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a la MOD
Forty Years of Lies
White House approves deal to let
only certain members of the 9-11 panel
view "sensitive" documents, but these
members' notes "will be subject to White
House review" before being
reported back to the panel.
ABC leaves no
After Iraq, Bush
Stone would love
Angry NWA rapper
calls for boycott of
Def Jam Scarface CD
"I saw this shit on BET talking about
Music Inspired By Scarface and I
said, 'What the hell?' Def Jam know
they're wrong with that shit and they
had us, NWA, on that shit with a gang of
new artists. The movies that inspired me
was KRUSH GROOVE, BEAT STREET and
WILD STYLE, not no damn SCARFACE,
and Def Jam is just doing anything for
money. None of them Def Jam fools ever
asked me or any other member of NWA
if that bullshit-ass movie influenced
us. Def Jam need to think before they
do some bitch shit like that, because
niggas like me will check their ass. So
if y'all see that bitch-ass record -
leave that shit in the store."
The collection of music "inspired by"
Scarface features the track
"Dope Man" by NWA.
A scar on the
Scarface and Mariel's
"Ghetto Fabulous" Justin Quirk
on Kill Bill:
"The film makes nods to The Green
Hornet, blaxploitation, Brian De
Palma movies, Sergio Leone's spaghetti
Westerns, samurai films, Japanese
anime (one sequence is animated) and
Chinese martial-arts movies...
[Tarantino's] strategies are similar
to those of Brian De Palma's in
Femme Fatale. But while Kill Bill is
more shocking on the surface, De
Palma's movie feels more transgressive.
De Palma also actually has something
to say about the act of creation;
he quotes movies to help make his
point. It isn't clear Tarantino does."
KC's Dante Hall's
Don't get the
"Last week, Hall disclosed that he
has a poster of Al Pacino from the
film Scarface. Hall, who is deeply
religious and praises God publicly every
chance he gets, doesn't want fans to
get the wrong idea. 'Al Pacino's my
favorite actor,' he said. 'I don't love
that movie because he sold drugs or
anything like that. I love it because
of the message I think it sends, that
he started from rock bottom and
worked his way up the hard way. I
started from rock bottom in this league,
and I'm trying to work my way up, too.'"
LA Daily News:
RZA on hip-hop violence:
Sean Penn liked
working with Pacino,
but preferred Casualties
Penn received the lifetime achievement
Donostia Award at the 51st San
Sebastian International Film Festival
on September 22nd. The actor/director
was asked about some of the directors
he has worked with, citing Woody
Allen as a writer who gives an
actor good food to digest, and
calling Clint Eastwood the "greatest
icon." When Brian De Palma's name came
up, Penn said he is "an operatic
director." Of the two films he made
with De Palma, Penn said that he felt
more at home in Casualties Of War,
but that he did enjoy working with
Al Pacino in Carlito's Way. Penn
explained that he also felt more at
home at this festival than he did at
the Oscars. "At the Oscars you feel
like an extra in a television program;
in film festivals, like this one, the
people are enthusiastic about the
cinema. All the questions that have
come to me are coherent, there's a high
level of civililty. I am hoping that
somebody insults me... In the photo
session nobody even shouted at me. I
feel uncomfortable with the Oscars
and happy in a place like this one
because I share emotions." When asked
a question that alluded to his
segment of the collective film
11'09'01, Penn replied, "The objective
was to make a personal film on your
own reaction to the attack. I did
not react, in the sense that I did
not respond with the American feeling
of sadness, but like a person who
feels affected by any death. It is
something that has to do with the
emotional digestion. And I am more
patriotic than our present president."
"For the 20th anniversary DVD Hip-hop stars Jay-Z (pictured above),
Hip-hop stars Jay-Z (pictured above),
Box office was so strong,
Universal/Focus holding the film
over in "about half of
the 13 venues."
"Nearly every classic Tony
Montana/Al Pacino line in the
film (i.e., almost every one) got
either a laugh or applause. There
were some young guys in the front
row who were laughing and talking
along with the dialogue a la ROCKY
HORROR PICTURE SHOW. The scene
that got perhaps the biggest reaction was
the one in which a drunken, besotted
Montana delivered his big damning
speech to the hoity-toity patrons
of a posh restaurant, and particularly
when he declared, "I always tell the
truth, even when I lie." Some people in
the audience were telling the talk-
alongs to shut up. They were told
by others to shut up themselves...
It was 'event' moviegoing at its best.
Everyone in the house knew they
were part of more than just a film-
watching experience. It was like
attending a Baptist church service,
in a way."
More on the
Scarface premiere at
The New Yorker
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio:
"It’s puzzling. With all the work
I’ve done in my life, this is the
one I’m known for." After someone
told her, "You’re big with the
rappers now. They love this movie,"
she replied, "I’m really curious about
what their ideology is."
A conversation between
"You told me when we made the
movie it would come back big,"
"It’s a different thing,” Pacino
“You said, ‘Trust me, trust me.’
“It was that combination of
“And you,” Bauer said. “For years,
The article by Lillian Ross begins
"An elegant older woman walked
Talk Dirty To Me
Brian De Palma
"The narrative and psychological
puzzle of demonlover readily recalls
Cronenberg’s Spider. But the murk
of Spider and demonlover are
unacceptable after the dazzling
clarity of such art-conscious
films as Chen Kaige’s Together and
especially De Palma’s Femme Fatale.
Chen and De Palma dealt with art
forms (classical music and cinema)
long devoted to clarifying the
irrational and the sublime in human
experience. Those forms might be
verging on obsolescence now,
but that didn’t stop Chen and
De Palma from maintaining their
thrill in the face of anime and
video games’ rise in popularity.
