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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 2021 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
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Carrie...A Fan's Site

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No Harm In Charm

Paul Schrader

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Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
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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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So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

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This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

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Dangerous Minds

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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 16, 2021
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT ON THE USE OF TEMP TRACKS
AND WHAT IT'S LIKE TO HEAR ONE'S OWN COMPOSITION TRACKED ONTO A DIFFERENT FILM
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/psychosoundtrackcover.jpg

In a "Composer Series" interview at Below The Line, composer Alexandre Desplat is asked by Edward Douglas about the use of temp tracks:
BTL: You work with a lot of other directors and filmmakers as well, a lot of people multiple times as you mentioned. Do any of the other directors you work with use temp music, either your own or someone else’s that they cut to, or do you generally get a dry edit with no music?

Desplat: Well, directors like Wes Anderson, like Roman Polanski, they don’t use temp. They never use temp, they don’t need it, because they have their own idea of what the music should be, and what the editing should be without using temp. Some others, they mix existing scores of mine or other composers. It’s a bit of a battle each time for the director to forget this temp that is heard again and again and again and again and again and again. And again. And again. And again. It’s always difficult to convince him that you can look for another sound, another pace, that the bass is not right, or the sound is not right, or the placement is not right, which is another story all along. I have to deal with it, and I try to convince the director that my choice is best. Sometimes I win, sometimes I lose.

BTL: I’ve spoken to quite a few composers about hearing your own past music over new images, and the composers I’ve spoken to know right away that it’s not the right music for those images. I’m not sure if that’s just a natural knack one has a composer or the instinct of not wanting to lose scoring work to his or her past self. How do you feel about temp music even if it’s your own?

Desplat: There’s this famous scene between Brian de Palma and Bernard Herrmann coming to a screening where he used his previous cues, previous music from Hitchcock, and Bernard Herrmann just stormed out, saying it was impossible to use that music in this film, because it was wrong. And I understand. When you see a film, and you hear the music that you’ve written for something else, it’s disconnected. It’s just not right. You know that there’s something else that can be cooked by the chef.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Wednesday, December 15, 2021
DE PALMA - MASTERS ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION TODAY
5PM CENTRAL - "5TH ANNUAL MASTERS ROUNDTABLE TRIBUTE" WITH JOHN KENNETH MUIR AND OTHERS

Here's the description from Terry Wickham's YouTube post:
5th Annual Masters Roundtable Tribute - Brian De Palma. Rising Filmmakers; Terry R. Wickham (Devil's Five, Double Vision, Gruesome Threesome), Christopher Garetano (Montauk Chronicles, TV shows The Dark Files, Strange World), Patrick Rea (Nailbiter, Arbor Demon, I Am Lisa), Glenn McBride Jr. (Traffic Cops, Supply & Demand), and Film Historian/Author John Kenneth Muir (The Films of John Carpenter, Exploring SPACE: 1999, The Art of Horror: Wes Craven) sit in a virtual roundtable to share their deep appreciation for the Master of Suspense and pinpoint which movies you should see from the visionary director of Sisters/Carrie/Obsession/The Fury/Dressed To Kill/Blow Out/Scarface/Body Double/Untouchables/Casualties of War/Raising Cain/Carlito's Way/Mission Impossible/Snake Eyes/Femme Fatale/Passion.

Music by Michael James Romeo (Guitarist Symphony X / Film Music Composer)
www.symphonyx.com

Please hit 👍

Visit www.mantayaypictures.com
1st Annual Tribute - George A. Romero & Tobe Hooper
2nd Annual Tribute - John Carpenter
3rd Annual Tribute - Wes Craven

https://www.youtube.com/c/TerryWickham
4th Annual Tribute - David Cronenberg & Stuart Gordon

SUBSCRIBE to Wickham's YouTube Channel (It's FREE) to see all Tributes and every Episode of his YouTube Channel Show Into the Depths with Terry R. Wickham


Posted by Geoff at 8:18 AM CST
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Tuesday, December 14, 2021
'THE MOST NICOLAS CAGE MOVIE EVER'
TRAILER HITS FOR "THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT"

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Monday, December 13, 2021
SPEAKING OF THE MOVIE BRATS WORKING TOGETHER
GRIFFIN DUNNE TALKS ABOUT IDEAS FOR THE ENDING OF SCORSESE'S 'AFTER HOURS'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/afterhoursdouble.jpg

Last week, Matthew Jacobs at Vulture posted Griffin Dunne Answers Every Question We Have About After Hours, which included this section:
How much papier-mâché ended up on your body?
It took quite a bit to get off at the end of the night. I would just soak in a tub and get all of that papier-mâché off. They really stuck me in that sculpture, and Cheech and Chong carried me around. It was pretty easy to look claustrophobic in it with just my eyes.

