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Domino is
a "disarmingly
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
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in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
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Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
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that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
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edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book


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Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
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AV Club Review
of Dumas book


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Saturday, November 6, 2021

Premiering at the Berlin Film Festival two years ago, Marighella is Wagner Moura's debut feature as director. The film was released in the U.S. earlier this year, and as it is released this past week in Brazil, Moura talks about it with AdoroCinema's Aline Pereira:
Who was Marighella?

Artist, politician and guerrilla, Carlos Marighella was one of the main figures in the fight against the repression of the dictatorship in Brazil until his death in 1969, when he was assassinated by government agents in an ambush. Considered the “No. 1 enemy of Brazil”, the guerrilla was arrested for subversion for the first time in 1932, when he published a poem criticizing government leaders. Later, he was tortured during the Vargas era, until he was elected Federal Deputy in 1946. In the year of the military coup, 1964, he was shot inside a movie theater - a scene in the film - and went into armed revolt, a decision that became a controversial figure within the libertarian movement - an issue that is also illustrated in Wagner Moura's film:

"This important character in the history of Brazil had his trajectory erased by the official narrative and the film we made returns to the popular imagination the figure of an important man. You can like him or not"

In the film, the protagonist is played by Seu Jorge, but the role, at first, would be Mano Brown, who could not participate due to availability conflicts. “My first choice was Mano Brown because, symbolically, for me it represents a lot of what Marighella was. A poet, a man who made no concessions,” analyzes the actor from Tropa de Elite.

Wagner Moura's directorial debut

In addition to being a milestone for national cinema, Marighella also marks the debut of Wagner Moura as a director, a work that combines his experience as an actor in major international productions, such as Narcos and Sergio, available in the Netflix catalogue, and references from directors he has worked with. “José Padilha [director of Tropa de Elite] himself is a reference for me and taught me that political cinema can be popular. This is an actor-directed film, it has my acting energy. The camera is me wanting to understand who those people are, those characters,” he explained.

Applauded at the Berlin Film Festival and praised by the New York Times, the film was also very well regarded by famous Wagner Moura “colleagues,” such as Brian De Palma, director of Scarface and Mission: Impossible, among others. “I showed the film to some people and a lot of the comments come from the way we filmed, the actors' work. Brian De Palma was very impressed with the long take from the start,” he said.

Here's Devika Girish's brief New York Times "Critic's Pick" review of Marighella from this past April:
In 2018, the Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro declared that he wanted “a Brazil similar to the one we had 40, 50 years ago”— referring to the era of the country’s military dictatorship, which saw violent censorship and the torture of dissidents.

This contemporary context underlines the barreling urgency of “Marighella.” Directed by Wagner Moura (the star of Netflix’s “Narcos”), the film chronicles the final years of Carlos Marighella, a Marxist revolutionary who led an armed struggle against the dictatorship in the 1960s. With a rousing, kinetic style reminiscent of “The Battle of Algiers,” and confrontational close-ups of fiery eyes and faces, the film is not merely a historical biopic — it’s a provocation.

And a riveting one, too. Seu Jorge plays the charismatic Marighella, whom we meet as he leads a group of younger radicals in robbing a train carrying weapons. In flashback, we learn that Marighella was expelled from the Communist Party for his uncompromising commitment to guerrilla warfare. “An eye for an eye” is his cell’s motto, invoked throughout the film.

The group struggles to balance itself on the razor’s edge of that phrase. “Marighella” plows stylishly through heists, showdowns and increasingly bloody shootouts, with the sadistic cop Lúcio (Bruno Gagliasso) on the militants’ tail. Yet the script makes room for wit as well as meaty ideological debate, delivered in crisp bullets of dialogue by a uniformly solid cast.

“I’m your comrade,” Marighella’s wife, Clara (Adriana Esteves), says to him. “But don’t make me your accomplice. Don’t ask me for permission to leave here and die.” As the tragedies mount, Moura’s film becomes an elegy — not so much to Marighella as to an idealism consumed by the pyrrhic games of dirty regimes.

Wagner Moura cast as lead in De Palma's Sweet Vengeance

Posted by Geoff at 12:01 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, November 7, 2021 12:28 AM CDT
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Sunday, July 8, 2018
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/wagnermoura.jpgWagner Moura has been cast as the lead in Brian De Palma's Sweet Vengeance, according to O Globo's Lauro Jardim, who posted the news today. Moura is known for his role as Pablo Escobar on the Netflix series Narcos, as well as for Elite Squad, which was directed by José Padilha, who is also a producer of Narcos and directed the first two episodes of that series. Sweet Vengeance, which is being produced by Brazilian Rodrigo Teixeira, will be set in the U.S., but will be filmed in Montevideo, Uruguay. According to Jardim, the original screenplay is written by De Palma, and the film will begin shooting in January 2019. Previous reports had suggested a ten-week shoot that would begin in November.

