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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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« June 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

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
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

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?
BAMcinématek
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
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Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Books
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Cannes
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Carrie
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
Cinema Studies
Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Congo
Conversation, The
Cop-Out
Cruising
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De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
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De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
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Dionysus In '69
Domino
Dressed To Kill
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Film Series
Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
Genius of Love
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Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
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Happy Valley
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Hi, Mom!
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Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
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Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
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Mod
Montreal World Film Fest
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Murder a la Mod
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Nazi Gold
Newton 1861
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Paranormal Activity 2
Parker
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Passion
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Print The Legend
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Raising Cain
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Redacted
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Rotwang muß weg!
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Wednesday, June 5, 2024
PAYPHONES IN DE PALMA (PART 16) - TONY MONTANA IN NEW YORK
"OKAY, WHAT ABOUT ELVIRA? DID SHE CALL?"

Posted by Geoff at 11:40 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 4, 2024
TWEET - NICK NEWMAN ON 'DOMINO'
PLUS A FLASHBACK TO NEWMAN'S REVIEW OF THE FILM FROM FIVE YEARS AGO


Excerpt from May 2019 Domino review by Nick Newman, The Film Stage -

So: Domino. The latest from Brian De Palma hits film culture not unlike a moody son trudging to their graduation party at a parent’s behest, a master of big-screen compositions relegated to VOD for those who bother plunking down. That tussle between pedigree of talent and nature of distribution foretells the chaos within: at one moment lit like a Home Depot model living room–a fault I’m more willing to chalk up to incomplete post-production, less likely to blame on Pedro Almodóvar’s longtime DP José Luis Alcaine–the next photographed and cut as if an old pros’ sumptuous fuck-you to pre-vis-heavy and coverage-obsessed action-filmmaking climate, the next maybe just an assembly of whatever master shots the team could scrounge together during those 30 production days. To these eyes it’s a chaotic joy; nearly malicious, deeply serious about the wounds of contemporary terrorism, and smart enough to pull off a mocking of the circumstances around those fighting it.

I have seen Domino twice and express little reservation saying its plot, courtesy of scribe Petter Skavlan, rests somewhere between formalist window dressing and outright catalyst for those plug-and-play habits. Be even a little versed in De Palma and you know what’s to come: God’s-eye (or director’s; same difference) surveillance shots, split screens as an actual plot device, a melodramatic thread over which to lay molasses-thick Pino Donaggio cues treating much of this as a big joke; the plot-setting incident being yet another assault on a stairwell.

Make no mistake, it’s mostly staged for campiness. More often than not that De Palma touch is zooming in on the specter of terrorism until it can find something ridiculous, heightened, thrilling in their possibilities. The rub is that Domino comes into a world with too many scarring reflections of itself to sit right. How amusing that a director so fascinated with the voyeurism-violence dichotomy would make a terrorist thriller about insurgents using the power of propaganda. Its own protagonist (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, carrying a blankness that lets every expression running across his face draw the movie’s emotions in even bigger lines) makes note of their formal sophistication: “even a drone shot!” But the movie’s high-wire act between gawking and actually showing can suddenly yank any fun from our grasp. Safe to say that watching Domino less than a month after the livestreamed Christchurch massacre–among the best warning signs of how deep into horror our world’s being brought–makes for one of De Palma’s few setpieces wherein aesthetic pleasure stings like sin.


Posted by Geoff at 11:09 PM CDT
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Monday, June 3, 2024
PAYPHONES IN DE PALMA (PART 15) - TONY MONTANA IN MIAMI
SCARFACE (1983)
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/payphonescarfacemiami155.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 11:51 PM CDT
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Sunday, June 2, 2024
PAYPHONES IN DE PALMA (PART 14) - 'SCARFACE' DELETED SCENE
TONY MONATANA & ANGEL FERNANDEZ IN A BANK OF FREEDOMTOWN PHONE BOOTHS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/payphonescardel1.jpg

Deleted scene from Scarface (1983) - Al Pacino as Tony Montana - with dozens in the "Freedomtown" detention center waiting for their turn at a payphone, Tony dials his mother's phone number, written on the back of a photo of his sister Gina from several years back. His mother answers, but Tony doesn't know what to say and hangs up. Meanwhile, behind him, his friend Angel Fernandez (played by Pepe Serna) is going through the phone book and calling anyone with the last name Fernandez in an effort to connect with his brother. "Don't waste your money," Tony tells him. "You know your brother hates you."


Posted by Geoff at 10:58 PM CDT
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Saturday, June 1, 2024
HOW TRAUMATIC MEMORIES SHAPE PEOPLE'S PRESENT BEHAVIOR
REVAN OLUKLU AT BAKLAVA BOLSHEVIK LOOKS AT BODY DOUBLE & BLOW OUT
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bdbored45.jpg

In his monthly blog column "Reading, Watching, Listening" at Baklava Bolshevik, Revan Oluklu writes his thoughts after a recent Brian De Palma double feature:
Last night, I had the pleasure of experiencing a Brian De Palma double feature at Melbourne’s Astor Theatre, showcasing Body Double and Blow Out. These films—brimming with De Palma’s signature style and thematic preoccupations—offer wildly entertaining exploration of prescient concerns that are strikingly relevant today. During the 80’s, De Palma was evidently fascinated with the elusiveness of truth, the perils of male impotence and sexual obsession, and the corruption and unresponsiveness of official institutions. From our historical vantage point, one can only conclude that the man was onto something.

