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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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« November 2015 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
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The De Palma Touch

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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
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Mission To Mars
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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

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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

No Time For
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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.
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Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
BAMcinématek
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Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Books
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Cannes
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Carlito's Way
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Cop-Out
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Redacted
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015
'THE FURY' @ THE NEW BEV - MIDNIGHT SATURDAY
IN 35MM
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.

Posted by Geoff at 1:48 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015
'BLOW OUT' SCREENS WEDNESDAY IN NEW YORK
AS PART OF "ON SCREEN/SOUND" SERIES AT EMPAC
Brian De Palma's Blow Out will screen Wednesday night as part of EMPAC's On Screen/Sound series. EMPAC is located in Troy, New York.

This week's screening "examines the influence of Foley and sound effects on moving image," according to the website description. "Creeping tension is defused by the banality of production in Deborah Stratman’s Hacked Circuit," the event description continues, "while the hyperactive, fantastical sounds of magic highlight the otherworldliness of an episode of Kou Matsuo's Japanese anime Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta. The feature film of the evening, Brian de Palma’s Blow Out, a sonic response to Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic Blowup, finds a movie sound-effects engineer (John Travolta) in the wrong place at the wrong time as he unwittingly records the sound of a murder and is drawn into a web of intrigue."

Posted by Geoff at 12:11 AM CST
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Sunday, November 15, 2015
JEFF BYRD INSTAGRAM POST FROM LAST WEEK
"HAVING MR. DE PALMA ON BOARD AS THE DIRECTOR IS LIKE DREAMING AWAKE"

Posted by Geoff at 6:21 PM CST
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Friday, November 13, 2015
'LIGHTS OUT' SEEN AS POTENTIAL FRANCHISE-STARTER
SAID HUACE PICTURES HEAD JON CHIEW; FORBES BLOG: DE PALMA HEADING TO CHINA IS START OF A TREND
In a Hollywood Reporter article by Clifford Coonan, posted from the Cannes Film Festival this past May, Jon Chiew, head of international film for Huace Pictures (the company co-producing Lights Out), said, "We believe Lights Out is shaping up to be a Chinese female superhero franchise that the market has never seen and we are happy to be onboard this ride with Arclight Films, a company that has a real understanding of the Chinese marketplace." Coonan's description of the film from that article goes like this: "Lights Out follows the plight of Emma Mitchell, a woman in her 20s forced to fight for her life when her dilapidated, Louisiana, plantation-styled home is inexplicably targeted by a crew of international gangsters."

Meanwhile, in a blog post with a curious typo in its headline (considering that it is for a Forbes blog), Cherry Hong suggests that a big-name director such as Brian De Palma heading to China to make a film is the start of a trend. "China is putting emphasis on rejuvenation and protection of its culture as global force able to hold its own," writes Hong. "Recognizing that the competition with the West is fierce, Xi [Jinping] aims to control the trend of globalization in the film industry within China, and to raise the quality of domestic films for greater competitive power. With these goals on agenda, China is in the forefront of seeking talents for its film industry revolution."

Posted by Geoff at 7:34 AM CST
Updated: Friday, June 10, 2016 6:30 PM CDT
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Thursday, November 12, 2015
TRAVOLTA 'QUICK TO CREDIT DE PALMA'
WILL RECEIVE CAREER AWARD AS GUEST OF HONOR AT NAPA VALLEY FILM FEST THIS WEEK


John Travolta, pictured above by Nancy Allen from the set of Brian De Palma's Carrie, is the guest of honor at the Napa Valley Film Festival this week, and will receive a career award at a Celebrity Tribute on Friday, November 13th, according to The San Francisco Chronicle's G. Allen Johnson. Johnson writes, "Although he became a star with three music-oriented films in quick succession — in addition to Saturday Night Fever, there were Grease and Urban Cowboy — Travolta was also quick to credit director Brian De Palma, who cast him in his first major film role in the Stephen King shocker Carrie. They worked together again in Blow Out, one of Travolta’s best (and most underrated) performances."

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.


Posted by Geoff at 2:35 AM CST
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Monday, November 9, 2015
DE PALMA IN PRE-PRODUCTION ON 'LIGHTS OUT'
THRILLER - BLIND CHINESE GIRL CAUGHT IN PLOT TO EXPOSE ASSASSINATION PROGRAM - USES HEIGHTENED SENSES TO FIGHT BACK
Variety's Patrick Frater posted an exclusive this morning, announcing that Brian De Palma is currently in pre-production on a new thriller, Lights Out, which previously had Xavier Gens attached to direct. "The film is the story of a blind Chinese girl unknowingly caught in a plot to expose a top-secret assassination program," writes Frater. "Although blind, she is able to use her other heightened senses to fight back and become a hero." Deadline's Patrick Hipes adds another element to that description, writing that the film "centers on a blind Chinese girl unknowingly caught in a plot to expose a top-secret assassination program, and who raises unsettling questions about government secrecy and what can and can’t be seen." A year ago, when Gens had been attached, The Hollywood Reporter's Clifford Coonan described the film as a "female superhero movie" that "tells of a young blind girl who lives alone with her seeing eye dog in her family’s secluded mansion after the suspicious death of her father during a Secret Service operation. Russian gangsters break in, and she is forced to make use of the fighting skills taught to her by her father."

