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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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« May 2023 »
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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

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
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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

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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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Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
BAMcinématek
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Body Double
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Books
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Bruce Springsteen
Cannes
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Carlito's Way
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Cop-Out
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Dionysus In '69
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Genius of Love
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Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
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Saturday, May 27, 2023
TARANTINO'S MASTERCLASS AT CANNES
"PART OF MY LOVE FOR DE PALMA CAME FROM THE POSSIBILITY OF GETTING INTO TROUBLE DEFENDING HIM"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/qtcannes2023.jpg

"Quentin [Tarantino] — this may have changed — but about a month ago he was making a film, had something to do with filmmaking in the ’70s," Paul Schrader said on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast last week. "And part of this, he’s going to use clips from movies from the ’70s, but he’s also gonna remake movies from the ’70s. And he asked me, ‘Can I redo the ending of Rollling Thunder?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, go for it. I’d love to see you redo the ending of Rolling Thunder.’ Who knows whether he actually will or not. But it was something that was tickling his imagination in a very Tarantino-esque way."

This week, Tarantino presented a mystery screening at the Cannes Film Festival that turned out to be Rolling Thunder. France 24's David Rich provides some details about Tarantino's subsequent Masterclass at Cannes:

A fixture of the Palme d’Or contest, [Marco] Bellocchio is yet to win a prize in Cannes – aside from the career award he picked up two years ago for his lifetime achievements. His lack of success here stands in stark contrast with that of another Cannes stalwart, Quentin Tarantino, who showed up for a masterclass on Thursday before an ecstatic crowd of several hundred, packed inside the Théâtre de la Croisette.

The superstar director of “Pulp Fiction”, who won the Palme at his first attempt in 1994, is currently at work on what could be his final feature film. His Cannes talk came two months after the release of his book, “Cinema Speculation”, in which he recounts his first steps as a film buff and details his love of the movies.

Tarantino kicked off the talk with a surprise screening of John Flynn’s “Rolling Thunder”, an obscure movie about a Vietnam veteran pursuing the criminals who killed his family – which he introduced as “the greatest revenge flick of all time”. With its gun-blast violence, lyrical badmouth, and cathartic final bloodbath in a Mexican bordello, it had all the hallmarks of a Tarantino favourite.

The screening of “Rolling Thunder” was a chance for the filmmaker to reflect on his approach to on-screen violence, a subject he touched on in his book, describing how his mother would take him to the movies as a young boy and let him watch violent films – as long as the violence was contextualised and “understood”.

Morality should not dictate the aesthetics of a film, Tarantino argued at the Cannes talk. The most important thing is to “electrify the audience”, he added, quoting American director Don Siegel. He did, however, draw a red line at on-set violence against animals, noting that “killing animals for real in a film (…) has been done a lot in European and Asian films”. The taboo applied to insects too, he quipped, eliciting laughter from the audience.

“I'm not paying to see death for real. We’re here to pretend, which is why I can put up with all this violence,” he explained. “We’re just being silly, we’re just kids playing, it’s not real blood and nobody gets hurt.”

Tarantino also asserted his preference for edgy and divisive directors, as well as those – like Flynn from “Rolling Thunder” – who never got the credit they deserved.

“Everyone loves Spielberg and Scorsese, there was no question of me joining the club of the most popular guys, that’s not my style!” he said, echoing a theme he mined in his book, in which he detailed his love for Brian De Palma’s more divisive movies. “Part of my love for De Palma came from the possibility of getting into trouble defending him, sometimes to the point of coming to blows,” he added.

Touching on his last Cannes entry, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (2019), Tarantino said his primary motivation for making the film was to “avenge” Sharon Tate, the actress who was brutally murdered by members of the ‘Manson Family’ in the 1970s, by imagining an alternative ending to the tragedy.

He was distinctly less chatty when quizzed about his new project, the forthcoming film “The Movie Critic”, billed as another ode to cinema. “I'm tempted to give you some of the characters’ monologues right now. But I’m not going to do that, no, no,” he teased the audience. “Maybe if there were fewer cameras.”

