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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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No Harm In Charm

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Fly Rule

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The Filmmaker Who
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Jim Emerson on
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Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

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Offices of Death Records

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Fan Page

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italkyoubored

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De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
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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Friday, March 5, 2021
'ENOUGH TRACES OF DE PALMA'S SNAZZY, BAROQUE STYLE'
'DOMINO' IS ONE OF NY TIMES' DON'T-MISS-BEFORE-IT-LEAVES-NETFLIX-AT-THE-END-OF-MARCH
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/netflixresumedomino.jpg

Raising Cain, Domino, Scarface... when a De Palma film is on Netflix, it seems I'm perpetually watching it. I have about a dozen emails from Netflix asking me, "Are you enjoying Raising Cain?" That film finally left Netflix earlier this year, and now, at the end of this month (March 27, to be precise), Domino will be leaving as well. Jason Bailey at The New York Times' "What to Watch" column posted 13 titles "not to miss in March" before they leave Netflix. Domino is one of the 13:
Production issues plagued this, Brian De Palma’s most recent feature, and the filmmaker all but disowned the final result. So it’s difficult to give the picture a full-throated endorsement. But out of its messy making and compromised completion, one can still find enough traces of De Palma’s snazzy, baroque style — inventive camerawork, creative compositions, ingenious set pieces and cheerful indifference to plot — to warrant at least a curiosity peek. It’s far from top-tier DePalma, but at least it has some personality, which is more than you can say for most thrillers these days.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, March 6, 2021 8:36 AM CST
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Saturday, September 26, 2020
EXHILARATING PIECE ON 'DOMINO' BY COLLIN BRINKMANN
MOVED DEEPLY BY DE PALMA'S LATEST, CONSIDERS AS POST-CINEMA, A STEP BEYOND, PERHAPS...?
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dominoregrets45.jpg

Over at The 15:17 to Cinema, Collin Brinkmann has posted the most exhilarating piece we're likely to read about Brian De Palma's Domino, discussing the film as an artist's late-period work that is something close to the end of cinema as we know it:
This stranded film may indeed exist on an island within De Palma’s body of work, but if so it is an island of profound importance for the De Palma project, possibly a projection of where De Palma is heading with his art. The accidental nature of the lack of shooting days, or De Palma’s inability to oversee the final mixing and whatnot, can hardly wipe away what seems to me like a reasonably close facsimile of what De Palma originally intended to create, a film that was perhaps intended as a new step forward in his work—a step, perhaps, that goes beyond anything he’s ever done. Beyond in what direction? I have no idea. It is perhaps not beyond but deeper within his own artistic persona, so deep that it can only manifest itself on the surface in Domino’s austere images seemingly stripped of the usual ornamentation one is used to in De Palma. Next to something like Passion, Domino appears almost as post-cinema; compared to De Palma’s recent work it is disarmingly straight-forward, no narrative tricks à la Passion or Femme Fatale, no mystery between dream and reality or anything like that. It is instead bluntly barreling ahead and, I’d say, reaching for a new and deeper understanding of reality and the film image that captures it.

That is just a very small taste-- read the entire thing from top to bottom at The 15:17 to Cinema.

Posted by Geoff at 12:22 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, September 26, 2020 12:23 PM CDT
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Wednesday, September 16, 2020
2017 FLASHBACK - HELENA KAITTANI ON SET OF 'DOMINO'
WITH NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU, IN ANTWERP, BELGIUM
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/helenakaittaniandnikolaj.jpg

Although her stunning beauty is on full display amidst the light and shadows in her early bedroom scene in Brian De Palma's Domino, it's nice that Helena Kaittani managed to snap a selfie with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau at the Antwerp apartment set of the film back in June of 2017. What a treat to see their faces up close and behind the scenes from that day. The pics above and below were posted earlier today on Nara Talent's Instagram page.


