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Recent Headlines
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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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De Palma interviewed
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Monday, May 16, 2022
DETAILS FOR UK EDITION OF 4K UHD UNTOUCHABLES
DOUBLE-SIDED POSTER, ART CARDS, BUSINESS CARDS, & SPECIAL FEATURES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/4ksteelbookuntouchables2.jpg

From The Hollywood News:
According to an official press release, received today from Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment, The Untouchables makes its 4K Ultra HD debut on June 6, 2022 on 4K UHD + Blu-ray Special Collector’s Edition SteelBook, which includes the 4K Ultra HD™ feature film, Blu-ray™, poster, 6 art cards and 2 business cards.

Legacy bonus content is as follows:

  • The Script, The Cast
  • Production Stories
  • Re-Inventing the Genre
  • The Classic
  • Original Featurette: “The Men”
  • Theatrical Trailer

 


Here are the purchase page links at Zavvi and Amazon.co.uk. The U.S. edition will be released on May 31, 2022.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Monday, March 14, 2022
UNTOUCHABLES 4K BLU & STEELBOOK COVER ART, DETAILS
PARAMOUNT POSTED BOTH EDITIONS FOR PRE-ORDER ON AMAZON TODAY, RELEASE DATE 5/31
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/4ksteelbookuntouchables1.jpg

The cover above is for Paramount's upcoming 35th Anniversary Limited-Edition 4K UHD Steebook of Brian De Palma's The Untouchables. That, as well as the regular-edition 4K UHD with Digital Copy, will be released on May 31, 2022. Both are now available for pre-order at Amazon. As The Digital Bits' Bill Hunt mentions today, these editions "will include Dolby Vision HDR, Dolby Atmos audio, and the legacy special features."


Posted by Geoff at 7:15 PM CDT
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Friday, March 4, 2022
'PEOPLE DIG IT' - ANDY GARCIA ON 'THE UNTOUCHABLES'
"PEOPLE DIG THAT MOVIE AND IT HOLDS UP REALLY WELL"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/stonepram3.jpg

While promoting the new movie Big Gold Brick, Andy Garcia was asked by ComingSoon.net's Tyler Treese about The Untouchables:
This is kind of hard to believe, but The Untouchables turns 35 this year. That was your big breakout role, and you’ve done so much great work since then. How do you view the legacy of that film?

People dig it. People dig that movie and it holds up really well. Some movies you do, then you revisit them and you go “Eh,” but this movie holds up so well, it’s such a great film for all the reasons you know. The script by David Mamet, the execution by Brian De Palma, and then all the wardrobe, the actors that are in it. Ennio Morricone’s work and the scores, all the elements in this movie really, really hold up to a great film forever, really. So I was honored to be a part of it. It was a privilege.

You talked about the great actors. Being that young, and being around so many huge stars. Was it a bit intimidating when you were filming that?

I did most of my work with The Untouchables with [Sean] Connery. [Robert] De Niro was obviously [Al] Capone, but I didn’t have, other than scenes in the courtroom, we didn’t really have the opportunity to interact that way. But Connery, I worked with all the time. Of course, he was a hero of mine growing up in the sixties. He was James Bond. He was the hero of our times, and so getting a chance to work with him was a great honor. I wouldn’t say the word “intimidated” because that’s my job. You’re coming there, you got to take care of your character. You got to take care of what you’re there to deliver. But I was extremely, obviously respectful and enjoying the proximity to someone that when you’re young, you’re in awe of. You’re so inspired by. But once you start working, once you start working he’s [Jim] Malone and I’m [George] Stone and all that disappears in a sense, you know?


Posted by Geoff at 12:55 AM CST
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Thursday, February 3, 2022
ECHOES OF 'UNTOUCHABLES' IN BOOK OF BOBA FETT
SPOILERS HEREIN - SEVERAL VIEWERS HAVE NOTICED SIMILARITIES IN LATEST EPISODE (CHAPTER 6)

At Looper, Nick Staniforth writes about the latest episode (Chapter 6) of The Book of Boba Fett, noting that:

In the latter half of Chapter 6, the Pykes move on Boba's territory by dealing the Sanctuary Club a fatal blow. They pay the establishment a short visit before exiting and leaving a case unattended. What's in the case, you might wonder? Nothing good. A dutiful droid spots the item and attempts to call the guests back, but it's too late. The case contains a timed explosive that goes off, destroying the premises and killing all those in attendance.

