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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


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in Paris 2002

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Carrie...A Fan's Site


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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Brian De Palma and crew began a three-day shoot for Domino at the Plaza de Toros in Almería yesterday. Carice van Houten can be seen in the photos, but Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was in Los Angeles today to promote the new season of HBO's Game Of Thrones, which premieres this Sunday. Coster-Waldau is a guest on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight (the episode was recorded Tuesday afternoon).

The photo above was taken by Juan Antonio Barrios for La Voz de Almería. Here's an excerpt from the accompanying article by Marta Rodríguez:

Brian De Palma is rolling out his new feature, 'Domino', on Monday in the Plaza de Toros in the capital. The vicinity of the area of Avenida de Vilches recorded all day the transfer of the technical team landing and, already late afternoon, the arrival of hundreds of Almerían extras and the cast of this European production thriller.

If the work is going according to plan, the shooting in the bullring will last for three consecutive days, that is, until Wednesday morning, during night time, from late afternoon until dawn, although it is not ruled out to extend the filming one more day.

According to what LA VOZ has learned, the scene that is being filmed takes place during a bullfight celebration for which the participation of the bullfighters from Almería, Ruiz Manuel and El César, with Alberto Cámara, who will interpret the role of proxies, has been requested. Sergio Roldán will also have a small role, in this case as a matador. The extras are characterized for a bullfight, either as a public or as part of the staff of the bullfight.

The Port and the Airport could be other of the chosen locations for this film that has propitiated that De Palma stepped on Almerían soil.

Diario de Almería's Diego Martínez also reported about the filming:
The Plaza de Toros of Almería hosted last night the first day of the shooting of the film Domino directed by Brian De Palma. Although at first it was spoken of the day 8 of July, in the end it was last night when filming started in Almería.

About 300 extras were called to present themselves yesterday at about seven in the evening in the school Juan Ramón Jiménez, a few meters from the Plaza de Toros. There they called one by one to enter the schoolyard, where they were made up and received the costumes. In the bullring They will film for three nights in the bullring.

Although there is a certain silence about the filming, it is known that in the Plaza a bullfight will be recreated, so most of the chosen extras have a profile of foreigners. However, the filming will continue for several days at Almería airport and at the port.

Yesterday many familiar faces of the shootings that have taken place in the province during the last years could be seen. They are Almerians who have participated in many recordings and always come when they hear of a casting.

In principle, it will not be easy to access the shooting when it takes place inside the bullring. Many showed their joy when participating in a movie for the first time. Others were enthusiastic, since they are also followers of the cinema of Brian De Palma.

Posted by Geoff at 11:31 PM CDT
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Monday, July 10, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 6:23 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, July 10, 2017 6:24 PM CDT
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Sunday, July 9, 2017
Il Gazzettino's Adriano De Grandis reports today that Pino Donaggio will compose the score for Brian De Palma's Domino, which is getting ready to begin the second leg of filming this month in Almería. Donaggio is quoted in the brief blog post: "I'm happy to go back to work with my friend Brian, a relationship that I believe has been very satisfactory for both of us." Donaggio and De Palma are pictured here (as in the Gazzettino post) from about five years ago, when they worked together on Passion.

Posted by Geoff at 3:46 PM CDT
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Yesterday, Daily Grindhouse posted an article in which several of the site's contributors chose either their favorite Brian De Palma film, or one that they feel deserves a second look. Carrie, Obsession, Body Double, Dressed To Kill, Snake Eyes, Phantom Of The Paradise, Femme Fatale, The Fury, Scarface, and Sisters all came up in the article. In addition, several people responded to the same questions on the site's Twitter post. Here are some highlights from the article:

Jeremy Lowe on Carrie

It had to have been October of ’89, and I had just started junior high. After school I’d always hang out at my best friend’s house and watch TV. Of course being Halloween season we were looking forward to seeing some brutal horror movie. Needless to say, his Mom was home early from work and watching some old chick flick. Ugh!

Regardless, we sat for a minute. Woah, why are all they throwing tampons at this poor girl? “I thought you liked horror movies and Stephen King?”, asked Jon’s mother. I answered, “of course I do, especially horror movies based on Stephen King books” (at 12 years old, I hadn’t actually read any Stephen King books). “Well, this is CARRIE, watch it, you’ll like it.”

