with Uma Thurman on screen in 94. Travolta and fellow Carrie alumni, Nancy Allen are both excellent in this and the film is brilliantly shot and expertly paced. De Palma’s trademark style is in full effect, and completely effective for this kind of histrionic thriller. If Coppola dialled it all back for his thriller, De Palma keeps it all out and it contrasts beautifully with The Conversation (rather than battling it for supremacy).


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Friday, February 19, 2021 8:16 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 17, 2021
NICK MCLEAN TO GIVE 2-PART ZOOM MASTERCLASS
FREE  EVENTS-- CAMERAMAN WORKED WITH ZSIGMOND ON 'OBSESSION' & MORE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/nickmcleanbook.jpg

Nick McLean, the cameraman and cinematographer who, early in his career, worked frequently with Vilmos Zsigmond (including on Brian De Palma's Obsession), is scheduled to discuss his career during two Zoom-session Masterclasses from Ireland in the next couple of weeks. The tickets are free. Paul Nolan at Hot Press has the details:
There’s exciting news for film buffs with the announcement that, on February 23 and March 2, famed Hollywood filmmaker Nick McLean will be joined by Naas author and film historian Wayne Byrne for a brace of masterclasses for Dublin Business School.

The lectures with be split into two subjects, the first covering McLean’s career as a camera operator on some of the biggest releases of the New Hollywood era, including Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Obsession, McCabe & Mrs Miller, The Deer Hunter, Marathon Man, and The Rolling Stones’ concert film, Let’s Spend the Night Together.

The second class will focus on McLean’s acclaimed work as a cinematographer on box office hits and cult classics of the 1980s such as The Goonies, Spaceballs, Staying Alive, Cobra, Willow, City Heat, and the hit 90s TV shows Friends, Cybill, and Evening Shade.

Byrne, a former writer for Hot Press, has authored several highly acclaimed books on cinema, including a film biography of McLean entitled Nick McLean Behind The Camera: The Life and Works of a Hollywood Cinematographer, co-written with the filmmaker and released in March 2020.

Byrne’s other work includes books on American indie auteur Tom DiCillo, Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds, and he is due to release his latest book, a history of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, in the coming months.

These classes will be accessed via Zoom and will give film fans an opportunity to hear McLean discuss his working relationships with directors aged actors such as Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, Michael Cimino, Hal Ashby, Robert Altman, Mel Brooks, George Lucas, John Schlesinger, Sylvester Stallone, and Burt Reynolds, as well as offering an insight into the making of many revered films.

There will be a Q&A at the end of each session for attendees to ask the eminent McLean directly about his work filming these many classics.

Free tickets for these masterclasses are available via Eventbrite, here and here.


Previously:

Cameraman Nick McLean on Obsession & Family Plot


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Tuesday, February 16, 2021
READFUL THINGS - ELECTRONIC LCD 'CARRIE' VIDEO GAME
ANOTHER WORK OF ART FROM ADAM PEROCCHI
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/readfulthingscarrie.jpg

Earlier today, Readful Things (Adam Perocchi) posted the image above on Instagram, with the following caption:
If you bought two of these, you could connect them and activate "De Palma Mode" - allowing you to play the Prom level with 2 screens.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Monday, February 15, 2021
DREAMS OF WATER & NOIR
SOME FRAMES FROM 'FEMME FATALE'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/waterpour1.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Sunday, February 14, 2021
DEAD BEAT FILM SOCIETY DISCUSSES 'PHANTOM'
"A TRUE CULT CLASSIC" PICKED FOR THE EPISODE BY GUEST CLARITA OF DESIGN FREAKS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/deadbeatpodcast.jpg

A lively discussion of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise takes place on the most recent episode of the podcast Dead Beat Film Society, hosted by Kevin and Emily. The guest on this episode is Clarita Hinojosa from Design Freaks Podcast (a podcast about music industry design), and it was she who picked Phantom to discuss. In an Instagram post, Clarita wrote:
I was recently a guest on this fun show @deadbeatfilmsociety talking all about one of my favorite films #phantomoftheparadise !! 👻 🎹⚡️ it came out in 1974 and influenced a ton of other movies. And featured TONTO the monster synth that predated the Fairlight (The Original New Timbral Orchestra) best known for this movie and Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Monday, February 15, 2021 1:28 AM CST
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Saturday, February 13, 2021
THE 'MISSION TO MARS' SPACESHIP - GIANT MINIATURE
"ONE OF THE LAST GIANT MINIATURES TO HAVE MOTION CONTROL SHOOTING"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/spaceshipmini.jpg

Model maker and designer Michael Possert Jr. posted the above photo yesterday on his Instagram, with the following caption:
The Mission To Mars spaceship - the Mars 1. One of the last giant miniatures to have motion control shooting. This model was about 21' or 6.4 meters and was made at Dream Quest Images in Simi Valley California,1999.