The attack echoes Brian De Palma's classic gangster thriller "The Untouchables," which opens in a similar fashion. The difference here is that a rather than a droid, it's a young girl who chases after a cold-blooded gangster who leaves a briefcase bomb in a bar. The similarities didn't go unnoticed by fans of both "Star Wars" and the classic gangster movie, who quickly took to Twitter to point it out.

Stingray_Travel tweeted, "Was that an Untouchables homage on 'The Book of Boba Fett?'"

Richard Elorza was impressed with it too, writing, "What about that The Untouchables nod?" including a gif from the De Palma's iconic film.

The sequence also earned praise for Dave Filoni from "Star Wars" fan Ralf Baier who said, "Dave Filoni, You crazy son of a b***h! You finally did it! Thank you. But you forgot the toothpick. And it looks like you've watched 'The Untouchables' one too many times. Anyways, awesome episode!"

On that we can all agree. What an episode, indeed.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Friday, February 4, 2022 12:56 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 2, 2022
VIDEO - SEAN CONNERY 1987 PRESS CONFERENCE
ROLE AS MENTOR IN UNTOUCHABLES, STRENGTH OF MAMET SCRIPT, WORKING WITH HITCHCOCK/DE PALMA, MORE


Thanks to Neil for letting us know about the Sean Connery press conference video (above), which was posted to YouTube by take2markTV this past Sunday. The main thrust of the questions revolve around The Untouchables. Early in the 29-minute video, Connery is asked to compare working with Brian De Palma to having worked with Alfred Hitchcock:
Well, first of all, Hitchcock, in fact, gave very little directorial advice to me as an actor, and yet we got on famously. I know that Brian is a bit of a disciple of Hitchcock. But in this case, with The Untouchables, with Brian, he was, I must say, very very considerate and helpful with the actors. And we had quite a bit of discussion before we started. He very much wanted the Malone character to be the old teacher with the three guys. And this was very much how we worked off-screen and on-screen, and he was very supportive in that way. Keeping them, you know, on their toes all the time. And he had infinite patience, I must say. But then again, I think that if one can make one comment about this script, the film, The Untouchables, I think it was a very good choice for De Palma, because it involved him with very, I think, well-delineated characters that you could feel some sympathy for. I feel in his preceding films, he had a tendency to distance you a bit from the people. But not in the case of The Untouchables. A lot of that’s to do, of course, with the actual writing.

With Connery saying that De Palma "very much wanted the Malone character to be the old teacher with the three guys," and saying that they had "quite a bit of discussion" before filming, one wonders if perhaps De Palma, with this aspect, might have been thinking at least a little about his college days, when he and William Finley and Jared Martin were mentored by Wilford Leach. De Palma and Martin would spend most of their time at Sarah Lawrence College, where, along with Finley, they appeared in Leach's production of Jean Giraudoux's Ondine. According to Justin Humphreys, author of Interviews Too Shocking To Print!, "Finley played an old man, Martin played the lead, a knight, and De Palma played various roles. De Palma's then-girlfriend, Kristina Callahan, played Ondine. Finley, as usual, also designed some of the sets." The show was a "major success," states Humphreys, and they followed it up over the next year with two more: The Italian Straw Hat, and A Soldier's Tale.

Back to the video, when asked to talk about De Palma as a director of action scenes, Connery responds:

Well, I like very much the way De Palma films his scenes. Particularly the point-of-view scenes. He makes the audience very very aware of the geography and what you’re seeing, and you’re inside the action all the time. Some directors use lots of whip-pan and jump cuts and a lot of, like a mosaic – tiny pieces of film. I like his method of… it’s quite epic, the space he uses in getting to what he wants, and then taking you in with it. Really, I mean, his techniques and things really speak for themselves. It’s nothing that I can really embellish on. But I think that sometimes the blood and the violence, he gets carried away with. But technically, he has, I think, a marvelous sense of the cinema.

Posted by Geoff at 7:52 PM CST
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Wednesday, January 26, 2022
'UNTOUCHABLES' IN 4K, NOW ON VUDU, iTUNES, APPLE TV
THE DIGITAL BITS: "THIS DOES APPEAR TO BE A NEW SCAN" - 35TH ANNIVERSARY LATER THIS YEAR
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/connery22.jpg

"And here’s something interesting," states The Digital Bits editor Bill Hunt in his "My 2 Cents" column today. "Paramount has made Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables available for purchase in 4K Digital on Vudu, and we expect it to begin appearing on other digital services too. This does appear to be a new scan, and it’s worth noting that the film celebrates its 35th anniversary on 6/3. So it’s very likely that we’ll see a physical 4K Ultra HD release sometime around then as well. Thanks to Bits reader Chris R. for the heads-up! [Editor’s Note: It’s up on iTunes/Apple TV now too.]"