Mrs. Dubey was wrong, I didn’t like CARRIE, I fucking loved it! Being a shy outcast, I genuinely felt for Carrie White (Sissy Spacek). I could completely identify with her. All she wanted was to fit in. The direction was so excellent. Each character knew who they were and what they were doing. During the whole film, I just wanted poor Carrie to get her revenge. When she did, it was spectacular! I loved the blood, the chaos, it was everything I wanted. The score really intensified the whole scene. Then to witness all this in a crazy split screen, what I later learned to be one of Brian De Palma’s trademarks, overwhelmed me… completely blew my mind.

Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of CARRIE will always be one of the best horror movies, high school revenge film, and my kind of chick flick!

Brett Gallman on Obsession
The layers of familiarity are almost deceptive: it’d be easy to dismiss OBSESSION as De Palma’s fanboy attempt to ape his idol, especially since his devotion to recapturing Hitchcock’s sweeping, melodramatic aesthetic is almost slavish. However, it’s more a fitting decoy designed to lure an unsuspecting audience down a path that quickly veers into the sort of lurid territory that Hitchcock only implied. OBSESSION climaxes with a dizzying display of ambiguity, a sublime moment that rapturously lays bare the psychosexual preoccupations of its director. It can be argued that this, too, is the moment De Palma truly arrived — even if he only stepped out of Hitchcock’s shadow long enough to be caught in his own a few months later.

Patrick Smith on Body Double
I tend to separate De Palma into two categories: Prime-De Palma and Sub-De Palma. His prime stuff is pretty easy to recognize, with THE PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, SISTERS, CARRIE, BLOW OUT, and DRESSED TO KILL, and his sub stuff (while still great) is everything else. That all being said though there’s only one movie that’s PURE Brian De Palma, a film that puts all of his strengths and weaknesses on display in one gloriously grimy package.

Thats right, I’m talking about BODY DOUBLE.

Mike Vanderbilt on Snake Eyes
The mystery at the core of the conspiracy is revealed early on in the film, but as DePalma explained upon the film’s release the movie is not about the core but rather about the relationship between Cage’s corrupt Rick Santoro, attempting to something pure, and good for once in his life, and Sinise’s murderous Boy Scout, who, while his intentions may be pure, is going about things the right way. We see two friends — told in broad strokes — who keep an uneasy loyalty to each other, even when at odds with what they believe is right. DePalma’s slick, knowing camera work (a very long take — with hidden edits — opens the film) elevates SNAKE EYES from forgettable Hollywood boilerplate to exciting, B-movie trash with a terrifically nihilistic ending.

Mike McGranahan on Phantom Of The Paradise
I was six when that film came out. One night, I was in the car with my parents, going who-knows-where, when we passed the local drive-in theater, which was playing PHANTOM. Already obsessed with movies even at that young age, I eagerly looked over to catch a glimpse of the screen as we drove by. In those five seconds, I saw the shot where the rock star known as Beef is electrocuted onstage and his face contorts from the shock. I’d never seen anything like that before. It was fascinating, making me wonder what the film was about and what other kinds of things happened in the story. It was only a few years ago that I finally got around to seeing PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE in its entirety, but to my delight, it was every bit as bizarre as I imagined it would be back in ’74. In many ways, this is the magic of movies for me. Little bits and pieces stick with you for years, or even decades, and the way you saw something becomes an integral part of your experience with it. I’m sure I would have enjoyed PHANTOM regardless (it’s got good music, great style, and an awesomely kooky sense of humor), but the fact that I had that tiny snippet lodged in my brain for years made my eventual discovery of the film so much more powerful.

Ryan Carey on Scarface
Fuck it, I guess it might be an overly-obvious choice — although no one here has made it yet — but SCARFACE is an absolute classic. It’s not the sexualized updating on Hitchcock that DePalma made his bread and butter, but it’s a visceral, unforgettable gut-punch with incredible characters, razor-sharp dialogue, blistering and operatic ultraviolence, and pathos enough to make the ancient Greeks envious. One of the best crime films ever made.

Jamie Righetti on Sisters
Grace’s quest for the truth leads her to a mental hospital, where she is to discover the truth about Dominique. Here, Grace is mistaken for a patient and her insistence on her true identity is laughed off as a delusion by the men in charge. It’s a truly harrowing moment that resonated with me as both a woman and a journalist, as Grace has her agency stripped from her so easily and quickly. This storyline was later revisited in American Horror Story: Asylum, a series on which Salt serves as both producer and writer. Finally, I adore the film’s dark ending, with everyone finally ready to believe Grace, who (thanks to her hypnosis at the hand’s of Danielle’s husband) no longer has any memory of the murder. De Palma would only get better after SISTERS, but the film’s flashes of genius, its unwavering commitment to exploring the darker side of identity, sanity and sexuality, paired with a unhappy and somewhat unresolved ending make it a must-see for me.

