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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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De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


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The Virtuoso
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The De Palma Touch

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Carrie...A Fan's Site

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No Harm In Charm

Paul Schrader

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Alfred Hitchcock Films

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Fly Rule

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Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
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The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
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italkyoubored

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De Palma a la Mod
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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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Sunday, June 6, 2021
SLATE - WHAT MAKES A GOOD STEPHEN KING ADAPTATION
KING HAS ADAPTED HIS OWN NOVEL 'LISEY'S STORY' FOR PABLO LARRAIN-DIRECTED SERIES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carriebriancoffee.jpg

Slate's Jack Hamilton includes Brian De Palma's adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie as an example of King adaptations that mange to get around the fact that King's books are not easily given to screen adaptation:
The long, long list of unsatisfying King adaptations—of which Lisey’s Story is certainly among the better entries—may tell us something about King as a writer, and the shape of his remarkable career. Stephen King has been writing hugely popular and influential fiction for almost half a century, but for much of the early part of his career he was often dismissed as a mass-market genre writer. As this brief 1979 New York Times profile notes, King’s early books were paperback phenoms that barely registered on the hardcover bestseller lists. In the 1970s the popular genre fiction market was thoroughly entwined with the Hollywood development machine, and many of the biggest blockbusters of that decade—Love Story, The Exorcist, The Godfather—were based on what might today be called airport paperbacks. In 1974, the same year that King made his debut with Carrie, a first-time novelist named Peter Benchley published a salacious beach-read called Jaws, which was adapted into a movie the following summer. (The film did well.)

From the start, King was seen as the kind of writer who writes books to get turned into movies, because that was the widespread conception of the publishing market to which he’d been consigned. King has always had a surfeit of ideas, and many of his horror novels have the sort of one-sentence synopses that seem like they’d make for killer movie material: a bullied teenaged outcast develops telekinetic powers; a writer battling alcoholism and writers’ block moves his family into a sinister old hotel; a malevolent force in the shape of a homicidal clown stalks a town from generation to generation. But unlike some of the writers he was lumped in with, King’s books never read like movie treatments, and many of the devices he frequently deployed—fragmentary narration and shifting perspectives, non-linear chronologies, a keen interest in his characters’ interiority—aren’t mainstays of conventional horror filmmaking.

The most successful adaptations of King’s horror work have found ways to get around this. To stay with the three examples above, in adapting Carrie in 1976, Brian De Palma and screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen straightened out the narrative and dispensed with the novel’s patchwork form, a mix of conventional third-person narration interposed with excerpts from newspapers, academic volumes, and other fictional sources. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining jettisoned much of the book’s focus on Jack Torrance’s struggles with alcoholism and his gradual descent into madness in favor of a haunted hotel story. (King famously hates Kubrick’s version of The Shining, complaining—and not wrongly—that Kubrick made Torrance into a standard horror-movie psychopath.) The first “Chapter” of Muschietti’s It was remarkably well-done and truly scary, but it also relegated the book’s “adult” sections—which in the novel are intertwined with the childhood sections—to a sequel, It: Chapter Two, which was ham-fisted and bloated, stumbling into many of the pitfalls the first chapter managed to avoid.

Most of the best King adaptations are drawn from material that is horror-adjacent, at most: The Dead Zone, “The Body,” “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” Dolores Claiborne. Lisey’s Story isn’t strictly horror, but it doesn’t neatly reduce to a logline; it’s a great idea, but hardly a straightforward one. It’s one of those books that when someone asks you what it’s about, all you can tell them is to go read it. It’s also a moving rumination on stories and inspiration, and the places fiction writers get their ideas, a subject that King—one of the most absurdly prolific popular artists in history—has probably been asked about more than almost anyone on earth. It’s not an easy book to make a television series about, which is to its writer’s credit. Lisey’s Story’s failings aren’t an indictment of King the screenwriter, they’re a tribute to King the novelist.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, June 7, 2021 8:23 AM CDT
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Wednesday, May 5, 2021
FLASHBACK - TRAVOLTA REMEMBERS MAKING 'CARRIE'
AND CHRIS HEWITT INCLUDES MARGARET WHITE IN LIST OF "7 BEST MOVIE MOMS"...
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/depalmayahoo.jpg

There is oddly no mention at all of Blow Out, but thanks to Rado for sending along this 10-minute-long Yahoo! Entertainment on Facebook Watch video from February of 2020, in which John Travolta recalls some of the significant roles from his career.

