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Tuesday, August 28, 2018
'AD NAUSEUM' AUTHOR TO PRESENT 'DTK' OCT 9 IN NY
MICHAEL GINGOLD BOOK LAUNCH AT ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE (YONKERS)
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/adnauseumdtk.jpg

Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers, New York will screen Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill at 7:30pm on Tuesday, October 9th. Hosting the screening will be Michael Gingold, who will also be launching his new book, Ad Nauseum, that day. The image above comes from the book (courtesy the 1984prods Instagram page), which collects over 450 newsprint ads of fright films from the 1980s, "annotated and accompanied by vintage reviews," according to the Alamo description. Gingold will present Dressed To Kill, and also sign copies of Ad Nauseum.

Posted by Geoff at 11:32 PM CDT
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Thursday, June 14, 2018
'DRESSED TO KILL' AS 'DEFINITIVE AMERICAN GIALLO'
WRITER MAKES CASE THAT, INTENTIONAL GIALLO OR NOT, IT SURE STANDS AS SUCH
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dtkgiallo.jpgYesterday, Bloody Disgusting's Patrick Bromley posted an editorial with the headline, "Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill is the Definitive American Giallo Film." In it, he states that Dressed To Kill is "a film that has always been accused of being slavishly imitative of Hitchcock’s Psycho but which owes a great deal more to the European gialli of the 1970s. As a filmmaker, De Palma has never been able to get out from under Hitchcock’s shadow. It’s a comparison he invites himself, as several of his ‘70s and ‘80s thrillers are reworkings of earlier Hitchcock films such as Vertigo, Psycho, and Rear Window – basically any of the films that deal at all with voyeurism or 'looking,' a common theme across De Palma’s work. And while Dressed to Kill certainly shares some elements in common with Psycho, both in the way it dispatches who we assume to be the leading lady at the end of Act I and in the cross-dressing reveal of the killer’s identity, it’s pure giallo through and through."

Here's more from Bromley's piece:
If the 1970s were the most fruitful decade for this particular subgenre of horror, it may be no coincidence that De Palma’s thrillers begin to draw from gialli closer to the end of the ‘70s. Dressed to Kill, released in 1980, represents the apex of this influence on De Palma’s work.

Then there are those aspects of Dressed to Kill that feel almost like a 1:1 adaptation of a giallo film. It begins with a woman in danger, as Angie Dickinson’s Kate Miller dreams of a long, hot shower, complete with lingering shots of her (body double’s) nude figure. Suddenly, she’s grabbed from behind by a stranger inside the shower with her; she calls out her husband’s name, but he can’t hear. She wakes up, having dreamed the whole thing, but De Palma has laid out his mission statement: this a movie about a woman who is not safe, just as Bava and Argento and Martino and Fulci had been making movies about women in danger for the previous decade. It’s not just the danger that makes Dressed to Kill a giallo, though, but rather the way it intertwines with a sexuality in a way that’s far more erotic than the hormonal teenage rituals of the slasher genre.

The movie’s biggest setpiece is an extended silent sequence during which Dickinson flirts with a man in an art museum (works of fine art are common signifiers of a giallo), then makes love with him in a cab, goes home to his apartment and makes love again, sneaking out after getting a bit of shocking news about him – the guilt of her marital transgression come to terrible life – and enters an elevator to leave the building and the memory of the mistake behind. This is pure visual storytelling, played out wordlessly across one nearly 15 minute sequence. Once Dickinson enters the elevator, everything changes: hiding in the corner is a blonde woman in sunglasses who begins to stab and slash her. We get an extreme closeup of her eye as the razor cuts her face; not only are shots like this closely associated with filmmakers like Argento, but with entire giallo genre – a genre obsessed with eyes as a function of “looking.” Black leather gloves, the light glinting off of a straight razor – De Palma’s camera fetishizes these hallmarks of the giallo throughout the murder. The killer’s reflection is glimpsed in a mirror by a bystander (a prostitute played by Nancy Allen), which should be familiar to anyone who has seen Argento’s Deep Red. More than any other, this is the scene in which De Palma confirms Dressed to Kill as an American giallo.

But it’s not just the elevator sequence that codifies the movie as a giallo, as De Palma embraces other tropes as well: we get our amateur sleuth in the form of Dickinson’s son, played by Keith Gordon, who becomes obsessed with solving his mom’s murder, enlisting the help of witness Allen along the way. We have the ineffectual police presence, here personified by De Palma regular Dennis Franz. We have a major red herring. We have the psychosexual motives of our killer, ultimately revealed to be the psychiatrist who was treating Dickinson’s character and played by Michael Caine. Aside from the murder of Angie Dickinson early on, this is De Palma’s most overt nod to Psycho, but it’s also totally in keeping with the traditions of gialli, in which repressed sexual desire and gender fluidity often drive the killers to kill, whether it’s Four Flies on Grey Velvet or Tenebrae or A Blade in the Dark or even, to a certain extent, Who Saw Her Die?. Murders are rarely random in gialli; they’re motivated by sex and psychology and, usually, some break between the two. Dressed to Kill fits this model completely.