Jon Zilla on Body Double
The one I’ve seen the most is SCARFACE. The one I’ve heard the most (due to the Ennio Morricone score) is THE UNTOUCHABLES. The one I’ve studied the closest is BLOW OUT. The one I’d most like to take another look at is THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES. The one I kinda still can’t believe actually exists is PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. (And thank God for that one existing, by the way.) The first one I remember seeing is CASUALTIES OF WAR.

Then there’s the first one I didn’t remember seeing.

I watched BODY DOUBLE again in 2015. I thought I hadn’t seen it before, but I was mistaken. Ever have an involuntary autobiographical memory? Turns out I first saw BODY DOUBLE when I was six or seven. My dad was watching it on cable. I came in during the beach scene.

I remember now thinking it was a foreign film, since my dad watched plenty of those at the time, and particularly since that sequence is so sparsely worded, and heavy on soft-focus visual style and Pino Dinaggio’s orchestral music. (Not to mention that protagonist Craig Wasson has the sort of looks that would easier make sense for a star in France than one in America. There’s something sort of Depardieu-ish going on there.)

Anyway, if you remember how that scene ends, you might understand why I figured it was time I left the room. Unfortunately, all of that prompted a conversation about the birds and the bees that I was just not ready to have.

Some movies you can’t completely extricate from that sort of viewing experience. As an adult I can totally admire the film, even while re-experiencing it through the lens of a six-or-seven-year-old’s absolute confusion.

Now, I suppose, the rest is a matter for psychotherapy.

Posted by Geoff at 3:28 PM CDT
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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 12:27 PM CDT
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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 8:09 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 6, 2017 8:10 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Blow Out, and why cinema needs shock endings
Ryan Lambie, Den Of Geek!

It all begins with a scream. Jack (John Travolta) is a sound technician working on a tawdry, low-budget slasher movie where the usual gaggle of photogenic teenagers gets hacked up by a knife-wielding maniac. The big problem for Jack is, the director doesn’t find the strangled, squeaky cry of the killer’s latest victim convincing enough. Jack and the director sit in the editing bay, glumly reviewing the footage, listening to the co-ed’s keening wail over and over again. Nope: it simply doesn’t work.

Jack’s quest to find a truthful-sounding, blood-curdling scream for the B-slasher provides the jumping-off point for Blow Out, director Brian De Palma’s mind-melting thriller murder, about political conspiracy and the power of the filmmaking medium. It also has what might be one of the most horrifying shock endings in 80s movies. I don’t mean horrifying in the sense of outright gore and violence, though Blow Out has more than a bit of that, as you’d expect from De Palma. No, Blow Out’s ending is horrifying in a psychological sense that hits you right between the ears; it’s the kind of conclusion that actively defies you not to sit bolt upright in your seat and say (or at least think):

“You can’t end a thriller like that. Can you?”

Yet as the credits roll, Blow Out leaves you to ponder what’s just happened. Jack’s final actions in the movie could be described as utter callousness, or more likely, the work of a man driven out of his mind by recent events and punishing himself by listening to the same piercing sound, over and over. The final scene could also be taken as an elaborate and incredibly twisted joke on the part of De Palma; a punch line to a gag which began with that first scream in Blow Out’s opening reel and paid off in its last. It says a great deal about the dark humour in so many of De Palma’s films that this latter reading is a remotely plausible one.

It was through thinking about my initial, knee-jerk reaction to Blow Out that I realised how carefully crafted and outright brilliant De Palma’s film is. I’d seen the movie before as a teenager, but I’d failed to understand the true gravity of that ending I’ve been talking about for two or three paragraphs already. Watching it again about 20 years later, I finally felt the weight and heft of Blow Out’s downbeat climax, its political cynicism and the totality of Jack’s failure in achieving the goals laid out for him as the film’s protagonist.

De Palma didn’t make matters easy for himself by giving Blow Out such a bleak conclusion (he wrote the screenplay as well as directed). When the film came out in 1981, audiences appeared to vote with their wallets, with the warm recommendations from critics falling largely on deaf ears. Yet De Palma remained true to the movie he wanted to make; in the final analysis, Blow Out’s conclusion is as vital to its construction as the desolate resolution of David Fincher’s Seven.

In fact, there’s another potential reading of Blow Out that its director may or may not have consciously placed there for us: the movie is a master class in how to craft the perfect shock ending.

Posted by Geoff at 3:31 PM CDT
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Monday, July 3, 2017

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 4, 2017 12:00 AM CDT
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