Tarantino has repeatedly suggested his tenth feature film is likely to be his last, based on his belief that filmmakers only have a limited number of good films in them. Whether or not he quits as a director, the conversation about movies will go on, he added, wrapping up the talk with a simple, “To be continued”.


Posted by Geoff at 11:38 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 27, 2023 11:43 AM CDT
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Friday, May 26, 2023
JOE RUSSO - DE PALMA'S THRILLERS INFLUENCED 'CITADEL'
"I THINK THAT WAS PROBABLY THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON THE LOOK & FEEL OF THE SHOW"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/citadelposter.jpg

Rosette Adel at Interaksyon shares some quotes from the Russo Brothers and co-producer Angela Russo-Otstot (and others) from a roundtable press interview about their Prime series Citadel:
“I don’t know if we thought of a specific spy. But certainly, the work of Brian De Palma comes to mind…not specifically from his espionage films but so much from his ‘thrillers.’ I think that was probably the biggest influence on the look on the feel of the show,” Joe Russo told Interaksyon when asked for spy or film inspiration for “Citadel.”

Angela Russo-Otsot also stressed that while they are fans of the genre and have many references, they still produced the series with the thought of bringing something new to the audience.

“I think that what’s interesting to note here is that oftentimes, even though we are such fans of genre, and have many references that we can point to as great influences successes, oftentimes when we sit down to think about how to approach a genre, we specifically reflect on ‘what have we not seen before?’ And that felt like a really exciting, compelling opportunity here, to not only feature a duo, but a duo that has a complicated past and features a woman in a way that we have not seen in the spy space, to date,” Angela said during the roundtable interview.

“I think felt like the most exciting approach was to really consider all the spy films that we have seen before lean into some of them from a storytelling perspective that appeal to a broader audience and allow that audience an easier access point, but then to subvert their aspects that then frankly, felt long overdue,” she added.


Posted by Geoff at 11:41 PM CDT
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Thursday, May 25, 2023
TWEET FROM CANNES - TARANTINO PREFERS DE PALMA
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetcannesqt.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 24, 2023
ELFMAN AT THE TEMPO OF HUNT'S HURTLING HEADSPACE
NICK ROGERS AT MIDWEST FILM JOURNAL CELEBRATES ELFMAN'S SCORE FOR 'MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/micredits5.jpg

Midwest Film Journal is honoring Danny Elfman's 70th birthday (which is Monday, May 29) with "a selection of reflections on his work called The Elfman Cometh." Kicking off the series is Nick Rogers's essay about Elfman's score for Mission: Impossible. Here's an excerpt:
Elfman creates a distinct imprint of near-miss intersections and on-the-fly improvisations as Hunt perceives them. Frequently as haunted and harried as it is high-spirited and heroic, Elfman’s score careens in real-time through Hunt’s cognitive analysis of who has betrayed him and his team. Working in tandem with a hairpin narrative, Elfman perpetually suppresses Hunt’s progress beneath propulsive momentum that this pointman cannot always control.

During “Big Trouble” — as Hunt’s team falls prey to a catastrophic mission in Prague — Elfman undermines the typical connotations of confidence in a trumpet voluntary. He upends the lone-hero motif as a bit of brassy bravado; as fast as Hunt can run, he can only arrive at prime vantage points to watch his colleagues picked off one by one. Burbling timpani and skittering-scorpion auxiliary percussion add to the sense of inescapable dread, like Hunt’s heartbeat aggravated into arrhythmia. Elfman holds the tether with the faintest instrumentation before a car explosion segues into a full-blown, fog-thickened tragedy.

Later, in “Mole Hunt” — as IMF director Kittredge puts the squeeze on Hunt, whom he believes sold out his team — Elfman addresses the accusations like an ascending scale of anxieties for a man still reeling from seeing his colleagues slaughtered. And through dynamics and sound alone in “Biblical Revelation,” Elfman suggests Hunt is hallucinating the reappearance of his supposedly dead mentor, Jim Phelps. These darker passages feel like a variation of Hunt’s vitals, from amplified anxiety to the comforts of certainty he derives amid so much deception.

