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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


« December 2015 »
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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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Friday, December 11, 2015
RogerEbert.com's Patrick Z. McGavin posted an interview last week with Kent Jones, who has a new documentary, Hitchcock/Truffaut, about the meetings between Francois Truffaut and Alfred Hitchcock that took place across eight days in 1962. Those meetings, of course, led to the book of the same name, which can be found on the bookshelves of film lovers everywhere.

"Brian De Palma is the one conspicuous absence among the group of contemporary directors," McGavin says to Jones midway through the interview. "Did he not want to participate in the film?"

Jones replies, "For a very specific reason, because Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow just did a movie about him. They worked on that film for about four years. I asked [De Palma] and he said he wanted to save what he thought about Hitchcock for their movie. We just showed the documentary [De Palma] at the New York Film Festival. Noah and I are pretty good friends, and we kind of exchanged movies at a certain point and we both were amazed at how much they just talked to each other. That’s what their movie is, just Brian and nobody else. He’s talking about his craft, and he’s talking a lot about Vertigo. In fact, the movie begins with a clip from Vertigo. That seemed like a very compelling reason for [De Palma] to not be in [this] film."

Also at RogerEbert.com, Odie Henderson reviews Hitchcock/Truffaut. Henderson concludes in his review, "One interview subject you might be expecting is missing from Hitchcock/Truffaut. Brian De Palma declined to appear in the film, but he had a good reason. He was busy sitting with Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow for their one-man interview/documentary, De Palma. That film, which is also quite good, would make a great double feature with Hitchcock/Truffaut. Both films feature a director talking to another director about his body of work. The similarities are complementary, and I can think of no better way to waste an afternoon if you love movies."

Posted by Geoff at 3:08 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, December 13, 2015 11:40 AM CST
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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Brian de Palma // Split Diopter Shot from Jaume R. Lloret on Vimeo.

Over at Press Play, Max Winter writes of the above video, "Because Brian De Palma is fascinated by the inherently Byzantine nature of human activity, be it war, detective work, murder, or espionage, it makes perfect sense that he would be drawn to the split diopter shot, which uses an attachment that gives equal focus to both close and distant objects. De Palma doesn't want us to miss anything. Even as Caruso sings on stage, the murderous Al Capone sits a matter of feet away from him, in The Untouchables; even as a drone scratches his head in Mission: Impossible, a stealthy thief hangs above him; even as a blond, all-American teen boy sits bored at a classroom desk, a tortured girl writhes inwardly not far away from him in Carrie. What's the effect? It's a tightening in the chest, it's a sense that there's something we missed previously, it's the feeling that something bad is about to happen, or could. This video by Jaume Lloret is a tight visual hymn to De Palma's famed use of the shot--watch it, and see if you don't feel uncomfortable afterwards."

Posted by Geoff at 1:04 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, December 13, 2015 11:44 AM CST
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Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The new issue of Z, a Norwegian film magazine, focuses on the films of Brian De Palma. Two of the issue's 11 articles are currently available to read online. One of those, It Has Nothing To Do With Satan, Mama by Roskva Koritzinsky, looks at downtrodden youths and supernatural powers in De Palma's Carrie and Tomas Alfredson's Let the Right One In.

In the other online article (one of four in which a cinéaste "from home or abroad" chooses either three favorite scenes, or a flash from a De Palma film that they find memorable), Andrew Grant looks at scenes that use New York as a backdrop, from Hi, Mom!, The Bonfire Of The Vanities, and Dressed To Kill.

Posted by Geoff at 1:12 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 1:14 AM CST
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Sunday, December 6, 2015

This year's second seasons of HBO's The Leftovers and F/X's Fargo have been two of the greatest seasons of television I've ever seen. It just so happens that last week's episodes of both shows were each directed by Keith Gordon. The Leftovers episode, "Ten Thirteen", featured a significant cameo from another De Palma alumn, Betty Buckley, in it's opening scene. Buckley's character has something to tell her daughter that, without putting out too much in the way of "spoilers," sets off (or strongly appears to set off) what looks to be an explosive climax on tonight's season finale.

Meanwhile, Gordon's episode of Fargo last week, "Loplop", features a heavy amount of split screen work (a running visual style through every episode of the season), a suspenseful pan from a TV screen and then around a character's head, leading to an uh-oh reveal, and a crazy, hilariously outrageous performance from Kirsten Dunst.

Posted by Geoff at 7:21 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, December 6, 2015 7:22 PM CST
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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Phantom of Winnipeg Indiegogo from Malcolm Ingram on Vimeo.

Documentary filmmaker Malcolm Ingram has begun making a film about Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, and its popularity in Winnipeg. According to Deadline's Ross A. Lincoln, "Phantom of Winnipeg will tell the story of that fan community and how it’s still going strong today. Like a concentrated and highly idiosyncratic Rocky Horror Picture Show, the film found in Winnipeg a devoted audience of, weirdly, 9 to 13-year-olds, who bought hundreds of tickets. Phantom actually outsold Jaws in its initial release, and local sales of the soundtrack helped the album go gold in Canada. The film also spawned “Phantompalooza,” a local festival held biannually since 2004. Digging deep into an outsider community and the dynamics of fan culture, Phantom of Winnipeg will present the life stories of the fans who made it happen, the cast and creative team behind the film and their reaction to the phenomenon, and some of the established artists influenced by it."

