Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod


De Palma Discussion


Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
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

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario


AV Club Review
of Dumas book


« December 2022 »
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


De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site


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


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

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema


Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor


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


No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod

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?
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
Cinema Studies
Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Conversation, The
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
Dressed To Kill
Edward R. Pressman
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Genius of Love
George Litto
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Hi, Mom!
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jack Fisk
Jared Martin
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Montreal World Film Fest
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Newton 1861
Noah Baumbach
Oliver Stone
Paranormal Activity 2
Parties & Premieres
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Peet Gelderblom
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pino Donaggio
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Responsive Eye
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Rotwang muß weg!
Sean Penn
Sensuous Woman, The
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Stephen H Burum
Sweet Vengeance
Taxi Driver
The Tale
To Bridge This Gap
Toronto Film Fest
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untitled Hollywood Horror
Untitled Industry-Abuse M
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
Saturday, December 17, 2022

In an article about Dario Argento's Dark Glasses in the Summer 2022 issue of Cinema Scope, Christopher Huber writes:
Argento's filmmaking is best understood as a type of crazy poetry rather than storytelling - as John Carpenter put it, "Dario can influence and has influenced people with his absolute courage of what he can do on the screen." While Carpenter has understandably often been grouped with Argento due to their shared love for the fantastic and an unmistakable (audio-)visual approach toward their material (even as Carpenter is more into classical storytelling), a better match for Argento may be found in another American auteur who is only four days younger than the Italian master: Brian De Palma, who is also often misunderstood as a technically brilliant yet hopelessly uneven Hitchcock disciple. (When Argento choreographed a Trussardi fashion show in the '80s, crowding the catwalk with signature touches from murder to a rainstorm, he memorably used Pino Donaggio's theme from De Palma's Body Double [1984] - and soon hired Donaggio himself). In the cases of both filmmakers, the Hitchcock angle has led to overlooking many other strands that coalesce in their work. Most importantly, De Palma shares with Argento a (slightly more submerged) surrealist streak; if their overbearingly strong stylistic signatures weren't pointing in the opposite direction, one should rather think of them as heirs to Buñuel.

And last month, in MovieMaker's "Things I’ve Learned as a Moviemaker" column, Luca Guadagnino had this to say:
Sometimes my favorite movie is the one I most recently watched. Recently, I watched a movie from one of my favorite filmmakers, Claude Chabrol, and the movie is called Betty. So now that has become one of my favorite movies. It’s an incredibly beautiful film, a portrait of a very troubled soul, Betty, and a complete, intellectually honest representation of the pleasant and the unpleasant. This movie never tries to categorize victimhood, or dimensions of power. It’s more about the complexity of relationships within a given state of being. And the character played by Marie Trintignant is undeniable for me. It’s truly sublime and the way in which Chabrol directed the movie, his choices, the way he creates suspense… You know, he, with Brian De Palma, is one of the greatest Hitchcockian directors. Brian De Palma was going this direction and Chabrol went that direction, but in a way, they both are Hitchcockian people. The way in which Chabrol builds suspense out of the morality at stake is just sublime.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, December 18, 2022 4:23 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, December 16, 2022

Movie Jawn editor-in-chief Rosalie Kicks includes Get To Know Your Rabbit in her article "Flicks That Kicks Uncovered in 2022" -
This zany film from Brian de Palma is not perfect but sure did stick with me.

It might be due to turning 39 years of age and my brain telling me its now or never, but 2022 really has turned out to be the year of contemplation for the old sport. This movie struck a lot of personal chords as it tells the story of a guy that leaves his silly, stuffy, nonsensical corporate job to pursue a life more serious, freeing and sensible as a tap dancing magician. Trained by the illustrious Orson Welles he sets out to achieve his dreams and escape the rat race. This is just one of several films I watched this year that I am taking as a sign to take the plunge.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, December 15, 2022