Both directors manipulated time and
characters’ consciousness to illustrate
their search for moral foundation–
De Palma daringly used the thrall of
sexual intrigue and movie iconography
to subvert pop culture’s pornographic
and immoral potential. Unfortunately,
no matter how riveting the technique,
his proposal was as unhip as celluloid."
the Scarface premiere
(no longer seems to be available)
Scarface gets its props
Amy Irving turns 50
De Palma and many many others
attended a September 10 bash,
where Irving's husband, film director
Bruno Barreto, showed a film montage
he had put together of her life
called "Once In Love With Amy."
De Palma turned 63 the following
day, September 11.
Scarface may be popular,
but Carlito's Way is
the real secret
Zacharek on the new DVD:
"As the screenwriter, David Koepp,
aptly points out in the DVD
featurette, if you understand that
romanticism is essentially about
longing and loss, Mr. De Palma's
movies are deeply romantic. And
that, combined with his devotion to
structure and craftsmanship, is
what makes Mr. De Palma as great
a director as we've got."
(Thanks to Tony!)
"A sexy li'l number
De Palma on Vertigo
"'Vertigo' was very influential
for me. I saw it in 1958, just
as I was leaving to go to college,
and it was a pivotal time in my
life. The movie is the process of a
director creating an illusion and
then falling in love with his
illusion. For obvious reasons,
that has a very deep
meaning for me."
and GoodFellas used
as part of motion
"Some movies, such as Scarface,
Porky's and Goodfellas are known
for the extensive use of the
family of fuck words (fuck,
fucking, fucker, fuckface, fucked,
absofuckinglutely etc). It would
be far-fetched to argue that
the fuck family has not made
its way into mainstream society."
De Palma on Scarface
|Posted December 29 2005|
DE PALMA ON DAHLIA:
"I HAVEN'T DONE A MOVIE LIKE THIS SINCE CARLITO'S WAY"
The February 2006 issue of Premiere magazine features a preview of upcoming movies to be released in 2006. The Black Dahlia is one of several films in the preview listed as a fall release, and the listing is accompanied by this new still of Scarlett Johansson as Kay Lake. Brian De Palma is quoted, saying that the film based on James Ellroy's novel "weaves a fictional story between the facts of the Black Dahlia murder." The listing describes the facts of the murder, and then describes the film's main characters. It mentions that the $40 million film, shot "largely in Bulgaria," was financed independently, and was then later aquired by Universal. It also mentions that Mark Wahlberg dropped out of the project during "a glitch in the indie financing." The listing closes with another quote from De Palma: "I haven't done a movie like this since Carlito's Way. It's violent, sexy, and mysterious. Studios tend to be scared of material like this."
|Posted December 28 2005|
SCARLETT ON 'TRUE NOIR'
SAYS DE PALMA IS A WONDERFUL OLD-SCHOOL DIRECTOR
Scarlett Johansson has been making the rounds for Woody Allen's Match Point, and has also been discussing The Black Dahlia along the way. Talking to the New York Daily News about the directors she has worked with, Johansson said, "Brian De Palma is also wonderful, a sort of old-school director who says things like, 'Can everyone keep quiet, these actors are working!'"
About.Com also asked Johansson about the upcoming Black Dahlia:
Scarlett will appear on David Letterman's TV talk show January 10th, "Live with Regis and Kelly" January 11th, and she will host NBC's Saturday Night Live January 14th.
|Posted December 26 2005|
MORE FROM SCARLETT
ON WOODY ALLEN & BRIAN DE PALMA
CHUD interviewed Scarlett Johansson last week, and asked the actress to again compare working with Woody Allen to working with Brian De Palma. Here is what she said:
They’re both very hands off, actually. Their personalities are dissimilar. For one, Brian lives in California; Woody is allergic to California. Brian is very boisterous. He says very old-fashioned kinds of things, which are very exciting. Like, ‘Let’s give the actors some room!’ You feel transported.
Whereas Woody is not very vocal! Even his direction to the crew is sitting there as another member of the crew, somehow. I don’t think they have too many similarities, other than that they shoot ten or twelve hour days. Which is nice; I think from Brian and Woody’s perspective they look at it and say, I’m exhausted, I’m not going to be able to work after 12 hours and we’re not going to be able to get anything good anyway. As opposed to Michael Bay, who worked for 17 hours and onward, just to finish on time. That was definitely a positive similarity.
But I think in both cases either director hires their cast because they feel like they’re able. I remember Josh Hartnett came to him the first day on the set and [Brian] said, ‘Look, you’re in all this movie, so I’m just going to stay out of your way for this production.’ [to Jonathan Rhys-Meyers] I think Woody had the same take on it with you; I’m going to see you every day so I’ll lay off you.
(Thanks to Kate!)
|Updated December 23 2005 - Posted December 22 2005|
"UNKNOWN" RASMUSSEN IS BESSON'S ANGEL A
IN WHAT COULD BE HIS LAST FILM AS DIRECTOR
Luc Besson unveiled his new directorial effort, Angel A, in France yesterday morning. Besson shot the black-and-white film on location in Paris in secret last summer. Lisa Nesselson posted a review of the film in Variety, where she revealed that Rie Rasmussen plays Angela, who appears to be the title character of the film. Nesselson writes:
Rasmussen, a striking Dane whose fetching accent puts her in the Gallic tradition of foreign leading ladies such as Jean Seberg and Anna Karina, is being described as "unknown." But it's hard to believe anyone who saw Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale has forgotten the sight of her clad in little but $10 million worth of diamonds."
Thierry Arbogast, who befriended Rasmussen while shooting De Palma's Femme Fatale, is also the cinematographer on Angel A, working with Besson for the fifth time. The film may turn out to be Besson's final film as director, Nesselson states, because it is his tenth feature, and he has said he will direct no more than ten himself. The film is described by Nesselson as a bit talkier than the average Besson film, yet also filmed in a hauntedly depopulated Paris created "for our aesthetic pleasure."