"What I remember about it is, it was fun to be on that set," Travolta says in the video, in regards to Brian De Palma's Carrie. "I didn't realize how significant that movie was going to be. Because not only, it got two Oscar nominations, and became a contender in history for maybe one of the better horror pictures ever made. It launched me, but it satisfied a lot of film history. This was a movie where, not unlike Grease, it was just a bunch of young, new actors, that were joining some thoroughbreds, and having at it. You know, and De Palma at the helm, and all for, all about fun. So, I think Carrie was an important movie on many levels, for sure. And the movie was a far more well-made movie than I had anticipated it would be. You know, it became an instant classic."

Meanwhile, the Star Tribune's Chris Hewitt includes Margaret White in his list of "7 best movie moms"...

In an homage to another scary movie mother, "Psycho," teenage Carrie (Sissy Spacek) attends Bates High School. She's bullied there but things are worse at home, where her zealot mother (Piper Laurie) terrorizes her. Laurie is brilliant in Brian De Palma's thriller because it's clear this unstable mom believes she's doing her job — protecting her daughter.

And one more article appeared this week about Carrie:

Eric Eisenberg at Cinema Blend
Adapting Stephen King's Carrie: Is The 1976 Horror Movie Still Queen Of The Prom?

As any Stephen King fan can attest, it’s a pretty magical thing to see the Master of Horror’s work properly realized on the big screen, and Brian De Palma’s Carrie, even more than 40 years after its original release, is not just still excellent, but reigns as one of the all-time great King adaptations. It locks into the disturbing heart of the seminal novel, making you feel every ounce of its protagonist’s pain, and burns images into your brain with its legendary third act – from the site of Carrie on stage drenched in pig’s blood, to the slamming doors, to people being burned, electrocuted, and crushed. No CGI required; just simple, practical effects, and it leaves an everlasting impression.

While it was made with a nothing budget, the film is visually spectacular, with cinematography that is both smart and stunning, and editing that is striking (the use of split-screen in the climax is a brilliant stroke, as you only feel more enveloped in the chaos as your eyes dart back and forth across the screen). The movie is most famous for its chaos, such as the brilliant hand-held camerawork as Carrie emerges from the gym showers desperate for help from any of her peers, but aesthetically it’s also gorgeous and poetic, with striking moments including Carrie being relegated to the background in an early classroom scene, her literally thunderous confrontation with her mother, and Margaret’s dead body holding the same position as the St. Sebastian statue in the prayer closet.

Not exactly being an epic (of which Stephen King has written many), the real power of the material comes from its characters, and the performances delivered by Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie are still flooring. Laurie’s Margaret remains one of cinema’s great psychologically terrifying villains, driven to pure madness by her zealotry, and Spacek both breaks your heart and sends chills down your spine when she reaches her breaking point. The movie doesn’t have the capacity to give the audience the full access to the Whites that the book does – for example, deeper insight into Margaret’s religion-driven psychosis, the story of how Carrie was conceived, and incidents from the girl’s childhood – but thanks to the actors’ genius turns you can perfectly read and understand their damage and pain as though it were psychically communicated.

It may not be traditionally frightening, and probably won’t induce nightmares in modern audiences, but Carrie remains haunting and affecting. Combined with its incredible significance in the history of Stephen King adaptations, it’s notably impossible not to put it on a pedestal, but that’s also exactly where it deserves to be. It’s a deeply dark and disturbing story as the author originally wrote it, and while the film presents a very different experience, it’s a masterclass in cinematic horror.


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
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Tuesday, April 13, 2021
'THEM' SERIES CREATOR CITES DE PALMA'S 'CARRIE'
"HIS USE OF SPLIT-DIOPTER SHOTS IS THE REASON WHY WE USE THEM EVERYWHERE!"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carriehair.jpg

Little Marvin, creator of the new Amazon Prime series THEM, was asked by IndieWire's Kristen Lopez to name some of his influences. "Too many filmmakers to name," replied Little Marvin, "but I will say that I'm super in love with all of the thrillers and the horror films of the '50s, the '60s, and '70s. Allison [Pill] mentions Hitchcock-- absolutely. William Friedkin, Brian De Palma...! Like, Carrie is a massively influential movie to me. His use of split-diopter shots is the reason why we use them EVERYWHERE! [laughing] Because if I could just make every shot a split-diopter shot, I would. And Stanley Kubrick. All of those filmmakers are hugely influential on my childhood. Those movies live large over my imagination. So we definitely wanted to pay homage to that look."