The movie was originally going to end with you remaining in the sculpture, but test audiences didn’t like that fatalistic outcome, right?
Yeah, it was too claustrophobic. It didn’t give them any release. They worried about the boy in the sculpture: Is he ever going to get out? Marty showed it to his friends Brian De Palma and Steven Spielberg. We just came up with ideas. I forget whose idea it was that we got so excited about, which was that in the basement, Verna Bloom would go, Come here, quick, hide! She’d point to herself and then it would be a quick cut to her being pregnant with me. I think she was going to give birth on the West Side Highway and I was going to come out covered in plasma. And David Geffen, who financed the movie, went, No way, that is a disgusting ending.

I can’t say that I disagree with him based on that description.
No, I know! We were desperate for an ending, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. He brought us to our senses, and then we came up with Paul flying out of the back of the van and he cracks open and off he goes to work.

How long did it take for them to glue you into that sculpture?
It was in two pieces, and I fit into it in an embryonic kind of way. Getting into it was not a big problem; it just took a while to seal me in. I would be in that thing for quite some time before we rolled, and I wasn’t getting out between takes.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Thursday, December 9, 2021
DRESSED TO KILL, WALKIN' TALL
STEVEN SPIELBERG'S DIALOGUE TWEAK IN WEST SIDE STORY NODS TO HIS FRIEND, BRIAN DE PALMA
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/wwsjets.jpg

"So listen, everybody dress up sweet and sharp," says Riff, played by Russ Tamblyn, in the 1961 film version of West Side Story. "Meet Tony and me at the dance at, uh, 10. And walk tall!"

In his new version of West Side Story, Steven Spielberg tweaks that dialogue a little bit, and he manages to cleverly throw in a nod to the title of a Brian De Palma film from 1980: "Be there, 10PM, punctual-like, dressed to kill, walkin' tall!"

Meanwhile, in an interview with The Guardian's Ryan Gilbey, Spielberg talks about being the last one of the "Movie Brats" to make a musical:

The most famous and widely cherished film-maker in history is all twinkling eyes and gee-whiz charm today. He is about to turn 75 but first there is the release of his muscular new take on West Side Story, which marks his third collaboration with the playwright Tony Kushner, who also scripted Munich and Lincoln. Spielberg is at pains to point out that this not a remake of the Oscar-laden movie but a reimagining of the original stage musical. “I never would have dared go near it had it only been a film,” he says. “But, because it’s constantly being performed across the globe, I didn’t feel I was claim-jumping on my friend Robert Wise’s 1961 movie.”

Spielberg and West Side Story go back further than that. He was 10 when he became obsessed with the Broadway cast album, which his father brought home in 1957. He even got in trouble for belting out the show’s comedy number Gee, Officer Krupke. “With my dad right across from me and my mother next to me, I sang, ‘My father is a bastard / My ma’s an SOB … ’ Oh my God, they got so mad. ‘You can’t say “bastard” at the dinner table! Where did you learn that?’ I said, ‘It’s on your record!’”

It was Jerome Robbins who had the idea of transposing Romeo and Juliet to New York’s Upper West Side. Leonard Bernstein provided the score, Arthur Laurents the script and a young greenhorn named Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics. Tony and Maria, played in Spielberg’s version by Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, were the star-cross’d lovers, while two warring gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, stood in for the Montagues and Capulets. Which gang did the young film-maker run with during his adolescence in Arizona and California? “Me in a gang?” he splutters. “Yeah, right! No, I was in the Boy Scouts of America. And a movie club. My friends and I made movies on 8mm when we were 12 or 13 so I was just part of that nerdy, geeky little club.”

He did, however, come to be known in the 1970s as one of the Movie Brats, so-called because they were the first generation of US film-makers to have absorbed much of their education from the screen and went on to electrify and transform Hollywood. Of that quintet – Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese were the others – Spielberg was the only one who hadn’t made a leap into musicals. “Francis did it with Finian’s Rainbow, Brian with Phantom of the Paradise, Marty with New York, New York. I do think you have to consider American Graffiti to be George’s musical. Which means all the Movie Brats have done it now, and I was the last. I’m proud to be the caboose.”


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, December 16, 2021 7:54 AM CST
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Wednesday, December 8, 2021
VIDEO - 'GOATFELLAS'
14-SECONDS - SCARFACE/SOPRANOS/GOODFELLAS

Posted by Geoff at 11:51 PM CST
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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
PAUL WILLIAMS ON BRINGING EMMET OTTER TO THE STAGE
"DON'T CALL SOMETHING A FAILURE JUST BECAUSE IT DOESN'T GET DONE RIGHT AWAY"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/paulwilliams5.jpg

A couple of interviews with Paul Williams were posted today, centered around a new stage version of Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas. Williams has written four new songs for the musical, adding to the songs he'd written for the original TV movie in 1977.