I don’t know for certain that De Palma set out to make a giallo when he wrote and directed Dressed to Kill, but I do know that he has long been the sum of his influences as a filmmaker. He takes all of the movies he loves, all of the movies that have made an impact on him, then filters them through his own lens (believe it or not, Dressed to Kill is probably his most personal film) and executes them with a near-unparalleled technical precision. It’s hard to believe that a decade’s worth of Italian gialli didn’t play some role in shaping Dressed to Kill, though, given how many elements of the movie are so in line with that subgenre of horror. Whether intentional or not, Dressed to Kill still stands as the definitive example of an American giallo film. There are a few other instances of directors attempting to adapt the distinctly European giallo for American audiences – White of the Eye, for example, or 1994’s Color of Night – but none are nearly as successful as De Palma is here.

Dressed to Kill is a bottle of J&B and some dubbing short of being a perfect giallo.


BUNUEL, GODARD, BERGMAN, ANTONIONI

While Bromley's discussion of the giallo influence on Dressed To Kill seems dead on, his insistence on Hitchcock's Psycho as the main influence on Dressed To Kill overlooks not only Vertigo, but more importantly, the very Buñuelian elements ingrained within the film. Buñuel's Belle de Jour informs the structure of Dressed To Kill just as much as Psycho does, and it also informs the film's surreal sense of sexual fantasy.

Godard is also an influence here, as is Bergman (or maybe it is Bergman via Godard-- see the Weekend/Persona derived scene in which Liz, dressed down to her lingerie, tells Dr. Elliott explicitly about her dream). As Bromley suggests, none of these influences are likely the only ones, either. De Palma even finds room in Dressed To Kill to pull from his own life, Peter being a surrogate for a younger De Palma.

To bring things back to the Italian cinema, however, in his book Nightmare Movies, critic Kim Newman sees nothing less in Dressed To Kill than the influence of Michelangelo Antonioni:

With its dream-like atmosphere and Argento-ish insistence on the importance of wordless, apparently irrelevent sequences like the menacing/sexy gallery stalking, Dressed To Kill betrays its sources and suggests that Antonioni, not Hitchcock, is the real inspiration for much of De Palma's work. Ultimately, the film is only about psycho killings in the limited sense that L'Avventura is about missing persons.

Posted by Geoff at 4:02 AM CDT
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Wednesday, February 21, 2018
TWEET - DE PALMA STORYBOARD DRAWINGS FOR 'DTK'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/tweetadorable.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 8:11 AM CST
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Saturday, December 23, 2017
JERRY GREENBERG HAS DIED AT 81
OSCAR-WINNING EDITOR WORKED ON 5 DE PALMA FEATURES & SPRINGSTEEN VIDEO
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/jgreenberg2016.jpgJerry Greenberg, the Oscar-winning editor (for The French Connection) who collaborated with Brian De Palma on six projects, passed away yesterday at the age of 81. Greenberg worked on five features with De Palma: Dressed To Kill, Scarface, Body Double, Wise Guys, The Untouchables, and the music video for Bruce Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark. In Susan Dworkin's 1984 book Double De Palma, De Palma said of Greenberg, "I can just talk to him on the phone, and he'll know exactly what I want. And can even do it better."

In an interview about a year ago with CineMontage's Michael Goldman, Greenberg said it was only coincidence that he ended up working with De Palma more than any other director:
Greenberg says his success on his two films with Friedkin was in part a result of the fact that his collaborator was a director “of considerable ability when it came to taking a point of view on how a film is to be presented.” He puts the director with whom he has had his longest and closest association into that same category: Brian De Palma. The pair teamed on five films in the 1980s, including Dressed to Kill (1980) and Scarface (1983).

The editor was initially attracted to working with De Palma when the director interviewed him for Dressed to Kill at the behest of De Palma’s longtime editor, Paul Hirsch, ACE, a friend of Greenberg’s, when Hirsch’s schedule precluded him from taking the gig. The reason he wanted to do the film, Greenberg says, was the fact that De Palma had crudely storyboarded the entire movie himself, including minute details.

