JANELLE MONAE TWEETED 2 WEEKS AGO AS SHE SHARED 'HOMECOMING' TRAILER
New Homecoming director "leaned into" De Palma
Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
"The film would live on strangely in my life, an inside-the-park home run, an entrée to a certain wild, transgressive sector of our society. For years, people would congratulate me and quote me lines from it. Gangsters and their ilk would buy me drinks, champagne, in such faraway places as Egypt, Russia, Cambodia. I could’ve made a great deal of money by accepting a sequel, but my 'gangster' thoughts were ready to explode into the new milieu of Wall Street.
"Scarface was not The Godfather. It lacked the family and the sense of a tragic arc. But it was a juicy, crude opera of a drug dealer’s life set across a slimeball American materialism flowering in South Florida, the madness of a dream that always wants “more … more … and even more.” Greed was indeed good. The ’80s had arrived."
The above is only the last part of the excerpt-- read the full excerpt at MovieMaker. Here's the MovieMaker intro:
Before Scarface launched a boatload of T-shirts, posters, memes, and dubious imitations of Al Pacino’s cocainized Tony Montana, the film, written by Oliver Stone, was just a movie in trouble.
In this excerpt from his new memoir Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and The Movie Game, Oliver Stone recalls how he found himself caught between Pacino, Scarface director Brian De Palma, and Scarface producer Marty Bregman after a rough-cut screening of the movie that would soon become beloved as a classic of ’80s excess. Everything would work out, of course—in just a few years, Oliver Stone won the Academy Award for Best Director for Platoon, which also won Best Picture. Pacino and Bregman continued their long professional collaboration with Sea of Love and another De Palma film, Carlito’s Way.
De Palma’s next film after Scarface was Body Double, another very ’80s, freakishly watchable film that wasn’t an immediate success but has earned a ravenous cult following. And soon after he made another Al Capone-indebted gangster epic (one that got more initial respect than Scarface), The Untouchables. Stone eventually reunited with Pacino, this time as a director, in the adrenalized but surprisingly affectionate Any Given Sunday, another Miami-set tale of machismo, greed, and desperation.
A couple of years ago, I shared a video made by Carl Rodrigue and his friend from when they visited Mission: Impossible filming locations in Prague and London. Now the pair have put together a video (above) that collects their trips over recent years to filming locations from 11 of Brian De Palma's films.
In an email, Rodrigue writes:
These road trips about filming locations would not have been possible if I hadn’t met this friend, who is a not only a cinema buff, but also loves De Palma as much as you and I. Fun fact: we met on the Internet in 1996 looking for Murder a la Mod. We never found it of course and, as many De Palma fans, we had to wait until the Blow Out Criterion release to watch it.
Having said that, it’s a major treat to found yourself on any filming location, if you ask me.
Especially, the ones from De Palma’s movies!
Phantom of the Paradise
All pictures were taken in Dallas. We tried to visit the Greystone Mansion in California, but didn’t get the permission.
Same goes for the Majestic Theater in Dallas. Next time, we’ll buy tickets to see a show so we can enter.
Since we were not sure where the exterior scenes were shot, we still took pictures of the Majestic and I put one in the video.
The street of the Courtlands' house is part of a walking tour you can take while in New Orleans. The house is apparently famous for being is some other movies as well as Obsession, we heard a guide saying. We had to wait for the tourists to leave to take our pictures.
There are only three trees left near the place where Carrie walks.
As soon as we put a foot on the college where the volley ball scene was filmed, we went to talk to a guardian who was there and we were taken to the principal’s office. We explained our project, but didn’t have the permission to take pictures while students were there, and our tight schedule meant we were not able to wait.
We were a little discouraged as we encountered the same reception at the next college where Carrie walks out from the fire, but since the movie was made, it was changed to a museum, so we got lucky there.
Another luck : we found the road where Chris and Billy try to kill Carrie just a few weeks before we left for our second road trip.
Again, our tight schedule prevented us from visiting other locations from The Fury. But we can agree on the fact that it’s one of the best scenes of the movie if not the best.
Dressed to Kill
The museum shots you see are not exactly the same as the movie, since that portion was in renovation when we visited. Still, the architecture is the about the same on all floors, so it wasn’t too hard to take pictures that look like the ones in the movie.
We were also amazed to find the painting you see at 2:08, so I to put it in the video.