If yesterday's problematic description of Brian De Palma's Carrie from the Library of Congress left a bittersweet taste lingering, today we have a nice write-up of the film via Slant's Eric Henderson, who seems to understand De Palma's work on a much deeper level:
Brian De Palma’s Carrie may be about high school, but it was perhaps the director’s first completely mature film, at least equaling the nearly concurrent release Obsession in gothic pathos. Based on Stephen King’s first novel, famously written in near-poverty as the future bestselling mogul tried to make ends meet by teaching English to high school kids, Carrie turns a fairly contemptuous source text (in the book, Carrie is nearly as unappealing as her tormentors) into, as Pauline Kael said, a “teasing, lyrical thriller.” It brought both De Palma and King into mainstream visibility, kick-started the careers of nearly everyone involved (or, in Piper Laurie’s case, provided an unexpected return to form playing horror cinema’s ultimate mom from hell), won two acting Oscar nominations, and earned fantastic reviews and word of mouth. Surely this represents De Palma’s first great selling out, right?

Absolutely not. Carrie, a profoundly sad horror comedy about a dumped-on, telekinetic outcast whose late-blooming menstrual cycle and sexual maturation react violently with her fundamentalist mother’s psychological chastity belt, is the film in which De Palma discovered that his destructive sense of humor could be synthesized with his graceful visual sensibilities in a manner that would accentuate both. The linearity of King’s storyline (actually, the linearity of screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen’s version of the novel, which was told via a fussy collage of news articles, testimony, and Reader’s Digest memoirs) has the preordained momentum of Greek mythology; some of the shots of a blood-soaked Carrie standing above her peers at the fateful prom were lifted from the theatrical performance De Palma shot of Dionysus in ’69.

De Palma’s technique, though, reaches a new volatility here. Half Phantom of the Paradise, half Obsession, Carrie is hysterical in every sense of the word. Laurie has said that she saw the film as satire, claiming that it was difficult for her to film Margaret White’s perverse death scene—being pinned to a doorway by flying knives until she resembles the Christ-as-pincushion shrine that Margaret keeps in Carrie’s punishment closet—without laughing. She later admitted to being disappointed that the film wasn’t inherently a comedy, not realizing that it was. Maybe the humor isn’t always as broad as Margaret heaving and moaning in ecstasy as Carrie gives her the vaguely incestuous gift of martyrdom, but it’s always there, and usually bittersweet.

Take the scene in which Carrie realizes that she actually likes Tommy Ross (William Katt). De Palma begins by showing Carrie sitting in class with pencil eagerly poised to transcribe Tommy’s poem as their tweedy teacher, Mr. Fromm (Sydney Lassick), reads it aloud to the class. The camera swirls around to show the entire class slacking, yawning, exchanging jocular smirks to indicate that they know the poem’s true author was Tommy’s girlfriend, Sue (Amy Irving). Tommy ends up in severe close-up while a split diopter shot puts Carrie in the background behind Tommy’s impressive blond mane. “It’s beautiful,” she murmurs, her hair like bundled hay in front of her face. Even the teacher piles on, sensing the emotional vulnerability as an opportunity to attain camaraderie with his indifferent students. “You suck,” Tommy says, even more covertly than Carrie, before Mr. Fromm’s request for a repeat begets the response: “I said ‘aw shucks.’” Tommy’s chiseled features melt into a triumphant cackle.

A perfectly realized scene in the midst of a hundred (many of which have little to do with the horror of mind-controlled fire and everything with the horror of teenage responsibility), Tommy’s social triumph under the wire stands in mockery of Carrie’s inability to do the same. And when Tommy silently demands “What’s that?!” in slow motion after Chris Hargensen’s (Nancy Allen) revenge is fulfilled at prom and Carrie is splashed with blood, the realization of that disparity comes to pass and the resulting inferno must be carried out.

Whether intimate or flamboyant, Carrie’s style is insistently sensual: Carrie running her finger along the definition of “telekinesis” in close-up, Miss Collins’s (Betty Buckley) gym class doing detention calisthenics to the accompaniment of a blaxploitation-esque “Baby Elephant Walk,” Carrie and Tommy swirling in rapture courtesy De Palma’s Tilt-O-Whirl cam, Pino Donaggio’s tempestuous chamber music leading up to the bucket drop, Carrie seeing red in kaleidoscope as her sanity burns. It’s as passionate, erotic, and clumsy as the descriptor “sensual” implies.