Body Double screened first. As the reel started to spin, my friend and De Palma aficionado Hamish warned that I was in for something truly strange. The plot centres around Jake Scully (Craig Wasson), a struggling actor who becomes embroiled in a murder mystery after spying on his beautiful neighbour, Gloria Revelle (Deborah Shelton). In this way, Body Double is a vigorously campified update to Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Vertigo, bringing them into an age where cinematic voyeurism and fantasy have become so powerful as to supplant reality. De Palma’s exploration of male leering here is not mere plot device or pastiche. Instead, it forms a configuration of Hollywood filmmaking into the precise shape of the slobbery masculinity it so often serves.

I don’t believe I’ve seen a more pitiable protagonist than Jake Scully, painfully conjured by the boyish Wasson. The character’s apparent ‘soft’ masculinity, true to life, belies something significantly more perverse. Jake’s immotility, both physical and psychological, channels a pusillanimous current within male subjectivity that has increased in deviance since the film’s release. His sheer obsessive fetishism is the very source of his inability to act decisively upon the world, representing the collapse of the ‘performance’ of masculinity under the weight of its own plasticity. He likes to watch—so he may only watch.

The double feature closed with Blow Out, which follows Jack Terry (John Travolta), a movie sound tech who inadvertently records a car accident that turns out to be a political assassination of the likely incoming President. This film is more intensively concerned with the complexities of uncovering the truth, amidst a web of deception and conspiracy, something Body Double approaches rather cartoonishly. De Palma’s focus on the auditory elements—creepily crafted sounds and eerie silences—serves as metaphor for the struggle to make sense of contradictions within reality (something that is once again beginning to prominently concern filmmakers).

Jack is consumed by a need to piece together sounds and images, cross-referenced with his own memories, to reveal the truth. This quest runs up against both institutional indifference and concerted cover-ups. As liberal democracies continue pioneering authoritarian state censorship, too often claiming the freedom of the few driven by their conscience to become whistleblowers, Jack’s total inability to make objective reality count for something feels prophetic. The film’s genuinely bleak and meanspirited conclusion is among the more audacious narrative choices in a career littered with them.

Both Body Double and Blow Out feature ‘strangler’ killers, who target women with the pervasive violence that is often sensationalised—yet inadequately addressed—by the culture industry and society more broadly. The male protagonists, despite their best efforts, are pathetic failures, unable to save the victims or even themselves. In fact, their feebleness and monomania are necessary elements for De Palma’s female characters to become mortally endangered.

De Palma’s films are also deeply reflexive, providing unflinching critique of Hollywood and even independent cinema. Body Double’s Hollywood setting allows De Palma to satirise the industry’s exploitation of sex and violence, while Blow Out examines the manipulative power of film and media in shaping perceptions of reality. Both films underscore how traumatic memories shape people’s present behaviours—the sole reservoir of sympathy De Palma lends to his leading men. All of this amounts to enthralling, splenetic cinema allowing no respite from the litany of social ills which dominate us.

If you haven’t already, submit yourself to these stupefyingly stylish apogees of De Palma’s vision—a vision that has only grown in salience since the 1980s.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, June 2, 2024 12:01 AM CDT
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Friday, May 31, 2024
5 YEARS AGO TODAY, 'DOMINO' RELEASED IN AMC THEATERS & V.O.D.
UNMISTAKABLY DE PALMA IN THE WAY IT MOVES, BREATHES, LOOKS, & SOUNDS
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/amcdomino.jpg

https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/armonddomino.jpg 


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, June 1, 2024 12:32 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
STEPHEN BALDWIN TELLS STORY OF GETTING FIRED BY DE PALMA
"YOU DON'T ASK WHAT SEAN IS GONNA DO!!!" - SET OF CASUALTIES OF WAR



Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, May 31, 2024 1:34 AM CDT
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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
PAYPHONES IN DE PALMA (PART 13) - BLOW OUT
IN THE PHONE BOOTHS OF A PHILADELPHIA TRAIN STATION
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/payphonestation1.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 7:47 AM CDT
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Monday, May 27, 2024
'MAYBE THE PHONE COMPANY'S IN ON THE CONSPIRACY, TOO'
AND THE "SHOT BY SHOT PODCAST" DISCUSSES BLOW OUT
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/phonecompany1.jpg

 


Posted by Geoff at 12:22 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, May 27, 2024 2:04 PM CDT
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Sunday, May 26, 2024
CANNES CLOSES WITH 'PHANTOM' ON THE BEACH!
PRESENTED BY PAUL WILLIAMS & SAM PRESSMAN
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/phantomcannes2024b.jpg

Paul Williams and Sam Pressman presented a screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise last night, closing out this year's Cannes Film Festival at Macé beach on the Croisette. As the festival description has it, "In addition to all the screenings, conferences and events of the Official Selection happening at the Palais du Festival, the Festival reinvents itself each day at 9.30 pm and transforms the Macé beach of the Croisette (across the Majestic) into an open-air theater at nightfall."

On stage in front of the giant screen before the film last night, Paul Williams recalled the days when the film was released in 1974. "What was very good fortune for us, was that it wasn't a small hit, or even a big hit," Williams told the Canneds audience. "It was a film that, the people that loved it, would not walk away from."


Posted by Geoff at 11:48 AM CDT
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