A review at the international Screen Daily says that Arbogast's "lush photography gives the script a timeless, fable-like quality," and that Rasmussen "delivers a breezy, winning performance as the mysterious Angela that neatly serves Jamel [Debbouze]’s more tormented anti-hero." Both reviews note the striking difference in height between the long-legged Rasmussen and the diminutive Debbouze.
|Posted December 21 2005|
NEW PIC FROM DAHLIA SET
BUCKY & KAY FROM GERMAN MAGAZINE
The photo at the left shows Josh Hartnett as Bucky and Scarlett Johansson as Kay on the set of Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia. The photo accompanies an article on Johansson in the January 2006 issue of the German magazine Celebrity. You can see scans of the entire article and pics at Scarlett Johansson Fan.
(Thanks to Kate!)
|Posted December 13 2005|
TOYER IN MOTION
LOOKING TO FILM IN SPRING 2006
Things are not yet set in stone (and are things ever really set in stone in the movie business?), but Brian De Palma is looking to begin shooting Toyer with Colin Firth and Juliette Binoche in Venice this spring. The way the plans are shaping up right now, shooting would take a little break after Venice, and then resume sometime in May at various other locales (this schedule was first reported at firth.com in October). De Palma confirmed that Thierry Arbogast will be the cinematographer, and that Pino Donaggio will compose the music. De Palma wrote the screenplay for the film, which he adapted from Gardner McKay's original one act play (and not from McKay's subsequently expanded novel).
|Posted December 8 2005|
SCARLETT TALKS BRIAN & WOODY
"THEY'RE BOTH SORT OF THESE ICONIC DIRECTORS"
Jenna Ross of The Minnesota Daily interviewed Scarlett Johansson amidst the release of Woody Allen's Match Point. Although Ross mistakenly refers to Brian De Palma as the director of The Island (aaarrrggghhhh!), she did get Johansson to compare De Palma to Allen-- here's what Scarlett said:
I worked with Brian De Palma right before I worked with Woody. They’re both sort of these iconic directors, but the only similarity between them is that they work 12-hour days. And they’re both pretty hands-off. They both seem to hire the actors they feel embody some aspect of the characters that they’re casting them in.
|Posted December 6 2005|
AMY IRVING IS IN DAHLIA
AND A HILARY SWANK PIC FINALLY SURFACES, TOO
Remember that page from the French periodical featuring all those stills from The Black Dahlia? (If you don't, check out the story dated December 4 2005 immediately below.) Well, it seems there was another page of stills and info to go along with that first one, and now Carlito has sent us a scan of page number two (which you can view here). Not only is there a still (at left) featuring Hilary Swank, the femme fatale of the film, laying in bed with Josh Hartnett, but at the very end of the page it is mentioned that Amy Irving(!) is part of the cast of the film. In fact, Irving's name is given sixth billing in the French publication, following (in order) Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson, Swank, and Mia Kirshner.
IRVING IS HEART & SOUL OF DE PALMA'S CINEMA
|Posted December 4 2005|
NEW DAHLIA PICS
VIA FRENCH PUBLICATION
A French periodical recently published some stills from The Black Dahlia; some of them we've seen before (like this one of Aaron Eckhart and Josh Hartnett), and some we haven't (like the ones below featuring Scarlett Johansson sitting next to Hartnett as he reads the newspaper, and of Rachel Miner in stylish '40s attire). These photos were included on a page that featured a brief summary of the film, and you can view the page layout (with all of the photos) at the DVD Classik forum, courtesy of "mannhunter" (thanks to Romain for spreading the word).
|Posted November 30 2005|
NO SUNDANCE FOR DAHLIA
FILM WAS NEVER EVEN SUBMITTED FOR FEST
Jeffrey Wells posted a blurb in his Hollywood Elsewhere "Wired" column Tuesday saying that he no longer trusted the source of his info on films "tipped" for Sundance 2006. And we shouldn't have trusted the information, either, knowing that Universal is now the distributor of The Black Dahlia, a non-indie release. I thought it seemed odd when I first read it on Wells' site, but not being familiar with the rules of the Sundance Film Festival, I thought maybe it would screen out-of-competition, or that maybe it somehow qualified for the festival. In explaining his case, Wells said that a friend from the festival circuit sent him the list (from Film Finders). Wells trusted the combined reputations of this guy and Film Finders, but wrote on his site, "I've been reliably persuaded that a good portion of the titles I mentioned won't be at the festival, and that some weren't even submitted (!)."
In any case, it was fun to imagine a Brian De Palma film playing at Sundance. When Movie City News' Dave Poland placed The Black Dahlia at the top of his own list of Sundance films according to potential buzz, that list was then linked to by Hollywood Reporter's deputy film editor and blogger Anne Thompson. It began to feel even more like Fantasy Film Festival when Wells ran another article out of boredom, placing the films in order of his preference for seeing them. He placed The Black Dahlia second to Steven Shainberg's Fur, adding his own immediate thoughts about having another feature devoted to the infamous L.A. murder case. "What...again?", wrote Wells, in an article that he has now removed from his site. "The best movie to get into the Black Dahlia murdercase was Ulu Grosbard's True Confessions ('81). Will DePalma's film include a nod to recent revelations about Elizabeth Short's likely killer?" I then wrote Wells to tell him that the film would stick to the James Ellroy novel's artistic vision.