Posted by Geoff at 8:40 PM CDT
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Friday, August 14, 2020
FROM THE RAFTERS - 'VERTIGO' & 'DOMINO' SIDE-BY-SIDE
POSTED ON INSTAGRAM YESTERDAY BY CINEMASTERLY
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/vertigodominorafters.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 7:27 AM CDT
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Wednesday, June 10, 2020
JUNE 10, 2020
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dominojunelamod.jpg

Posted by Geoff at 12:19 AM CDT
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Wednesday, March 25, 2020
ADAM NAYMAN ON THE PARADOX OF 'DOMINO'
"HAS ENOUGH DIRECTORIAL EXCELLENCE IN ITS DNA TO, IN SOME MOMENTS, LOOK LIKE A MASTERPIECE"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/naymanbetter.jpg

Last week, The Ringer's Adam Nayman posted a social-distancing-related article, "Ten Movies That Are Better Than You’ve Heard."

"The question of what to watch while social distancing is ultimately less important than a lot of other things," Nayman begins. "But it’s also a reality that for a lot of people on self-imposed quarantine, renting or streaming movies will be a safe, significant time-filler—which is why it might be worth taking a bit of a risk in terms of what we’re watching. A case can be made that the time has never been better to rewatch old favorites or catch up with the classics, but what about some movies whose bad reputations previously made them seem like a waste of time? Here are 10 movies that are not only better than you’ve heard, but worth tracking down—and maybe talking or arguing about with your fellow shut-ins now that you’ve got the time to do so."

Nayman tops off his list at the end with De Palma's latest:

Domino

I wrote about Brian De Palma’s hot mess of an anti-terrorism thriller when it (barely) came out last year; if Domino was already DOA the second it hit VOD, it’s only been pushed further into the dirt ever since. The reason I’m recommending it again out of all the underrated movies out there is that it’s exactly the kind of film that benefits being watched when there’s time to process and think about it—to look past its thrifty production, evidence of meddling, and after-the-fact editing and look at what De Palma has to say about surveillance, governmental ethics, and violence as media spectacle circa 2020. The paradox of Domino is that on some level it’s a cheap, opportunistic, and wildly contrived genre movie. But it has enough directorial excellence in its DNA to, in some moments, look like a masterpiece, the same kind of outrageous, red-blooded entertainment De Palma was engineering at the time of Carrie and Scarface. Domino was a magnet for bad buzz and bad reviews, and yet it’ll endure on the strength of its bruised, submerged artistry.


PREVIOUSLY:

Nayman on the Split-Screen Shot in Domino - The Ringer
Nayman - The Wild World of Brian De Palma
Adam Nayman on the "Formally Innovative" Redacted


Posted by Geoff at 7:51 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2020 7:56 PM CDT
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Tuesday, February 4, 2020
'DOMINO' IS CUMBOW'S TOP FILM OF 2019
"COMBINING THE STRONGEST ELEMENTS OF FEMME FATALE & REDACTED"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dominobaby.jpg

Robert C. Cumbow's list at Parallax View's "Best of 2019" post last month places Domino at the top of what Cumbow calls his "Magnificent Seven." Cumbow must not read our blog here at De Palma a la Mod (turns out he does-- see comments below), or he would surely have read that Brian De Palma claims that Domino was not recut. In any case, here is what Cumbow writes about the film in the best-of article:
I didn’t see all of the films I’d like to have seen, but I did a fair job of catching the ones I most wanted to, and of those, here are the ones I liked best:
Domino (Brian De Palma) took a lot of flak for being cut down from 150+ minutes to 88, but for me it was a crisp, clean 88 and the best film De Palma’s done since Femme Fatale. Combining the strongest elements of Femme Fatale and Redacted with some actual thought about what it means to make images and the all-too-human motivations that underlie our most high-minded moral choices, this has to be my top film of 2019.

