Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod

E-mail
Geoffsongs@aol.com

De Palma Discussion
Forum

-------------

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

-------------

Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

------------

AV Club Review
of Dumas book

------------

« July 2021 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

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

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

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.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
BAMcinématek
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Books
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Cannes
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Carrie
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
Cinema Studies
Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Cop-Out
Cruising
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dick Vorisek
Dionysus In '69
Domino
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
George Litto
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
Greetings
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Heat
Hi, Mom!
Hitchcock
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jared Martin
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Lithgow
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Mod
Montreal World Film Fest
Morricone
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Newton 1861
Noah Baumbach
NYFF
Obsession
Oliver Stone
Palmetto
Paranormal Activity 2
Parker
Parties & Premieres
Passion
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Peet Gelderblom
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pimento
Pino Donaggio
Predator
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Redacted
Responsive Eye
Retribution
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Rotwang muß weg!
Sakamoto
Scarface
Sean Penn
Sisters
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Spielberg
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Sweet Vengeance
Tabloid
Tarantino
Taxi Driver
Terry
The Tale
To Bridge This Gap
Toronto Film Fest
Toyer
Travolta
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untitled Hollywood Horror
Untitled Industry-Abuse M
Untouchables
Venice Beach
Vilmos Zsigmond
Wedding Party
William Finley
Wise Guys
Woton's Wake
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Thursday, July 22, 2021
'BLOW OUT IS SUCH A VISCERAL PICTURE EVEN TODAY'
"BECAUSE IT CAPTURES THE DISAPPOINTMENT AND ANGUISH", WRITES HILARY JANE SMITH
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/fireworksglow.jpg

"Brian De Palma’s political thriller, Blow Out, turns forty, and the celebration will likely be patchwork and muted," begins Hilary Jane Smith, in an article at Merry-Go-Round Magazine. "The film is a lonely, forgotten slow burn, one whose quiet success is akin to the slow-but-steady demeanor of Jack Terry (John Travolta) amassing audiotapes." Smith emphasizes that she "apologetically" loves "the work and spirit of Brian De Palma," calling him arrogant, "a man of great ego that tells stories where men are dogs, and beautiful, troubled women are raped, murdered, and bullied by those problematic men… But then saved by other men with 'good intentions.'" A few sentences later, she adds, "I unfortunately absolutely dig him." Here's more:
Here’s how we define the De Palma Gaze: a macho, threatening perspective that audiences and academics can’t decide if they like or not. Some even call him a “talented recycler who riffed on the movies of great auteurs.” I unfortunately absolutely dig him. Each time I watch, I get to psychoanalyze this troubled man’s unfiltered patriarchal mind that’s as primal as a cromageden man. His force-fed binary world of heroes and villains kill, snoop, and ogle womens’ bodies. His work is easy to understand and unapologetically male – and I love it. Am I just curious about how men think? I have no idea, but I am highly entertained regardless. I know he’s problematic, but I can’t help it.

BLOW OUT is a lot less bloody and a lot more cerebral than De Palma’s other flicks. It’s a conspiracy-driven thriller set in a complicated world of fixers, violence, and good samaritans forced to rise to the occasion. While it may not host an uplifting finale, it’s an ending flush with morality and satisfaction that lingers in ambiguity. BLOW OUT delivers intrigue while maintaining a concise, relatable story. Going up against the big guns of the political establishment might not pan out, but we are compelled to roll up our sleeves and dig because we might find something, anything at all. It’s a tight story with intimate cinematography, and scarily meta sound design all while showcasing a career-best Travolta: this is cited as the main reason why Tarantino cast the declining actor as Vincent Vega in PULP FICTION. His two greatest performances are both thanks to the mind of Brian De Palma.