Ingram and his producer have started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the film. Ingram's first film, Small Town Gay Bar, premiered at Sundance in 2006. His other films are Bear Nation, Continental, and Out To Win.

Posted by Geoff at 7:22 PM CST
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Friday, December 4, 2015
Robert Loggia, who so memorably portrayed Frank Lopez in Brian De Palma's Scarface, died Friday at his Los Angeles home, according to Variety. He was 85. His widow Audrey told Variety that Loggia had been battling Alzheimer’s Disease for the past five years.

Nominated for an Academy Award (for his supporting role in Richard Marquand's Joe Eszterhas-penned Jagged Edge) and two Emmys, Loggia had a long career in TV and film. As well as acting, he also directed several episodes of television. In film, his outrageous road rage scene as Mr. Eddy in David Lynch's Lost Highway was punctuated with one of his best lines: "Sorry about that, Pete, but tailgating is one thing I cannot tolerate."

In issue #45 of Shock Cinema last year, Loggia told Tony Williams that "Scarface was one hell of a movie. We had six weeks of rehearsal-- that was unheard of then. With Al Pacino, Brian De Palma, and a good budget, we had everything in our favor."

However, back in 2011, Loggia expressed some irritation with De Palma's direction of where to hold the gun, etc., telling QMI Agency's Bruce Kirkland that he felt De Palma was too fussy with, as Kirkland writes, "picayune details that the veteran actor felt should be left to the performers." Loggia stated, "I hate to knock a director, but you don't want a director to say, 'Do this, do that, hold the gun up there, higher, higher.' It was difficult working with (De Palma) ... for me. But he's got a career going and I don't want to say anything negative." Despite this, Loggia told Kirkland, "I think we turned out a pretty damned good movie," counting it among the reasons he loves his acting career. "Acting in general is a feeling of being transported to the heavens," Loggia said. He adds that the film has two separate styles: "The first half of the movie is impressionistic," he told Kirkland. "The second half of the movie, after I die, is expressionistic. It's completely different. I don't think that was ever articulated (during the shoot) but that was the truth of the matter. We just did it. It was obvious."

Posted by Geoff at 8:19 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, December 5, 2015 6:59 PM CST
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Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Blu-ray.com's Dr. Svet Atanasov has an early review of Carlotta's Body Double Ultra Collector's Box. Atanasov states that the Blu-ray of the film, which was sourced from Sony's 4K remaster, is region-free. "Therefore," writes Atanasov, "you will be able to play it on your player regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu."

A highlight of this package is a new 39-minute Fiction Factory doc in which, according to Atanasov, "first assistant director Joe Napolitano recalls his first encounter with Brian De Palma (which was prior to the shooting of Blow Out) and discusses the director's working methods, the shooting of various sequences from Body Double (with some very interesting comments about Melanie Griffith's performance), the desire to make the sleezy side of the adult world depicted in the film look classy, production designer Ida Random's invaluable contribution to the film, the various locations that were used in the films, some of the unique framing choices that were made, the brilliant use of music, etc."

Atanasov writes, "This is a film with endless twists, but the majority of them are actually irrelevant. The bulk of the lines that are exchanged in it are also irrelevant. That's right. What matters here is the style that blends everything together and the mood that emerges from it.

"The events that ensue after Jake moves into the luxurious house send the film into two drastically different realities. In the first hordes of mainstream actors try hard to become stars while the wealthy enjoy the very best Los Angeles has to offer. This is the clean and healthy reality most people want to spend their time in. In the second a different group of actors are making the type of films the other reality does not recognize. It is here that Jake meets Holly Body (Melanie Griffith), a bubbly beauty and prolific adult actress, who agrees to help him get the mysterious man.

"The film's charm comes from De Palma's ability to effectively target various cliches that characterize the two realities. (See the incredibly funny sequence where Holly Body humiliates the mainstream actress). And while he does it, he also plays with the many genre rules Hitchcock's films established. The end result is truly remarkable. Despite the intended overstylization, or perhaps because of it, the film offers a strikingly accurate summation of Los Angeles from the 1980s and its people. This is a place of remarkable contrasts, wealth and power, beauty and cruelty, and people with admirable ambitions and dangerous desires.

"Pino Donaggio collaborated with De Palma on a number of different projects during the years, but his contribution to this film remains his best work. There are various sequences where the light electronic music -- not the visuals, the camera movement, or the actors -- actually changes the rhythm of the film. Also, there is a fantastic sequence that uses Frankie Goes To Hollywood's monster hit Relax."