It’s all the more impressively oppressive given the playfulness of other passages. As director Brian De Palma does with the film itself, Elfman nails the delicate balancing act.

When it comes to Hunt’s nigh-magical acts of spycraft, Elfman puts the presti in his prestidigitation. Accompanying the film’s prologue, “Sleeping Beauty” opens with a martial, percussive momentum. It’s a deceptively hefty introduction, yielding to trilling flutes, jaunty cello and plucked bass (the latter for just a bit of that bottom-end heft Elfman brought to his band, Oingo Boingo). Castanets conjure the fast finger-work of a grifter lifting and pinching, only here it’s the question of the reality we see — blooming into full heroic flourish once Hunt commits his first of the series’ many mask-pulls. Before “Big Trouble” brings the carnage, “Red Handed” rolls off rollicking roundelays amid the typically cheery chatter on back-channel communications. Although the film’s centerpiece CIA robbery sequence unfolds largely in silence, “The Heist” is an emotional pump-primer for the clenched teeth and clapped hands it commands. And when the hammering triplets hit for a swoop in on a bullet train during “Train Time,” it’s simply electric.

Elfman is also judicious with Lalo Schifrin’s iconic but indispensable theme he did not compose — deploying it only for the opening credits, the establishing card for the CIA headquarters and the climax of the furious helicopter-versus-train finish. Even in that latter moment, Elfman’s own “Zoom B” first erupts into a major key as Hunt leaps onto a helicopter skid — a sonic sunburst through the clouds and a full, unfettered act of derring-do as Hunt takes down the bad guys with an homage to his fallen friends.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 23, 2023
A MUCH BIGGER REACTION
WES ANDERSON - BRIAN DE PALMA LIKED 'ASTEROID CITY' EVEN MORE ON SECOND VIEWING
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/asteroidcannes2023.jpg

Writing from the Cannes Film Festival, AP Film Writer Jake Coyle states that Asteroid City, which premiered at the festival, is among Wes Anderson's "most charmingly chock-full creations, a much-layered, ’50s-set fusion of science fiction, midcentury theater and about a hundred other influences ranging from Looney Tunes to Bad Day at Black Rock." Coyle adds that "the film, which Anderson wrote with Roman Coppola, takes place in a Southwest desert town where a group of characters, some of them nursing an unspoken grief, gather for various reasons, be it a stargazing convention or a broken-down car. But even that story is part of a Russian Doll fiction. It's a play being performed — which, itself, is being filmed for a TV broadcast."

Coyle quotes Anderson: "I do feel like this might be a movie that benefits from being seen twice. Brian De Palma liked it the first time and had a much bigger reaction on the second time. But what can you say? You can't make a movie and say, ‘I think it’s best everyone sees it twice.'"


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Friday, May 19, 2023
AUTHOR VICTOR LaVALLE ON 'MISSION TO MARS'
TWEETS "A MORE HOPEFUL VERSION OF PROMETHEUS"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetm2mprometheus1.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Thursday, May 18, 2023
'BLOW OUT' KICKS OFF AN EVENING OF SOUND IN CINEMA
IN FRANCE, MAY 22, PRESENTED BY THIERRY JOUSSE; ALSO "SEE IT BIG" AT MOMA IN NEW YORK
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Film critic and filmmaker Thierry Jousse will begin an evening on the importance of sound in the cinema (May 22nd, at Cinéma Cinévals in Saint-Jean-d'Angély, France) with a screening of Brian De Palma's Blow Out, according to Sud Oest's Philippe Brégowy:
The association of local cinephiles Grand Ecran offers, on Monday May 22 at 8:30 p.m., an evening dedicated to the importance of sound in cinema. Thierry Jousse, specialized journalist but also film director, will discuss this subject after the screening of the film “Blow Out” by Brian de Palma. A great specialist in film music, he has written several books on this subject.

Thierry Jousse considers that sound and music are "essential" in a film. “They lead the viewer's gaze. But the sound – a little less the music – still remains a poor relation of cinema for the general public”, estimates the one who hosts a weekly program on France Musique: “Ciné Tempo”.