Each time I rewatch BLOW OUT, I gain a greater thrill in sinking into the blitzed out world of 1981. There’s a new edge or angle to bridge between my personal experience and the film. If there was a systemic issue at my job where I had to find a solution within an insanely bureaucratic process, the political roadblocks and bad actors felt minimal compared to a menacing John Lithgow. While Donald Trump was rarely held accountable for corruption, BLOW OUT was clear in its stance. Consumers getting poisoned by baby food or sunscreen without regulation validated my feelings about how the government views citizens: I could inhabit a world where chipping away with my curiosity and livelihood would reveal the truth. Watching John Travolta pick at the scab of a murder plot is the allegory that salves my anxieties. It’s both a facsimile of our unique political fears and an entertaining escape. There is a resounding, thrilling identification in watching Travolta as Jack Terry piece together his snuff sound recording. Terry’s motive, borne out of obsession, ushers him into a new world. His comically banal gig recording female screams for low-budget horror films becomes secondary to this new purpose for the supposed greater good. It’s bleak, but hilarious that the film culminates with Jack transformed and splicing in the perfect scream to the soundscape of a project; his lover and investigative partner’s recorded death wail, the witness to the political assassination.

De Palma likely gets omitted from the New Hollywood pantheon because the early ‘80s slate of culture gets overshadowed by both dying disco and the policies of Reagan’s second term. The post-70s boom-and-bust mentality rippled throughout the industry and in the lives of average people. Blockbusters with special effects were favored by studio capital, and Oscar-bait period pieces became ubiquitous money-makers. Visions of world peace and environmental justice were fluffy pipedreams leftover from the 70s. If we’re only here on this planet for a short time, we better make it a good one. BLOW OUT is coming-of-age decades later, while also being one of the finest films of the Reagan era. J Hoberman, veteran film critic for The Village Voice, came out with his critical anthology on the period Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan in 2019. In it, he references BLOW OUT, and has spoken to the distrust and the rampant anti-government sentiment radiating on and off the screen at the time of its release. Violent crime (and the conservative fear mongering of said crimes) was peaking in the United States, and stagflation and fraught geopolitics stoked further fears. A failed Carter administration did little for progressive causes, so why bother? BLOW OUT is such a visceral picture even today because it captures the disappointment and anguish. It tells the viewer exactly how the world is while acknowledging that we are not just pawns, but stakeholders. Our society is one we can attempt to fix, but are embattled by a system that is impossible to overthrow.

We’re living through a time of great political and cultural transition; post-Trump, major income inequalities, active climate disasters, post-vaccination resettlements, and a looming threat of inflation. The early ‘80s eerily resonate, and alarmingly so! I’m hoping our bleak news environment, and (hopefully) evolved population can appreciate a film of this nature. Violent fare tinged with a liberal morality is much more popular these days, so perhaps it’s finally BLOW OUT’s time in the sun. There are few happy endings in De Palma’s universe, but they are no less satisfying. Even if it’s impossible to win, we root for those with good intentions. I hate that I’m so fascinated by what these men have to say, but I’m here for it.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
'DE PALMA LETS US IN ON THE MOVIEMAKING PROCESS'
CHRIS HEWITT LOOKS AT 'BLOW OUT' UPON 40TH, INCLUDES 'BLACK DAHLIA' IN HIS TOP 7 DE PALMA PICKS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/blowoutset2.jpg

Chris Hewitt at the Star Tribune picks his seven best Brian De Palma films (a list that includes The Black Dahlia), upon the 40th anniversary of what he calls his "favorite movie", De Palma's Blow Out:
This week marks the 40th anniversary of my favorite movie, so of course I'm taking the opportunity to write about its director, Brian De Palma.

"Blow Out" earned decent reviews when it was released on July 24, 1981, but wasn't a hit, particularly when you consider that leading man John Travolta was just about the biggest movie star on the planet. His "Grease" audience apparently didn't want to see him in an adult drama with a bummer of an ending. Also, the movie's borrowings from "Blow-Up," the Watergate and Chappaquiddick scandals and the Zapruder film didn't sit well with 1981 audiences, who were ready to move on from all that stuff. But De Palma's thriller is now seen as one of the underrated films of the time.

Still, there's the Alfred Hitchcock thing.

Throughout his career, De Palma has been knocked as a Hitchcock imitator and it's true that he echoes Hitch tropes: icy blondes, protagonists wrongly accused of murder, characters who double each other, loners who can't convince anyone they witnessed a crime, Freudian explanations for aberrant behavior (although De Palma usually lampoons those explanations).