Sweet Vengeance, which will be shot by José Luis Alcaine, is a thriller based on two real-life murders that De Palma has melded into one contemporary murder story. De Palma has mentioned that with this film, he is interested in the way television presents stories of true crime. He has also mentioned that he is designing an elaborate drone shot.

Alcaine to shoot De Palma's Sweet Vengeance
Sweet Vengeance to frontline two international leads, male & female
De Palma designing complex drone shot for new film

Posted by Geoff at 6:38 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

José Luis Alcaine, currently shooting Pedro Almodóvar's latest film, Pain & Glory, will be the cinematographer on Brian De Palma's Sweet Vengeance, a U.S-set thriller that will shoot in Uruguay for about ten weeks beginning this November. This will be the third straight De Palma film to be shot by Alcaine, following Passion and the yet-to-be-released Domino. Alcaine mentioned the new project at the Cannes Film Festival this past May during an interview with Manu Yáñez Murillo for the current July/August 2018 issue of Film Comment. Alcaine states he will shoot the film with De Palma in October, but the project has since been announced with a November start date.

In the interview, Alcaine mentions Sweet Vengeance while discussing how digital technology has changed his work:

Most of all, the digital revolution has changed the way that directors work. There's a famous memo in which David O. Selznick warned King Vidor not to do more than five takes of each shot while filming Duel in the Sun. Today, thanks to the low cost of digital technology, one can shoot countless takes, and with several cameras! Many movies are shot with three, four, or even eight cameras. That destroys any notion of the director's point of view. There are still directors who shoot with only one camera, such as Asghar, Pedro, or Brian De Palma, with whom I'll shoot Sweet Vengeance in October. But there are directors who have no idea what they're going to edit while they're shooting. They use three or four cameras and the end result looks like a television broadcast.

Alcaine was at Cannes for the premiere of Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows, and Yáñez Murillo begins the interview by asking Alcaine how he contributed to Farhadi's vision in the film:
Rather than national identity, I was focused on doing justice to the narrative complexity and the choral structure of the film through the image, something that is not very common in contemporary cinema. Many film directors today come from the advertising or television worlds, and when they shoot, they're thinking in small screen terms. They tend to employ open diaphragms that drive the viewer's attention toward one character, leaving everything else out of focus. The resulting image can be very beautiful, with an impressionistic touch, but for me that means stealing something from the viewer. Cinema ahould invite the audience to embark on an active experience, but too many movies now are like baby food, where everything's ground up, simplified, so the viewer can consume it and forget it easily. In Everybody Knows, there are many shots of an entire family sitting at a table or at a party, with all the characters in focus, so the viewer can choose who and what subplot to focus on.

You seem to advocate for a cinema open to the ambiguous nature of reality.

There's a great book that was written 50 years ago, Hitchcock/Truffaut, which is wonderful but had a side effect. At one point, Hitchcock claims that, at the beginning of every shoot, he has the entire movie already visualized in his head. In my opinion, that presupposes that the movie has no life of its own. When dealing with emotions, some movies, like Everybody Knows, find their form along the way thanks to the collaboration between the director, the actors, the DP, and the rest of the crew. That's the life of a film.

Alcaine: "Digital brings me closer to painting"
Alcaine focuses on the life of each movie

Posted by Geoff at 4:35 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 4:41 PM CDT
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Monday, June 25, 2018

El País' Pablo Staricco reported yesterday that Brian De Palma will arrive in Uruguay sometime in November to begin shooting his new thriller Sweet Vengeance. According to a June 26 article by La Diaria's Débora Quiring, the shoot, said to be 4-10 weeks, will last through February 2019 in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, and the east coast of the country. Sweet Vengeance is inspired by two true murder stories, and although it will be shot in Uruguay, it will be set in the United States. Two "front-line" international actors will play the male and female leads, according to Oriental Features' Santiago López and Diego Robino, although they could not yet reveal the actors' names, as casting and talks are still in progress. Quiring's article adds that some secondary roles and extras will be filled out by Uruguayan and regional actors.

"For 30 or 40 years," De Palma told the press in Paris earlier this month, "I have seen a number of true stories of crimes presented on television, as in the program 48 Hours. I'm interested in how they tell the story of the crime, so I'll do it the way they do it on television, based on two real cases."

Oriental Features, a division of Oriental Films, is the Uruguayan production company in charge of filming, in collaboration with Rodrigo Teixeira of RT Features from Brazil, and De Palma's own team. Here's more from Staricco's article, with Google-assisted translation:

The new project of the American director, who recently completed his last film Domino, reached the Uruguayans by the hand of Teixeira. The Brazilian, who has independent films such as Frances Ha, The Witch and the Oscar-Winner Call Me By Your Name, previously worked with Oriental Features on the filming of the series The Hypnotist (HBO), as well as the films The Silence Of The Sky and Severina.

