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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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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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Monday, July 19, 2021
DONAGGIO'S TELESCOPE REMIXED & MASHED WITH 'MAGIC'
MASH-UP REMIX W/THE 1974 HIT BY PILOT INCLUDED ON NEW ALBUM BY FRENCH DUO POLO & PAN

The new DJ mash-up remix "Magic" by French duo Polo & Pan begins with the recognizable "Telescope" theme that Pino Donaggio wrote for Brian De Palma's Body Double. The track is named for the other song included in the remix: "Magic", a 1974 hit for the Scottish band Pilot. Jordi Bardají at Jenesaispop has more details about the track, translated here from Spanish with the assistance of Google Translate:
Polo & Pan, the French duo of producers made up of Paul Armand-Delille (Polocorp) and Alexandre Grynszpan (Peter Pan), today publishes their new album 'Cyclorama', which has been conceived as «a musical odyssey through the phases from human existence, from birth to adult life until death ... and transcendence ». The group is much loved for its tropical and summer dance electronic sound, featured on their first album 'Caravelle' and on their two biggest hits, 'Nanã' or 'Canopée', and 'Cyclorama' continues the trend with more good songs like this 'Magic' that today is the Song of the Day.

Festivalera to no end, perfect for dancing when the sun goes down, 'Magic' is also the longest track on 'Cyclorama' but it may be the best, although it is not very representative of the album since its composition is the one that is mostly based on samples. In an interview with Polo & Pan that we will publish soon, Alexandre remembers that in fact 'Magic' was not going to be part of the album but that, when in 2019 they played it at the Chambord x Cercle Festival, when it was still a simple “DJ edit” With which to fill in his setlist and not a studio recording as such, people went crazy and his label began to ask him about that unknown song that they had presented live.

‘Magic’ was born from two songs that Alexandre is a fan of. On the one hand, the intriguing 'Telescope' by Pino Donaggio, one of the songs that is part of the soundtrack of the 1984 neo-noir film 'Body Double' by Brian De Palma, but the version that fascinates Alexandre actually is the remix of the Dutch DJ Young Marco released in 2013. On the other, 'Magic', one of the biggest hits of the Scottish rock band of the 70s Pilot, which Alexandre fell in love with when he heard it on the soundtrack of the 1996 film "Happy Gilmore," starring Adam Sandler.

If it seemed absolutely impossible for a soft-rock group like Pilot to sound well integrated into a synth-noir production of Pino Donaggio, Polo & Pan manage to make these worlds marry perfectly in a dreamy song that is already postulated as one of the best of its short career.



(Thanks to Julien!)

Posted by Geoff at 6:02 PM CDT
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Friday, April 9, 2021
MORGAN RICHTER EXAMINES 'BODY DOUBLE'
MANY DETAILS IN EPISODE #49 OF "WHEN GEN-X RULED THE MULTIPLEX"

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Saturday, February 27, 2021
COSTUME DESIGNER PICKS TOP 10 PARTY SCENES

MEL OTTENBERG - "THE CLUB SCENE IN BODY DOUBLE IS ANOTHER MIND-BLOWER"


"Welcome to Club Mel," begins the description for the Club Mel column at Interview Magazine, "a weekly ode to vampire kisses, candy flipping, and all things going out. Remember leaving the house past 10pm? Our Creative Director Mel Ottenberg does. This week: Mel brings the party inside with his list of the top ten party scenes in modern cinema to watch right now. Behold, the bygone days of boogie nights."

At number 6 on Ottenberg' list is Brian De Palma's Body Double:

The club scene in Body Double is another mind blower that I’ll continue to watch all the time forever. And this one is directed by Brian De Palma! And stars Melanie Griffith as adult film star Holly Body! And features “Relax” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood in a club scene within a porn scene within the movie! It’s a lot to take in, and it’s all perfect. Remember one-night-stands when you met people out in the clubs? Remember THAT? This scene is giving that to you, and then some. I love you Melanie Griffith!

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Friday, March 5, 2021 12:22 AM CST
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Tuesday, February 2, 2021
PODCAST 'YOU GOTTA ACT' DISCUSSES 'BODY DOUBLE'
SPECIAL EPISODE - MANUELA LAZIE & GUEST SHARE BIRTHDAY AND SHARE PASSION FOR THE FILMS OF BRIAN DE PALMA

From the podcast episode description:
In this special episode, Julian Palmer, the man behind the great video essay channel The Discarded Image, joins Manuela to celebrate their shared birthdays on January 29th and their shared passion for Brian De Palma by talking about his 1984 film about acting, BODY DOUBLE, which gave its name to this podcast! They discuss De Palma's artificiality, his reverence to Hitchcock and Godard, his ingenious casting of Craig Wasson in the lead role, his use of women in his films, and why BODY DOUBLE is Manuela's favourite movie.