That knock has faded. Decades of hip-hop sampling and remixes may have made us more comfortable with the idea that all artists draw on previous artists, even Shakespeare. But what's interesting about De Palma is that, while the plot similarities to Hitchcock are legit, he's a much different filmmaker. Even when he's obsessing over the same themes — as in "Obsession," practically a "Vertigo" remake — De Palma explores them with fresh eyes.

Consider his love of extremely long takes, such as the one that opens "Snake Eyes" or another that encapsulates an entire relationship between strangers in "Dressed to Kill." They owe nothing to Hitchcock, who was more interested in building sequences in the editing room than the camera. Those scenes — there's one in practically every De Palma work — are a key to how he sees movies. De Palma uses long, edit-less sequences to persuade us to follow him on the ride he's planning. "I'm not hiding anything," he seems to be saying. "You can trust me."

We can't, of course — there are always twists — but the idea is that De Palma lets us in on the moviemaking process. That's also true of the movies-within-movies he often includes and of his fondness for splitting the screen in half, to show two scenes at once. Reminding us that we're watching a movie also reminds us that he has us exactly where he wants us; there's extra joy in a De Palma thriller because he reveals his tricks. He has such control of movie mechanics that how he tells a story is as interesting as the story itself.

That can fall flat. No amount of formal brilliance can make a bad script like "Mission to Mars" or "Redacted" good, but he has made a bunch of terrific movies that didn't make my top seven: "Femme Fatale," "Snake Eyes," "Mission: Impossible" and more. When everything comes together for De Palma, it's like a guy who loves the movies more than anything is helping us see why he loves them.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 22, 2021 9:35 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
WIRE WITHOUT A NET - EP.4 OF TCM 'BONFIRE' PODCAST
FROM SALAMON'S TAPES - VOICES OF BRUCE WILLIS, MORGAN FREEMAN, MELANIE GRIFFITH, LARRY McCONKEY, MORE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/depalmacomputerstoryboard.jpg

Brian De Palma "makes his own storyboards on computer, and they’re fascinating to look at," states the blogger at VHISTORY about the image above. It was captured from one of about 3000 VHS tapes the blogger has been archiving on the blog. The tapes were sitting in his garage. This storyboard image above comes from an early 1991 episode of The South Bank Show. "It starts with director Brian De Palma talking through the opening steadicam shot. He reveals the points where he himself is in the shot, as the only way to observe the shot as it was happening was to be in it." The episode also includes interviews with screenwriter Michael Cristofer, production designer Richard Sylbert, and author Tom Wolfe, among others.

The new episode of TCM's The Plot Thickens: The Devil's Candy delves into that opening steadicam shot of The Bonfire Of The Vanities. The episode is titled "Wire Without a Net," after a chapter in Julie Salamon's book, and features new interviews with Larry McConkey, Aimee Morris (DeBaun), and Chris Soldo, as well as voices from Salamon's original tapes: Melanie Griffith, Morgan Freeman, Bruce Willis, Tom Wolfe.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:26 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, July 19, 2021
DONAGGIO'S TELESCOPE REMIXED & MASHED WITH 'MAGIC'
MASH-UP REMIX W/THE 1974 HIT BY PILOT INCLUDED ON NEW ALBUM BY FRENCH DUO POLO & PAN

The new DJ mash-up remix "Magic" by French duo Polo & Pan begins with the recognizable "Telescope" theme that Pino Donaggio wrote for Brian De Palma's Body Double. The track is named for the other song included in the remix: "Magic", a 1974 hit for the Scottish band Pilot. Jordi Bardají at Jenesaispop has more details about the track, translated here from Spanish with the assistance of Google Translate:
Polo & Pan, the French duo of producers made up of Paul Armand-Delille (Polocorp) and Alexandre Grynszpan (Peter Pan), today publishes their new album 'Cyclorama', which has been conceived as «a musical odyssey through the phases from human existence, from birth to adult life until death ... and transcendence ». The group is much loved for its tropical and summer dance electronic sound, featured on their first album 'Caravelle' and on their two biggest hits, 'Nanã' or 'Canopée', and 'Cyclorama' continues the trend with more good songs like this 'Magic' that today is the Song of the Day.