It took us a while to get access to the bridge – it’s harder / more complicated than we first thought. And even then, as you’ll see in the first picture, we were on the opposite side. By the way, I don’t know how many accidents there are there, but as you can see, the barrier is still damaged! :-o
Do I have to tell you that the murder shot was taken in the men’s bathroom, and not the women's? ;)
Also, we went two times to Philadelphia. The first time, the place where Sally is killed was closed. Fortunately we got lucky the second time!
Maybe the biggest disappointment of all was not getting permission to take pictures at the Beverly Hills mall.
It’s very hard to get a good shot of the Chemosphere House since vegetation and other houses are in the way.
While we were figuring how to take pictures of the beach house, a gentleman saw us and let us enter. Sometimes, it seems that our Quebec accent helps. People understand how far we've come and will give us freebies like this. That’s how we were able to get the picture you see at 3:09.
The tunnel is now closed – since many years ago, it seems – but you could still see the façade from the beach.
I remember I told you about the time I went to Chicago in 2015 when the staircase was in renovation. Talk about a MAJOR disappointment! Still I took some other pictures in 2015 and of course we put Chicago on our map for the road trips of 2016 and even 2019.
We took a diner at the Houndstooth Saloon.
Maniacs that we are, we went all the way to Montana for the frontier scene.
I’m especially proud of the Capone shot on the stairs (3:39). I took it in 2015 and didn’t have the pictures of the movie with me that time, but I still got the right angle.
As for the church, what can I tell you? This one of my favorite shots of all time: the hands near the camera, the heads further and the depth of field which leads us all the way to the back of the church. This is badass composition. No wonder I used it as the thumbnail. ;)
Casualties of War
Not much to be said here since, as you know, these shots were the only ones possible to take.
Oh and yes, for the first one we had to stand there for a little while waiting for the tramway to come and be able to take matching pictures.
The manager of the Raising Cain motel was kind enough to let us take our pictures. Very appreciated. Another time where our Quebec accent might have helped.
We took more pictures at the park, but the scenery sure changed a lot since 1992.
Another treat was to be able to take as many pictures as we wanted inside the police station of Raising Cain (in fact a town mall). We have documented pretty much the whole sequence-shot.
Finally for Mission: Impossible, pretty much all the pictures are from the video I made in 2018. The only new one is the 5:12 one which I found a way to insert here.
I don’t know if I told you back then, but remember when Tom Cruise says to Emmanuelle Béart: “There was nobody on the bridge.” ? Well, I have been in Prague for a week, and went to Charles bridge maybe five or six times at different hours trying to get these kind of shots.
Tom Cruise is a liar : There’s ALWAYS someone on the bridge.
So that’s about it. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We have many more pictures, so I’ll let you know when I’ll make some new videos about single films.
In the future, a third and final road trip in the States would include the east coast; especially in Miami for Scarface and New York for Carlito’s Way, Sisters, and some other shots from Dressed to Kill.
"I found this tucked away in an old book yesterday," Culp writes in the Instagram post. "It's from my Hollywood days. Working tirelessly as an assistant to Brian De Palma. It reminded of a time when we were shooting in Montreal, this powerful creative group of women on the set in high positions where asking me 'What do you want?' We would like to help you fulfill your dreams. They saw I was in a power position, they were from a different culture they were seeing something in me that I could not see quit[e] yet. The problem was I did not know what I wanted. This experience thrusted me into analysis in a attempt to figure it out. I worked hard and what I found was a different path. Now I am at that point again in my life. What is my purpose now wnd in addition how can I help younger women find calling. It's all about communication and a thirst for learning from others. Keep talking, keep helping and Happy Filmmaker Friday and just to keep it as real as possible life really is a shit show right now :)"
Name a more iconic horror movie scene than Sissy Spacek getting drenched in pig's blood in Carrie.
The signature Brian DePalma split-screen effect, the jeering crowd, the humiliation that gives way to unrestrained female rage — the elements that make Carrie a stone-cold classic are present in the new music video for "I Really Don't Care" from The Venomous Pinks.
"I’m pretty grateful for my bandmates," says Drea Doll, vocalist and guitarist for the band. "They let me run with any crazy idea I have."
Director Alexander Thomas asked her what her favorite horror movie was, and a concept was born.
Doll says, "Carrie is truly, I feel, one of the first feminist horror movies. We figured, 'Let’s do the prom scene, an homage to it where it’s a punk-rock prom.'"
In the video, The Venomous Pinks are the live entertainment at the fateful dance. Dressed in matching pink satin shirts, they finish the song as the room burns around them.
