Brian De Palma's The Fury is the midnight film this Saturday, November 21st at Quentin Tarantino's New Beverly Cinema. The film will screen from what we presume is Tarantino's own personal 35mm print of this De Palma classic.
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Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
On Saturday at the Napa Film Fest, Travolta will be on hand to present the world premiere of David Hackl's Life On The Line, in which Travolta "plays a lineman working with his crew to fix an electrical grid as a powerful storm approaches," according to Johnson.
Aurora Alliance's Ying Ye is quoted in the Variety article: "De Palma is a proven master of suspense; in the hands of the legendary director, Lights Out promises to be a thriller for the ages, full of empowering messages, harrowing plot turns and great action sequences."
The film was written by Lamont Magee and Jeff W. Byrd. De Palma's Redacted producers, Jennifer Weiss and Simone Urdl of the Film Farm, are listed by Frater as co-producers, along with Huace Media Group; Ye of Aurora Alliance; Gary Hamilton, Mike Gabrawy, and Elliot Tong of Arclight.
Did you audition for “Greetings”?
I auditioned for “The Wedding Party,” which was Brian’s first movie, which he co-directed with Wilford Leach. That was my first movie too. And then he asked me if I wanted to (do “Greetings”) … I don’t think I read for “Greetings.” And then we did “Hi, Mom!” And then we did “The Untouchables.” So we did a big jump.
When you filmed “Greetings,” did you have high hopes, or were you just hoping for distribution?
In those days, I wasn’t even sure how it worked, distribution. I forget who did pick it up, it was so long ago. But I do remember “Greetings” did somewhat well.
Do you remember reading the “Greetings” review?
I was aware of Variety, but it must have been pointed out to me.
You were busy in those days.
I also had done something in-between (the De Palma films) called “Sam’s Song” (directed by Jordan Leondopoulos), which Cannon Prods. took at the time. They sort of twisted it into a kind of quasi-porno film, because I had some nude scenes with a girl; at that time, films would be done with whatever sex or nude scenes. But it was all made with the most … with the highest artistic intent. There was a very genuine, sincere intention of the writer-director.
1968 was a tumultuous time. Do you have any memories that stand out?
Well, the Vietnam War was going on and President Johnson, so that was really … There was a lot going on.
D'Elia was especially interested to ask both Donaggio and Argento about Brian De Palma's Raising Cain. "I speak about it with pleasure," Donaggio tells D'Elia. "My score is more atonal, more studied, and I'm also very attached to this work. De Palma, especially in our first collaborations, almost forced me to be close to the canon of Herrmann, with small variations and steps that maybe the untrained ear could not perceive, but then little by little I would always try to detach myself and to customize the job. In Raising Cain now the process had reached maturity, so I could afford to go back to a more classical score without overdoing those connotations, which can forcibly seem most derivative. But even in our latest collaboration, Passion, in the finale we return once again closer to that musical world."
ARGENTO: "BRIAN IS A FRIEND; I TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT"
Meanwhile, D'Elia was curious to hear Argento speak about the final shot of Raising Cain, which D'Elia tells Argento seems to "copy verbatim a famous sequence" from Argento's Tenebre. D'Elia asks Argento if he has ever confronted De Palma about the scene. "No, we never confronted the question," replies Argento, "but there was also no need, Brian is a friend. In his films he often cites Hitchcock, and this time also mentioned me, and I take it as a compliment."
DONAGGIO: "I TRIED TO CREATE A PECULIAR STYLE OF MY OWN"
Delving deeper into Donaggio's style, D'Elia tells the composer, "There is, in my opinion, a peculiar feature: the keyboard parts to introduce a serene, almost dreamlike atmosphere, and then precipitate tension with the arrival, in fact, of the strings. Am I correct in my impressions?"