Posted by Geoff at 11:42 PM CST
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Wednesday, January 20, 2021
CRAIG WASSON WROTE UNUSED SONG FOR 'BODY DOUBLE'
MENTIONED AS HE DISCUSSES HIS CAREER ON 2-PART "STUFF WE'VE SEEN" PODCAST
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bodydoublealtposter75.jpg

"They want to see you for a movie Brian De Palma's doing." Craig Wasson tells the story of how he was cast in Body Double on the second of a two-part interview with the podcast Stuff We've Seen. He mentions that during rehearsals, De Palma found out that Wasson does music, and asked him to write a song-- something along the lines of "Every Breath You Take" by The Police (a song which, of course, includes the very Body Double-ish hook, "I'll be watching you"). "So I wrote a song called, 'What You Do, I Do,'" Wasson says on the podcast, "and it's got that whole thing. And he was going to use it in the movie, but Sony Pictures had a deal with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, which actually is a fantastic song."

Wasson says he loved working with De Palma. "He's a poet, like [Arthur] Penn. You know, he was speaking in terms of extended metaphors through the whole thing, which I loved. Oh, he was good! We rehearsed like they rehearsed a play-- you know how they tape out the furniture and stuff on the floor while you rehearse the play? We had an open space like that, and we rehearsed for about a week or two, and then we shot, and he very rarely gave direction, because he says, 'Hey, I wouldn't have hired you if I didn't think you could act.' Isn't that great?"

Wasson adds that De Palma wanted them to follow the script, of course, but always with a "What would you do here?" sort of freedom. Using his Jimmy Stewart voice for the podcasters, Wasson says De Palma told him, "I don't want you to do Jimmy Stewart, but I want you to be Jimmy Stewart." It's a terrific interview-- check it out.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Tuesday, January 5, 2021
'BODY DOUBLE' ILLUSTRATION BY DAVID AMBLARD
POSTED ON HIS INSTAGRAM PAGE EARLIER TODAY

https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/davidamblard.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Tuesday, December 15, 2020
CINEMA RECALL PODCAST HAVING A DE PALMA DECEMBER
WEEKLY SERIES BEGAN WITH 'BODY DOUBLE', CONTINUED WITH 'DRESSED TO KILL'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/rubinjacket1.jpg

Would you look at that jacket worn by Dennis Franz as he channeled Brian De Palma while portraying a film director in Body Double? Then look at this picture from the set of The Bonfire Of The Vanities six years later...! De Palma as Franz as De Palma.

Body Double is the film that kicked off "De Palma December" on the weekly podcast, Cinema Recall, two Fridays ago:

We begin the month of December by covering the films of director Brian DePalma. He has been compared to Alfred Hitchcock but many of his films are a lot more mature in content. Not only does he direct thrillers, but he has worked in horror, action, dramas, and musicals too.

On this episode, Ryan of Coolness Chronicles and Reels of Justice returns to discuss DePalma's homage to Hitchcock's Rear Window and Vertigo with Body Double. Listen to him and The Vern go over moments of this intricate thriller.


This past Friday, the podcast covered De Palma's Dressed To Kill, with special guest Jeanette Miller Mickenham.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 12:21 AM CST
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Friday, November 27, 2020
GLOWING?
PODCAST DELVES INTO THE DETAILS OF 'BODY DOUBLE'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/glowing1.jpg

This week's episode of the podacst TheNecronomi.Com finds co-hosts James Sabata and Don Guillory welcoming guest Bob Pastorella to talk about Brian De Palma's Body Double. As they delve into the devious machinations of Sam Bouchard, one of the hosts defends some of the elements involved, saying that "De Palma doesn't tell us every detail of the story," and that some of those details display "a great level of forethought on De Palma's part." Yes, indeed.

Then the host brings up a radical possibility that makes the other two involved in the discussion stop to think: was Sam Bouchard the man who is, er, with Carol when Jake Scully walks in on them? It would make Sam's scheming even more extreme, but I do think after the people on this podcast go back and review the film, they will spot the telling moment when Sam, already on the lookout for a poor schmuck to play the part of the witness in his murder scenario, overhears Jake asking a friend if he knows of any apartments available.

Sam Bouchard here is a bit like Jon (Robert De Niro) trying to manipulate Judy (Jennifer Salt) in Hi, Mom!, taking what his pawn gives him and then bonding with him, improvising a story that may have been roughly sketched in his mind beforehand. Although De Niro's Jon in Hi, Mom! has actually weaved his way into Judy's life after surreptitiously spying on her with his camera from across the street, I think we can see the very moment in Body Double when Sam Bouchard begins to pay attention to Jake Scully:


Posted by Geoff at 12:34 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 5:04 PM CST
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Wednesday, October 21, 2020
IN SPIRIT OF 'REBECCA', AV CLUB CHECKS 'BODY DOUBLE'
DE PALMA'S "BALLS-TO-THE-WALL RESPONSE" TO CRITICS, WRITES CRAIG D. LINDSEY
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bdbar4small.jpg

AV Club's "Watch This" column today focuses on Brian De Palma's Body Double, as Ben Wheatley's version of Rebecca premieres on Netflix. With a focus on directly Hitchcockian films this week, the headline to today's column reads: "With Body Double, Brian De Palma trolled everyone who called him a Hitchcock wannabe."