And in his conclusion, Atanasov states, "I think that Brian De Palma's Body Double is similar to David Lynch's Mulholland Drive -- it offers a very unusual but strikingly accurate summation of Los Angeles, its culture, and its people during a particular moment in time. Like most of De Palma's best films, Body Double is full of fascinating contrasts and over-the-top visuals which together with Pino Donaggio's stunning soundtrack create a truly unforgettable experience. French label Carlotta Films' technical presentation of the film is excellent. I must also say that this new deluxe set is the most elegant Blu-ray release to reach my desk this year. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (In addition to the deluxe set, Carlotta Films will have available for sale a standard Blu-ray edition of Body Double. However, we have not tested it yet and at the moment cannot confirm its region code status)."

Posted by Geoff at 12:49 AM CST
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Monday, November 30, 2015
A 35mm print of Brian De Palma's Blow Out will screen at 9:45pm on Saturday December 5th and Monday December 7th at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago. The screenings are part of the weeklong series "Tarantino & Friends," featuring "a selection of [Quentin Tarantino's] best films and the movies that inspired him during his formative years when he worked at a video rental store," according to the theatre's program notes. Along with the films mentioned in the program page pictured here, Stanley Kubrick's The Killing also screens as part of the series.

Meanwhile, beginning December 1st, Blow Out will begin streaming on Hulu. In a streaming guide this week, Rolling Stone's David Ehrlich writes, "The consensus choice for Brian De Palma's greatest movie, this deeply neurotic 1981 conspiracy thriller churns the director's most profound obsessions through the analog mechanics of cinema. Set in Philadelphia (but more accurately located somewhere between Blow-Up and The Conversation), the story concerns sound technician Jack Terry (John Travolta), whose equipment inadvertently records proof that a fatal car accident was the result of an assassination attempt. Sending Jack on a dangerous path that puts him in the crosshairs of a merciless killer (John Lithgow, natch), Blow Out builds to a haunting final scene that illustrates just how literally filmmakers transmute their anguish into the films their audiences come to love."

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 12:12 AM CST
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015
John Leguizamo, who has appeared in two Brian De Palma films (Casualties Of War and Carlito's Way), has adapted his one-man-show Ghetto Klown into a graphic novel, illustrated by Christa Cassano and Shamus Beyale, and published by Abrams ComicArts. A couple of weeks ago, Alex Dueben posted an interview with Leguizamo at Comic Book Resources, which included the following exchange:
Dueben: In the book you talk about some of the people you worked with, and I have to say that both Brian De Palma and Steven Seagal seem nuts -- De Palma in a different, more interesting way than Seagal. What was it like working with them?

Leguizamo: I disagree -- Brian does not come across as nuts, he comes across as a filmmaker who knows how to work actors and manipulate them to get the best performance out of them. If you have ever worked with actors, it's a lot of psychology, babysitting and handholding. I know; I've directed. I love actors and they bring so much to their work but you still have to do lots of diplomatic tiptoeing. I would work with De Palma any time. He is one of the great, American, original directors.

Now Seagal is not interesting crazy, just dickish! He has no respect for others and that is so damaging to the whole creative process that real actors subscribe to. I'm not the only person he's hit without warning. He's done it many times and it's inexcusable. We are there to make a great story and help everyone achieve this task, be they the director or the writer or the other actors. He only cares about himself to the point of inflicting harm to others.


Posted by Geoff at 12:18 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, November 24, 2015 12:21 AM CST
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Friday, November 20, 2015
Gaspar Noe, whose new film Love is playing in theaters this month in both 3D and 2D, talked to Rotten Tomatoes' Kerr Lordygan about his five favorite films. Here's what Noe said about one of the five, Gerald Kargl's Angst, from 1983:

"Maybe ten years later [after seeing Salò], I had written some shorts and I was talking with a friend who said, 'Oh, have you seen this Austrian movie that has been banned in France for extreme violence?' That came out in VHS. And the German title was Angst. And the VHS was called Schizophrenia — the French VHS with French subtitles. And I tell you it was weird, it was like the beginning of some kind of new thing — that some movies could be banned for theatrical release but they could still come out on VHS. So I got the VHS. Nowadays there are maybe things that are banned out there, but you can find it with one click on the net. But this time, something that was banned could be found on VHS. I bought that VHS; that was quite hard to find. And I believe that I watched that movie 50 times because each time a friend said, 'Let’s go see a movie,' I said, 'Come to my house. I’ll show you Schizophrenia.' So one by one I was showing that movie to all my friends.

"And it’s got the most amazing camera work in the history of cinema. Not so many movies that really impress when it comes to the camera work. Maybe Brian De Palma’s movies… or 2001. Or, for example, lately, the images of Gravity. But the camera work of this movie is so real. It added to a very violent story of the guy coming out of jail and killing a whole family in order to go back to jail where he felt better, and it’s based on a true story. And it’s got a [unique] voiceover. But the mix of that cruelty, the voiceover and the camera put in positions that you’ve never seen before made me be obsessed with the movie. Now, since three or four months ago, it’s for sale [on DVD here in America]. So if anybody is interested you can go on Amazon.com and buy that movie called Angst."

Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, November 21, 2015 12:05 AM CST
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