Festivalera to no end, perfect for dancing when the sun goes down, 'Magic' is also the longest track on 'Cyclorama' but it may be the best, although it is not very representative of the album since its composition is the one that is mostly based on samples. In an interview with Polo & Pan that we will publish soon, Alexandre remembers that in fact 'Magic' was not going to be part of the album but that, when in 2019 they played it at the Chambord x Cercle Festival, when it was still a simple “DJ edit” With which to fill in his setlist and not a studio recording as such, people went crazy and his label began to ask him about that unknown song that they had presented live.

‘Magic’ was born from two songs that Alexandre is a fan of. On the one hand, the intriguing 'Telescope' by Pino Donaggio, one of the songs that is part of the soundtrack of the 1984 neo-noir film 'Body Double' by Brian De Palma, but the version that fascinates Alexandre actually is the remix of the Dutch DJ Young Marco released in 2013. On the other, 'Magic', one of the biggest hits of the Scottish rock band of the 70s Pilot, which Alexandre fell in love with when he heard it on the soundtrack of the 1996 film "Happy Gilmore," starring Adam Sandler.

If it seemed absolutely impossible for a soft-rock group like Pilot to sound well integrated into a synth-noir production of Pino Donaggio, Polo & Pan manage to make these worlds marry perfectly in a dreamy song that is already postulated as one of the best of its short career.



(Thanks to Julien!)

Posted by Geoff at 6:02 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, July 17, 2021
THE CONCEPT WAS 'THIS IS LIKE THE GREAT FLOOD'
"BUT WE DISCOVERED THAT AUDIENCES DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD COMING DOWN AND CREATING THE FLOOD"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/snakewave3.jpg

In a post headlined "Nicolas Cage’s 15 Wildest Film Roles", IndieWire's Ryan Lattanzio includes Cage's role as Rick Santoro in Brian De Palma and David Koepp's Snake Eyes. I don't know if I agree when Lattanzio describes the film as "a relentless gush of style over substance." The substance is there, and if the style calls attention to itself, well, the substance is still there. I suppose if the style and the substance can be said to be working in tandem, then maybe -- maybe -- the style is in the front seat, so maybe in that way Lattanzio has it right, but to me, everything in the movie feels of a cohesive piece, even if the ending of the film has been somewhat compromised.

"Nicolas Cage is aptly matched to the material," Lattanzio continues, "as a flamboyant and (natch) corrupt Atlantic City detective who witnesses an assassination during an epic boxing match. Cage’s bugged-out outsized performance veers toward exhausting, but that’s precisely the point as De Palma assaults the senses with his characteristic cinematic feints, where everything is larger than life."

On Part 2 of the Brian De Palma/Susan Lehman Light The Fuse interview, hosts Drew Taylor and Charles Hood dipped into the ending of Snake Eyes after mentioning John Knoll's work on Mission: Impossible:

Drew: John Knoll told us a story that you said that he could have a credit -- I believe it was Visual Effects Supervisor -- only if he did an extra shot for you of Jon Voight in the plane at the beginning of the movie. Do you remember this at all?

De Palma: No.

Drew: Okay.

De Palma: But I would believe John.

[Laughter] Drew: Okay.

Lehman: Is that something you would do?

De Palma: Are you kidding? [Laughter] Why not? [More laughter] You need the shot...

Drew: Did he work on Snake Eyes, on the...

De Palma: Yes.

Drew: Okay. I've always been fascinated about that ending, and I'm so glad that you put some footage of it in the documentary. But, yeah, do you think the lack of that ending hurt the movie, or... what's your sort of feeling on it?

De Palma: My concept and David's concept was, this is like the great flood. I mean, when you're dealing with such a corrupt universe, the only way to deal with it is a flood. You've gotta kill everybody. And that was always the concept. But, we discovered that audiences don't believe in God coming down and creating the flood. When there's such rampant evil around. So then we had to come up with a different ending, which I don't think is as effective. But that's basically because our conception of how it should have ended, we were never able to do. And the audience would never accept, basically.

Drew: Well, how dependent are you on those test audience responses? I mean, did you have anything like that on Mission? And was it sort of freeing writing this book, because you didn't have to... I mean you had to show it... you and Susan talked about it, but...

