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De Palma a la Mod

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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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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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No Harm In Charm

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Scarface: Make Way
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Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
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Offices of Death Records

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italkyoubored

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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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Are Snakes Necessary?
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Tuesday, September 20, 2022
OTHERWORLDLY TONE - 'FEMME FATALE' FRIDAY IN TORONTO
20TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING PRESENTED IN 35MM
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Neon Dreams presents a 20th anniversary screening of Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale at Revue Cinema in Toronto, this Friday, September 23rd, at 9:30 PM. Here's the event description of the film:
A sly reimagining of classic noir cinema, Femme Fatale finds De Palma at his most playful and seductive. Opening with one of the all time great set pieces—taking place at the Cannes Film Festival—the film spins a twisty, lurid yarn about a thief (Rebeca Romijn) who double crosses her partners after a successful diamond heist and goes on the run. From there it's anything goes as De Palma dives deep into dream logic and eroticism to set an otherworldly tone that falls somewhere between Double Indemnity and Mulholland Drive.

With a spectacular lead performance, stunning European locations, and boundary-pushing sexuality, Femme Fatale is equal parts classy and trashy. And you better believe it knows it. Come see the maestro's late-career masterpiece the way it demands to be experienced—on the big screen! - BRENDAN ROSS


Posted by Geoff at 11:50 PM CDT
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Monday, September 19, 2022
DE PALMA RETROSPECTIVE AT SWISS FILM ARCHIVE
RUNS THROUGH SEPT & OCT, WITH A COUPLE OF PAUL HIRSCH-RELATED TITLES THROWN INTO THE MIX
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/suisse1.jpg



Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2022 12:08 AM CDT
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Saturday, September 17, 2022
DO YOU REMEMBER ANYTHING UNUSUAL ABOUT HER?
"HER HAIR, MAYBE. IT WAS BRIGHT RED. LIKE IT WAS ON FIRE."
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Posted by Geoff at 11:54 PM CDT
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Thursday, September 15, 2022
DUA LIPA HITS BUENOS AIRES AS TOURIST IN FINE FASHION
IMAGES POSTED TO HER INSTAGRAM THE OTHER DAY
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Dua Lipa as a tourist in Buenos Aires


Posted by Geoff at 8:27 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2022 5:29 PM CDT
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Monday, September 12, 2022
'FINISH THIS WITH ME AND I'LL DO IT'
THE STORY OF HOW BRIAN DE PALMA FOUND HIMSELF FILMING A CAMEO IN 'ROTWANG MUß WEG!'
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In an Instagram post yesterday to celebrate Brian De Palma's birthday, Hans-Christoph Blumenberg tells the story of how he met De Palma in Hamburg in 1993:
Happy Birthday, #briandepalma ! It is his 82th, 9/11, all too easy to remember. I met the great director of stylish elegant violent eccentric unforgettable movies like #carrie, #dressedtokill, #blowout, #scarface, #bodydouble, #theuntouchables, #missionimpossible and more at a small private dinner party in Hamburg in 1993. He was in town to promote #carlitosway, starring #alpacino and #seanpenn. I was in the midst of shooting my lowbudget feature #rotwangmussweg. I went to the dinner with an impossible plan: to persuade Brian De Palma to appear in a #cameo in my film the very next day. After I explained the scene I wanted him for he pointed to an almost full bottle of #grappa on the table: Finish this with me and I‘ll do it. The bottle was empty by two AM. More than a little drunk I called my producer Patrick Brandt to tell him about the coup. Ten hours later we set up our camera in front of famous #atlantichotelhamburg. Brian kept his word. He came down the hotel stairs and improvised a scene with our actor #klausbueb who played the former director of the defunct film department of the East German Secret Service #stasi trying to show his work to powerful American filmmaker Brian De Palma. We shot the scene twice, De Palma being De Palma, brushing off the nervous man with the bearskin hat in the first version, inviting him into his hotel suite as a fellow artist in the second. We used both of them, the second one as a dream sequence. The #cameo appearance was a very generous gesture on Brian‘s part. I admire his work, I admire the man. May he live long and make some more brilliant movies. #rotwangmussweg is available on #dvd.