Meanwhile, Liam Gaughan at /Film includes The Untouchables on his list of "The 12 Best Mob Movies You Need To See Immediately" ...

There's a fear that sometimes mafia films can try too hard to humanize gangster characters, and as a result the audience may end up sympathizing with violent men who have done truly horrible things. However, some of the best mob movies are those that focus on the law enforcement officers that attempt to bring these dangerous criminals to justice. Based on the 1957 novel of the same name, Brian de Palma's 1987 classic "The Untouchables" tells the true story of the Chicago cops that brought down the notorious Al Capone (Robert De Niro). De Palma has experience working in the horror and thriller genres, and here he combines flashy stylistic flourishes with a more classic version of the old-school gangster epic.

Gaughan's dozen also includes Carlito's Way:
Brian De Palma always creates an interesting tone with his crime films, which combine well developed characters with more elaborate stylistic flourishes. "Carlito's Way" is a fascinating look at a gangster's career that features one of Al Pacino's best performances ever; Pacino is known for giving exaggerated performances and can often be quite hammy, but he's remarkably restrained here in his role as Puerto Rican gangster Carlito Brigante. There are obvious similarities within De Palma and Pacino's other famous collaboration, 1983's "Scarface," but "Carlito's Way" is the stronger film.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, January 27, 2022 12:01 AM CST
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Thursday, December 2, 2021
'THE MOST STUNNING MODERN NOIR TO BEHOLD SINCE...'
"BRIAN DE PALMA'S 'THE UNTOUCHABLES'" - VARIETY'S PETER DEBRUGE ON DEL TORO'S 'NIGHTMARE ALLEY'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/nightmarealley1.jpg

An excerpt from Peter Debruge's review of Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley for Variety:
Alternately conniving and seductive, the ensuing power dance between these two master manipulators puts “Nightmare Alley” right up there with “Sunset Boulevard” (with its sordid battle of the sexes), “There Will Be Blood” (where commerce clashes with religion) and other period studies of opposing forces. And true to the cynical essence of the noir genre, both sides are shown to be equally corrupt: The way Stan sees it, he and Lilith are in the same racket, leveraging what they know about the universal pillars of human desire — health, wealth, love — to give their customers false hope. “Fear is the key to human nature,” as Gresham observed, and both psychiatrists and spiritualists exploit it in their way (religion does too, though del Toro downplays that most damning dimension of Gresham’s critique).

Back at the carnival, Pete had advised Stan to steer clear of “spook shows,” where a mentalist pretends to commune with the dead. But Stan’s fatal flaw — the one most likely to trip him up — comes in the way this slick talker tries to compensate for his own sense of inadequacy by convincing himself that he’s superior to everyone else. A sworn teetotaler, Stan dismisses Pete as a drunk and figures he can fool gullible strangers into paying to speak with their dead lovers, sons and so forth. (Enter Richard Jenkins as a deeply damaged man with all the money in the world, looking to buy some peace of mind.) By the end, however, he’s hooked on booze and haunted by visions of his dead father — the nightmare alley of the film’s title.

There are few things more dangerous than a con man who believes his own spiel, and here, del Toro takes that dynamic to its inevitable conclusion. Once things escalate, the director can hardly resist a bit of the old ultra-violence — a weakness that infects nearly all his films, as he insists on pushing our faces into the gory, bone-crunching consequences of his characters’ behavior. He darkens some of the details from the book, so that the culprits “deserve” what’s coming to them, but for most audiences, the sight of mangled faces will be too much, especially after all the magnificent visuals del Toro and his creative team — especially DP Dan Laustsen, production designer Tamara Deverell and costume designer Luis Sequeira — have provided.

From re-creating a vintage circus with its pickled animal fetuses and hand-painted sideshow banners to evoking the stratospheric heights to which this social climber aspires, the movie ranks as the most stunning modern noir to behold since Brian De Palma’s “The Untouchables.” Dark as del Toro’s vision may be, it’s a glorious homage to an American experience all but lost to time. For centuries, carnivals of some kind offered an exotic alternative to small-town life, as customers willingly sacrificed their quarters for illicit thrills. And now that experience lives on, immortalized in a cautionary tale for the ages, its arc an elegant full circle, like the giant Ferris wheel that signals from afar that something wicked this way comes.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Saturday, September 18, 2021
TORNATORE'S 'ENNIO' -HR REVIEW FROM VENICE PREMIERE
NEARLY 3-HOUR-LONG DOC INCLUDES ANECDOTE ABOUT SCORING 'THE UNTOUCHABLES'
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/ennioposter.jpg

Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter's John DeFore posted a review of Giuseppe Tornatore's Ennio, the Ennio Morricone documentary that had its world premiere at this year's Venice Film Festival. Here's a portion of the review:
Of all the filmmakers who owe debts to the great Ennio Morricone, surely few owe as much as Giuseppe Tornatore: 1988’s Cinema Paradiso was a crowd-pleaser for many reasons, but would’ve had a harder time becoming a global hit without Morricone’s romantic, nostalgic score. Tornatore worked with the composer many times after that first collaboration, and is well positioned to offer the career-capping Ennio, which arrives barely a year after Morricone’s death.

Happily, the film is more than a greatest-hits rundown (and at nearly three hours, it had better be): In addition to nuts-and-bolts musicology, it offers real engagement with a complicated character, endearingly stubborn and self-effacing, whose inventiveness changed both his chosen field (“absolute” music) and the one, film scoring, he entered only reluctantly.

The maestro sits onscreen for much of the film, alert behind his giant spectacles, telling stories about a career he’d intended to be entirely different — even after he gave up a boyhood ambition to be a doctor. (His father, a professional trumpeter, insisted that little Ennio should follow the same path.)

Morricone recalls the humiliation of playing for food during the occupation of Italy in World War II. His play-for-peanuts experiences may have left a visible mark, because when he entered a program to study composition, the young man was at first allowed to write only dance tunes. Morricone craved the approval of his mentor, the composer and teacher Goffredo Petrassi — he still remembers the grades he got on assignments — and he did make headway in the academic arena, eventually helping to form an avant-garde collective inspired by John Cage.

But he was always doing commercial work as well, staying up all night to crank out arrangements for TV shows that didn’t credit him by name. This led to arrangements for pop singers, and Tornatore shows us many enjoyable examples of what Morricone’s contemporaries are describing in interviews: Where previous arrangers simply wrote orchestral parts to follow a song’s chords, he was inventing something new, giving the orchestras much more to do, and adding elements no pop producer at the time would have imagined using, from tin cans to typewriters.

The film’s brief but delightful tour through these bing-bongy pop tunes, enriched by interviews with Italian stars like Gianni Morandi, suggests that a very enjoyable film (if one appealing to a more narrow audience) could be made on these years alone. But that’s not why we’re here, of course. It’s time to start whistling.

Morricone composed scores for two Westerns under a pseudonym, not wanting to be associated with the genre, before teaming up with Sergio Leone. (The two were surprised to realize they’d been classmates in elementary school.) The director took him to a Kurosawa picture to explain what he had in mind, and the rest is spaghetti.

The doc’s look at A Fistful of Dollars is the first of several places in which Morricone explains how he borrowed from his own work, repurposing an arrangement he’d done for a country song. His work on that movie is also a key example of his putting his foot down — though not the first, as we’ve already heard how he swore he’d quit his conservatory if they didn’t let him study under Petrassi. When Leone intended to use a Degüello from another movie in a key showdown scene, Morricone was so offended he threatened to quit. Leone backed down.

Morricone would lose some artistic conflicts, but it seems they were often occasions on which he underrated his own work. When he sent Brian De Palma nine ideas for a victory theme in The Untouchables, he told the director, “Please don’t choose number six.” But number six is in the movie, and it’s hard to imagine any music that would serve the scene better. He also initially refused to write music for The Mission, claiming that Roland Joffé’s images were so beautiful he could only make things worse. (Again, Ennio: Wrong.)

But for serious self-deprecation, you have to hear Morricone claim that he “hates melody.” Other composers interviewed here (tons of them, in the film world and outside it) are astonished at this idea, coming from someone who has created so many memorable melodies. But there are only so many ways tones can be ordered, and Morricone calmly says, “I think that we are out of melodic combinations.” Good thing he had so many other compositional tools to work with.


Posted by Geoff at 2:46 PM CDT
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Friday, July 9, 2021
REMEMBER ROLLING OUT OF THE THEATER & LOVING IT
ON PODCAST 'LIVING IN THE PAST', "TWO MIDDLE-AGED GUYS" RECALL SEEING UNTOUCHABLES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/livinginthepast.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, July 10, 2021 1:43 PM CDT
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Saturday, July 3, 2021
'WELL, WHY DON'T YOU COME UP AND BRUSH MY HAIR...'
A BRIEF LOOK AT A SCENE FROM MAMET'S 'UNTOUCHABLES' SCREENPLAY AND THE FILM ITSELF
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/brush0.jpg


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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