From an interview article by Rob Weinert-Kendt at American Theatre:

Now a new stage adaptation mixing live actors and puppets—with a book by Timothy Allen McDonald and Christopher Gattelli, who also directs—is arriving at New Victory Theatre in New York City for a holiday run (Dec. 10-Jan. 2, 2022), after a 2009 staging at Connecticut’s Goodspeed Opera House. I’ll be there with jingle bells on, of course. In the meantime, I had a chance to speak to Williams, who started out in show business as a child actor, and whose arrival as a writer for the theatre seems long overdue (but not for lack of trying).

ROB WEINERT-KENDT: I should know this, but I don’t: Have you had stage work produced in New York before?

PAUL WILLIAMS: Not really. I’ve got an unproduced musical I’m working on with Gustavo Santaolalla of Pan’s Labyrinth, with Guillermo del Toro, but everything came to a sliding halt in the last couple of years, of course. But the theatrical experience of mine that has had the greatest success has to be Bugsy Malone, and that’s been more in the United Kingdom. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that…

Oh, yeah. I’m the ideal age for your work; I grew up on this stuff.

Well, it keeps going, you know, with new generations. What’s wonderful is that the things I did in the 1970s or early ’80s that were not successful seemed to create fans that over the years would show up and say, “Let’s do something together,” whether it’s Edgar Wright with Baby Driver or Daft Punk, who saw Phantom of the Paradise in Paris 20 times. I never call something a failure; it’s on a back burner, and all of a sudden, eventually something wonderful will happen.

I have a very Jiminy Cricket philosophy about life, especially with anything involving Jim Henson. It was just a magical relationship with the whole family through so much of my life. It started out with just Jim going, “Hey, you want to do this?” It’s kind of an Americana story, a sweet little book that became a one-hour special. I met with Jim and said, “It’s interesting, I keep getting hired to write things I know nothing about.” Have you ever seen Emmet Otter?

It’s one of my favorite things. Can you talk a bit about why you think it’s special?

The fact is that in anything I did with with Jim, and hopefully anything that I really connect with, the songs come out of the story and the characters. The major mistake I’ve seen many pop songwriters who try to work in theatre make is they try to write a hit song. I seem to be able, not only in theatre, to have a spell where I won’t write a hit song but I’ll write something like Emmet Otter or The Muppet Movie or Bugsy Malone, where I just fall in love with the characters.


From an interview article by David Gordon at TheaterMania:
How was the original Emmet Otter film project pitched to you?
Jim sent me the original book [by Russell and Lillian Hoban] and Jerry Juhl's script. The songs and even the underscoring happened very quickly. I was on the road in Vegas and I went into the studio with my road band and I was singing and even playing lines of underscoring. It was very organic and it was so enjoyable — there was an enthusiasm that I felt that was bounced back at me. It's interesting; there's something about the Muppets that unleashes kinds of music in me that I had never written before.

Did the stage musical happen the same way?
One of the really amazing things was that we had had a conversation with Tim McDonald about a couple of things, and we talked about Emmet Otter, which we all thought was just a natural. Right after that, he reached out to Chris Gattelli, and out of the blue, Chris said he wanted to do Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas as a musical. All of a sudden, it was like we were getting a nudge from Jim Henson's ghost or memory. We did it at Goodspeed two years in a row, and now it'll be nice to see Emmet after all these years again.

Tell me about the musical material that you added for the stage show.
I wrote four new songs, but it doesn't feel like a major change from what I wrote originally and what I added. The spirit of Emmet and Ma and all the characters pretty much lives on. There's a visit from Pa Otter who reassures Ma that she's not an old dreamer. It becomes this song "Alice, keep dreaming/I'm right here beside you/I'm close as the sun/when it's warm on your fur." Everybody always asks me about "Born in a Trunk," which was cut from the film and why there isn't a full version of it, so I wrote a full version of it. "I was born in a trunk in the great oak tree that was used to build the stage of the Palace." When I can have that much fun writing, it just isn't work.

What's your takeaway from the 2021 reappearance of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas after all these years?
One of my favorite things to remind myself is "don't call something a failure just because it doesn't get done right away." You know, Phantom of the Paradise, which was a Brian De Palma movie I did in 1974 had the world's tiniest audience. And now, Daft Punk and Edgar Wright and all these people have showed up saying "I love that movie." It's not too late.

The quality of acting and that mixture of Muppets and live actors in Emmet Otter on stage is a really interesting combination. I think that it has the sentimentality, but Tim and Chris maintain the level of edgy humor that is just so important in everything Jim Henson ever did. I think you will be really, really pleased.