According to Frater, "Casting is currently underway for top roles, including an A-list Chinese actress to star as the female action hero lead." According to Frater, the film will be "the first to be made by Aurora Alliance Films the joint venture banner between Huace, one of China’s leading TV producers, and Sydney- and Los Angeles-based Arclight. The joint venture company was announced in September with a $300 million slate of high concept action pictures."

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.


Posted by Geoff at 11:38 AM CST
Updated: Monday, November 9, 2015 5:10 PM CST
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DE NIRO TALKS TO VARIETY ABOUT EARLY FILMS
BRIEF INTERVIEW ARTICLE INCLUDES JPG OF 'GREETINGS' REVIEW FROM 1968


In an article posted this past Friday, Variety's Malina Saval talks with Robert De Niro, with a focus on 1968, the year he was first mentioned in Variety, for his role in Brian De Palma's Greetings. That review (ot the first column of it) is included in the article as a separate jpg. Below is an excerpt from the De Niro interview:
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.


Posted by Geoff at 1:21 AM CST
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Friday, November 6, 2015
'PSYCHO'/'DRESSED TO KILL' IN SAN FRANCISCO
FRIDAY NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE AT THE CASTRO THEATRE
Tonight (Friday), The Castro Theatre in San Francisco screens a double feature of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho at 7pm, followed by Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill at 9:05. Both will screen in 35mm. "Upon its release back in 1960, critics did not know what to make of Alfred Hitchcock’s macabre masterpiece," reads the Castro's description of Psycho. "Now, revisit (or see for the first time) the film that broke all the rules of horror films and set new ones for the next generation. A bloodcurdling Anthony Perkins stars with Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and Bernard Herrmann’s dissonant score.

For Dressed To Kill, the Castro description reads, "Twenty years after Psycho, Brian De Palma applied his dazzling technique to Hitchcock’s psychological cinemascape with a hefty dose of eroticism, split-screen and well-placed dabs of black humor."
(Thanks to Chris!)

Posted by Geoff at 2:45 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 3, 2015
DONAGGIO & ARGENTO ON DE PALMA, 'RAISING CAIN'
COMPOSER RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM ARGENTO IN ROME


Pino Donaggio received a lifetime achievement award, presented to him by Dario Argento, as part of last week's La Chioma di Berenice in Rome, which honor the imagination and skills of craftsmen and artists of the Italian and international cinema: hairdressers, makeup artists, costume designers, set designers and music composers. Donaggio was interviewed by LoudVision's Donato D'Elia. The latter also separately interviewed Argento.

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."


Posted by Geoff at 12:48 AM CST
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Sunday, November 1, 2015
TOM WOLFE SPEAKS AFTER 'BONFIRE' SCREENING
"IT TAKES A WHILE TO REALIZE... IT'S NOT GOING TO BE YOUR BOOK" -- VIDEO AVAILABLE
The photo at left (taken by Bruce Gilbert) shows Tom Wolfe, seated in between U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and moderator Thane Rosenbaum, discussing his novel The Bonfire Of The Vanities on stage following a screening of Brian De Palma's film adaptation. The screening, which took place this past Tuesday (October 27th), was part of the 10th Annual Forum on Law, Culture & Society Film Festival. A video of the discussion is available at LiveStream, and David Lot has posted a piece about the event at Above The Law (which is where the photo here comes from).

"I had low expectations for the movie," writes Lot, "generally regarded as a 'critical and commercial flop,' so I was pleasantly surprised by its entertainment quotient — I wouldn’t call it 'good,' but I would call it 'fun' — and by the amount of law it contains. Morgan Freeman chews the scenery as the benchslap-happy Judge Leonard White, Kevin Dunn does a fine job portraying defense lawyer Tom Killian (inspired by the real-life celebrity lawyer Ed Hayes), the plot turns on an evidentiary issue and the legality of recording conversations in New York, and the film concludes with a stirring courtroom oration by Judge White about the nature of justice.

"(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.


Posted by Geoff at 8:30 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, November 1, 2015 8:32 PM CDT
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