|Posted November 16 2005|
SCARFACE PREQUEL NOVELS
DARK HORSE TO PUBLISH FIRST OF SERIES IN MARCH
Scarface the novel, written by Paul Monette, based on a screenplay by Oliver Stone, was published about three months before the film, directed by Brian De Palma, was released in theaters in 1983. Twenty-two years later and counting, the popularity of the character brought to life by Al Pacino continues to swell, and Universal has liscensed prequel rights to Dark Horse's prose imprint, DH Press. DH will publish the first of a series of Scarface prequel novels with Scarface: The Beginning in March 2006. The book is written by L.A. Banks, who created the Vampire Huntress series (an interesting but trivial coincidence: Monette had previously written the novelization of Werner Herzog's Nosferatu prior to adapting Scarface). Could this all be an appetizer for the prequel-happy times we live in? Is Universal, home of the recent Carlito's Way prequel, testing the waters for a series of Scarface prequels in celluloid form? And whatever happened to USA network's Scarface TV series? The new video game, Scarface: The World Is Yours, set for release in 2006, will begin with Tony Montana somehow surviving the shower of bullets at the end of the De Palma film.
|Posted November 15 2005|
MORE DAHLIA TIDBITS
ELLROY CONFIDENT, HARTNETT HITS HARD, AND MORE...
The picture on the left was taken on the City Hall set of The Black Dahlia in Los Angeles last summer. This week, James Ellroy was asked by National Review Online if he is optimistic about the upcoming Brian De Palma-directed adaptation of his novel. "You take the money and you hope for the best," he told the interviewer. "Sometimes you get lucky. L.A. Confidential was made into a great film. I'm confident that The Black Dahlia will be a great film as well. All of your readers should take great pains to see it next year."
Meanwhile, the Minneapolis Star Tribune interviewed kung fu grand master Sankara Frazier, who gave Josh Hartnett boxing lessons for a few weeks to get him in shape for his role in Dahlia. Frazier said Hartnett hits hard. "He was sparring with my son [local boxer and rapper Adonis Frazier]," Frazier told the newspaper, "and he hit him real good. My son stood there and said, 'Hey, man, you hit me again like that and I'm going to hit you back, movie star or no movie star.' Cuz that kid can crack."
In other news, it looks like we'll be seeing a new poster for The Black Dahlia in North America in the months to come, and it will be different from the French poster that has recently made the rounds. The French one was created by Nu Image, which has the international rights to the film. However, the producers of the film never liked the poster, nor did they approve it. So we'll have two images to compare once we see the North America version...
|Posted November 11 2005|
DAHLIA KEEPS SWANK ON HER TOES
TOMBOY TURNED FEMME FATALE
Hilary Swank talked to MTV about taking on a different kind of role for herself in The Black Dahlia. "I gotta mix it up for myself," she said, "keep myself on my toes. [I want to] keep trying things that scare me, wonder if I can do them." The article by Larry Carol highlights the contrast between the normally "tomboyish" roles Swank has been known for, and the "sexy femme fatale" she plays in Dahlia. "I finished it back in May ... great dresses, great costume, hair, makeup," she said, grinning to the reporter. "It actually takes place in 1947 and is based on the ['L.A. Confidential' author] James Ellroy book 'The Black Dahlia' — which is a true story that happened in Los Angeles that was actually never solved, but this was James Ellroy's take on what happened. Brian De Palma directed it — Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart ... I'm in a supporting role, I come in on like page 62, but I had a ball."
|Posted November 10 2005|
FOX PUSH FOR DE PALMA STEP DAUGHTER
WILLA HOLLAND TO 'BREAK A LOT OF HEARTS' ON THE O.C.
FOX issued a press release yesterday announcing that Willa Holland, a step daughter of Brian De Palma, has been cast in the studio's Thursday night TV drama The O.C. Holland, a daughter of De Palma's third wife Darnell, begins production on the series this week and will begin appearing in early 2006. She will play Marissa's sister Kaitlin, who, according to the press release, "will wreak havoc, turn heads and introduce a darker, edgier element to the sun-drenched O.C."
It seems fitting that the 14-year-old Holland spent time with her stepfather on the set of Mission: Impossible in 1995, because in photographs, this beautiful young girl with her long autumn hair sometimes bears a slight resemblance to that film's Emmanuelle Beart. Holland's Web site, www.willaholland.com, claims that a trip to De Palma's friend Steven Spielberg's house in 1998 left her with a compulsion to "spend her life in front of the camera." After signing with the Ford Modeling Agency, she became the top child model in America, and De Palma took her to a theatrical talent agency in 1999. Last year, she appeared in a film by Asia Argento, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, which is set to play in the USA in limited release in March 2006. (Argento herself is set to play twins in a remake of De Palma's Sisters next year.)
Josh Schwartz, creator and executive producer of The O.C., said that "Willa is a real presence and a wonderful actress. She can be sweet as a little girl, but also dangerous and much more self-possessed than her age would suggest. She seems like Mischa Barton's little sister and looks it, too. She's a real original, with the same sophisticated allure that Mischa possesses. She's going to break a lot of hearts."
Brian and Darnell also have a child together named Piper.
|Posted October 27 2005|
TRAVOLTA & JOHANSSON...
DISCUSS DE PALMA & DAHLIA
John Travolta interviews Scarlett Johansson in the November 2005 issue of Interview, which hit newsstands this week. Travolta effectively made the move from TV to film when he was cast in Brian De Palma's Carrie in 1976, and he then went on to star in one of De Palma's greatest films, Blow Out (1981). Johansson, who stars in De Palma's upcoming The Black Dahlia, befriended Travolta when the pair made A Love Song For Bobby Long together last year. Near the beginning of Travolta's interview, he asks Johansson about The Black Dahlia...
JT: How did the De Palma film go?
SJ: It was really good. We shot in Bulgaria. I was really nervous because everyone had told me it could be kind of lonely. So I bought all the Harry Potter books and figured I'd spend all my time reading and watching old movies, but I ended up having the most fantastic time.
JT: Do you play a dark character?