The article by Craig D. Lindsey looks at Body Double as De Palma's "balls-to-the-wall response" to critics of his then-recent works.

Double has to be the most I’m-doing-this-for-shits-and-giggles movie De Palma ever directed. (His little-seen Home Movies, which he made with his Sarah Lawrence College film class, comes a close second.) It’s surprising how many people took this trolling so seriously. The movie was a flop at the box office and mostly trashed in the press, though a few critics got the joke. (Vincent Canby called it “[De Palma’s] most blatant variation to date on a Hitchcock film,” while Paul Attanasio said it is “carefully calculated to offend almost everyone”). Audiences hated it, too: In a 2002 salute to De Palma in Vanity Fair, critic James Wolcott recalled the “catastrophic public screening” of Double he attended “where the audience hissed the notorious low-angle shot of a power drill pointed at a supine woman’s body like a steel penis.”

Right from the jump, De Palma revels in Double’s Hollywood artifice. Every time we see Jake at a studio, fake backdrops and boulders are being wheeled away. But the fakery doesn’t stop when he leaves the lot. It extends to scenes of Jake driving his drop-top convertible around town, for which De Palma deploys an old-fashioned rear-projection shot. Without question, the movie’s most over-the-top moment, when Wasson and Shelton share a passionate kiss on the beach, is also its most deliberately inauthentic. It’s obviously meant to resemble the revolving make-out session between Stewart and Kim Novak in Vertigo. But De Palma goes way the hell out for his version, cutting abruptly from footage of the actors smooching outdoors to them clearly on a soundstage, on some revolving platform, against a projected backdrop of a beach, just ravaging each other as the camera does multiple, accelerated swirls around them.

By the end, De Palma has given both his fans and his haters what they crave. He ends his movie with a sequence in which a De Palma-like director (played by Dennis Franz, a one-time De Palma regular) shoots Jake, playing a vampire, biting a naked girl in the shower. A gum-smacking body double steps in for the actress, cementing the whole scene as a nod to Angie Dickinson’s shower scene in Dressed, where she used a double. Even after all these years, Body Double is still tawdry, twisted, and smart-assed, right down to the final frame.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Thursday, October 22, 2020 12:49 AM CDT
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Tuesday, June 23, 2020
BIBBIANI ON 'BODY DOUBLE' & BEST HORROR FILMS OF '84
"MELANIE GRIFFITH CHALLENGES ALL EXPECTATIONS IN HER PERFORMANCE"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/bdhottipsmall.jpg

At Bloody Disgusting yesterday, William Bibbiani posted an article with the headline, "Things of the Past: The 14 Best Horror Movies of 1984!" The list includes Brian De Palma's Body Double.

"There’s an alternate reality out there in which we’re all at the multiplex, or at least able to go, and watching all of the big blockbusters that were originally scheduled to come out in the summer of 2020," Wonder Woman 1984, we can still go back to 1984 and watch all the movies that would have been playing in theaters while Wonder Woman was fighting supervillains."

Bibbiani's alphabetical list also includes Joe Dante's Gremlins, Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves, Tim Burton's short film, Frankenweenie, Wes Craven's A Nightmare On Elm Street, and several others. Here's what Bibbiani says about Body Double:

Brian De Palma’s lurid pastiche of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Vertigo and Dial M for Murder stars Craig Wasson (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) as a sad-sack struggling actor who takes a housesitting gig and falls in love with a beautiful neighbor through a telescope, watching her as she seductively dances at night. His late night voyeurism makes him the only witness to her brutal murder, but the plot takes a bizarre turn when he notices that a famous porn star named Holly Body, played by a never-better Melanie Griffith, has the exact same sensual dance routine in her films.

The creepy psychosexual subtext of Hitchcock’s films is laid bare, front and center, in De Palma’s Body Double, a film which showcases some of the most ambitious and playful camerawork of the director’s career. Even when it’s not shockingly violent Body Double still feels shocking, as Wasson’s hapless protagonist discovers the depths of his own obsessions and the bizarre lengths he will go to in order to seduce the woman (women?) of his dreams. Meanwhile, Melanie Griffith challenges all expectations in her performance, revealing Holly Body to be as complete, as radical, and as intriguing a character as any in De Palma’s filmography.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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