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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


« September 2008 »
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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.
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Iraq, etc.
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Sunday, September 7, 2008
Holland & Koepp Nest Fest Reviews
Willa Holland is pictured here at last night's premiere for Middle Of Nowhere, one of two features she has premiering at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. We haven't seen any reviews yet for that film, but Michael Rechtshaffen at the Hollywood Reporter has filed a review of Holland's other Toronto film, Michael Winterbottom's Genova. While Rechtshaffen does not single out any specific evaluation of Holland in his positive review of the film, he does mention "fine performances," and states that Colin Firth is "well-cast." More interestingly, Rechtshaffen writes, "With Italy providing an evocative backdrop, not to mention an unsettling vibe that intentionally evokes Nicolas Roeg's 1973 classic, Don't Look Now, the tautly-choreographed, effectively acted film shouldn't have any trouble finding a distributor despite the generally downbeat tone." Interesting that the film stars Firth and evokes the Roeg film with its Italian setting, because Don't Look Now was one of the reasons Brian De Palma wanted to make Toyer, which was to star Firth, in Venice. There are many (including myself) who still hope De Palma's Toyer will get made someday.

Screen Daily has filed the first review of David Koepp's new film, Ghost Town, which premiered a couple of days ago at the Toronto fest. Calling it "a minor studio comedy," the review states that Koepp "has a light touch with the comic material and actors, and there's a sweetness to the supernatural storyline that gives the film its heart." Jeffrey Wells writes elsewhere that Ghost Town is "a playful mainstream studio wanker that has no business being in Toronto, really, except to satisfy the ambitions of its distributor, Paramount Pictures." Koepp collaborated with De Palma on a trio of films in the '90s: Carlito's Way, Mission: Impossible, and Snake Eyes.

Also of interest at Toronto, Richard Linklater's Me And Orson Welles has been reviewed by Screen Daily's Allan Hunter as "a sweetly entertaining putting-on-a-show period drama that celebrates a defining moment in the life of American theatre and one of its most iconoclastic stars." Hunter is particularly taken with Linklater's casting in the role of Orson Welles, writing:

If you are going to make a film about Orson Welles then you need an actor who can provide a brilliant impersonation of this colossus of the New York stage. They have found such an actor in Christian McKay who gives a superlative performance. He captures both the look and sound of Welles, convincing in every aspect from his sing song cadences to the mischievous twinkle that dances in his eyes. It is a performance that achieves the same kind of verisimilitude and depth that earned Philip Seymour Hoffman plaudits and a Best Actor Oscar for Capote.

Posted by Geoff at 4:10 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, September 7, 2008 5:02 PM CDT
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Friday, September 5, 2008
Brian De Palma had to cancel his master class at this year's Montreal Film Festival due to "serious dental surgery," also referred to as "killer dental surgery," and also as just plain old "crazy dental surgery." But we're happy to report that De Palma has safely made it to another of his regular festivals, the Toronto International Film Festival, where the director is a guest at this year's Talent Lab. De Palma, pictured top left in front of participants at the lab yesterday with Talent Lab governor Don McKellar (a multi-hat Canadian filmmaker who most recently wrote and acted in Fernando Meirelles' upcoming Blindness), has participated in the lab multiple times over the past few years. It is there that he met producers Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss, who produced Redacted and will produce two more upcoming De Palma features. At right, De Palma is pictured with fellow Talent Lab guest, actress Samira Makhmalbaf, at last night's Talent Lab dinner.


As mentioned in my post yesterday, not only will De Palma's friend and collaborator David Koepp be at the Toronto fest with a new film, but so will De Palma's step daughter, Willa Holland. Holland has two films premiering at this year's fest, and one of them has received a rave from Baz Bamigboye, a columnist for the U.K.'s Daily Mail. Bamigboye is quite taken with Holland, writing that the camera loves her, and that Michael Winterbottom's Genova shows that she is "blessed with star quality." Bamigboye writes, "There's a scene where she's riding pillion on a Vespa, the camera lingers a while on her face and we see the sense of panic, fear and grief she must be going through. I just hope this gifted young actress is allowed to continue to make brilliant choices." One of Holland's costars in Genova is Colin Firth, who earlier this decade was prepared to make a film with De Palma that has never yet panned out: Toyer, an adaptation of the play by Gardner McKay that De Palma wanted to make with Firth and Juliette Binoche, transfering its setting from Los Angeles to Venice. De Palma had written the screenplay himself, and it was reported that Ted Tally had worked on a revision, but the timing (Venice in the winter) never quite worked out for everyone involved.

