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

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

« August 2022 »
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
Conversation, The
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
Genius of Love
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
Scorsese
Sean Penn
Sisters
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Spielberg
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Stephen H Burum
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
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
'RUSSIAN DOLL' CINEMATOGRAPHER NOTES 'BLOW OUT'
NATASHA LYONNE & ULA PONTIKOS INCLUDE VISUAL NOD TO DE PALMA/ZSIGMOND FILM IN EMMY-NOMINATED EPISODE, "NOWHEN"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/nowhen.jpg

"There were more than 550 television shows in contention this Emmy season," states The Wrap's Jason Clark, "a daunting task for voters to parse and the driving engine for the 'Is There Too Much TV?' chatter mill. But in the case of the Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour) category, the nominations were an impressive overlay of the evolution of the half-hour series. All six nominees, drawn from 86 eligible contenders, are technically comedy series — but more urgently, they’re a bold representation of how that genre has blended into popular entertainments that are not afraid to go to darker, more diverse places while delivering the laughs. The six nominees in this category have a distinguished range of backgrounds in television (and rather sweetly, all are rooting for each other) and spoke to TheWrap to take us inside their nominated episodes."

Here's Clark's section about one of those nominees, Ula Pontikos:

RUSSIAN DOLL (Netflix, “Nowhen,” Season 2, Episode 1)

Ula Pontikos didn’t shoot any episodes of the first season of “Russian Doll,” but she was behind the camera for every episode of Season 2. “I’ve never slotted into somebody’s work,” said the U.K.-based Pontikos, who took inspiration from mood boards and storyboards created with the directors, along with Douglas Hofstadter’s 2007 self-referential nonfiction book “I Am a Strange Loop.” “I love deconstructing the script, and part of the challenge as a cinematographer is to really figure out what the world is.”

In Season 2, the free-spirited Nadia (cocreator Natasha Lyonne, who also wrote and directed this episode) takes a subway ride back to 1982 in a new adventure that eventually finds her retracing her family’s Holocaust legacy, often while existing in the body of her pregnant mother (Chloë Sevigny), which she discovers in a mirror effect at a pivotal moment in this episode. “We really did not want to do that on a green screen,” Pontikos said. “Part of the charm of this project is to kind of make it quite lo-fi and fun.”

“Nowhen” is complete with subway scenes that span different decades, all shot in three and half days with a myriad of cost-saving techniques and with visual nods to films close to that era, including Brian De Palma’s “Blow Out” and Alex Cox’s “Sid & Nancy.” “I spent hours walking around the Lower East Side trying to figure out, on a limited budget, how we could have a key light source and yet not lose that quality of that tungsten light, which is so dominant in the ’70s and ’80s,” Pontikos said.


Posted by Geoff at 8:50 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, August 8, 2022
WAKE UP!
FEMME FATALE & RAISING CAIN
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/ffwakeup9.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 10:56 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, August 8, 2022 11:02 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, August 7, 2022
30 YEARS AGO TODAY - 'RAISING CAIN' WAS RELEASED
AUGUST 7, 1992 - JOHN LITHGOW STARS IN A BRIAN DE PALMA FILM, PRODUCED BY GALE ANNE HURD
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/hobermanquoteadsmall.jpg

 


Posted by Geoff at 4:24 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, August 7, 2022 10:50 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, August 6, 2022
VIDEO - A GUIDE TO THE FILMS OF BRIAN DE PALMA
FROM ROUGE - THEY SKIP DE PALMA'S 2 WAR FILMS, "SOME MOVIES I'M JUST FINE NEVER HAVING TO SEE"

Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, July 31, 2022
HERZOG - 'FILMS ARE MY VOYAGE & WRITING IS HOME'
FINANCIAL TIMES ASKS, "WHY ARE SUCCESSFUL FILMMAKERS WRITING NOVELS?"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/snakescover.jpg

"Films are my voyage and writing is home." That is how Werner Herzog responds to the Financial Times' Theo Zenou, who is "trying to understand what writing prose means to Herzog." The headline for the article, which was posted on July 28, is "Why are successful filmmakers writing novels?"

Along with Herzog's novel The Twilight World, the article mentions Michael Mann's Heat 2, David Koepp's Aurora and Cold Storage, Quentin Tarantino's novelization of his own film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and, of course, Are Snakes Necessary? which was written by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman. Here's a brief excerpt from Zenou's article:

But what may appeal most to filmmakers is the autonomy that comes with writing. Charles Ardai, De Palma’s publisher at Hard Case Crime, thinks this ultimately explains why so many filmmakers turn to novels: “It’s enormously appealing to a director or screenwriter to generate a piece of art solitaire. This is a way to go from being one of an ensemble, even the most important one, to being a soloist.” Koepp concurs, adding “everybody on a movie is an assistant storyteller”. A novel is “more fulfilling because it’s more yours”, he says, “there are no other opinions to consider”.