SJ: No. Hilary Swank plays Madeleine, who's kind of the darker character. I play someone named Kay Lake-- she's sort of a housewife/ex-prostitute. It's based on the novel by James Ellroy, which is a fictionalized account of the Black Dahlia case.
JT: I know Brian likes to put his own twist on things, so I imagine he changed the story and the characters a bit.
SJ: Well, nobody really knows what the true story of the Black Dahlia is, since the case remains unsolved. Brian became obsessed with the idea of doing it as a perfect film noir.
You can see scans of the other photos of Johansson from inside the magazine at Scarlett Johansson Fan.
|Posted October 10 2005|
FRENCH POSTER FOR THE BLACK DAHLIA
WITH RELEASE DATE - MAY 2006
DVDRAMA has the French poster for The Black Dahlia, Brian De Palma's upcoming adaptation of the James Ellroy novel, with a screenplay by Josh Friedman. The poster features the same artwork as last year's Hollywood trade ad, but updated to add Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank's names to those of Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson. The "and" above Swank's name suggests that she will have one of those special credits usually given to marquee stars whose presence adds gravy to an already rich ensemble. The tag line also remains from the original ad: "Hollywood's most notorious murder." The poster claims that the film will be released in May 2006, which is the same month as the Cannes Film Festival. Often, films will play at Cannes and open in France the same week, or shortly thereafter. De Palma's most recent completed film, Femme Fatale (which was partly filmed at 2001's Cannes Film Festival), opened in France in April of 2002, and then screened out of competition at the Cannes fest that May. Femme Fatale did not open in the U.S. until November of 2002.
(Thanks to Leonard Shelby at the 24liesasecond forum!)
|Posted October 6 2005|
DAHLIA EXTRACTS SCREENED IN FRANCE
AND NEW SET PIC FLASHED RIGHT HERE
At left is a picture from the Los Angeles set of The Black Dahlia, showing the scenery from in front of Bucky's apartment. Extracts from Brian De Palma's new film were screened for theater owners in France last week during the annual three-day marathon of film trailers, which this year took place in Deauville. According to Libération, last Thursday a group of thousands viewed clips from De Palma's The Black Dahlia, Tom Tykwer's Perfume, and Terrence Malick's The New World, among others. Most of the films previewed were to be released in France roughly within the next six months, according to the article.
|Posted October 1 2005|
NEW DAHLIA STILLS
Courtesy of Tessa at JDH.allstarz.org (and thanks to Kate!)
|Posted September 24 2005|
GUZMAN & TORRES TALK CARLITO
AND THE STREET IS WATCHING...
Todd Gilchrist at IGN Film Force interviewed Luis Guzman and Edwin Torres about Carlito's Way: Rise To Power, the prequel to Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way. Torres is the author of the original novels that the films take their stories from, and has been involved in both productions, taking both the original's Al Pacino and the new film's Jay Hernandez around to the old neighborhoods he grew up in. When asked if he had any trepidations about not having De Palma as director on the prequel, Torres replied that Michael Bregman, who directed the prequel, was with De Palma from beginning to end on the first film, and it was his dad, Martin Bregman, who put the whole thing together and finally got the first film made. "I thought that Mike Bregman did a hell of a job directing this film," Torres told IGN, "given the constraints of time and money, because this film was nowhere the magnitude of Carlito's Way because of the monetary consideration. But I thought he did a hell of a job under those circumstances." Torres said that at first he had wondered how they were going to do a prequel. Thinking of The Godfather Part II, he wondered how they would get someone on par with Pacino to play the lead. But when he met Hernandez, and saw the other "very good actors" that had been cast, he felt very positive about it. You can read the full interview with Torres here.
GUZMAN TAKES CONTROL IN NEW CARLITO ROLE
It's interesting, because when I worked with Pacino, I was more like the guy watching his back. Of course, in the end I betray him, but for the most part I'm the guy that's watching his back; I'm into his business - 'where are you going? You want me to go?' So I didn't have any control, outside an 'are you okay?' In this movie, I was in total control; I'm the last guy you really want to mess with, and I'm here to do a job, and I don't really have a relationship with him outside of me telling him, 'you know what, bro? I got hired to take you out, but I really don't want to have to do that. I just want you to find these guys for me and squash this,' and all. I'm in charge, you know, and I don't fear him, so it's two totally different roles - one role is the role of a shadow, and the other one is like, you know what? I'm going to do whatever I want, say whatever I want, and you ain't got nothing to say about it.
You can read the full interview with Guzman here.
|Posted September 24 2005|
ROOPER HAS "3 GREAT SCENES"
BUT SAYS DAHLIA ROLE IS REALLY "MORE OF A CAMEO"
Jemima Rooper, who plays 15-year-old Lorna Mertz in The Black Dahlia, was interviewed earlier this month at the Metro Cafe. The site is from the U.K., where Rooper's TV show Hex, in which she plays a lesbian ghost, has just started its second season. In the interview, Rooper is asked if her part in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia will mark her move into Hollywood. "Not really," Rooper replies. "I have three great scenes but it's more of a little cameo role. I don't know if it's a stepping stone career-wise but it looks good on the CV." Rooper says that she loves acting in all types of mediums, and says that she has a "more substantial role" in the upcoming British film Kinky Boots. Last week, Rooper was quoted in the U.K.'s The Sun talking about her Dahlia costar Josh Hartnett. According to Female First, Rooper said she was smitten with Hartnett. "Josh is absolutely gorgeous," she told The Sun, "and very nice. I definitely fancied him and I think he fancied me. But then Scarlett turned up. It could have been me - I'm gutted!"