“He had me down to his office, which was a residential apartment in Manhattan,” Greenberg recalls. “He took me into a small dining room that was, because of the size, completely mirrored to make it appear larger, I guess. On the dining room wall, all around, he had taped three-by-five-inch file cards, storyboarding the whole film. All the drawings were his — simple stick figures most of the time, where he would try to indicate camera movement with little arrows and stuff like that.

“That might seem threatening to another editor,” he continues. “But to me, I thought, ‘Here was a director who knew how his film should be edited.’ I liked that the director knew a little bit about editing, and I felt encouraged. I loved editing that movie. It wasn’t necessarily just the performances or the hooks, the usual things that get you into it. I was doing it completely for the camera work — the way he used the camera, and that was very exciting.”

Still, Greenberg insists the fact that he worked with De Palma five times — more than he worked with any other single director — “was just a coincidence.” Indeed, he emphasizes that he is an editor who never pursued a single collaborative partner on which to hang his hat.

“I don’t think of myself that way in a working sense,” he offers. “I don’t think I generate a lot of confidence in directors in that way. Consequently, although maybe Brian De Palma is an exception, I don’t think I inspire that kind of ‘I’ll just continue working with him’ thing with directors. But then, I never wanted to do that anyway.”

Indeed, Greenberg says he doesn’t view “collaboration” as being just about his relationship with the director. Nor does he express common concerns among editors about being asked to re-cut his work, or even having others re-cut his work. He’s experienced it all over the years — from having wide latitude to having almost no latitude at all. And it’s all fine with him, he says, because, in his view, the nature of a collaborative art like filmmaking involves a work being in a sense passed around and “embellished” by different people repeatedly, a process he says he loves.

“Usually, the task goes from one to the other, so that at every step in passing it, it is embellished and then witnessed by other people, whatever the embellishment was,” he explains. “That is the kind of collaboration filmmaking is. It isn’t a sure thing, but it is a wonderful thing. Being able to pass a responsibility, and different ways of seeing things, from one person to the other, even if it goes on and on — I think that’s terrific. Because, if you have an open mind, what you can do is change what you had done originally, and make it something you could never have thought of on your own. That’s why I’m never threatened by anybody who wants to re-edit my work. I feel like maybe their ideas will spark more ideas in me.”


Greenberg, who also worked on Bonnie And Clyde, Heaven's Gate, and Reds, was nominated for two more Oscars in 1980, for Kramer vs. Kramer and Apocalypse Now.

Posted by Geoff at 2:19 PM CST
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JERRY GREENBERG HAS DIED AT 81
OSCAR-WINNING EDITOR WORKED ON 5 DE PALMA FEATURES & SPRINGSTEEN VIDEO
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/jgreenberg2016.jpgJerry Greenberg, the Oscar-winning editor (for The French Connection) who collaborated with Brian De Palma on six projects, passed away yesterday at the age of 81. Greenberg worked on five features with De Palma: Dressed To Kill, Scarface, Body Double, Wise Guys, The Untouchables, and the music video for Bruce Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark. In Susan Dworkin's 1984 book Double De Palma, De Palma said of Greenberg, "I can just talk to him on the phone, and he'll know exactly what I want. And can even do it better."

In an interview about a year ago with CineMontage's Michael Goldman, Greenberg said it was only coincidence that he ended up working with De Palma more than any other director:
Greenberg says his success on his two films with Friedkin was in part a result of the fact that his collaborator was a director “of considerable ability when it came to taking a point of view on how a film is to be presented.” He puts the director with whom he has had his longest and closest association into that same category: Brian De Palma. The pair teamed on five films in the 1980s, including Dressed to Kill (1980) and Scarface (1983).

The editor was initially attracted to working with De Palma when the director interviewed him for Dressed to Kill at the behest of De Palma’s longtime editor, Paul Hirsch, ACE, a friend of Greenberg’s, when Hirsch’s schedule precluded him from taking the gig. The reason he wanted to do the film, Greenberg says, was the fact that De Palma had crudely storyboarded the entire movie himself, including minute details.

“He had me down to his office, which was a residential apartment in Manhattan,” Greenberg recalls. “He took me into a small dining room that was, because of the size, completely mirrored to make it appear larger, I guess. On the dining room wall, all around, he had taped three-by-five-inch file cards, storyboarding the whole film. All the drawings were his — simple stick figures most of the time, where he would try to indicate camera movement with little arrows and stuff like that.

“That might seem threatening to another editor,” he continues. “But to me, I thought, ‘Here was a director who knew how his film should be edited.’ I liked that the director knew a little bit about editing, and I felt encouraged. I loved editing that movie. It wasn’t necessarily just the performances or the hooks, the usual things that get you into it. I was doing it completely for the camera work — the way he used the camera, and that was very exciting.”