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 8:08 AM CDT
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Thursday, April 8, 2021
'CARRIE IS KIND OF EVERYTHING' - MARGARET CHO
COMEDIAN & ACTRESS TELLS FANGORIA ABOUT HER FAVORITE HORROR MOVIE
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carrieprom65a.jpg

https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carrieprom65b.jpg

With her role in the new short film Koreatown Ghost Story, Margaret Cho is interviewed by Fangoria's Meredith Borders, who gets the comedian/actress talking about her favorite horror films:

Once we started talking about the genre in general, Cho really opened up. Although, as she says, it’s always been what she watches most, she’s been especially diving in during the pandemic, and one South Korean television series stands out in this deeply weird time we find ourselves:

“Most recent, I would say that I really love Sweet Home, which is almost a K-drama of horror, but it’s the definition of post-apocalyptic – it elicits some emotions about the pandemic, too. There's the paranoia of other people, there's this thing that's outside that you don't understand what's happening. There's a lot of monsters that are taking different forms that could be like variants. It’s really scary, but it's also the classic horror story where the protagonist finds his strength within, which is really what horror is about. You want to see somebody dig deep and into their heart and survive this nightmare, and the best horror does that.”

When we got into her favorites – a challenging question for any horror fan – she had a lot of answers: “ghosty” movies, found footage, body horror, Halloween and the “entire series” of Friday the 13th. “I love horror with kids, because kids freak me out.” She listed lots of Asian horror films: The Untold Story, Ju-On, Ringu, the original Dark Water – “which ultimately became a true story with Elisa Lam.” Like the truest of genre purists, she adores a lot of pre-‘70s titles: Séance on a Wet Afternoon, The Haunting, anything Hammer or giallo. But when it comes to her absolute favorite, she avers that’d probably have to be Brian De Palma’s Carrie, although she acknowledges that what’s most special about Carrie transcends genre.

Carrie is kind of everything, but what it really is, is this person – that's been victimized by all these people – finding her strength, but then Carrie becomes an antihero, too. So it’s really important to me.”


Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Friday, April 9, 2021 8:03 AM CDT
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Sunday, February 28, 2021
NEW MUST-SEE VIDEO ANALYSIS OF 'CARRIE'
"DE PALMA IS A DIRECTOR WHO SEEMS TO BE CONSTANTLY TORN BETWEEN TWO SIMULTANEOUS IMPULSES"


Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CST
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Friday, February 26, 2021
BRIEF CAMERA MOVE, PART 1 - 'CARRIE'
"YOU CAN CHOKE ON IT FOR ALL I CARE, JUST GET IT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carriegum1.jpg

Also, Epic Film Guys Podcast kicks off "De Palmcast" series with episode on De Palma's Carrie

Welcome, Epic Film Fans, to the first episode of 2021, and we're starting the year with a bang: It's the inaugural installment of our new monthly series, De Palmcast! This year, we'll be celebrating the life and career of a true Master of Suspense, Brian De Palma... and what better way to start out than with his 1976 masterpiece, Carrie! In this blood-soaked 45th anniversary retrospective, Justin and LoySauce discuss Carrie's origins as a bestselling novel by Stephen King; the phenomenal cast lead by Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie; and the film's many technical achievements. Thanks as always for listening, and we'll see you at the movies!