And then there is the absence of budgets and shooting schedules. Herzog, in typically vivid style, likens the filming process to “open-heart surgery”, which must be completed “under limited time conditions”. While publishers can be stalled, film shoots, like operations, are ruthlessly unforgiving. “You cannot do open-heart surgeries stretching out over two weeks,” Herzog says. “You have to do it in half a day, otherwise the patient is going to be dead.”


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, August 1, 2022 12:13 AM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, July 30, 2022
MARY ALICE DIES AT 85
TONY AWARD WINNER FOR FENCES IN 1987 WAS CAST 3 YEARS LATER AS ANNIE LAMB IN 'BONFIRE'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/maryalice.jpg

Mary Alice, who played the role of Annie Lamb in Brian De Palma's adaptation of Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire Of The Vanities, died Wednesday of natural causes. She was 85.

Prior to her career as an actress, Mary Alice was a teacher in Chicago. In 1967, she moved to New York, taking parts in theater, film, and television. In 1974, she starred in the PBS movie The Sty of the Blind Pig. In the 1976 film Sparkle, which was inspired by Diana Ross and the Supremes, she played Effie Williams, "the single mom raising daughters played by Irene Cara, Lonette McKee and Dwan Smith," as Mike Barnes puts it in The Hollywood Reporter. Mary Alice appeared in episodes of various TV series throughout the years, and in 1977, she acted opposite Morgan Freeman in Cockfight at the American Place Theater in New York. According to theNew York Post obituary by Erin Keller, Mary Alice "played Bostic, a dorm director, in the Cosby Show spinoff for two seasons in the 1980s. In those years, she also portrayed Ellie Grant Hubbard in All My Children. Her performance as Rose in the 1987 production of August Wilson’s Fences earned her a Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play. In 1992, she won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for I’ll Fly Away."

Three years after winning the aforementioned Tony Award, Mary Alice portrayed the key role of Annie Lamb, the mother of the boy injured in the hit-and-run accident that lay at the center of The Bonfire Of The Vanities. That same year, according to The Hollywood Reporter obituary by Mike Barnes, "Alice played Nurse Margaret opposite Robin Williams and Robert De Niro in Awakenings, directed by Penny Marshall", and also "the family matriarch dealing with a disruptive guest (Danny Glover) in Charles Burnett’s To Sleep With Anger."


Posted by Geoff at 10:10 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, July 25, 2022
'PHANTOM' IN PHOENIXVILLE, AUGUST 5TH
EVENT POSTER DESIGNED BY QUILTFACE STUDIOS, ON SALE BEFORE & AFTER SCREENING
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/phoenixville2022.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 7:15 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, July 23, 2022
'AMERICAN STUDIO MOVIES DON'T END LIKE THAT'
FILM WRITER TRAVIS CRAWFORD, WHO PASSED AWAY THIS WEEK, WROTE ABOUT 'BLOW OUT' IN 2011
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/drivingrain45.jpg

According to Scott Macaulay at Filmmaker Magazine, "Film writer and festival curator Travis Crawford, who worked extensively with various home video labels in the restoration of classic foreign-language, independent and genre work, died this week, I was saddened to learn via social media. He was 52."

"Crawford," Macaulay continues, "who for many years curated the Philadelphia Film Festival’s Danger after Dark series, wrote extensively for Filmmaker over the years, predominantly in the late aughts and early ’10s, when he headed up the print magazine’s 'Load and Play' columns." Macaulay provides a link to one of those columns, from 2011, in which Crawford writes about the then-recently-released Criterion edition of Blow Out:

The ending of Brian De Palma’s Blow Out hits you in the chest like a hammer. It’s not supposed to be this way; American studio movies don’t end like that. But of course it’s the heartbreaking denouement that has partially helped to make the film endure in the 30 intervening years since its commercially disastrous release, though one can certainly fathom how it alienated audiences at the time (for the record, some critics were passionate defenders; it’s just that most viewers don’t savor being implicated in the spectacle of violence as it is quickly transformed into tragedy). As De Palma himself has wryly observed, the studio likely just expected another erotic romp like Dressed to Kill (De Palma’s previous surprise hit for the Filmways outfit) and were unprepared for a downbeat but cinematically exhilarating last gasp of bravura filmmaking, political critique, and social cynicism that made its ’70s predecessors like The Conversation and The Parallax View seem like Oliver! by contrast. But as the greatest film ever made by one of the two or three most important filmmakers to emerge from the “New Hollywood” movement of the ’60s and ’70s, Blow Out is among the most significant films of the past three decades, and the film has been thankfully reappraised in subsequent years. Hopefully its new Criterion Collection Blu-ray and DVD special-edition release will also help to introduce it to a younger generation of film enthusiasts.

