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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

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
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

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

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So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

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Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

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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Ambrose Chapel
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Monday, February 22, 2021
THERE'S THIS AMERICAN HORROR MOVIE...
DE PALMA ON VHS BECAME A CINEMATIC HERO FOR TUNISIAN DIRECTOR KAOUTHER BEN HANIA
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carriethemes1.jpg

Tunisian film director Kaouther Ben Hania’s satiric The Man Who Sold His Skin made the shortlist for this year's International Feature Film Oscar submissions, after premiering at last year's Venice Film Festival. Via Zoom, Frank J. Avella at Awards Daily asked Ben Hania to name her "cinematic heroes" -- here's what she said in response:
I grew up in a very tiny town in Tunisia, not even the capital. There was no cinema. I’m VHS generation. We rented VHS. And mainly what was available was Bollywood movies…I found this amazing. I was a pre-teenager. But I never thought these movies were talking about me. And one day I went to the video clerk and said I watched all the Indian movies; you don’t have anything else? He said there’s this American horror movie. And I said yes! It was Carrie by Brian DePalma. I didn’t know who Brian DePalma was at the time. So I watched the movie and it was something very strange—it’s not the best Brian DePalma movie—but for me it was something because she’s a teenager, she just got her period, she’s bullied by her friend in high school—it was almost talking about me! She lived in a small city in the U.S. She had a strict mother. I was realizing, oh my god, cinema can talk about stuff (relatable to) me—a girl like me. It was a shift in my mind. So this is how it started, thinking that you can identify with heroes in movies. With Carrie!

Elsewhere in the interview, Ben Hania discusses planning for her "visual ambition" --
I had a lot of visual ambition, but not enough money, so not enough time. I did the usual before shooting, precising every frame and what I wanted exactly. Making storyboards and visual references. Talking about it for days and days with my DOP. It’s like in this famous book by Sidney Lumet, the director of Network, “Making Movies,” talking about the metaphor of the mosaic. When you’re making a movie it’s like you have this tiny stone to paint, it’s like a shot, and nobody understands what you are doing since it’s a tiny stone, but as a filmmaker you should know where to put it, where its place is in the big mosaic. So, when I heard this I thought, Sidney Lumet is right, (I must) prepare every tiny stone because I don’t have time to improvise onset. I have to have my shots done…But there were some things that I changed. For example, the pimple scene. Only the operation on his back was written in the script. There was something missing. I needed the artist in the scene. So we brought the artist in and I wrote the dialogue between them on the same day…But mainly things were prepared before shooting.


Posted by Geoff at 11:25 PM CST
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Sunday, February 21, 2021
PODCAST - BOUZEREAU ON HIS FASCINATION WITH CINEMA
"I ALWAYS GOT A KICK OUT OF DEMYSTIFYING THE WAY THINGS WORK FOR AUDIENCES"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bouzereaupodcast.jpg

In a new episode of The Film Cult Podcast, Laurent Bouzereau, author of The De Palma Cut, discusses his experience with cinema, and his fascination with the way movies work. Discussing his first behind-the-scenes documentary, for Steven Spielberg's 1941, Bouzereau tells the podcast how amazing the experience was for him, as he considered himself a fan of this movie he loved, even though 1941 was a box office disaster. He could see how painful it was for Spielberg to talk about:
It kind of taught me one thing, is that, it takes as much energy and as much work to make the best, most successful movie as it does to make the least successful movie. And it's the same sort of dream. It's the same dream. It's the same conviction, that you're doing something that you believe in and that's so amazing. And there's something very touching about that, and very emotional, as you put yourself in that perspective of an artist.

A bit later (around the 40-minute mark), Bouzereau talks about having to film interviews for his docs on The Last Picture Show and Obsession on the same day. He managed it, and received a nice note from Brian De Palma:
Of all the films that I did for Brian De Palma, that was the one where he sent me a note after seeing the, kind of, rough cut. And he said something along the lines of... you know, because he is a filmmaker that I think has been mostly misunderstood,or never had the kind of recognition that he deserved. And he kind of said something, I'm misquoting, but something along the lines of, "I've never been on time. I've always been either before my time or after my time. But watching your film on the making of my film reminded me why I do what I do. And why I love doing what I do." And that made me feel great, because if there was one person that you always want to be happy, it's the actual director of the original film you're talking about.

Posted by Geoff at 11:49 PM CST
Updated: Monday, February 22, 2021 12:09 AM CST
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Saturday, February 20, 2021
STANLEY TUCCI AUDITIONED FOR 'UNTOUCHABLES'
ONE OF TWO "NIGHTMARE" AUDITIONS HE MENTIONS IN PODCAST "HAPPY SAD CONFUSED"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tuccipodcast.jpg

Stanley Tucci discusses his career on Josh Horowitz' podcast Happy Sad Confused. Around the 25-minute mark, the discussion turns to auditions:
Josh Horowitz: What's the one that scarred you for life? What's the one that still haunts your dreams, all these years later?

Stanley Tucci: There were two of them. One was Brian De Palma, who I went in and auditioned for. And my friend Ellen Lewis cast it. So Ellen cast all of my films when I was making them in America. Well, three of them, three of my films. And, um, he, Brian De Palma... I auditioned for The Untouchables.

Horowitz: Yep.

Tucci: To play, like, Frank Nitti, or one of the bad guys.

Horowitz: Okay. That'd be ironic, considering you went on to play Frank.

Tucci: I know. I know. And he... then I did it, and he just sort of sat there and stared at me. It was weird, it was in a conference room, he was sitting at a desk, and I was standing sort of next to him, and the whole thing was weird. And then I did it and he went, "Ooh. Scary." And I was like, I don't know how to react to that. And then there was some minor chit-chat about nothing, and then I left. And I was so depressed. It was just creepy and bad and rude.


The other story involves producer Don Simpson reading the New York Post while Tucci was auditioning in front of him.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, February 21, 2021 12:22 AM CST
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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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