TRIED & TRUE WITH NICE VARIATION ON THE ORIGINAL POSTER ART - THE STREET IS WATCHING, OCT 12
Carlito's Way 4K Blu-ray coming in October
Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
Today in 1978 I saw a favourite Brian De Palma, THE FURY, at the Century Preview Theatre. It was at this screening I sat behind Amy Irving, didn't know, raved about her performance, and she turned to me to say thanks. Classic!
Perpetual room tone: Gate Notting Hill IIRC. Pipe-smoking lunatic in the audience challenged De Palma.
Neil Irving: Yes, it was an 11.15pm screening. That must have been a very late-night Q&A?!
Perpetual room tone: De Palma was ultra-patient with dumb/fawning/rambling "questions" (mine included)
When BLOODY MAMA opened at my dad’s Plaza Theater in Asheville, NC, in March 1970, AIP sent a 26-year-old actor who played one of Shelley Winters’ sons in the movie. He drove a vintage 1930’s car like the one in the film. He parked the car out in front of the theater, right under the marquee, for photo ops with the local newspaper and TV station. He signed autographs but nobody knew who he was. At age 13, I said to him, “It’s so cool to have a real-live movie star at my dad’s theater.” He smiled sardonically and said, “I’m just an actor, kid. Shelley Winters is the star.” My father and I took him to lunch and I was riveted as he talked about working for director Roger Corman — whom I idolized for all his Vincent Price / Edgar Allan Poe movies. I wanted to ride off into the sunset with this guy but after lunch, he left me in the dust. Five years later, in 1975, this same guy won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in THE GODFATHER: PART II. His name was Robert De Niro.
Among the great American film-lovers of his generation (Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg…), Brian De Palma is the one whose relationship to image is the most complex. Working from pre-existing images to create his own, he himself has dissected the films of his masters, starting with Hitchcock of course, whose sequences, narratives and motifs (visual, sound, musical) come back tirelessly in his work, like obsessions that haunt him and give it all its depth and originality. Here, the image is more than a simple reference, and the filmmaker never ceases to reaffirm its cogency, its powers, its potentialities (aesthetic, political, moral). The image for De Palma is a source of pleasure, but also of horror. It is vital, but funeral. Luminous, or twilight. Obsession, Phantom of the Paradise, Blow Out, Casualties of War, Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible ... films populated by ghosts and dead on borrowed time. The hero, in De Palma, is a tightrope walker ready to fall into the void at any moment, like the young Vietnamese girl from Casualties of War, whose tortured body could single-handedly embody the tragic dimension of her cinema. Casualties of War and the representation of the war at De Palma will be at the heart of this retrospective with a day hosted by Nathan Réra, on the occasion of the release at Rouge Profond of his book, "Outrages, from Daniel Lang to Brian De Palma".
Are Snakes Necessary? When filmmaker Brian De Palma arrived in Paris in 2018 to promote this noir novel written with his co-author and companion, Susan Lehman, the couple slipped a confidence to AFP: "Our favorite TV program? A French Village!" Frédéric Krivine, the creator of this series broadcast on French Televisions from 2009 to 2017, leaps from his chair. He has a project in his boxes. "If Régine Deforges could have done this crap with The Blue Bicycle, which during the Occupation transposed a history of the Civil War, I told myself that we could do the same in the opposite direction ..." From one national trauma to another, there are indeed similarities: comparable durations, torn families… “I sent a five-page note to De Palma. Half an hour later, I had an answer. He engaged directly."
So here is A French Village, which has sold in 65 countries, being adapted both in Spain at the time of the civil war, in the Italy of the Republic of Salo (September 1943 - April 1945 ), and in the United States… “Great filmmakers rarely make pale copies, reassures Frédéric Krivine, who watches over his baby. Personally, I prefer The Magnificent Seven to the Seven Samurai. "In terms of remakes, De Palma is a kind of specialist: Passion (2012), Mission: Impossible (1996) and, of course, Scarface (1983) ..." I saw the original, continues Krivine, that of Howard Hawks: It's another movie."
Attractive poster, project in progress, but nothing is won. "The United States is complicated," sighs Frédéric Krivine. He has already written the pilot, christened Clarksville 1861, named after an imaginary small town in Kentucky, a state cut in two during the Civil War. "To write a series about this period is to put the racial question at the center. From here, we do not realize how in the United States nothing is settled. And how narrow is the path whenever fiction is harnessed."
The adaptation highlights the cultural differences, the moral values that prevail from one country to another, from one era to another.
As a consultant, the Frenchman sought out Sundiata Cha-Jua, professor of African-American history at the University of Illinois. “Without him, there is little chance that the series will happen. We go back and forth. We get along very well, but he keeps telling me that I think like a white man, that I write like a white man, that I understand absolutely nothing about slavery… We'll see. Either way, Clarksville 1861 will only happen if there is a prominent black figure who supports the project. In the United States, you need an Oprah Winfrey or the Obamas, who are consultants at Netflix, to validate your project… ”
Our Principal Archivist, in collaboration with Exhumed Films and PhilaMoca, will be presenting what we promise will be a very special screening of our favorite film in Philadelphia at The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art, on October 6. We expect this event will sell out, so get on it! Tickets and info here.
PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE with the Swan Archives’ Principal Archivist, Ari Kahan!
About this event
Nearly fifty years after its release, Brian DePalma’s bizarre 1974 horror rock opera Phantom of the Paradise stands as one of the most beloved and joyous films in the realm of genre cinema. Join Exhumed Films and PhilaMoca for a very special screening of the cult classic, introduced by Ari Kahan! Kahan is co-producer of the acclaimed documentary Phantom of Winnipeg and curator of The Swan Archives, an extensive online resource devoted to the tragic tale of doomed musician Winslow Leach and his nemesis, the mysterious impresario known only as Swan. Ari will introduce a rare and unique screening of the movie, after which we promise you will never look at Phantom of the Paradise quite the same way again!
PhilaMOCA currently requires proof of vaccination and masks.
“For two weeks, we worked at [De Palma’s] apartment in Hollywood. I remember [Travolta, Allen, Irving, Spacek, and myself] would all go there and work. At the time, we were using a reel-to-reel tape-recorder because video had not yet come about,” said Katt.
“Brian’s entire apartment was filled with these 3-by-5 cards with all the scenes on them. He would get up periodically and move cards around for his shot list and what not. It was a fun experience. He really sculpted those scenes to fit the actors he was working with. By the time we’d got to the set… he was really all about the camera and the components of filmmaking. I just thought he was a terrific director.”
After that George Lucas/Brian De Palma casting session, we had three more casting sessions that pretty much everyone who ended up in the movie went to. It was three weekends in a row at Brian’s apartment. We all sat around the coffee table; we all took turns reading the script from beginning to end, and his dining room had storyboards of practically every scene of the movie. I thought, Wow. He was so invested in this film. And Sissy was never there. I think Amy Irving was up for the role of Carrie [at that point]. She was the one who got Sue. And I think Nancy was up for Sue but then she got Chris Hargensen and I was up for Chris but I got Norma. So it was very interesting.
In 1987 the editors of CIAK, the Italian film monthly, proposed that I write a weekly newsletter about everything that was happening in Hollywood movies, plus film reviews and interviews with actors and directors, as their Los Angeles Correspondent. I held this position until 1994.
The first article published, interviews about “The Untouchables” with director Brian De Palma and star Kevin Costner, run as an 8-page cover story. (c) CIAK September 1987
The Henry Howard-designed house was built in 1859 by Col. Robert H. Short, on a tract split in 1832 from the Livaudais Plantation.
"These classic old New Orleans houses, big and small, you're often just the caretaker," said Rodger. "You know you're going to have your time for a while, but ultimately, you pass them on to someone else."
But with new ownership comes change.
A quick glance lets you know the new owner is not one to follow the design lead of the preservation set. The new interior is bold and eclectic, yet cohesive. It leans into several historical periods rather than recreating just one.
Memphis decorator Gwen Driscoll was selected to lead the revamp after Rodger purchased the home sight unseen in 2018.
"I'd seen a couple of projects that Driscoll had done here in town," said Rodger. "I chose her because her work isn't one particular style. She's just really great at interpreting what the individual owner wants."
Rodgers respects the period restoration work done by previous owners and mentions them often when discussing the house. The interior design, though, was simply not his style. In its latest incarnation, the house has become an homage to the talents of local artists and artisans, not the period in which it was built.
Local pop artist Ashley Longshore's vibrant work hangs in the kitchen above a diner banquette. Around the corner, the rouge-lacquered back stairs are adorned with a Clementine Hunter gallery — a nod to the South and the house's roots. From the front door to the back, Rodger's support of Louisiana artists is on display.
Beneath the double parlors' 19th-century arcade, now the music room, sits a streamlined Shinola turntable. It's here that Rodger spins the vinyl he produces or the classic albums he hunts in neighborhood record shops. Almost every piece of furniture and art has a personal story.
But it's Timorous Beasties, a contemporary Scottish textile and wallpaper firm located in Rodgers' hometown of Glasgow, that best encapsulates the Italianate mansion's new vibe. The firm, which describes its designs as both surreal and provocative, is featured prominently on both the house's walls and its soft furnishings. The sometimes multidimensional patterns run the gamut from pearlized branches to vibrant red brocades and pink aviary scenes.
On the other end of the spectrum, a bayou mural in ethereal muted gray and green tones by New Orleans artist Ann Marie Auricchio envelopes the center hall with its sweeping grand staircase. Its mist-covered cypress trees evoke a haunted effect and rise to the second-floor ceiling above the stairway. For continuity, the mural also covers the room's pocket doors, which lead to the dining room.
When opened, the doors reveal a startling transition to a scarlet-lacquered dining room. The dining table is itself a piece of art: wood and moss captured in resin from Mint in London. An antique bar reminds one of a chic club in Kensington.
The room is anchored with a window seat under a semicircular bay window added circa 1900. Rodger is quick to note that the window was featured in director Brian De Palma's 1975 New Orleans thriller "Obsession." It's one of many movie references that Rodger, a film buff, relates about the fixtures, decor and the house itself.