Still, Greenberg insists the fact that he worked with De Palma five times — more than he worked with any other single director — “was just a coincidence.” Indeed, he emphasizes that he is an editor who never pursued a single collaborative partner on which to hang his hat.

“I don’t think of myself that way in a working sense,” he offers. “I don’t think I generate a lot of confidence in directors in that way. Consequently, although maybe Brian De Palma is an exception, I don’t think I inspire that kind of ‘I’ll just continue working with him’ thing with directors. But then, I never wanted to do that anyway.”

Indeed, Greenberg says he doesn’t view “collaboration” as being just about his relationship with the director. Nor does he express common concerns among editors about being asked to re-cut his work, or even having others re-cut his work. He’s experienced it all over the years — from having wide latitude to having almost no latitude at all. And it’s all fine with him, he says, because, in his view, the nature of a collaborative art like filmmaking involves a work being in a sense passed around and “embellished” by different people repeatedly, a process he says he loves.

“Usually, the task goes from one to the other, so that at every step in passing it, it is embellished and then witnessed by other people, whatever the embellishment was,” he explains. “That is the kind of collaboration filmmaking is. It isn’t a sure thing, but it is a wonderful thing. Being able to pass a responsibility, and different ways of seeing things, from one person to the other, even if it goes on and on — I think that’s terrific. Because, if you have an open mind, what you can do is change what you had done originally, and make it something you could never have thought of on your own. That’s why I’m never threatened by anybody who wants to re-edit my work. I feel like maybe their ideas will spark more ideas in me.”


Greenberg, who also worked on Bonnie And Clyde, Heaven's Gate, and Reds, was nominated for two more Oscars in 1980, for Kramer vs. Kramer and Apocalypse Now.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Monday, October 23, 2017
'THE CASE OF THE BLOODY IRIS' & 'DRESSED TO KILL'
ELEVATOR SCENE IN ITALIAN GIALLO IS ECHOED & ENHANCED IN DE PALMA'S FILM


Thanks to Patrick for linking us to a recent Cahiers du Cinéma "Des giallos à gogo" video posted on YouTube, featuring the opening scene from Giuliano Carnimeo's Perché quelle strane gocce di sangue sul corpo di Jennifer? (1972). Released internationally with the title The Case of the Bloody Iris, the film opens with a shocking murder of a woman on an elevator. The woman's blond hair, and the close-up of her face and her terrified eyes watching a knife in the hand of the killer, bear such a striking resemblance to similar shots of Angie Dickinson's elevator murder in Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill, it seems apparent that De Palma must have seen Carnimeo's film sometime before storyboarding and filming this sequence. The killer raises the knife and then brings it down in a slashing motion across the woman's neck in very much the same way the killer does in De Palma's film. The people waiting outside the elevator until it arrives also reminds of Nancy Allen's Liz and her client waiting obliviously for the elevator in Dressed To Kill. In both cases, the female character who is first to see the victim in the elevator turns out to be a major character in the film, and the relative sequences serve as her introduction.

Yet the De Palma sequence also differs from Carnimeo's sequence in many ways. De Palma has added the Hitchcock touch of Liz witnessing the killer and then herself holding the bloody weapon, making her an immediate suspect. And he has mixed in several other elements: the meeting of the eyes between victim and witness, as one exits the film's narrative and the other takes it over; the deliberate echoes of Hitchcock's Psycho shower scene; the intercutting of Liz's conversation with her client and the horrible murder taking place in the elevator cabin while they wait (creating a dark comic irony); the entire movie leading up to Dickinson's Kate Miller getting on the elevator, feeling guilty about her one-night-stand, realizing she has left her wedding ring upstairs in the stranger's apartment, and being stared at by a young girl who seems to sense the woman's guilt.

In the earlier giallo, the victim is someone the viewer has never met before. In De Palma's film, the viewer has already become very intimately involved with the woman before she ever steps into that fateful elevator.


Posted by Geoff at 12:21 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 12:24 AM CDT
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Thursday, September 28, 2017
'DRESSED TO KILL CANCER' EVENT OCT 25 IN L.A.
NANCY ALLEN & OTHER CAST TO APPEAR; $100 VIP GETS PHOTO-OPP, Q&A, AFTER-PARTY, ETC.


The Criterion Collection and weSPARK will present a special screening of Brian De Palma’s Dressed to Kill at 8:30pm on Wednesday, October 25th, at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Nancy Allen, who is also executive director at weSPARK, will be in attendance, and the press materials mention that other cast will be there, as well.