|Posted September 22 2005|
ASIA TO PLAY SISTERS
CRONENBERG WILL PLAY DOCTOR
Doug Buck talked to Fangoria this week about his upcoming remake of Brian De Palma's 1973 film Sisters. Buck said that Asia Argento will be taking on the dual lead as Siamese twin sisters, who are now named Angelica and Annabella Tristiana (in the original film, directed and cowritten by De Palma, Margot Kidder played Siamese twins named Dominique and Danielle). Buck said the film is still on schedule to film in February. "Asia is only available in February," Buck told Fangoria, "so we decided to no longer shoot in Montreal [the originally announced location] because of the extreme weather. We were going to shoot in New Orleans, but after the tragedy there, we are now working with reputable production manager Jacky Morgan to locate an alternate, equally Gothic and atmospheric Louisiana city like Shreveport or Monroe." David Cronenberg will play a small but significant part as "Dr. Lucas Bryant, walking down a hallway in old documentary footage, explaining to the camera why he needs to seperate the mentally troubled Siamese twins," according to Buck. Buck also told Fangoria that they are in negotiations with an "interesting actor" to take on the part of reporter Grace Collier, which was played by De Palma regular Jennifer Salt in the original.
|Posted September 17 2005|
MORE FROM TORONTO
INCLUDING DE PALMA AT MATADOR PARTY
More pictures have surfaced of Brian De Palma from the North American premiere of Atom Egoyan's Where The Truth Lies at the Toronto International Film Festival. De Palma is pictured here with Truth co-star Kevin Bacon and director Egoyan. Roger Ebert says that Truth was one of the best films he saw at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and that the three-way sex scene which garnered an NC-17 from the ratings board "cannot be cut without destroying the movie; it is crucial to the murder mystery in the plot, and also explains the breakup of the act." Although Egoyan made sure the scene was not explicit (his contract with the producer, Robert Lantos, was originally for an R-rated film), the MPAA is under no obligation to provide a reason as to the rating. Although Lantos is standing by the picture, and will release it uncut, Egoyan described the ratings appeals process for his new film as a bad dream, telling Ebert:
What disturbed and confused me was that in addition to the 10-member board, there were two other people in the room. I asked who they were. They were clergymen, one Catholic, one Episcopalian. I asked why they were there and didn’t get an answer, but they were allowed to sit in on the secret deliberations of the Ratings Board.
Interesting note: Egoyan's 1991 film The Adjuster featured his wife Arsinée Khanjian as the member of a Board of Censors that spends hours a day watching pornographic movies in a rather dry, sterile environment. She secretly tapes the movies and brings them home with her.
Meanwhile, De Palma attended the after party for The Matador Thursday night. He is pictured here giving someone an interview at the party, which was hosted by Stuff magazine. The Matador is said to be a surprisingly funny film which stars Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear.
|Posted September 16 2005|
"OFF DUTY" DE PALMA
JOURNALIST HAS IMAGINARY CONVERSATION WITH DIRECTOR
A journalist from Canada's Terminal City has spotted Brian De Palma on more than one occasion during the current Toronto International Film Festival. On day one, the journalist, Tom Charity, noticed De Palma in a bookstore. Charity writes:
A portly, balding, bearded gentleman has made the same pilgrimage. I’m not sure what it is that distinguishes him from all the other portly balding bearded gents in the world, but for some reason I know it’s Brian De Palma. Mr. De Palma doesn’t have a movie here—The Black Dahlia isn’t done yet. He’s off duty. Hanging out watching movies. For fun.
Charity later shows De Palma a picture still from Scarface...
The coincidence is too good to miss. I show it to him. “Seen this?”, I say, all nonchalant. De Palma gives a little snort—amused? Confused?—and we go our separate ways.
Charity then engages in an imaginary conversation with De Palma, asking himself what he might have said to De Palma otherwise. He eventually spots De Palma again in the audience of the film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, although De Palma leaves before the film is over. Read the full article at the link above-- there are many amusing details that I have left out.
|Posted September 14 2005|
DE PALMA AT TRUTH PREMIERE
EGOYAN FILM STARS COLIN FIRTH
Brian De Palma is pictured here at last night's premiere of Atom Egoyan's Where The Truth Lies at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film stars stars Colin Firth (right) and Kevin Bacon. De Palma has been looking for the right time to make Toyer, with Firth in the lead role. Firth has agreed to make the film when the time is right for all involved. Meanwhile, De Palma must have identified with Truth director Egoyan, who is angry that his new film has received the NC-17 rating, even after several appeals. According to Canadian Press, Egoyan sees the rating as a violent act of censorship. This, of course, echoes De Palma's many battles with the MPAA.
|Posted September 11 2005|
DE PALMA AT VIOLENCE PARTY
PICS WITH CRONENBERG, MORTENSEN IN TORONTO
Brian De Palma is pictured here at the after party for David Cronenberg's A History Of Violence, which played September 10th at the Toronto International Film Festival. Doug Buck recently mentioned that Cronenberg would appear in his remake of De Palma's Sisters. Above right is a shot of De Palma posing with Cronenberg. At left, De Palma poses with Violence star Viggo Mortensen, who appeared in De Palma's Carlito's Way in 1993. (Carlito's Way will be released this Tuesday as an "ultimate DVD" edition.) At bottom right is Mortensen, De Palma, Sean Bean, and Cronenberg enjoying the party. The pics appear at WireImage.
|Posted September 5 2005|
DE PALMA TO GOVERN TALENT LAB
AT THIS WEEK'S TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL
Brian De Palma and Michael Ondaatje will each serve as governors and creative mentors at the Talent Lab, a four-day educational event at this year's Toronto International Film Festival, which runs September 8-17. Also signed on as lecturers at this year's lab, according to Screen Daily, are Terry Gilliam, Atom Egoyan, producer/director Lee Daniels, cinematographer Christopher Doyle, screenwriter Naomi Foner, production designer Alex McDowell, director Carlos Reygadas, and director Jean-Marie Teno. 22 emerging Canadian talents have been chosen to participate in the event, which will provide them an extraordinary chance to learn filmmaking techniques from an impressive array of international filmmakers. De Palma has displayed a penchant to educate young filmmakers throughout his career, most notably when he taught a film class at Sarah Lawrence College in 1979, resulting in the film Home Movies. De Palma is a regular visitor to the Toronto festival, where he goes to see movies almost every year (the festival happens to run during his birthday, which is September 11th). Ondaatje, who is governing the Lab for the second year in a row, is the author of the book, The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film.