Posted by Geoff at 11:30 PM CST
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Monday, December 6, 2021
'CARLITO'S WAY' #24 ON VULTURE'S 101 BEST NYC MOVIES
MATT ZOLLER SEITZ: "GREATEST USE OF THE CITY'S UNDERGROUND TRANSIT SYSTEM EVER CAPTURED ON FILM"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carlitostation55a.jpg

"What makes a great New York City movie?" begins the introduction to Vulture's ranking of The 101 Best New York City Movies. "Not just a movie set in New York — there are plenty of those. We’re talking about a great New York City movie that transcends establishing shots and dodgy accents to immortalize something distinct about this place. The anxious pace of a weekday commute, the philharmonic overlapping of sidewalk talk, the sweaty jockeying for position on any square foot. Great New York City movies find beauty in the rot of Times Square and ugliness in the penthouses of Central Park West. Many reflect the perilous reality of living in Brooklyn today and the Bronx yesterday; others, the urbane fantasy. The best do both. In assembling this list of the greatest New York movies, we laid down a few ground rules: in the interest of fairness, a director could only be represented twice on the list; any selection had to take place mostly in New York City (even if it wasn’t shot in New York City); and, most important, it had to feel deliberately set in one of the five boroughs. Not just in any big city, but here."

Coming in at number 24 on the list is Carlito's Way, with a summary provided by Matt Zoller Seitz, although we have to question whether the "World Trade Center subway platform and elevator system" actually appear in the film. De Palma had planned to shoot at the World Trade Center PATH Station, but two days prior to the scheduled filming, it was the target of a terrorist bombing. The climax was filmed at Grand Central Station, instead. Here's the Vulture summary from MZS:

The second collaboration between director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino, this 1990s blockbuster apes 1970s New York urban potboilers while infusing the story with a melancholy gentleness that’s uncharacteristic of the filmmaker and positioning it as a life-affirming answer to their other team-up, 1983’s Scarface. Pacino plays the title character, a Puerto Rican gangster who gets out of prison and tries to reconnect with his young girlfriend (Penelope Ann Miller) and go straight but inevitably gets drawn back into the criminal life via his coked-up, mob-connected lawyer (Sean Penn). The plot mechanics owe a lot to westerns where an old gunfighter wants to settle down but can’t walk ten feet without some punk dragging him into a duel. The final action sequence, which sees Carlito fleeing Italian Mafia goons on foot through the subway system en route to Grand Central station, is the greatest use of the city’s underground transit system ever captured on film, geographically accurate down to the tiniest details of platforms, transfer points, and local-versus-express routes: MTA-map-nerd heaven. Keep an eye out for a voluptuous cameo by the World Trade Center subway platform and elevator system, which would cease to exist eight years after this film’s release.

Matt Zoller Seitz also provides the summary for #69 on the list, God Told Me To:

A repository of 1970s fears of urban decay, random violence, mass murder, UFOs, goverment conspiracies, and cult machinations, this thriller from schlock maestro Larry Cohen (It’s Alive!, Q) starts with a sniper killing 15 random pedestrians with a rifle from his perch in Times Square and gets weirder from there. Tony Lo Bianco stars as Detective Peter Nicholas, who fails to talk the sniper down (“God told me to,” the man says before leaping to his death). He suspects a connection between that tragedy and the random mass murders that follow (including two more mass shootings and a mass stabbing) and eventually uncovers a mystery that feels like an unholy fusion of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Rosemary’s Baby, The Fury, and half the conspiracy thrillers released during the ’70s. New York is presented as a mecca for madness, a nexus of every chaotic and sinister impulse obsessing Americans at that time.


Posted by Geoff at 3:28 PM CST
Updated: Monday, December 6, 2021 4:11 PM CST
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Sunday, December 5, 2021
'HE NEVER SELLS OUT' - CELLAR DWELLERS PODCAST
"DE PALMA SPRINGS" SERIES BEGINS WITH SISTERS, AND THEN ONE FILM FROM EACH DECADE AFTER
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/cellardwellers.jpg

"Welcome to De Palma Springs!" begins a post from November 24th on the Cellar Dwellers Podcast Instagram page. "Every other week, we’ll discuss a film from Brian De Palma’s long and controversial career. Join us on Sunday as we kickoff with 1972’s SISTERS." Here's a link to listen to the November 28 episode on Spotify. The discussion of the end of SISTERS is ... really questionable and strange. The two hosts, who generally like the film, go on about how the "hallucinatory stuff" in the final act "doesn't tell us anything" and supposedly goes on too long...?? Very strange take on some highly pertinent moments in the film.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Monday, December 6, 2021 11:53 AM CST
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Saturday, December 4, 2021
UH, THAT AIN'T LAKE MINNETONKA...
AND, NO, THAT'S NOT MELANIE'S FACE, EITHER - VHS FILES PODCAST ON 'BODY DOUBLE'

Excerpt from the 1992 book American Mythologies by Marshall Blonsky:


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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