Two types of tickets are available for the event:

$35 for Unreserved Orchestra Seating with Commemorative Poster, Q&A and After-Party Attendance.

$100 for VIP Reserved Seating with Private Pre-Party, Dressed to Kill Blu-Ray DVD + Photo Opp with Nancy Allen and Cast, Commemorative Poster, Q&A and After-Party Attendance.


Posted by Geoff at 6:38 PM CDT
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Saturday, May 6, 2017
DONAGGIO'S DTK SHOWER THEME ON REFN ALBUM
COMPILES MUSIC REFN LISTENED TO WHILE WRITING & FILMING 'THE NEON DEMON'


Last month, Nicolas Winding Refn released The Wicked Die Young on CD and vinyl. A compilation of music he listened to while writing and filming The Neon Demon, it includes Pino Donaggio's Shower Theme from Brian De Palma's Dressed To Kill. "The fourteen tracks on this compilation represent the various ideas I had while preparing The Neon Demon and each song represents a specific emotion," Refn states in promotional materials for the collection. "Some of the tracks are from the past and some the present including new material by Cliff Martinez, Julian Winding, and Electric Youth. Since I wanted my film to be both a horror film and a melodrama with camp, glitter, and vulgarity, as well as a comedy and of course a little science fiction, all these various tracks made me able to step into a parallel world to tell the story."

Refn acknowledged two other De Palma/Donaggio collaborations last summer when Carrie and Body Double screened at Picturehouse cinemas in the U.K. as part of a series titled "Nicolas Winding Refn Presents…" Each film was promoted with Nicolas Winding Refn's verdict: "a visual feast" (Carrie), and, "They should make more movies like this nowadays" (Body Double).


Posted by Geoff at 10:49 PM CDT
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017
JOBLO'S FACE-OFF - 'PSYCHO' v. 'DRESSED TO KILL'
TURNS OUT TO BE RATHER DISAPPOINTING, SHORT-SIGHTED VIEWPOINT
With M. Night Shyamalan's Split released last week, there have been a lot of articles and reviews mentioning Brian De Palma and especially Raising Cain. JoBlo.com's Cody Hamman posted a "Face-Off" column pitting Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho opposite De Palma's Dressed To Kill, with disappointing remarks such as De Palma's main character, Kate Miller, not coming off as "very likeable, so her death doesn't have much emotional impact despite the fact that we've just spent more than 30 minutes watching her." (I am always flummoxed by criticisms that this or that character is not very likeable.) There's also this, regarding Dressed To Kill: "It's an interesting story of a psycho with multiple personalities, but the way the film mishandles the concept of gender reassignment surgery, treating it as a joke at times, can be rather cringeworthy when you look at it 37 years later."

And then Hamman completely lost me with this short-sighted gem: "De Palma takes wordless sequences to an extreme in DRESSED TO KILL. In the first 35 minutes of the film, the characters exchange maybe around 7 minutes of dialogue. The silent seduction at the museum takes up 10 minutes, and as the film goes on there will be several more lengthy stretches without dialogue. Composer Pino Donaggio plays some good music over these sequences, but that doesn't stop them from coming off as being painfully dull to me. Unable to connect with the characters, I don't care what they're doing when they're not speaking, so as these sequences drag on and on I struggle to keep my attention on the film."

Posted by Geoff at 8:10 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017 12:08 AM CST
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Monday, August 22, 2016
'DRESSED TO KILL' SOUNDTRACK FRESH REMASTER
INTRADA NEEDED TO RE-PRESS POPULAR TITLE, DECIDED TO RE-DRESS, AS WELL
Intrada announced today a newly re-dressed, re-mastered, and re-worked version of Pino Donaggio's Dressed To Kill soundtrack. Intrada previously released a Special Collection limited version of this title in 2013.

Here is how Intrada describes this new edition: "Re-dressing a popular Intrada title! As needs to re-press Dressed To Kill arose, Intrada elected to return to original source mixes and remaster entire CD, making new enhancements to audio as well as judicious changes to original track assembly. Additionally, slightly re-worked packaging design by Kay Marshall enhances this new remastered edition."

The changes to the track assembly involve more separation of cues, including "Mike Arrives" (which had previously been included in the track "Marino And Elliot"), "Policewoman Follows Liz" (which had previously been part of "Peter Sets Camera"), "After Flight" (previously part of "Liz Chased By Hoods"), "Elliot And Levy" (previously part of "Liz And Peter Watch Film"), and "Romantic Interlude" (previously part of the track now called, simply, "Liz And Peter").

(Thanks to Bill!)


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2016 12:12 AM CDT
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