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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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« September 2022 »
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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

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a la Mod

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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

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Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

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A Lonely Place

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italkyoubored

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Hope Lies at
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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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Monday, September 26, 2022
DE PALMA'S 'CARRIE' SET THE BAR FOR KING ADAPTATIONS
'KING ON SCREEN' DIRECTOR DAPHNE BAIWIR HAS READ ALL THE BOOKS, WATCHED & REWATCHED ALL THE FILMS, TALKS ABOUT CHALLENGES OF ADAPTATION
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"Whether you’re a book reader, a film watcher or a combination of the two, the odds are good that you’re familiar with Stephen King," begins an article by Kyle Milner at Moviehole. "The history of King adaptations is almost as long as the writer’s career: Brian De Palma’s Carrie hit the big screen in 1976, just a few years after the original novel’s publication. It set the bar high for any filmmaker looking to translate King’s dark and complex fictional worlds for cinema-going audiences, and while many have fallen short of De Palma’s classic, the duds are often as intriguing as the masterpieces in their own ways."

In the article, Milner interviews King On Screen director Daphné Baiwir, who discusses the challenges involved in adapting King's work for the screen:

As with many fans, Baiwir’s own exposure to Stephen King began at an early age. “I discovered Stephen King by reading “The Shining” for the first time when I was ten,” she recounts. “I’ve read absolutely everything he wrote; seen all the movies; because I started early. So I’ve had time to see everything.”

Naturally, there are quite a few featurettes and documentaries about King’s books and the films based upon them to be found across DVD bonus discs and streaming services. But it goes without saying that there’s a lot of ground to cover; more than a lot of these features are able to touch upon.

“I saw a couple of documentaries about his work,” Baiwir explains, “but they were quite short. I wanted to know a little bit more, and I felt it could be interesting to have the directors’ point of view, because we don’t hear them a lot. It could be great to know a little bit more about what happens behind the scenes and how they managed to work with the author.”

With so many adaptations to date – more than eighty, across film and television – there are bound to be a mixture of masterpieces, decent attempts and some outright stinkers. So what exactly is central to the adaptations that do work?

“I think it depends on how the directors work,” Baiwir explains. “For example, we had the chance to meet Taylor Hackford (“Dolores Claiborne”) and he was telling us about working with the screenwriter. The screenwriter sometimes took a different direction in the process of writing the script, and it was interesting, because he did that to have a story that would translate well to the screen. It’s not always easy to do.”

Compromise is often the key to finding that balance between faithfulness to the original text and an effective cinematic experience, and Baiwir reflected on the risk of a certain spark being lost in the transition from page to screen. “I think about stories that Agatha Christie wrote that are so great when you read them; it’s something very special. But if you want to put it on the screen, it won’t have that same thing. You really have to adapt.”

One of the major subjects of the documentary is Frank Darabont, who helmed the acclaimed and award-winning King adaptations “The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile,” and “The Mist”. Darabont is arguably the most consistently successful filmmaker to adapt Stephen King’s work for the big screen.

After a very long and painful legal conflict with AMC over his involvement in their television series of “The Walking Dead” (for which he wrote, directed and produced in its early seasons,) Darabont hasn’t returned to Hollywood since departing 2016’s “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” during that film’s production. But it appears he was more than happy to discuss his past work with Baiwir.

“It was amazing, because he made three movies that are – to me – masterpieces. “The Green Mile” is my favorite, but “Shawshank” is amazing. “The Mist” is so great as well, with the ending that he came up with.” (The infamous ending, of course, that even King himself agreed was superior to that of the original short story.) “Talking with someone that is so passionate about cinema and movie-making, it’s like you are literally having a master class,” she laughs. “It was such an incredible experience.”


See also: Daphné Baiwir talks with Cherry the Geek TV

Posted by Geoff at 8:14 AM CDT
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Friday, September 23, 2022
INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN FOR PIPER DE PALMA FEATURE
DIRECTING 'GENIUS OF LOVE' FROM HER OWN SCREENPLAY
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"A young woman gets into a car with an everchanging driver and confronts her troubled past." That's the nutshell description for Piper De Palma's Genius Of Love, as posted on the film's funding campaign page at Indiegogo. The more elaborate description of the story follows:
Genius of Love is a psychological drama that follows a young woman caught in a cycle of abandonment. It takes place over the course of one rainy car ride that begins when she gets picked up from a party by her boyfriend. When he confesses that he wants to break up with her, this sets off a sequence of interchanging drivers, bringing her face to face with men from past relationships. Although the drivers change, the conversation remains the same: “I’m leaving you.”

As the young woman's emotions build, the men interchange more and more rapidly until they reach their final destination, a train station. There, she must confront a third driver and, in turn, the source of her fears.


Also check out the Director's Statement and the section about Visual Style, and further details, at the Indiegogo / Genius Of Love page.

Posted by Geoff at 6:30 PM CDT
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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
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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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