De Palma: Well, yes, you're always dealing with that research group. And believe me, my history, I had all the movies, you know, that had all the language, all the eroticism in them, and I'd be constantly fighting with these people that would, you know, poll the audiences. Because anything really excessive, an audience reacts very strongly to. And the studio, always when the studio, when they would get kind of negative cards after a screening.

Lehman: One reason that we started working on this book is because Brian had been involved in an HBO production of Paterno. And then he'd get, you know, a million notes, and he said, "Let's just write a book. It's much easier. I don't have to take these phone calls or read these crazy notes."

De Palma: Yeah, thousands of notes about Paterno.

Charles: And so was that more notes than you'd ever had before? Was it getting worse?

De Palma: Absolutely. You'd get piles of notes. You know, and I said, "Well, I've had it." Basically, you know, and I just walked away. Thank you, HBO.

Drew: Do you feel like the medium of fiction is sort of going to be your outlet for the next little while, or are you itching to get back...?

De Palma: Well, until I become senile, one's mind tends to be working all the time, and I'm, you know, trying to make maybe one more movie. If possible, maybe another. And of course writing books is, you know, a lot of fun, what Susan and I do together.



Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 18, 2021 11:20 AM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, July 16, 2021
'PHANTOM' IN THE MUSIC BOX GARDEN, CHICAGO
8:45PM MON-THU OF NEXT WEEK (JULY 19-22), EXTREMELY LIMITED SEATING AVAILABLE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/phantominthegarden.jpg

Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will screen in the Music Box Garden of Chicago's Music Box Theatre next week. Showtimes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights (July 19-22) begin at 8:45pm. The listing on the website adds that "extremely limited seating" is available. Each week, the Music Box Garden Movies has a theme, and this week's theme is "Maniacal Misfits." The other movie included in the theme, screening in the Garden this weekend, if Paul Flaherty's 1994 film Clifford, starring Martin Short and Charles Grodin.

Chicago Reader's Salem Collo-Julin and Kerry Reid saw fit to include the Phantom Of The Paradise screenings in their weekly listings today:

The Music Box screens the unusually ridiculous 1974 cult film Phantom of the Paradise, a collaboration between director Brian De Palma and composer/actor Paul Williams. It’s a horror/comedy/musical set in the competitive music industry with drug dealers, record producers, and actor Gerrit Graham as a character named “Beef.” Shown outside as part of the theater’s Garden Movies series. Tickets $9.

Posted by Geoff at 6:20 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, July 16, 2021 6:25 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, July 15, 2021
'AN ACUTE SENSE OF IMMEDIACY', 'A RARE AUTHENTICITY'
"I'M ACTUALLY SURPRISED HOW GOOD REDACTED IS,
CONSIDERING THE GENERAL CRITICAL DISDAIN" IN 2007

https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/redactedvan.jpg

Eternality Tan posted a review of Redacted a few days ago:
I’m actually surprised how good Redacted is, considering the general critical disdain accorded to it back in 2007. It, however, won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival and was listed as the best film of the year by the respected Cahiers du Cinema. Well, it seems like they were right on the money.

Seeing the film now, it almost feels like a relic of a distant past—the burgeoning digital era as it were, with shoddy aesthetics, gimmicky transitions and DIY-style content creation.

To think that director Brian De Palma was shrewd enough to capture not just a snapshot of America’s controversial involvement in the Iraq War but also using the tools of the trade of the time that reflect the medium’s affordances and audience-implicating effects.

As such, Redacted, a satirical ‘found footage’-style fiction feels like the last word on the failed war. Based on the true incident of a young Iraqi girl raped and murdered by US soldiers, Redacted investigates the notion of truth by blurring the lines between reality and fiction.

Because De Palma’s mode of address is in the form of a constructed documentary (that, at the same time, is meant to be deconstructed by the viewer’s active engagement with a variety of visual stimuli, including websites with disturbing embedded videos, and footage of a French woman engaging in reportage), it gives us an acute sense of immediacy that while staged produces a rare authenticity that puts us right there in the chaos.

Yet, because of the distance provided by its staging, we aren’t necessarily conditioned to be emotionally involved… until we are by the end of the whole experiment.