AARON ECKHART FILM AT TORONTO FEST, TOO
|Posted September 4 2005|
DE PALMA FILM GETS WISE
NEW DVD RESTORES KEY SPRINGSTEEN SONG
Brian De Palma's Wise Guys was released earlier this week for the first time on DVD. When the film was first released on VHS in the late 1980s, a Bruce Springsteen song ("Pink Cadillac") which provided a key transition in the film was omitted due to liscensing problems. That song cues a punchline in the film as the main protagonists, Harry and Moe (played by Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo) race toward Atlantic City in a stolen Cadillac which they treat with total anarchic abandonment. I am pleased to report that Warner Bros.'s new DVD has restored the Springsteen song in all its comedic glory, and that watching the film on video now provides a much more complete experience of this De Palma gem from 1986. The Chicago Sun-Times has highlighted Roger Ebert's original review of the film upon its DVD release this week. In 1986, Ebert wrote of the film:
"Wise Guys" is an abundant movie, filled with ideas and gags and great characters. It never runs dry. It never has the desperation of so many gangster comedies, which seem to be marching over the same tired ground. This movie was made with joy, and you can feel it in the sense of all the actors working at the top of their form.
|Posted September 4 2005|
EARLY REVIEWS ARE MIXED
Back in October of 2004, before shooting began on the prequel to Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way, writer-director Michael S. Bregman made the bold statement, "I think this one is going to be better than the first one." Judging by the early reviews coming in, if Bregman truly wanted something better than the original, the least he would have had to do was get De Palma to direct (De Palma is not involved in the prequel). Space Ace has seen the prequel, and writes in to tell us that the new film has "scenes that bring only embarrassment and you want to look away, if it wasn't for the spontaneous hilarity of the poor editing and continuity errors." Space Ace said the film recycles Patrick Doyle's score from the original film (Joe Delia is credited with scoring the new film, according to Music From The Movies), and that "the streets look just like in bdp's film, with that blue shade and intrusive red lights." Space describes the intro of the film: "they have staged a central sequence that plays in slow motion in the beginning, like in Carlito's Way, only - as you can guess - it's fake slow motion and choppy and doesn't make any sense." Space said that Jay Hernandez makes obvious imitations of Al Pacino from the original film, but has a rather blank face most of the time. He said Hernandez has a lot of voiceover in the film, "which is passable." Sean Combs, says Space, alternates between reciting lines confidently and sleepwalking. Other people posting at the Internet Movie Database have expressed similar descriptions of the film, but more than one has also complained that the prequel has no other characters from the first film other than Carlito. A general feeling seems to be that the film is more lighthearted than De Palma's, and not quite as "gangsterly" as some were expecting. A couple of reviewers at IMDB did enjoy Combs' performance, as well as the performances of Luis Guzman, Mario Van Peebles, and Hernandez. [Speaking of Van Peebles, New Jack City, which he directed, was recently released on DVD in a special two-disc edition. The film features overt allusions to De Palma's Scarface and The Untouchables.]
|Updated August 31 2005 - Posted August 30 2005|
SISTERS REMAKE TO SHOOT IN FEB.
ARGENTO & CRONENBERG TO APPEAR; NO MILITARY THEME
According to Dark Horizons, Doug Buck told the Horror Channel this week that his remake of Brian De Palma's Sisters is going well, and will begin shooting next February. Last we heard, Buck had been planning to shoot this past spring in Montreal, but apparently that did not pan out. Now Buck plans to shoot in New Orleans, and he said that Asia Argento and David Cronenberg have each agreed to appear in the film. (What a great combo to have in this film, even if just a cameo or two!) Dark Horizons had provided a description of Buck's Sisters plot in its original story, but the description was actually a misplaced item detailing an episode of Battlestar Galactica (thanks to Space Ace for setting us straight). So, there is no military backdrop in Buck's film, although it did sound quite intriguing.
|Posted August 29 2005|
JOSH FRIEDMAN BLOG:
"HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE BOOK THE BLACK DAHLIA?"
Visit Josh Friedman's blog and read yesterday's post, DFL III: The Rise of the Crimson Ape, for what looks to be the beginning of his telling of his eight-year adventure (so far) with The Black Dahlia.
|Posted August 22 2005|
DE PALMA TALKS BOUZEREAU
LA TIMES ARTICLE ABOUT DVD SE PRODUCERS
An article today by Elaine Dutka in the Los Angeles Times discusses the people who produce "bonus features" for DVDs. Of course, Laurent Bouzereau is a main focus of the article, having "produced 18 titles for Steven Spielberg and six for Brian De Palma." Bouzereau and De Palma are quoted extensively throughout the article, providing insights into these films about films. "I see myself as a historian, working on someone else's movie," Bouzereau tells Dutka. "The goal is to do what the filmmaker would have done, had he or she had the time." Charles de Lauzirika, who works mostly with brothers Tony and Ridley Scott, goes so far as to say that he sees himself as "an advocate for the filmmaker, ensuring that his vision comes through on the home video end, no matter what happened on the theatrical cut." De Palma refers to these DVD filmmakers as a "Tiffany club," and tells Dutka that "DVDs are minted money — but new bells and whistles are necessary to compete. Special features, once an afterthought, are now an essential part of the marketing campaign. Laurent is on the set from Day One shooting, accumulating archival footage, asking provocative questions, turning out 'essays,' so to speak." De Palma foresees a time when consumers will know the names of these DVD directors, who are currently called "vendors" by the studios. "'Vendors' is a transitional term," De Palma tells Dutka. "These guys will get their due. Pretty soon, you'll see the name 'Laurent Bouzereau,' say, on a DVD and know it's a sign of quality."