Previously:
Rotwang muß weg! - Hard-to-find German satire cast De Palma as "Famous American Movie Director"

Posted by Geoff at 7:47 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, September 12, 2022 7:50 AM CDT
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Sunday, September 11, 2022
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO BRIAN DE PALMA
PICTURED: IN NEW YORK CIRCA 1977-ISH; WITH DE NIRO & LINSON IN DEAUVILLE ON SEPT 11, 1987; WITH SUSAN LEHMAN LAST MONTH IN EAST HAMPTON
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Posted by Geoff at 12:09 PM CDT
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Wednesday, September 7, 2022
AT VANITY FAIR - MODERNIST DESIGN & MURDEROUS VILLAINS
"HOW ONE MODERNIST BUILDING IN HITCHCOCK'S 'NORTH BY NORTHWEST' CHANGED CINEMA FOREVER"
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At Vanity Fair, Christine Madrid French adapts her book, THE ARCHITECTURE OF SUSPENSE: The Built World in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock, into an article that keys in on the Vandamm House in Alfred Hitchcock's North By Northwest:
After its momentous debut in The Black Cat, modernism did not appear as a villain’s lair again until Hitchcock brought it back in the mid–20th century with North by Northwest. The return of high-end modern designs on film corresponded with a critical shift in the portrayal of evil characters, morphing from a frazzled Dr. Frankenstein into a handsome Captain Nemo. Using cultivated gentility to cover malign intentions required an equally sophisticated architectural expression. One of Hitchcock’s first experiments with this portrayal is seen in The Secret Agent, in which he unveiled a villain who was “attractive, distinguished,” and “very appealing” to audiences, according to his biographer François Truffaut. Hitchcock moved forward from there with the belief that “the best way” to make a thriller work was to “keep your villains suave and clever—the kind that wouldn’t dirty their hands with ordinary gun play.”

The building that changed movies forever makes its first appearance almost two hours into North by Northwest and is onscreen a mere 14 minutes. Filmic structures are “evanescent as a flicker of light,” as noted by historian Alan Hess. Nonetheless, this design had a penetrating and lasting effect in the public consciousness. The Vandamm House itself is now a movie star with its own dedicated legion of fans. The high-quality production design of the film, and the hybrid mixing of recognizable locations with studio sets, led to many inquiries as to the “real” location of the home. Explorations in the area behind Mount Rushmore would prove futile, however, as the building is entirely conjectural, a set created by production designer Robert F. Boyle at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios in Los Angeles.


Toward the end of the article, French moves forward to take a brief look at the work of architect John Lautner and its appearances on film:
In the decades following the release of North by Northwest, filmmakers enthusiastically adopted Hitchcock’s architectural precedent, crafting fictional modernist structures and rediscovering designs in Southern California that could host a score of film villains introduced in the 1960s and ’70s. Architect John Lautner designed many houses during this period that later found fame as villain’s lairs. His tactile, sensuously curved, concrete spaces exude power in their boldness and unorthodox approach. Filmic creators also appreciated the cinematic scale and the ambitiousness and improbability of the designs. Ken Adam, production designer for the James Bond series of films including Dr. No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Moonraker, featured the Lautner-designed Arthur Elrod House in Palm Springs in Diamonds Are Forever. Bond (played with finesse by Sean Connery) tracked billionaire Willard Whyte to his lair in the hills, protected by the acrobatic Bambi and Thumper. The women swing from the modern lighting, leap from the living room boulders, and attempt to drown Bond in the sky-high swimming pool. The perfect hideaway for a villain.

Director Brian De Palma selected the Chemosphere, another cliff-hanging Lautner design, for Body Double, a murderous homage to both Vertigo and Rear Window. The film, and the building, draw upon prevailing narratives of voyeurism, identity, and complicit shame explored by Hitchcock. Jeannine Oppewall, an Academy Award–nominated production designer for L.A. Confidential (featuring the Richard Neutra–designed Lovell House in its own villainous star turn), noted that in her line of work, “the best architecture [goes] to the film’s worst characters.”

Hitchcock manipulated our collective memory and the language of building design to create constructed expressions of human emotions, including love, envy, and the killer instinct. He was driven by an intense engagement with location and architectural form, picturing buildings not only as scenic devices but as interactive participants. For Hitchcock, the parts of a structure represent humanity and all its complications: Windows are the eyes into the soul, a stairway is a spine between the heart and mind, and a door permits entry into subliminal perceptions. His buildings—including the maternal Victorian mansion and naughty motel along the old highway in Psycho, the honeycomb of Greenwich Village apartments in Rear Window, the avian-infested Bodega Bay schoolhouse in The Birds, and the deadly skyscrapers and towers of Vertigo—illuminate the uncertain relationships we hold inside our own minds, with the built world around us, and between each other.