Reviewing the new Scream Factory 4K Ultra HD edition of Carrie, Henderson has this to say about its key added bonus feature:
Joe Aisenberg, author of Studies in the Horror Film: Carrie, saddles up to lecture on a film he’s spent a considerable amount of time studying. His track is balanced nicely between production details gleaned from his interviews with cast and crew, and critical observations about the film’s form (taking great care to point out any moment that De Palma’s staging expresses the shifting power dynamics without underlining it). I haven’t heard Lee Gambin and Alexandra Heller-Nicholas’s commentary recorded for the Arrow Video edition to know if it’s on the same level, but I wasn’t disappointed.

Posted by Geoff at 6:43 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Ballots, please...

Brian De Palma's Carrie is one of 25 films that have been voted in as this year's additions to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The announcement was made earlier today. The Hollywood Reporter's notes that De Palma's Carrie "puts a Sissy Spacek film in the registry for the third time (following Badlands and Coal Miner’s Daughter)." The article also includes the Library of Congress description:

Carrie (1976)
De Palma stands as an icon of the new wave of filmmakers who remade Hollywood and its filmmaking conventions beginning in the 1960s and ’70s. After some intriguing independent efforts, De Palma burst onto the national spotlight with this film. Never one to feature subtlety in his work, De Palma mixes up a stylish cauldron of horrific scenes in Carrie, adapted from the Stephen King novel. Combine a teen outcast with telekinetic powers facing abuse from cruel classmates and a domineering religious mother, and you have a breeding ground for revenge, with the comeuppance delivered in a no-holds barred prom massacre. Its flamboyant visual flair and use of countless cinema techniques may occasionally seem overdone, but its influence remains undeniable to this day, often cited by other critics and filmmakers for its impact on the horror genre.

(Thanks to Chris!)

Posted by Geoff at 10:41 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, December 12, 2022

"In honor of the 30th anniversary of The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment issue, THR spoke with some of the powerhouse women that were featured in the very first list in 1992," begins an article posted Monday at The Hollywood Reporter. "From the likes of Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Kennedy, Gale Ann Hurd, Debbie Allen and more, nine women share what they’ve learned, the challenges they faced and how they’ve seen the industry evolve over the years." Here's an excerpt from the section on Hurd:
Gale Ann Hurd

Film and TV producer, including The Walking Dead franchise

What I was doing in 1992 Brian de Palma and I were in post-production on Raising Cain, which we filmed and posted in the Bay area. I was also in post on The Waterdance, written and co-directed by Neal Jimenez, which premiered at Sundance and won the Spirit for best first feature (over Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs!). I was coming off Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which was the world’s top-grossing film at the box office, and had an overall deal with Universal Pictures.

Most memorable challenge Juggling motherhood — my daughter was born in September of 1991 — and my career, [a challenge that] continued until my daughter went off to college.

Progress that women in entertainment have made It isn’t as rare to see women succeeding as producers, directors and writers, but the industry still isn’t a gender meritocracy.

Advice for new women on Power 100 Your perseverance is as important as your talent.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, December 10, 2022

Talking to Collider's Maggie Lovitt, Don Johnson mentions "a story that I don't think I've ever revealed to anyone" --
When you look at your resume, you see all of these very iconic characters. What is it like for you as an actor to have those iconic characters on your resume and for that to be what people recognize you for?

JOHNSON: For me, I mean, I just have this blessed career, and that people, my fans and the audience out there, tend to follow me into whatever adventure I'm going on. The biggest challenge was to break the stereotype of Sonny Crockett.

To that end, during that time - I'll tell you a story that I don't think I've ever revealed to anyone - I was offered a movie that went on to become a very big movie. The character was a slick-dressing - it was a period piece - but he was a slick-dressing guy, and it was all about the bad guys and the FBI, and all that stuff, and at the time I said, "Okay, I've got to not do this if I want to have a career outside of the slicky boy hero type. I've got to not take this part," even though I know it's going to be pretty good, and I loved the director. He was a friend of mine. It was a Brian De Palma film, I'll give you that much.

