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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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« May 2024 »
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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

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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

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A Lonely Place

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italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

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Hope Lies at
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Motion Pictures Comics

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So Why This Movie?

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Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
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Monday, May 13, 2024
SAMM-ART WILLIAMS HAS DIED
PROLIFIC PLAYWRIGHT, SCREENWRITER, ACTOR & PRODUCER HAD MEMORABLE ROLE IN DRESSED TO KILL
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dressed16s.jpg

Samm-Art Williams, who had a memorable role as the subway police officer in Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill, passed away peacefully today, according to Deadline. He was 78.

More from the Deadline obituary:

Born Samuel Arthur Williams on January 20, 1946, in Philadelphia, Williams was a prolific playwright, screenwriter, actor, and producer.

Performing as Samm Williams, he got his start on the New York stage in the early 1970s, appearing in notable plays such as Black Jesus and, with the New York’s Negro Ensemble Company, Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide and Liberty Calland. By the mid-’70s he began performing in other Off Broadway shows under the name Samm-Art Williams.

By the end of the decade, Williams had made his mark as a stage writer, and is today best known for Home, a drama originally staged by the Negro Ensemble Company in 1979 that moved to Broadway the following year. Home will be revived on Broadway beginning this June is a major Roundabout Theatre Company production directed by Kenny Leon.

The production begins previews May 17 at the Todd Haimes Theatre, opening on June 5.

Home is described by Roundabout as “a muscular and melodic coming-of-age story that gives voice to the unbreakable spirit of all Americans who have been searching for a place to belong.” The drama tells the story of Cephus Miles, a black Southern farmer thrown in jail for opposing the Vietnam draft and later moving North only to experience further difficulties before finally returning home.

The original Broadway production was nominated for the Best Play Tony Award and ran for 278 performances. Williams’ other stage credits include Welcome To Black River and Friends.

Williams also kept busy throughout the 1980s and ’90s writing for such TV shows as The New Mike Hammer, Cagney and Lacey, Badges, John Henry, Frank’s Place, Miami Vice, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Martin, among others. He received a 1985 Emmy nomination (Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program) for Motown Returns to the Apollo (shared with fellow writers Buz Kohan and Peter Elbling).

As a producer, Williams was Emmy-nominated for Frank’s Place, and scored major TV hits with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, Martin and The Good News.

A recognizable actor, Williams made notable appearances in 1984’s Blood Simple and as the enslaved person Jim in a 1985 American Playhouse/PBS limited series production of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Other acting credits include guest appearances in 227, Miami Vice, Frank’s Place, The Women of Brewster Place, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, A Rage In Harlem and Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper.

On the big screen, he made his debut The Wanderers (1979), and the following year played a subway police officer in director Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill.

Accolades include a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Playwriting, and other awards for writing. He was an Artist-in-Residence at North Carolina Central University, where he taught classes on equity theater and the art of playwriting.


Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 14, 2024 12:05 AM CDT
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Sunday, May 12, 2024
PHONE BOOTHS & PAYPHONES IN DE PALMA (PART 8) - 'THE FURY'
CARRIE SNODGRESS AS HESTER, MAKING A CLANDESTINE CONNECTION
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/fury45th4.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 8:53 PM CDT
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Saturday, May 11, 2024
'DRESSED TO KILL' AT FILM FORUM IN NEW YORK NEXT WEEKEND
MAY 17, 18, 20, AS PART OF 4-WEEK "OUT OF THE 80s" SERIES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/filmforumdtk.jpg

(Thanks to Hugh!)


Posted by Geoff at 6:48 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, May 11, 2024 6:49 PM CDT
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Friday, May 10, 2024
PHONE BOOTHS IN DE PALMA (PART 7) - 'THE FURY'
KIRK DOUGLAS AS PETER SANDZA - "I NEED YOUR BODY, BABY!"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/fury45th6.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 5:53 PM CDT
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Thursday, May 9, 2024
PHANTOM AT THE MAJESTIC OCT 26 WITH PAUL WILLIAMS IN PERSON
50TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING IN DALLAS, "IN THE VERY THEATRE IT WAS FILMED IN!"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/majestic50th.jpg

The Majestic Theatre in Dallas announced today a 50th anniversary screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, with Paul Williams in person for an intro and a Q&A following the screening. "Come see this favorite cult classic in the very theatre it was filmed in!" the theatre's message goes. "Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Brian De Palma's legendary sing-a-long cult classic Phantom of the Paradise with its star and composer Paul Williams live in person for Intro and Q/A. Phantom of the Paradise was filmed in Dallas and at the Majestic Theater 50 years ago!" Tickets are on sale now.