Teixeira told the Uruguayans, two years ago, that he planned to produce the new De Palma film. After an intense search of locations, López and Robino managed to position Uruguay as the best place to shoot Sweet Vengeance. The inspection of the places was done with an assistant director of the filmmaker.

Robino described that search for locations as a "very strong" process. "There were very specific things that had to look like another place different from the Uruguayan architectural landscape," said the producer, under the halo of secrecy that surrounds all cinematographic projects in their initial stages. It will be filmed in Montevideo and in the east.

Of the plot of Sweet Vengeance it is known that it is based on two real crimes that took place in the United States, and its story will be set in that country. "It's a contemporary film," said Robino. De Palma "unites these crimes and builds a thriller under his own stamp," he added.

"It grabs us solid," López said about the challenge after reviewing the recent work of the producer, which includes the latest film by Federico Veiroj, "El cambista" ("It's spectacular", the producer said); and the Argentinean "El motoarrebatador" -which was premiered at the Cannes Festival- and "El otro hermano", by the Uruguayan Israel Adrián Caetano.

In addition, this will not be the first time that Oriental Features is under the command of a renowned director. In December of 2017 the producer filmed, during a weekend, part of the movie The Pope, of Netflx, directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God) and which was photographed by the Uruguayan César Charlone. That creative duo had brought, in 2007, the shooting of Blindness, which had Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo filming in Montevideo.

With their future work with De Palma, Robino and López hope to continue opening the doors of Uruguay to the world of international cinema. They recognized that the challenge is great and that the director is not known to maintain a calm climate in his sets.

The pre-production will start in November, but both producers said they are ready. "It will be complex and to that we must add that it is Brian De Palma," said López. "It is a demand that we must have without hesitation."

De Palma designing complex drone shot for new film

Posted by Geoff at 3:15 AM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 7:11 PM CDT
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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

In the Les Inrockuptibles interview with Jacky Goldberg, Brian De Palma mentions his "current project" within a discussion about new techniques, and specifically, drone shots. We can guess that the current project would be Sweet Vengeance, a murder mystery that De Palma plans to shoot in Uruguay:
Are you interested in new cinema technical tools? The very high frequency camera (120 frames per second) that Ang Lee uses in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, for example?
Brian De Palma - It seemed futile, but I did not see it in the proper projection conditions; the film has good things otherwise, it's a good idea, but I didn't understand where Ang Lee was coming from. Otherwise, at this moment, it's the drone shots that interest me. In the plane that brought me here, I saw a French film with in-CRED-ible drone shots (he takes out a notebook from his pocket, opens a page where is written: "Goodbye Up There" , drone shots "- Editor's note). These shots have become a cliché, everyone does them because they're pretty, but it's very rare that they make sense. Last year, I was on a jury in Toronto, and I remember saying to my co-jurors: "At the next drone shot, I'm leaving!"

A detrimental consequence of digital cameras is that their extreme sensitivity means you no longer need to know how to light. We can film anything, anywhere, and we immediately have a satisfactory result - and too many people are satisfied. This is how the television style wins. I'm going to look old-fashioned saying that, but the photographic art of a Sternberg is lost, and I regret it. The low sensitivity of the film at that time required extremely complex lighting, so complex that nothing could be arbitrary. Every shot with Marlene Dietrich is a masterpiece in itself.

We can still do incredible things with digital cameras. Things that Sternberg, precisely, could not afford. There was this magnificent Chinese film this year in Cannes, Bi Gan's Long Day's Journey Into Night, with a one-hour clip shot, partly filmed with a drone.
Brian De Palma - Long Day's Journey Into Night ... Not easy to remember, but beautiful title. I'll take a look at it. New techniques interest me, don't get me wrong. But only when we use them wisely. Not to make your life easier. When the Steadicam came out, it was a revolution for me. I used it for the first time in Blow Out (in 1981 - ed), and it allowed me to design shots more and more complex. The one at the end of Carlito's Way, in the escalators, is another good example. At the moment, I'm working on a project that requires a very complex drone shot, and I'm having fun imagining it. So when I saw this French film, I was a little jealous (laughs)!

Drones, Stampedes, Gunshots, and many 'oles' - as Domino films in Almería

Posted by Geoff at 11:59 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2018 4:14 AM CDT
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Saturday, June 2, 2018

In the AFP article posted yesterday in several places, Brian De Palma states that his next film will be Sweet Vengeance, which he plans to shoot in Uruguay. De Palma tells AFP the film is "inspired by two true stories of murders," and he wants to tell the story "as it is done on television." De Palma explains, "For 30 or 40 years I have seen a number of true stories of crimes presented on television, as in the program 48 Hours. I'm interested in how they tell the story of the crime, so I'll do it the way they do it on television, based on two real cases."

Posted by Geoff at 4:02 AM CDT
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