I turned it down, and I've struggled with that over the years, but I also think that it was the difference between me being identified forever as Sonny Crockett, even though it was a different film. It's just kind of when you do something that's similar, then you further get yourself put into a box of, "Oh, well this is who he is," and it's a challenging thing. So, I've been very fortunate in that I've been able to play a variety of different characters, and the audience will follow me and go with me everywhere, and honestly, I think it comes down to the training and the preparation.

In the De Palma documentary, De Palma told Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow that for The Untouchables, "Well, first we had to find Eliot Ness, and I wanted to use Don Johnson, because I knew Don, and he was very big in Miami Vice now. And Art [Linson] felt very strongly about Kevin [Costner]..."

Posted by Geoff at 4:57 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (2) | Permalink | Share This Post
Friday, December 9, 2022

On Friday, Waxwork Records announced that it will include a vinyl edition of Pino Donaggio's complete and expanded score for Brian De Palma's Body Double as part of its 2023 subscription plan, which includes six soundtracks total. The subscription goes on sale this Tuesday, December 13th, at 9am central. A version of this Body Double soundtrack will be made available to non-subscribers, but the vinyl records in that version might look different. Here is the Waxwork announcement from Facebook:
We are so excited to announce the return of the Waxwork Records Subscription! For the next week, we'll be revealing a new soundtrack title every day that's included for 2023 subscribers! Next up, Brian De Palma’s 1984 erotic thriller BODY DOUBLE featuring the complete and expanded score by Pino Donaggio (Carrie, Tourist Trap, The Howling) for the very first time on vinyl! This is one of our most requested releases and we are thrilled to finally bring it to you. Originally landing an X-Rating by blending elements of horror, mystery, and eroticism in a neon washed noir thrill ride, BODY DOUBLE was De Palma’s middle finger to Hollywood for the heavy pushback he received for exploring the boundaries of film making with his movie SCARFACE. "If this one doesn't get an X, nothing I ever do is going to. This is going to be the most erotic and surprising and thrilling movie I know how to make... I'm going to give them everything they hate and more of it than they've ever seen. They think Scarface was violent? They think my other movies were erotic? Wait until they see Body Double,” remarked De Palma in 1984.

The 2023 Waxwork Records Subscription goes on sale Tuesday, 12/13! Limited subscription spots are available so don’t miss out! 🔭

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Thursday, December 8, 2022

In the video above, from a livestream yesterday, Noah Baumbach talks about adapting the Don DeLillo novel White Noise for the cinema:
Really, what I found is an opportunity to find these cinematic analogues for what he was doing in a very literary way. But the book is all about American culture and how we’re inundated with product and TV and radio and movies and a lot of visual media. And so I was excited about the sort of visual opportunities and ways to push in that direction. Because the novel and the movie have different tone shifts and different genre elements that all have sort of cinematic equivalents to them. And because it was taking place in the eighties and I grew up in the eighties and I read the book in the eighties, I was interested in, not entirely, but sort of eighties interpretations of some of these genre elements. You know, film noir in the eighties, or family comedy in the eighties, or disaster movie elements in the eighties. So I was sort of using the kind of language that was inspired by that. And that was exciting to me, because I felt it was a way to play, in some ways, another tune that the book was alluding to but, you know, can’t do because it’s a novel. You know, if he does that thing in the novel where there’ll be a paragraph and there’ll be just a line from the radio or the television just as its own line, or just suddenly, that the word “Panasonic” appears in. Which is brilliant and it’s such a great novel thing, you know, a great writing thing. And so I then thought, you know, thinking about… or all the dialogue and the kids and the talking. So I got these… I should say not just visual ideas but audio ideas, and thinking about Robert Altman movies, and how he would, you know… This is something I actually started/played with in Marriage Story, was micing everybody in big groups, so everybody would talk at once, and I would have control of the different [voices]. So you could make a cacophony or you could break it down and really push one person to the forefront. And if you know Robert Altman’s movies, obviously he did this in a really kind of abstract [way]. In McCabe and Mrs. Miller, it becomes its own music. And so I found that was exciting for me, too, with this movie. You see it a little bit in the scene we saw, that first kitchen scene. They’re all talking over each other, and it becomes this sort of, you know, a song, in a way. And then to marry that to a certain kind of choreography and movement. So I felt like I could take, kind of, real life, and then put it in this sort of slightly abstract area. And that that, again, to me was a way to kind of represent that strangeness I was talking about.