Posted by Geoff at 7:50 PM CDT
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Wednesday, May 8, 2024
PHONE BOOTHS IN DE PALMA (PART 6) - 'THE FURY'
"LOOK, I'M AT THE BEACH, AND I MADE A CONTACT" - WILLIAM FINLEY AS RAYMOND DUNWOODIE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/phoneboothfury1.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 10:33 PM CDT
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Tuesday, May 7, 2024
MICHAEL MOHAN TWEETS ABOUT 'PHANTOM' SCREENING IN L.A.

MOHAN IS THE DIRECTOR OF THE VOYEURS, IMMACULATE, SAVE THE DATE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetmohanphantom1.jpg

 - FLASHBACK -

Monday, September 27, 2021
'VOYEURS' DIRECTOR TALKS ABOUT 'BODY DOUBLE'
"THIS FEVER DREAM OF A MOVIE" IS AMONG MOHAN'S SIX FAVORITE EROTIC THRILLERS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bdbrinke.jpg

"My new movie, The Voyeurs, is a reinvention of the erotic thriller for a modern audience," begins writer-director Michael Mohan in an article today at Talkhouse. "In preparation for the film, I devoured countless films in this lost genre and wanted to share six of my favorites." After starting with Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful, Mohan moves on to Body Double:
Watching this fever dream of a movie, it feels like Brian De Palma learned that he had six weeks left to live and decided to put all of his cinematic ideas in this film, whether or not they fit the story. It’s about an out-of-work actor who is housesitting at the Chemosphere and how he becomes more and more intrigued by a porn star he watches through a telescope. But following the plot is a fool’s errand – it’s the kind of film where you simply need to let the vibe wash over you in order to enjoy the onslaught of baffling maximalist creative decisions. From the sudden switch to rear projection mid-scene, to the abrupt musical number that happens toward the film’s climax; it’s crazy to think this is the blank check movie De Palma wanted to cash after the massive success of Scarface.

Body Double also contains one of my favorite set pieces in all of De Palma’s filmography. In a moment of pure visual storytelling, we follow the main character tailing his object of desire, while a stalker is simultaneously tailing her at the same time. It’s the kind of sequence that can only exist in a movie; it would be so challenging to read in a novel and could never work in audio form. The way De Palma carefully lays out the geography and visual design of how his three chess pieces move across the board is remarkable.

I also just love that the killer’s weapon — a giant drill — is a direct homage to Slumber Party Massacre, one of the smartest horror movies ever made, and directed by a woman.


The other four movies Mohan discusses in the article are Barbet Schroeder's Single White Female, Alain Guiraudie's Stranger by the Lake, Curtis Hanson's The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, and Harold Becker's Malice.

 


Posted by Geoff at 12:20 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2024 12:23 AM CDT
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Monday, May 6, 2024
AT ROGEREBERT.COM, EXCERPT FROM KENNY'S SCARFACE BOOK
FROM THE MICHELLE PFEIFFER CHAPTER, "ELVIRA"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/kennyscarface1.jpg

Glenn Kenny's new book, The World Is Yours: The Story of Scarface, is out tomorrow (Tuesday May 7th), and RogerEbert.com has an excerpt you can read right now. The excerpt centers around a new interview that Kenny conducted with Michelle Pfeiffer for the book.


Posted by Geoff at 10:45 PM CDT
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Sunday, May 5, 2024
GLENN KENNY DISCUSSES 'SCARFACE' BOOK ON BULWARK PODCAST
AND A STORY FROM SOMEONE WHO SAYS THEY HAD VISITED THE SCARFACE SET
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetsonnybunch.jpg

From the latest episode of The Bulwark Goes To Hollywood podcast:
Sonny Bunch: I feel like one of the running motifs of your book is: Let’s get Brian De Palma behind a camera again. That would be fun. Maybe let him make one more movie. Somebody.