When someone asked him, "Did you blow it up?" Possert Jr. responded:
Ha! No but the engine section is damaged and blows up in the movie. And I made the damaged engines. 😂

Posted by Geoff at 4:11 PM CST
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Saturday, February 6, 2021
GIGI WILLIAMS GOT HER FILM START WITH DE PALMA
MAKE-UP & HAIR STYLIST ON 'HOME MOVIES' PREFERS TO WORK ON "THE WHOLE MOVIE" WITH INVESTED DIRECTORS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/gigiwilliams2021.jpg

Gigi Williams, the make-up and hair stylist who has worked with the likes of David Fincher (Mank, Gone Girl), Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master, Inherent Vice), Luc Besson (Léon), Paul Mazursky (The Pickle), Larry Cohen (A Return To Salem's Lot), and Joe Dante (The Howling), was interviewed recently by Gold Derby's Riley Chow, who asked her to talk about how she got started in film. It turns out that the first film Williams worked on was Brian De Palma's Home Movies. Here's a transcription of Williams explaining it in the Gold Derby video:
I was doing print work for Vogue. I worked for Diane von Fürstenberg. I was doing print and beauty. And, uh...then... I hated it. I hated it. It was awful. There was all these stupid people and the photographers all had their hands on all the twelve-year-old models. It was disgusting! And so I would only work four days a week. And that was a lot of money. I was making about two-thousand dollars a day back then -- it was in the seventies -- which is a lot of money. For a twenty-seven-year-old, twenty-six-year-old. And one day, I said to... I was like, I only work four days, I can't stand this, I hate it. And then one of my girlfriends said she was doing a movie with Brian De Palma and wanted to know if I wanted to test. To do the make-up. [Shrugging] I was like, yeah, sure. I did the test, I got the job. And that was my first movie. And ever since then, I've been working.

I did... I lived in New York, and I called... I knew The Ramones were doing a movie. So I called up the director for the Ramones movie, and I said, listen, I have to do this movie. And he goes, like, well, send me your book. So I sent him my book, and he calls me back, and he goes, "Your too overqualified. I don't have any money, I can't bring you to California. I would love to have you!" I said, that's okay. I'll get on a plane, I'll find a place to stay, and I did it for two-hundred dollars a week. Rock And Roll High School. And it was AMAZING! [she laughs]

I've just, I've always worked. I did Saturday Night Live. I mean, I've really... I did [the] Tom Ford movie. I've really... I gravitate towards directors. So, I don't like to do personals, really. I don't really like to work with just one actor. I like to do the whole film. I like to work with the directors. When we did A Single Man, Tom Ford came up at the end of the first day, and he said, So what'd you think? And I said, Oh, my God, we made art! He says [mocks seriousness], "Well, I hope we make art every day." And you don't really feel that, when you're working in the film business. A lot. I mean, it's far and few between, I feel very privilidged and lucky and honored that, you know, I've worked with the directors that I've worked with. Because they're not the directors that say, "Yeah, it's fine, let's move on." They're like, "No, let's do it again!"


Posted by Geoff at 12:40 PM CST
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Wednesday, February 3, 2021
DEE SNIDER THANKS PAUL WILLIAMS & BRIAN DE PALMA
PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE "WAS *THE* TURNING POINT IN MUSICAL DIRECTION FOR ME...IT CHANGED MY WORLD!"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/beefaudience.jpg

A few days ago, Dee Snider, former frontman for Twisted Sister, tweeted about his love for Phantom Of The Paradise:
Just realized I never shared the thing that was THE turning point in musical direction for me from @ledzeppelin type power trios to glam-metal...'74's Phantom of the Paradise! Not a big film in the US but huge in Canada. It changed my world! Thanks Paul Williams & Brian DePalma!

In a followup tweet, Snider mentioned, "I remember when I first saw it I went to see it FIVE NIGHTS IN A ROW! I was blown away by it and Beef and his band had a huge influence in me." He also mentioned that when he watched it with his kids in the 2000s, "unfortunately it really didn't hold up well," but we'll let that one slide... they'll come around.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, February 4, 2021 12:22 AM CST
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Tuesday, February 2, 2021
PODCAST 'YOU GOTTA ACT' DISCUSSES 'BODY DOUBLE'
SPECIAL EPISODE - MANUELA LAZIE & GUEST SHARE BIRTHDAY AND SHARE PASSION FOR THE FILMS OF BRIAN DE PALMA

From the podcast episode description:
In this special episode, Julian Palmer, the man behind the great video essay channel The Discarded Image, joins Manuela to celebrate their shared birthdays on January 29th and their shared passion for Brian De Palma by talking about his 1984 film about acting, BODY DOUBLE, which gave its name to this podcast! They discuss De Palma's artificiality, his reverence to Hitchcock and Godard, his ingenious casting of Craig Wasson in the lead role, his use of women in his films, and why BODY DOUBLE is Manuela's favourite movie.

Posted by Geoff at 11:42 PM CST
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