For Thierry Jousse, "90% of the best memories of spectators in dark rooms are related to music". Even if he does not consider himself an "ayatollah" of music and sound, he deplores the general public's ignorance of these essential elements of a film.

The evening promises to be exciting because the film was chosen by the speaker himself and has for hero... a sound engineer!


Meanwhile, at The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, a 35mm print of Blow Out has been arranged for upcoming screenings on May 27th and June 4th, according to Michael Gannon at Queens Chronicle:
The Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria always makes a splash with its annual “See It Big” film series.

And there’s no way to make it any bigger than this year’s lineup dedicated to summer blockbusters, dating back to when they were invented in the 1970s.

The promo on the museum’s website, movingimage.us, says it all:

“Kick back in the air conditioning and enjoy these summer movies the way they were meant to be seen.”

The series began May 5. “Jaws” (1975), the original “Star Wars” trilogy (1977-83) and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) headline the A-list offerings.

Edo Choi, MoMI’s associate curator of film, programmed the series alongside Curator of Film Eric Hynes and co-editors Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert of MoMI’s “Reverse Shot” magazine

“We researched the summer movies from each year going back to the 1973 release of “American Graffiti” which we judged to be the historical, as opposed to the mythic (“Jaws”), beginning of the summer movie phenomenon,” Choi told the Chronicle in an email. “We then tried to achieve a selection that had a good mix of mainstream blockbusters, genre films and arthouse hits.”

Choi said “American Graffiti” was not available because the studio is planning a theatrical release around the film’s 50th anniversary. But he did receive a nice consolation prize

“I’m particularly excited that we managed to arrange the loan of a 35mm print of Brian De Palma’s “Blow Out” (1981),” he said. “The digital format (DCP) has more commonly circulated in recent years and this is certainly one to ‘See Big.’”


Posted by Geoff at 10:29 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 16, 2023
TONY STELLA ART FOR GERMAN 4K ULTRA 'CARLITO'S WAY'
32-PAGE BOOKLET TO BE INCLUDED IN COLLECTOR'S EDITION, COMING JULY 20, 2023
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/arthauscarlito.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 10:21 PM CDT
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Monday, May 15, 2023
'QUIET LITTLE HORRORS' PODCAST DISCUSSES 'SISTERS'
"IT'S A VIBE, AN EXPLORATION OF THEMES"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/quietlittlehorrors.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Sunday, May 14, 2023
'THE MOST AMBITIOUS WORK OF HIS CAREER'
NEAL JUSTIN ON FOX IN 'CASUALTIES', GUGGENHEIM ON USE OF CLIPS IN 'STILL: A MICHAEL J. FOX MOVIE'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/still1255.jpg

A. Frame's Alex Welch talks to Davis Guggenheim about his Apple TV + documentary, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie:
"I found an incredible joy and levity in his books, and that surprised me," Guggenheim tells A.frame. "At first, I thought, 'Someone should direct a movie about Michael,' and then I realized, 'No, I should direct a movie about Michael.'"

That movie is Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie, which features intensely personal interviews between Fox and Guggenheim about the former's life and legacy, as well as exploring the ways in which the actor has dealt with his diagnosis of early-onset Parkinson’s disease. According to Guggenheim, it was Fox's resilient spirit in the face of adversity that struck such a chord with him. "It made me think, 'If this guy can be so upbeat when he's got this chronic diagnosis and I'm more dark and pessimistic than him, what's really going on here?' I wanted to solve that riddle," he recalls.

"The best movies, for me, are the ones that you come at personally," says the filmmaker. "I just felt drawn to Michael as a person."

A.frame: Michael J. Fox is somebody who has been a constant fixture in a lot of peoples' lives for 40 years. Was the thought of exploring his career and pop cultural impact onscreen at all daunting, or just exciting?

It's always a little daunting, but mostly exciting. I wanted to break out of the sort of rut I was in. I mean, it was a good rut. I had made a lot of films that are about substantial things and topics that stimulated my intellect. But I wanted to break out of that, and there's something about Michael that was appealing to me. "Appealing" doesn’t even seem like the right word. There's something about him that I needed.