Meanwhile, at The Film Stage, Nick Newman talks with cinematographer Lol Crawley, who filmed White Noise on anamorphic 35mm:
The Film Stage: This is far from the first period piece that you’ve shot. But I noticed, looking over your filmography, almost every one of them was photographed on film. 

Lol Crawley: Sure. Yeah.

And I think people balk, rightly or not, at a period piece shot on digital—it seems inauthentic. So how much was there a conversation about the necessity of shooting the 1980s with something visually and technologically analogous?

It was kind of established very early on. My recollection is that Netflix had gotten behind the idea of it being shot on film before I was even in the mix. And combining film with anamorphic seemed to do the heavy lifting of the aesthetic. It’s like, you combine Jess Gonchor‘s fantastic set design and shoot it anamorphic, on film, and you’re like: okay, that’s in the ballpark. Yeah, it is interesting. In general, if pushed, I would have to say I prefer shooting film over digital formats, but I also think it’s important to keep an open mind on the format and feel you’re serving the film, not just serving your own desire.

There are cinematographers I admire for that very fact. Like, Julien Donkey-Boy is a film I really love, that Anthony Dod Mantle shot, and I love the lo-fi aesthetic. I love the lo-fi aesthetic and philosophy of Dogme. It’d be interesting to know if it would feel a little dated to do that now; I don’t see a lot of people working on those low-end formats. But in a way it’s more interesting to shoot on those than a digital format that’s trying to emulate 35. I’m not sure everybody would share that opinion, but I’ve always liked the “punk” approach, in a way—trying to be more impressionistic and break an image down into textures. There’s more opportunity to do that with a much lower-resolution image to start with.

I was really surprised about this pairing with Baumbach because I tend to associate you with the Borderline crew.

Oh, okay! Yeah, I’ve shot for Brady and Antonio. That’s probably half the Borderline crew. [Laughs]

And there was a situation where he’d been working with a DP who left for various reasons. How was it coming into it after things were moving? Was there an established mold you had to work from?

No, it was so early on, I guess, that I didn’t really feel I inherited anything other than what was inherently Noah’s vision. So much comes from Noah because I find him to be a very visual filmmaker. Which might seem an odd thing to say, in the sense that his close comparisons would be Altman and Woody Allen. In some regards Noah is known for his studies of wonderful dialogue, wonderful performances, but can be also be internal—geographically, in rooms.

What was nice about this was he could flex different muscles for a Noah Baumbach film and do different things visually. The moment where Jack Gladney—Adam Driver’s character—becomes untethered and maniacally tears through the trash, the camera becomes untethered and does this circling thing. That was an idea that Noah had. A lot of those strong motifs came from Noah—which was enjoyable.

Of course he’s a De Palma acolyte, and that shot can only make me think of Blow Out.

It is very much a reference, yeah.

And the split-diopter moment.

Yeah. Well, that was another thing, but that wasn’t achieved in-camera; he did that as a post effect.

No kidding!

And I was like, “Oh. Okay. All right.” I don’t really get—I mean, within reason—bothered by people, directors and editors, reframing shots. Some people do, and I can kind of understand why they’d get bothered by it. I think also, once you’ve shot it, you’re not really in a position to… and I only say this because that one shot, we didn’t really discuss it. It was just in the editing they decided to do that, but I thought it worked terrifically well. Smart move.