Of course, during the ’70s (clearly, a loosely defined era in American filmmaking), challenging audience expectations — whether socio-political or purely filmic — had become rather expected, so perhaps De Palma (much like his old friend Scorsese who artistically triumphed with the similarly commercially underappreciated Raging Bull the previous year — trivia note: it was actually De Palma who first introduced Scorsese to De Niro at a party) was unaware of the post-Jaws/Star Wars shift in the new Reagan-era American cinema. But De Palma had just come off a hit with Dressed to Kill, and had also enjoyed a pop culture phenomenon with Carrie only a few years earlier; even his less financially successful genre endeavors like Obsession, Phantom of the Paradise, and Sisters hardly seemed to exist in the same unapologetically confrontational realm as some of Scorsese’s more overtly personal work. So for De Palma to embark on a violent suspense exercise — one with stars like John Travolta and De Palma’s then-wife Nancy Allen in addition — may have seemed like a relatively safe commercial bet…no matter than the film harked back to the grim and anti-authoritarian conspiracy thrillers of the decade that preceded Blow Out’s release. But for those who mistakenly believed that De Palma’s career essentially began with Sisters, the political pessimism of Blow Out might seem like an unexpected departure indeed — yet, Sisters was actually the filmmaker’s seventh feature film, and if anything, Blow Out serves as a newfound and masterful fusion of the director’s Hitchcockian tales of mayhem and perversion, with a radical political consciousness seemingly jettisoned eight years prior.

De Palma’s first six features — Murder a la Mod (included in its entirety as a supplementary feature on this Criterion disc), Greetings, The Wedding Party, Dionysus, Hi, Mom!, and Get to Know Your Rabbit — demonstrate political concerns and counterculture beliefs that would only scarcely return in his later work, sometimes with rewarding results (the underrated Casualties of War) but sometimes with ill-advised ramifications (the misguided Redacted). If De Palma discarded a playful political sensibility in favor of equally playful approaches to film technique beginning with Sisters in ‘73, Blow Out is incredibly rewarding in the way that it combines both sensibilities. Yet it would be disingenuous to imply that this is the principal factor for the movie’s enormous impact: if De Palma’s subsequent thrillers found him experimenting with form and style to the point of gleeful and unabashed self-parody (most notably in the often hilarious likes of Body Double, Femme Fatale, and — most obviously — Raising Cain), Blow Out is played comparatively “straight,” but with no less contagious joy for the medium of filmmaking. And the political backdrop provides additional narrative gravity to a story that is, above all else, a genuinely melancholy and heartfelt tale of doomed love and shattered political idealism.


Posted by Geoff at 6:06 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 23, 2022 6:08 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
'FEMME FATALE' PLAYED AT ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE TONIGHT
20TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING WAS PART OF "WEIRD WEDNESDAY" SERIES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetffammo.jpg

"Another casually sultry & sleazy Brian De Palma masterpiece, in 35mm," reads the description headline at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, followed by "20th Anniversary Screening!" And then, this description:
An ode to classic film noir, FEMME FATALE opens with one of De Palma's greatest set pieces: a stealthy jewel heist by a gang led by seductive thief Laure (Rebecca Romijn) that takes place during a gala screening at the Cannes Film Festival. After double-crossing her partners, Laure flees to the Paris suburbs, where a whirlwind of unlikely events results in her assuming the identity of her doppelgänger, marrying a wealthy American diplomat (Peter Coyote), and assuming a new life in the US. Returning to Paris seven years later when her husband is made the American ambassador to France, Laure is targeted by her former accomplices, and she ropes in a bewildered Spanish photographer (a convincingly confused Antonio Banderas) for a deadly game of double-, triple- and quadruple-crosses.

Posted by Geoff at 10:58 PM CDT
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, July 17, 2022
THE 'SCARFACE' TITLE SEQUENCE
DE PALMA HAD A VISION FOR THE OPENING TITLES THAT, ALAS, DID NOT WORK OUT
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/creditmoroder0.jpg

Tim Greiving's terrific liner notes in the booklet of La-La Land Records' expanded Scarface soundtrack, David Ray, who co-edited Scarface with Jerry Greenberg, says that due to time constraints and a fixed release date, most of the film was edited without any music yet, not even temp tracks. The one exception was the opening title sequence, for which they had Giorgio Moroder's opening theme music. Greiving writes:
In the main title, the melody of Tony’s theme kicks in with an up-tempo disco beat over footage of Cubans arriving by boat (an interesting juxtaposition to the dejected faces of real refugees). This was the only sequence the editors were able to cut to, but only because De Palma’s original vision was jettisoned at the last minute. “There was a title sequence crisis,” says Ray. “Brian had in his head that the title sequence should be a series of newsreel clips, which would eventually freeze, go to high contrast black-and-white, and the white parts would morph into mounds of cocaine, which would blow away and reveal the text of the title. And that was a huge thing to do. I think he had it in his mind you could shoot that live, and we did tests, and they were terrible. I think the only way to do this convincingly would be to animate it, which was a big deal.” Instead, Greenberg suggested just intercutting the film’s title cards with the existing newsreel footage, which Ray hastily did as the clock was ticking. “The music was already locked, so the length was locked in. But that was the only time that we had music.”


Posted by Geoff at 10:39 PM CDT
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer|Latest|Older