Bassist Gaby Kaos takes lead vocals on the track; she wrote a version of the song years ago in response to a bad relationship. In a press release, she says she wrote the song after leaving a boyfriend who wanted her to give up her dreams of a music career.
These days, the song has taken on an additional meaning — namely, that the band won't let anything stop them from accomplishing their goals.
Meanwhile, Bregman went painstakingly through the script with me, with Pacino separately making incisive suggestions. We never discussed the Born on the Fourth of July debacle, but as I grew to know Al better, I found him surprisingly humorous, coming up with one-liners to fit Tony Montana, whom he was evolving into with a broad Cuban accent and all. It surprised me that Al had never snorted cocaine or known anything about drugs. According to Marty, he’d had a serious problem with alcohol when younger but was now completely dry. Yet he had no problem behaving onscreen like the ultimate coke addict. Al definitely belonged to the “Method” school of acting, worshiping the aloof Lee Strasberg, who with his wife seemed to be making a rather good living teaching theater to a new generation. Al also kept a respected acting coach, Charlie Laughton, close to him, which greatly irritated Marty, who still wanted to“manage” Al in all ways, particularly his “warped” thinking. Al, to my mind, always had one goal — the play. Nothing else seemed to exist.
I continued to refine the script, and without much delay, Ned Tanen at Universal, Bregman’s friendly studio, agreed to make the movie for some $14 to $15 million, which was quite good for a violent gangster film that, even on paper, was gathering a reputation for being “over the top” — another Midnight Express type of extravaganza from Oliver Stone, now paired with the excessive and violent Brian De Palma, who’d made Dressed to Kill and Carrie. Bregman asked me to take DePalma down to see the locations and meet the figures I’d come to know while researching. Brian was a cold man, like Alan Parker — it comes with the territory — but he wasn’t threatened by me and seemed to want me around. So did Bregman, who stayed very much in control of the film, sitting with Brian through every casting call. At one session I attended, I fought hard for Glenn Close to play the role of Al’s mistress in Scarface, as she’d been great in the reading. I’d written the original Elvira role as an upper-class New York girl whom I knew, slumming in South Beach with a gangster boss when Tony meets her. Marty dismissed my idea as nuts — “She’s got a face like a horse!” He was married to a beautiful actress, Cornelia Sharpe, a blond, and generally had a big thing going for blonds. Marty and De Palma ultimately chose a twenty-four-year-old newcomer, Michelle Pfeiffer, who scored hugely in the film and went on to a distinguished career. But at the time, I had to grudgingly rewrite Elvira’s part down to make the role more of a materialistic South Beach bimbo.
Al asked Marty to keep me on the set to help him, presumably with a director he wasn’t quite sure of. At first I was glad to stay on, although I was being paid only in per diem to cover my expenses, but I regarded it as a learning experience. Al was still, at this time, quicksilver of nature, turning on a dime, very sensitive to his environment, eyes, ears, skin on fire. If he saw a new face on the set, he’d react. He was just that way. At all costs I’d avoid his line of sight when he was in acting motion lest my concentration disrupt his own — somewhat like particle waves. Billy Wilder described this sensitivity in recounting how Greta Garbo banned him from Ninotchka for appearing in her sightline. It wouldn’t be easy to direct Al, but De Palma seemed indifferent to that; he was never really an actor’s director like Lumet, whom Pacino had wanted. De Palma, it seemed to me, was more interested in the “big picture,” and in that vision actors were more or less an important part of the scenery.
Meanwhile, at Daily Dead, you can listen to the latest episode of the Corpse Club podcast, in which "Horror BFFs" Heather Wixson and Patrick Bromley discuss Dressed To Kill. Here's the brief Daily Dead description:
Over the last several years on Daily Dead, we've celebrated the 30th anniversaries of notable horror and sci-fi movies in our "Class of..." retrospective series, and this year we're switching things up by commemorating movies that are celebrating their 40th anniversaries!
Horror BFFs Heather Wixson and Patrick Bromley continue Daily Dead's Class of 1980 retrospective series with a look back at Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill on this episode of Corpse Club!
Listen as Heather and Patrick take a deep dive into the classic horror film, from De Palma's innovative directing and clever camerawork to the film's killer mystery, psychological layers, and intriguing performances by a talented cast including Michael Caine, Angie Dickinson, Keith Gordon, Nancy Allen, and Dennis Franz.
So, whether you're no stranger to Dressed to Kill or you're gearing up for a first-time viewing, sit back, relax, and enjoy a special Class of 1980 edition of Horror BFFs!