Glenn Kenny: It’s a tricky situation. Because unlike the other directors he came up with, De Palma never formed a permanent production company of his own. He never aspired to be a producer. He was never a mogul. And unlike Scorsese and his other friends, he doesn’t have an archive of his stuff. He has been a director-for-hire, and kind of, the last few films that he’s made have acquired European backing and often European producers who are on the relatively shady side and interfere with the work. I’m not sure – I can’t speak for him, what his disposition is. I do know he would like to direct another film. It’s just that the circumstances haven’t loaned themselves to it. And he’s not in a position where he’s going to… you know, it’s complicated, from what I understand, is about all that I can say. But I would love for him to direct another film. He’s always thinking about things, and he’s living in East Hampton. And I know his great friends Jay Cocks, the screenwriter, and David Koepp, the screenwriter, visit him relatively frequently. They watch films together and talk films, so, you know, he’s still all about cinema. Yeah, I agree, I hope he gets to make another film, sooner than later.


Commenting on the Bulwark episode page, TCinLA shares an on-set story:
I was a visitor on-set the day of the great Scarface disaster, when Pacino nearly killed himself by tripping at the wrong time and grabbing the wrong thing with which to steady himself.

It was the final scene, where "Tony Montana" is killed. They were going to destroy the set by "gunfire" and take it up to the point when Tony falls out of the second story and ends up dead in the pool below. That really existed, in the house in Santa Barbara they were using for the exteriors. Tony would be chased through the house by the assassins, and in the end by blown away with a shotgun, as he fought them off with an AR-15 modified for full auto. Squibs were all over the set, and would be set off by a member of the SFX team offstage. It's important to note that Pacino's final mark had been made with a pair of 2x4s where "X marks the spot." This was going to be one long take and at the end the set would be destroyed.

So they start up, DePalma calls "action," and everything goes as you remember the scene watching in the theater.

Except, at the end, Pacino trips over the 2x4s and drops his gun. He grabs for it and ends up grabbing the red-hot barrel. He screams, drops it and starts to stagger back toward the window. Except there is no pool beyond it, only concrete floor. Nobody seems to know things have gone wrong other than Pacino and the actor who is to "blow him away."

At literally the last moment, before Pacino went out the window and ended up hittng the concrete floor 20 feet below, the "killer" actor grabbed his belt and pulled him back. Disaster was averted.

Pacino spent six weeks recovering from the burns. This gave the crew time to rebuild the set (god knows how much money this cost - the production accountant does too). Finally everyone is ready to go at it again. This time they use tape for "X marks the spot," and all goes well and we have all seen that final shootout and been amazed by it. (I forgot, during production, DP John Alonzo developed a way to wire the guns to the camera so they only fired when the aperture was open, so there is no rotoscoping in the entire movie).

Yeah, back in the days when makin' mo'om pitchas was fun.



Posted by Geoff at 1:36 AM CDT
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Saturday, May 4, 2024
SOLD OUT - 'PHANTOM' AT VIDIOTS IN LOS ANGELES MAY 5
SCREENING HOSTED BY ARI KAHAN WITh PAUL WILLIAMS, PETER ELBLING, AND A SUPER-SECRET ATTENDEE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/swantelephone1.jpg

The Swan Archives News Page reports: "Our Principal Archivist will again be hosting a very special screening" of Phantom Of The Paradise, "this time at Vidiots in Los Angeles, on May 5 at 7pm. Also in the house: Paul Williams and Peter Elbling. And perhaps another supersecret attendee." The Vidiots event page notes that this screening is sold out.

Meanwhile...

Momentarily distracted by the presence of Winslow Leach, the composer, Swan quickly comes up with an idea. "Telephone," he commands to no one in particular, turning and pointing toward the telephone that sits atop a bedside table behind him...

 


Posted by Geoff at 8:18 PM CDT
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