Redacted is not an easy watch, but it tells us how America lost the war without telling us how America lost the war. In that sense, De Palma was far ahead of his time.

Grade: A


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, July 14, 2021
'THE BIG PICTURE' - DEEP DIVE INTO DE PALMA'S CAREER
SEAN FENNESSEY & ADAM NAYMAN DISCUSS WHY DE PALMA IS "A CINEPHILE'S FAVORITE" ON NEW PODCAST EPISODE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/fennessydepalmadecades.jpg

The above meme was tweeted by Sean Fennessey yesterday to help promote this week's new episode of The Big Picture podcast, in which Fennessey is joined by Adam Nayman to "deep dive" into the career of Brian De Palma. The final portion of the episode is focused on De Palma's Blow Out, in celebration of that film's 40th anniversary this month. Along the way, on more than one occasion, Nayman refers to Chris Dumas' great book, Un-American Psycho: Brian De Palma And The Political Invisible.

Posted by Geoff at 8:19 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 8:20 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
TCM PODCAST EP.3 DELVES INTO SCHWAB-DE PALMA
"THE WAR ZONE" WITH SOLDO, SYLBERT, CARUSO ALSO ON SALAMON'S TAPES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/aboutseasontwo.jpg


The photo below from the first edition of Julie Salamon's The Devil's Candy was accompanied with this caption:
Production designer Richard Sylbert and the McCoy apartment on Stage 25 of the Warner Bros. lot. Copyright © 1991 Warner Bros., Inc.


Posted by Geoff at 7:46 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, July 12, 2021
'RUTANYA, YOU'RE IN THE BEST SCENE IN FILM HISTORY'
RUTANYA ALDA RECALLS MEETING DE PALMA, AND ALSO TARANTINO'S ENTHUSIASM FOR 'HI, MOM!'

Near the start of the above video, Rutanya Alda tells Robert Bellissimo, "A friend of mine, he said, 'I was just at this guy's, he's holding some auditions and he wants people that like to do improv, and I know you're good at improv.' I had done some improv. I had fun, I loved improv. He said, 'He's looking for these people that can do improv.' And to 'go over there, his name is Brian De Palma.' So I said, 'Oooh, good, thanks, I'll go over there right away.' So I went over there, and, you know, it was like an open door, you didn't have to... so I just waited, next one. I said, 'Well, I'm good at improv.' He said, 'Let's see. Let's play around a little bit.' So I played around a little bit. He said, 'That's great. You're great. So I think there's a part in this movie for you, called Greetings.' And then the second film, Hi, Mom! Which, by the way, I ran into Quentin Tarantino last year. He was out, you know, doing the Academy rounds, and screening. And so Quentin said to me, 'Rutanya, you're in the best scene in film history.' And I went like, 'What is he talking about? What does he mean, "You're in the best scene in film history"'?" I must have had this puzzled look on my face. He said, 'The "Be Black, Baby" scene in Hi Mom! was the best scene in film history.' I was like, 'Ooooh...' I was speechless. Good thing my girlfriend ... was with me, otherwise, nobody would have believed it."

Bellissimo then asks Alda about how the scene was shot. "Because I know it was improvised, right? So what did you know before the cameras rolled?"

Alda replies, "It's about these people going to the theater, that no matter how bad or how, maybe, violated you're going to feel, because a critic said that 'This is great theater!' these people are going to go because the critics said that this is good. So we're going to go up there to journey to see this show called 'Be Black Baby.' And we have no idea. Brian just said, you know, just react how... we're going to have things happen and react. So Quentin was shocked. Shocked that we filmed that scene, and it was a one-take, and we filmed that scene in probably an hour. Brian had found this-- because that time he didn't, we didn't have much money. There was no money. He found this building that's kind of a... in the west 60s, that his friend had, it was a super long, it was like an industrial kind of building. So we had like an afternoon there. He snuck us... his friend just opened up the building for us and didn't tell anyone. And so he snuck us in and we started the improv. And that was improv. It had to be one take because we had no luxury of going and reshooting. It wasn't a studio that was a real set. And so that was the scene that came out of there."


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 6:29 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer|Latest|Older