Posted by Geoff at 10:18 PM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

It appears that Jeanne Savarino and Janet Savarino, the twins who audition briefly for Swan in Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, had appeared as adolescent bridesmaids in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, and then went on to repeat their roles in both Godfather sequels. A year before appearing in Phantom, they starred in a 1973 "centennial" Doublemint Gum commercial - which can be watched here.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
Monday, December 5, 2022

I am someone who loved the film Raising Cain right out of the gate - theatrical version in 1992. To me it flows perfectly, even if I very much appreciate Peet Gelderblom's re-cut, which uses an earlier draft of De Palma's screenplay to piece together something approximating De Palma's original intentions with the film. "It helps the film flow better and is the version that those looking to check the film out should watch," states 25YL's Robert Chipman, regarding Gelderblom's re-cut of Raising Cain. Chipman's article delves into the special features of the Scream Factory two-disc set, and begins with a story of his first experience with the film on VHS:
My family rented Raising Cain under the pretense of a dark thriller. I vividly recall about 20 minutes into the film, when the aptly-named character appeared, those in my household grumbled. Not because having two Lithgows for the price of one is a bad deal, quite the opposite! The family didn’t understand what was going on. Why is John Lithgow talking to another version of himself? A young kid like myself didn’t get it either, but I was willing to soldier through. Unfortunately for me, my family felt otherwise and shut it off around the time Cain and Carter’s dad makes himself known. Of course, who played the father? You guessed it, John Lithgow. My parent packed the movie and shipped it back to the video store. Did we get our money back? Of course not: we rented Alien 3 instead. I feel that was the wrong decision.

Anyway, Raising Cain holds a memory; I won’t say it was special. I watched it years later and found it a decent De Palma film with an excellent performance from John Lithgow. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, and everything you love (and hate) about Brian De Palma is in Raising Cain.

And here's a bit of Chipman's review of the special features interviews:
The second interview, “The Man In My Life,” is a sit-down with actor Steven Bauer. As with Lithgow, Bauer talks about the attention to detail that De Palma brings to his films by telling a tale of seeing the entirety of Scarface‘s production storyboarded in his office. From there, Bauer discusses going through a divorce and his relief—having to work on the set of Raising Cain to take his mind off his marital issues. While “The Man In My Life” isn’t in-depth on the day-to-day workings of the production, it works as a window into the mindset of Steven Bauer. And that is just as entertaining and informational.

“Have You Talked to the Others?” is an interview with editor Paul Hirsch. Hirsch traces his career back to the early ’90s working as an editor-for-hire to make “terrible films” into “bad films.” I appreciate Hirsch’s honesty as he talks about his first brushes with the film and not understanding what was going on in the script and what Brian De Palma needed. A funny story comes about as Hirsch details De Palma watching him edit while reading a book about ways to commit suicide. While short, “Have You Talked to the Others?” is one of my favorite interviews due to Hirsch’s openness.

Gregg Henry sits down to talk about his time on set with “Three Faces of Cain.” Speaking for myself, I love and appreciate character actors. Gregg Henry is one of my favorites, and I was excited to hear his thoughts. As is a recurring theme throughout the interviews, Henry talks about how De Palma maps out the film and comes to the set prepared, understanding how the film is to look. Henry talks about the infamous one-shot sequence and recounts a horror story about one actor blowing his line at the end of the shot. While there’s nothing earth-shattering in the interview, Henry speaks highly about the production, is proud of the film, and appreciates all involved.

Actor Tom Bower is next with the interview, “The Cat’s In the Bag.” Bower talks about working on the one-shot with Henry and actress Frances Sternhagen and the reviews he got for his work on the production. There’s not a lot with this interview, but it’s a cute addition and worth checking out at least once.

The last interview on the theatrical cut disc, “A Little Too Late for That,” finds actress Mel Harris discussing her work on Raising Cain. Harris heaps praise on De Palma for his professionalism, what drew her to accept her role as Sarah and working with actress Lolita Davidovich. It’s nice to see Scream Factory reaching out to the supporting players, giving them time to share their thoughts, and Harris is no exception.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post