Posted by Geoff at 10:51 AM CDT
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Thursday, September 4, 2008
Film Fest Items of Interest


David Koepp's latest film as director, Ghost Town, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival tomorrow. While the new film, which Koepp cowrote with John Camps, shares certain supernatural themes with Koepp's previous directorial outings, this one is a comedy that stars Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear, and Téa Leoni.

Also premiering at the Toronto fest this weekend will be two new films featuring Brian De Palma's step daughter, Willa Holland. Holland stars alongside Colin Firth and Catherine Keener in Michael Winterbottom's Genova, and also stars with Susan Sarandon in John Stockwell's Middle Of Nowhere. Holland will also appear on TV's Gossip Girl this fall.

Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker will also appear at Toronto, but it makes its world premiere today at Venice. At the Venice press conference today, according to Variety, Bigelow said of the film, "My interest was to give this conflict a human face, and to enable the audience to actually experience what a soldier experiences, based on personal observation from the battlefield." Screenwriter Marc Boal described the film as "primarily observational, as opposed to polemical." Boal added, "It's almost a dirty little secret of war that, as horrible as it is, there are some men who through the intensity of the experience come to find it alluring."

Posted by Geoff at 11:41 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, September 8, 2008 9:09 AM CDT
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Sunday, August 31, 2008
Howell on The Hurt Locker

The Toronto Star's Peter Howell has an early review of Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, in anticipation of the film's screenings at this year's Toronto International Film Festival September 8 and 10 (prior to that, Bigelow's film will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this Thursday, September 4th). The Hurt Locker was written by Mark Boal, whose 2004 Playboy article Death and Dishonor was the source for the Paul Haggis film In The Valley Of Elah. Howell states that with this new film, Bigelow "can add titan of suspense to her laurels. If you can sit through The Hurt Locker without your heart nearly pounding through your chest, you must be made of granite."

Howell begins his review by stating, "Just when you think the battle of Iraq war dramas has been fought and lost, along comes one that demands to be seen – if you can handle the raging adrenaline. Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker strips the Iraqi conflict of politics and brings it right down to the garbage-strewn pavement, where lives are saved through skill and nerve but lost through bad luck and malevolence." Elsewhere in the review, Howell writes, "Testosterone flows non-stop and so does blood, but these macho men are just getting the job done. In so doing, they reveal much about themselves and also deliver some home truths about the Iraqi quagmire. This is no message movie, yet insights abound."

Posted by Geoff at 1:00 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, September 8, 2008 9:09 AM CDT
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The New York Post's V.A. Musetto finally received a confirmation Sunday morning from the festival press office that Brian De Palma would not be coming to the Montreal World Film Festival to conduct a master class after all. "The reason," writes Musetto, "according to the festival: 'Crazy dental surgery.'" Meanwhile, John Griffin posted yesterday at the Montreal Gazette Ciné Files blog that De Palma's master class "was one of the biggest draws of the line-up" at this year's festival. "But neither date nor venue were ever confirmed," writes Griffin, "and despite various rumours - work, illness - his no-show remains a mystery." Griffin hoped to find out more at a Saturday dinner with the fest's publicity corps.

Posted by Geoff at 10:14 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 12:43 PM CDT
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

In a blog entry posted this afternoon, New York Post critic V.A. Musetto says that he is still waiting for Brian De Palma to show up at the Montreal World Film Festival, and is beginning to doubt that De Palma will even show up at all (the festival continues through Labor Day Monday). Although Musetto writes that no site has been named for De Palma's master class, the usually reliable Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette has stated that the master class will take place at the Imperial Cinema.

Meanwhile, Isabelle Huppert (pictured above by Sylvain Legaré, courtesy of the Montreal World Film Festival) arrived in Montreal earlier this week, where on Thursday she received a special award for her exceptional contribution to the cinematographic art. Huppert interviewed De Palma in 1994 for Cahiers du Cinéma.

Posted by Geoff at 2:29 PM CDT
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Friday, August 29, 2008
New York Post critic V.A. Musetto blogged yesterday that Brian De Palma was to arrive later that day at the Montreal World Film Festival, where the director will give a master class this weekend (so much for Danielle Cauchard's previous statement that De Palma would be in attendance for the entire festival-- De Palma must have had a slight change of plans). In any case, Musetto states that the press office at the fest "has been deluged with calls" about De Palma, but that if all goes well, the critic will have a chance to sit down with the director.