Posted by Geoff at 8:07 AM CST
Updated: Friday, February 26, 2021 6:01 PM CST
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Monday, February 22, 2021
THERE'S THIS AMERICAN HORROR MOVIE...
DE PALMA ON VHS BECAME A CINEMATIC HERO FOR TUNISIAN DIRECTOR KAOUTHER BEN HANIA
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carriethemes1.jpg

Tunisian film director Kaouther Ben Hania’s satiric The Man Who Sold His Skin made the shortlist for this year's International Feature Film Oscar submissions, after premiering at last year's Venice Film Festival. Via Zoom, Frank J. Avella at Awards Daily asked Ben Hania to name her "cinematic heroes" -- here's what she said in response:
I grew up in a very tiny town in Tunisia, not even the capital. There was no cinema. I’m VHS generation. We rented VHS. And mainly what was available was Bollywood movies…I found this amazing. I was a pre-teenager. But I never thought these movies were talking about me. And one day I went to the video clerk and said I watched all the Indian movies; you don’t have anything else? He said there’s this American horror movie. And I said yes! It was Carrie by Brian DePalma. I didn’t know who Brian DePalma was at the time. So I watched the movie and it was something very strange—it’s not the best Brian DePalma movie—but for me it was something because she’s a teenager, she just got her period, she’s bullied by her friend in high school—it was almost talking about me! She lived in a small city in the U.S. She had a strict mother. I was realizing, oh my god, cinema can talk about stuff (relatable to) me—a girl like me. It was a shift in my mind. So this is how it started, thinking that you can identify with heroes in movies. With Carrie!

Elsewhere in the interview, Ben Hania discusses planning for her "visual ambition" --
I had a lot of visual ambition, but not enough money, so not enough time. I did the usual before shooting, precising every frame and what I wanted exactly. Making storyboards and visual references. Talking about it for days and days with my DOP. It’s like in this famous book by Sidney Lumet, the director of Network, “Making Movies,” talking about the metaphor of the mosaic. When you’re making a movie it’s like you have this tiny stone to paint, it’s like a shot, and nobody understands what you are doing since it’s a tiny stone, but as a filmmaker you should know where to put it, where its place is in the big mosaic. So, when I heard this I thought, Sidney Lumet is right, (I must) prepare every tiny stone because I don’t have time to improvise onset. I have to have my shots done…But there were some things that I changed. For example, the pimple scene. Only the operation on his back was written in the script. There was something missing. I needed the artist in the scene. So we brought the artist in and I wrote the dialogue between them on the same day…But mainly things were prepared before shooting.


Posted by Geoff at 11:25 PM CST
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Tuesday, February 16, 2021
READFUL THINGS - ELECTRONIC LCD 'CARRIE' VIDEO GAME
ANOTHER WORK OF ART FROM ADAM PEROCCHI
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/readfulthingscarrie.jpg

Earlier today, Readful Things (Adam Perocchi) posted the image above on Instagram, with the following caption:
If you bought two of these, you could connect them and activate "De Palma Mode" - allowing you to play the Prom level with 2 screens.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Monday, February 1, 2021
'STYLIST' DIRECTOR INSPIRED BY DE PALMA
"I WENT ON A DE PALMA BINGE WHILE PREPPING FOR 'THE STYLIST'"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/stylistposter.jpg

This new poster design for Jill Gevargizian's The Sylist was posted on the film's Instagram page today, with the following caption:
We are excited to reveal our poster created by @johnpata! With every every decision made on the film we’ve kept this “modern-vintage” idea in mind and wanted to extend over to our poster. It’s inspired by a lot of our favorite older thrillers like Brian De Palma’s Carrie.
In an article at Rue Morgue back in October, Gevargizian included Carrie on her list of six films that influenced The Stylist:
Like Carrie, Claire is a loner, an introvert, awkward, sexually repressed, the list goes on. Remember near the end of the film, when Carrie is walking out of the burning school with a deadpan face – void of all care or concern. The Carrie we knew before is gone. This is someone else. Someone filled with nothing but rage. There’s a sequence in THE STYLIST where I realized Claire was in a very similar headspace. And so I wanted to go the extra mile — within that sequence, we dressed Claire very much like Carrie – in a light pink nightgown. Our costume designer Halley Sharp made all my dreams come true.

I went on a De Palma binge while prepping for THE STYLIST, a lot of them were first-time watches, like Sisters and Blow Out. De Palma’s cinematography and editing style had a huge influence on Robert Patrick Stern (director of photography), John Pata (editor), and my choices.



Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
'SEQUEL RIGHTS' PODCAST DISCUSSES 'CARRIE'
NEXT FEW EPISODES WILL FOCUS ON ITS SEQUELS & REMAKES
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/carriesequelrights.jpg

Episode 174 of the Sequel Right podcast kicks off a series of episodes on the "Carrie franchise" with a focus on Brian De Palma's Carrie from 1976.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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