The film really captures his resiliency. There's a moment near the start of the film where he falls and this woman comes back to check on him and he just looks at her and quips, "You knocked me off my feet."

He's a saint. That could easily be a line from Alex P. Keaton or Marty McFly, and that moment says a lot. It was a total surprise, first of all. We almost cut just before that. We thought the take was over and he trips very deep in the frame. I've watched it so many times, though, and the thing is that he's being very deliberate with his steps while he's walking so that he doesn't fall, and then the thing that trips him up is the woman. They pass each other and she says, "Hello, Mr. Fox," and he can't help but turn to face her because he's that kind of guy. He doesn't want to be aloof. He wants to be kind, and it's that kindness that sends him tumbling. And then, of course, instead of doing what I would probably do — which is stay on the ground and call my family — he gets up and says, "You knocked me off my feet," and the woman laughs. It says everything about him. He insists that no one looks at him like he's a pathetic creature.

You use a blend of multiple different kinds of footage and media in the film. What was your thought process behind shooting some of the recreation footage used in the doc?

I knew we had to do recreations right away. Then we got Michael Harte to come on board as our editor, who's a genius. I think at Sundance I called him a "wizard genius," and I genuinely do believe that, because he's just the most gifted editor. My solution to depicting certain moments that we didn't have any archival footage for was to do recreations. His solution was always to try and find moments from Michael J. Fox's movies and re-craft them in new and inventive ways. I've seen that done before here and there. Ethan Hawke does it in his Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward documentary series, The Last Movie Stars, which is wonderful. But Michael does it very differently in Still.

You mean because he blends the recreations and movie scenes together?

Yes. For instance, it goes by too fast because it's at the very beginning of this movie, but there's a shot of this hotel in Florida. It's the first shot of the film. Then we cut to a hallway and then to a bed and then you see this figure in the bed and the figure turns and that's all recreation. But then when we cut to a close-up of him waking up, that's from The Secret of My Success. Then we cut back to the hotel room and we show him having a fistfight with Woody Harrelson in basically 10 different movies. In those scenes, the editor and I always battle a little about how to depict each moment, and we fought and fought and fought until the movie decided what was best, ultimately.

Michael is really the only person directly interviewed in the film. Did you ever consider including interviews with any of his peers or family members?

I almost didn't interview him, actually. The original plan was no interviews at all. I pitched the film to Apple that watching it would feel like watching an '80s movie. I wanted a big score. I wanted big music cues from Guns N' Roses and the Beastie Boys. I even got John Powell to score the film, and he'd never scored a documentary before. He's just done big Hollywood movies previously. I so wanted to switch directions from my previous films. I wanted to take people on a wild ride, and interviews tend to slow films down. Interviews are like the basic language of documentaries. But I'd been working on the film for a while already, and I was doing this commercial and this cinematographer showed me a shot where you can put the camera in a certain way that it looks like the interviewee is looking into the lens. It worked really well, but you have to sit really close to the camera in order to achieve that effect.

So, Michael and I were always only about four feet apart from each other. We were always looking right into each other's eyes, and I just thought, "This is amazing." It was so right, because he's right there. I didn't know for sure if it was going to work or if the audience would always be able to understand him — because sometimes his Parkinson's makes it difficult to understand what he’s saying — but he was so funny. He's funny exactly the way you see he is in the film, and he's so winning that it just worked. So, we did more interviews. We just kept going back. We did that kind of interview together about six different times.


Meanwhile, Neal Justin at Star Tribune writes, "Guggenheim's super-personal approach means there is little time to evaluate that ABC sitcom [Spin City] or much of Fox's other works. But you can do that on your own." Justin includes Casualties Of War as one of "five gems" to start with:
Fox does the most ambitious work of his career in Brian De Palma's take on the Vietnam War. He plays a private who dares to go against a gung-ho sergeant (Sean Penn) after the rape and murder of a civilian. The film never got the attention it deserved, in part because it premiered in the shadow of "Platoon." HBO Max


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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