Cumbow also lists two composers under "Music" - Pino Donaggio for Domino, and Max Richter for Ad Astra.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, February 5, 2020 6:33 PM CST
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Thursday, January 9, 2020
NOEL VERA - 'DOMINO' A MESS, BUT ALSO STYLISH, FUNNY
"DE PALMA HAS THE BALLS TO DARE, AND IN MY BOOK DARE WELL"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/entrancejoedomino2.jpg

In part one of his "In my book best of 2019," Business World's Noel Vera includes the latest works from Quentin Tarantino and Brian De Palma:
Finally there’s Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, which helped sharpen my fondness for yet another disreputable filmmaker who deals with lurid pulpy material — only difference being this filmmaker has talent and likes to take vicious jabs at the political establishment, often to his disadvantage. Brian de Palma’s Domino is a mess, but no more so than his other seemingly tossed-off efforts (Body Double, Snake Eyes, Mission to Mars). It’s stylish and funny, with some of its best broadsides aimed at the CIA; there are audacious setpieces and you can debate how successfully they’re executed but De Palma has the balls to dare, and in my book dare well. The filmmaker, alas, has disowned his work, declaring this wasn’t the film he intended; on the plus side you hope (as in the case of Snake Eyes) that a director’s cut will be made available some day.

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CST
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Friday, January 3, 2020
ARMOND WHITE - 'DOMINO' > 'KNIVES OUT'
DE PALMA DEPICTS "THE WAR ON TERROR IN A SWIFT, EFFECTIVE GENRE EXERCISE"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/dominoguns.jpg

Today at National Review, Armond White presents "The 15th Annual Better-Than List." White chooses Pedro Almodóvar's Pain and Glory over the Safdie Brothers' Uncut Gems, and he chooses Brian De Palma's Domino over Rian Johsnon's Knives Out:
Pain and Glory > Uncut Gems Pedro Almodóvar’s gorgeous emotional autobiography showed wisdom while the Safdie Brothers’ ethnic carnival was callow. Antonio Banderas’s expressive regret and grace-filled recollections went deeper than Adam Sandler’s deliberately ugly, unfunny self-reproach.

Domino > Knives Out Brian De Palma reexamines his Millennial politics — depicting the War on Terror in a swift, effective genre exercise. Rian Johnson’s crass, pseudopolitical whodunit can’t tell where citizenship or humanity begins.


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CST
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Saturday, December 28, 2019
NAYMAN ON SPLIT-SCREEN SHOT IN 'DOMINO' - THE RINGER
"DOMINO FORCES US TO THINK ABOUT WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT INSTEAD OF SIMPLY CONSUMING IT"
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/naymandominosplit.jpg

Earlier this week, Adam Nayman at The Ringer posted his picks for "The 10 Best Shots From Movies in 2019," and included the split-screen shot from Brian De Palma's Domino:
Brian De Palma is the supreme split-screen filmmaker of all time. Think of the prom scene in Carrie, or the doubling techniques in Dressed to Kill, or the boxing match in Snake Eyes; his ability to choreograph parallel action while subdividing the frame into different planes of perspective and meaning has always verged on authentic genius. Nobody wanted to give De Palma’s new, more-or-less direct-to-VOD thriller Domino credit as an auteur work, but the fact is that at least three or four of its sequences have the verve and invention of the director’s glory days, including the spectacular—and spectacularly incorrect—set piece depicting a terrorist attack on a European film festival, broadcast on a social media feed that shows the killer’s face side-by-side with the victims glimpsed through her weapon’s high-tech crosshairs. The result of De Palma’s visual gamesmanship is a multifaceted massacre scene that could just as easily be filed under exploitation as critique; by conflating different kinds of “shooting” (the camera and the gun) and reflecting the murderer’s gaze back at us twice over, Domino forces us to think about what we’re looking at instead of simply consuming it (even as the villains’ plans are explicitly to transform political violence into online entertainment). Long after many of 2019’s more conventionally lauded movies have faded from memory, De Palma’s unapologetic virtuosity will endure.

The New York Post's Sara Stewart would disagree with Nayman-- she includes Domino on her list of the five worst movies of 2019, writing that "De Palma scrapes the bottom of the barrel with this retro cop thriller, squandering the charisma of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the process." In her review of Domino back in May, Stewart wrote, "His split-screen signature move is used to gratuitously violent effect in videos shot by the terrorists, while the Arab villains themselves are so cartoonish you wonder how any actor could agree to play them."

Posted by Geoff at 12:00 AM CST
Updated: Saturday, December 28, 2019 12:19 AM CST
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