"Yes, of course," Donaggio replies, "it is a process that I used from the start even, just to break away from Herrmann and exploit my knowledge as a pop arranger who had matured in the first part of my career. Herrmann communicated suspense right away, but I was trying to lighten and then give after the coup of suspense, so to speak. I saw people jump on their chairs at screenings of Carrie, because of these changes in tone: one of these was George Lucas, when Brian showed the film to him and a few others in a preview screening. I tried to create a peculiar style of my own, and I think I succeeded. As I said before, I used my Italian, come from the opera, the singing in the works already as a boy, twelve years of conservatory."
When D'Elia mentions that Donaggio's "Telescope" from De Palma's Body Double "became a big disco hit in the eighties," Donaggio replies, "It was the only piece that was always requested in record stores. That was an idea of Brian, immerse the film in those plasticky sounds, with synthesizers: everything worked properly, I think."
"(It’s also a pleasure to see the younger versions of several high-profile actors — Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Kim Cattrall — especially Hanks, who was quite nice-looking back when he had more hair and fewer pounds. His acting has improved over the years even if his physique has not. Watching him in Bonfire, I thought about how much better he is in the new legal thriller, Bridge of Spies."
TRANSCRIPT FROM BEGINNING OF VIDEO: TOM WOLFE ON BOOK VS. MOVIE
Here's a brief transcript from the beginning of the discussion (viewed at LiveStream), in which Wolfe discusses some differences between the book and the film:
Rosenbaum: It’s been, now, thirty years since the events of this novel—and the best-selling experience of this novel—how often do you watch the film? I know you and your wife sat in our audience and watched it. Was it miserable for you, are you happy to be here watching the film? What is it like when your novel is adapted into a movie—a critically-acclaimed novel—adapted into a movie that’s considered a flop?
Wolfe: It takes a while to realize that if someone makes a movie out of your work, it’s not going to be your book. It’s going to be something very different. And this was very… different. [Laughter] For example, at the end of the film, there’s a marvelous, heartfelt, sermon, really, from the judge. And it kind of sweeps your emotions away there at the end, it’s… everything is working out well. In the book, the judge and Sherman McCoy are running for their lives. [Laughing] They had the same mob in there. The outcome’s a little different. Also, this is an example of the changes: the studio was not happy, once they had the book, to see that the book ends with a white judge giving a lecture to a predominantly black audience. And they said, “wait, we can’t do that!” So that’s why they brought in Morgan Freeman, who’s a wonderful actor, but it completely changes the plot of the book. And not completely, but to a large part.
Rosenbaum: And Sherman McCoy, who you unsparingly made unsympathetic in the novel, once the part was given to Tom Hanks, he was treated much more favorably.
Wolfe: Oh, I think that wasn’t accidental, either. We’ve got this man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and who’s going to have any sympathy for him? You can’t help but have sympathy for Tom Hanks, if he wants you to have sympathy. [Laughter]
Rosenbaum: You know, I was wondering, if you’re reading the papers nowadays, if, for you, whether the novel and the film are a déjà vu all over again. I remember in the novel, Reverend Bacon, it’s not in the film, at some point says, “Is a black life worth less than a white life?” And that sounds a lot like “Black Lives Matter.” Which is, as you know, a mantra of today. And the 2008 financial crises, we had Occupy Wall Street, and now we’re living in an era where there’s a great backlash against bankers, Wall Street insiders, there’s a great sense of wealth inequality, class divisions, and those feelings are precisely the way people responded to Sherman McCoy in the eighties. And it must be weird to you, as if things either haven’t changed, or this is really the sequel—we’re living the sequel of Bonfire Of The Vanities.
Wolfe: Well, one thing that has changed is that, in Bonfire Of The Vanities, there’s a… tremendous emphasis is put on Wall Street, for example. Well, we still know about Wall Street, but the Masters of the Universe are on their feet, they’re shouting as things go for sale, for bidding. Neckties are pulled down, coats and jackets are off. I happened to go through Wall Street twenty-five years after the book came out. You would not recognize the place! Nobody’s standing up and shouting. It’s mostly… at one point, what was known as high-speed trading was almost 75% of the market. And all of the great Masters of the Universe are now all clerks behind their computers, and if they have anything to say, they have to say it on… they have to tweet it. And that’s about it. That’s a huge change.