Posted by Geoff at 11:45 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 7, 2022 11:53 PM CDT
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Tuesday, September 6, 2022
TWEETS FROM AUGUST - 'CASUALTIES OF WAR'
LEADS TO SOME DISCUSSION ABOUT WHAT IS THE BEST BRIAN DE PALMA FILM

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Posted by Geoff at 11:31 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2022 11:38 PM CDT
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Wednesday, August 31, 2022
PAUL SCHRADER VIDEO ESSAY BY PEET GELDERBLOM
"UNPACKING THE CINEMATIC STYLE & THEMATIC PREOCCUPATIONS OF PAUL SCHRADER, IN THE DIRECTOR'S OWN WORDS"

Posted by Geoff at 9:48 PM CDT
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Thursday, August 25, 2022
LUCA GUADAGNINO - IT'S STILL 'A DIRECTOR'S MEDIUM'
WITH FILM, "WE ARE WORKING WITH SOMETHING THAT DEALS WITH THE UNCONSCIOUS, AND WE HAVE TO ALLOW THAT TO BE CUNNING"
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In a Venice Q&A posted today by Deadline's Joe Utichi, Luca Guadagnino talks about the current state of cinema:
DEADLINE: You talked about finding common ground in your work. But the way you’ve explored this sense of otherness has been distinct each time. Are you purposefully seeking out new stones to turn over, even if they belong to the same garden?

GUADAGNINO: I think the thing that most excites me as a filmmaker and a director is the possibility of fully exploring the craft, and really playing with the set of tools you have in your hands within the language of cinema. The more conscious I become about cinema, through the way I work and through learning the formal language of cinema in its many, many layers, it’s something that’s truly amazing.

I respect so much the work of filmmakers who repeat their same movie over and over again. It’s actually reassuring and beautiful to see that. But at the same time, that’s not who I am and how I am. I like the idea of trying things, as you said, to turn different stones in the same garden. I don’t know if the garden is my garden, the garden of my imagery, or what the great historian of cinema Georges Sadoul said in his seminal Histoire générale du cinema, Tome 1, which is that cinema is about human beings because it’s about telling the story of human beings. That might sound parochial, banal, or old-fashioned, again, but I think he was right. Even the most experimental work of Pat O’Neill, which I adore, or the great experience of the underground cinema in the ’60s and ’70s, still reflects on that.

DEADLINE: Equally banal, perhaps, but that idea that the universal can be found in the specific is something mainstream cinema often neglects.

GUADAGNINO: Every-size-fits-all is Walmart. Every-size-fits-all is an artificial concept that belongs to the practices of capitalism, and the execution of a dull idea of capital. A smart idea of capital comes with the notion of prototype; it comes with the idea of finding new territory in order to expand even more.

The reiteration of something that has been set in stone and repeated and repeated over and over again is a bad practice because it’s pollution. It’s the pollution of imageries, of the world, and it makes the environment less livable, and thus less consumable. It’s a strange contradiction.

Billy Wilder said that show business is show business because without business it’d be show show, which from his perspective was the greatest sin of all. I’m not sure I’m totally in agreement with Mr. Wilder. Still, let’s hold on that, because this is Deadline Hollywood. But at the same time, you have to make prototypes because you have to re-create again and again the possibility of excitement in the investment of an audience toward something truly new.

Even Top Gun: Maverick, which is a movie that trades very deeply with nostalgia and repetition, comes with the novelty of happening 25 years later. The idea that a sequel comes after a quarter of a century is, in its way, a very smart, intelligent, and thoughtful way of doing business. Because now, even if the movie holds very deep nostalgia in the audience—the nostalgic gaze of Tony Scott and the idea of the world in the way it was in 1986—you are there for the ride of Tom Cruise’s Maverick being a man now, not a boy. So, I would say there are always ways to create something that is surprising and interesting.

DEADLINE: And yet, the industry revels in its love of data.

GUADAGNINO: Yes, but we’re not working on parameters that are set in stone, like chemistry or physics or mathematics. We are working with something that deals with the unconscious, and we have to allow that to be cunning. If we trade in the unconscious for the algorithm of it all—whether it’s the algorithm itself or the expectations that come from it—that is where you fail. “You can’t do that because our data tells us the audience wants this.” Well, that way you would never have had The Godfather. You would never have had GoodFellas. You’d never even have had Mission: Impossible, the first movie by Brian De Palma.

And by the way, that’s true of The Godfather: Part II, and Part III, which I love. It’s my favorite of the three. I’m using this platform to say it: it’s a masterpiece. I go back to the Godfathers over and over, but I go back to Part III every six months. I wish I could have done a movie like that; it’s beautiful. Coppola is a forger of prototypes. Even now, with Megalopolis. He’s not doing it in a cheap way, he’s making a big movie out of it.

DEADLINE: The question is whether the industry that allowed for films like The Godfather and Apocalypse Now still exists, or whether the data is too powerful now.

GUADAGNINO: Probably not as a system, in the way the system worked back then. But definitely, it exists as individual personalities finding their own ways into the business. We have to see what happens and how things morph, and not be too disheartened by the present because there are new ways to find and be excited about.

That’s what I say to young filmmakers when they ask me how to break into filmmaking: just do it. And don’t allow anybody to let you down or lecture you about what to do and how to do it. Just do it. A filmmaker has to be a very obsessive person who must refuse to let people f*ck with him, her, or them. It’s a director’s medium.


Posted by Geoff at 11:46 PM CDT
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