According to Musetto, Tony Curtis had already left before De Palma arrived, which is a bit of a shame, because De Palma may have been able to correct a bit of misinformation regarding De Palma's upcoming project, The Boston Stranglers. Last month, Curtis was interviewed by Neal Justin at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Justin aksed Curtis whether the films he made in the past could be done today. Curtis replied, "I did a movie called The Boston Strangler. Brian De Palma is going to do a remake. What's he going to do? He's probably going to show the strangling. He's going to show these women being torn apart. He's going to show that in his own poetic way." Well, actually, De Palma is not remaking that film, but he is making a film based on a book by Susan Kelly, whose The Boston Stranglers purports to correct the conclusions depicted in the Curtis film (itself based on a book by Gerold Frank). In fact, Kelly's book discusses the Curtis film (directed by Richard Fleischer), which seems likely to be a part of De Palma's story.

Posted by Geoff at 1:59 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, August 29, 2008 5:48 PM CDT
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Bigelow's Hurt Locker
"A thrilling combat film" conjuring John Wayne

From The Economist:

With one exception, films about the Iraq war have done badly in American cinemas. The exception was Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, a fiercely anti-war film made the year after the invasion. Though Disney refused to distribute it, the movie still made a fortune. But the films that came after it have mostly bombed at the box office, a fact that has led film financiers to regard the war with a superstition as potent as that which has actors referring to Macbeth as “the Scottish play”.

Why is this so? Persuading audiences to flock to a film about an unpopular war is obviously difficult. Comparisons with Vietnam don’t really work. Television coverage of the Vietnam war was so intensive that Hollywood did not bother to make many films about it while it was going on. (John Wayne’s The Green Berets was released in 1968 as a corrective, it was hoped, to the TV coverage that was turning the country against the war.) But, with Iraq, that situation is reversed. The New York Times has reported that the three major American television networks logged only about 180 minutes of weekday evening reporting on the war in the first half of this year (compared to 1,157 minutes for all of 2007), and that CBS News no longer has a full-time correspondent in Iraq.

Film-makers are trying to fill the gap but their efforts, though worthy, are often depressing—and certainly not designed to pull in 14-year-olds at the mall. The best of the recent lot are Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss (2008), in which a decorated soldier is ordered back to Iraq against his will, and Redacted (2007), Brian De Palma’s re-enactment of an atrocity. The latter film, made with Canadian money, uses faux video clips to tell the awful tale of the rape and murder of a young Iraqi girl by American soldiers. Stop-Loss and In the Valley of Elah (2007), about a former military cop trying to find out who murdered his son after he returned from Iraq, were both made by studio speciality divisions created for modestly budgeted films, both of which have since been folded into their parent companies, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros...

...Will Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, premiering at the Venice Film Festival, succeed in disarming audience resistance? About a bomb squad defusing “improvised explosive devices” planted by insurgents in Baghdad, it is a thrilling combat film from its first image of a bomb-handling robot racing through the rubble. Then a new squad leader walks in, and the film has a hero. Staff Sergeant William James, played by Jeremy Renner (pictured above), is a wild man addicted to the adrenalin rush of doing the most dangerous job in the world. He is a character who can embody the central myth of American cinema because his job is saving lives, not taking them.

“James is the man who walks down that street in the direction that everyone else is running from,” says Ms Bigelow. “He has an iconic aura. But those traits exert a heavy price.” By making a film about an unpopular war that still gives the audience someone to root for, she may have struck gold. Perhaps the return of John Wayne is what people have been waiting for.

Posted by Geoff at 1:06 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, August 29, 2008 1:11 PM CDT
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Steven Bauer and Angel Salazar, who both appeared in Brian De Palma's Scarface in 1983, hosted a packed screening of that film to mark its 25-year anniversary last Friday at Miami's Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. According to a report in the Miami Herald, the screening brought in about 800 fans of all ages. According to the report, Bauer shouted to the enthused crowd, "Feel free to yell out if you know the dialogue. Don't be shy!" Salazar and Bauer have remained friends througout the years. "After all this time, the cast is still pretty close," Salazar said with a wink, according to the Herald. "We still get together and talk about chain saws and machine guns." Bauer discussed the rough road Scarface had upon its initial release. "It's nice to see this kind of frenzy," the Cuban native said, according to the Herald. "For a long time we couldn't enjoy the success because there was a lot of backlash against the movie. The media really didn't take to it." The Herald article concludes with the following passage:

Zach Kosnitzky, formerly of the defunct CBS reality show Kid Nation, is a new fan. He's only 10. "I love Scarface!" joked Zach, dressed in a black zoot suit with an old school gangster fedora. "Just please don't tell my parents I'm here."

Posted by Geoff at 12:44 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, August 29, 2008 1:10 PM CDT
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Monday, August 25, 2008
While there is still no official word on the exact time of Brian De Palma's master class, the Montreal World Film Festival will screen De Palma's 1996 film Mission: Impossible Tuesday night as part of its "Cinema Under The Stars" program. We'll keep an eye out for any other news...

Posted by Geoff at 10:19 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 26, 2008 5:28 PM CDT
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