RELUCTANCE TO ROCK THE BOAT
|Posted August 22 2005|
CARLITO PREQUEL PROMO SCREENINGS
FILM TO DEBUT IN THEATERS SEPT. 7th
As I speculated earlier, Universal will debut the new non-De Palma Carlito's Way prequel, Carlito's Way: Rise To Power, September 7th, during what the studio is calling "promo preview screenings." This will put the film in select theaters the weekend before the new "ultimate edition" of De Palma's original film is released on DVD (September 13th), and almost three weeks before the prequel is released to DVD (September 27th). The scene pictured here from the prequel is taken from the trailer, which can be viewed at the prequel's official Web page.
|Posted August 22 2005|
FRIEDMAN'S NEW BLOG
DAHLIA SCREENWRITER MEETS "THE KOEPP"
Josh Friedman, whose screenplay adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia is being filmed under the direction of Brian De Palma, debuted a new blog last week, titled I Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing. Within its first week, Friedman posted a hilarious two-part story detailing his struggle to get proper screenwriting credit for this summer's War Of The Worlds, and his eventual meeting with David Koepp (who had worked on the WOTW script begun by Friedman) at that film's premiere. Friedman promises a long post about his work on The Black Dahlia, possibly within the next week, but has already answered a reader's question about the old Eric Bergren version of the script. Bergren had written a 138-page adaptation of Ellroy's novel back in 1990. This is apparently the reason why Bergren's name has popped up recently as having co-written the screenplay with Friedman. In fact, Friedman began his own screenplay adaptation of The Black Dahlia from scratch in 1998, when David Fincher was interested in filming the book. Friedman is the sole screenwriter on the De Palma project, having done all polishes, rewrites, and revisions himself. In response to a question on his blog about any similarities between the Bergren screenplay and his own, Josh Friedman wrote: "I never read the Eric Bergren script so I couldn't say. Those who've worked on the project since the Bergren script say it's not similar." Friedman's posts are very funny and highly entertaining (definitely read the "Snakes On A Plane" post, or you are sure to miss out on many of the side jokes he peppers into his blog).
|Posted August 18 2005|
MORE DAHLIA SET PICS
BLACK ANGEL AT THE PANTAGES THEATRE
The photo above was taken on June 16, 2005, from the Pantages Theatre set of The Black Dahlia. The film screening at the theatre is the film noir classic Black Angel. (The Dahlia herself, who was known for dressing in black, was named for another noir classic of the period, The Blue Dahlia.) The above photo and the one immediately below (with Josh Hartnett's face covered by a watermark on the photo) have been up for a while at Bruno Press. (Thanks to Kate!) The second photo below shows another angle of the set on Hollywood Boulevard.
|Posted August 11 2005|
MEET KAY LAKE
FRENCH MAG STUDIO PUBLISHES SCARLETT DAHLIA PIC
The July/August issue of the French magazine Studio has published a still featuring Scarlett Johansson as Kay Lake, from Brian De Palma's upcoming adaptation of James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia. The scan comes courtesy of Maria at Scarlett Johansson Fan, where you can view a much larger version of the photo. Scarlett is also featured on the covers of two current American magazines: The August issue of Allure, and the September "40th-Birthday" issue of Cosmopolitan.
|Posted August 11 2005|
PHANTOMPALOOZA MEETS THE DEVIL
WILLIAMS HONORS WINNIPEG FANS AFTER PHANTOM SCREENING
Yes, the members of the Phantompalooza committee got to meet Paul Williams in person at a July 28 Santa Monica screening of Phantom Of The Paradise (Williams wrote the film's songs and starred in the Brian De Palma film as Swan, the evil record producer). But what is most exciting about the Phantompalooza Web page account of the evening, written by committee member Doug Carlson, is the excited description of finally seeing this De Palma film in a "nearly pristine" print (the print shown of late in Winnipeg is so damaged, a DVD version was screened at last April's Phantompalooza fest). This group from Winnipeg, who are used to theatres full of people clapping and singing along with the film, found itself strangely muted amidst viewers who traveled from places as far away as Virginia, many of which who had never seen the film before. Doug describes the atmosphere during the film's opening moments:
The Juicy Fruits finish up their opening number, "Goodbye Eddie Goodbye". I half rise out of my seat, ready to give it a Winnipeg-style whoopin' and a-hollerin'...but there is only an unfamiliar silence in the theatre. We're not in Winnipeg anymore, Dorothy! What's wrong with these people - don't they know you're supposed to sing along with every word, and cheer every musical performance as if you'd seen the movie fifty or sixty times!? Gloria and I do the Swan "hand claps" out of instinct, but again we're probably the only ones. (A later show of hands will indicate that at least a third of those in attendance are seeing this film for the first time.)
Like a kid in a candy store, Doug describes sitting in the front rows, seeing the film as he'd never seen it before:
We've never seen this much detail in the film before...the jewels playing across the front of the Death Records Receptionist's shirt...the drawing of "Annette" on Philbin's shirt...the incredible thickness of Finley's glasses. I find myself staring like a thirsty dog at the screen, trying to absorb all of this new visual information!
After the screening, Williams, who had been watching the film with his son, was introduced, and after some initial comments, it is announced that a group is in attendance all the way from Winnipeg, after which Williams immediately asks, "Where's Gloria?" (the head of the Phantompalooza committee). The group had a nice meeting with Williams, and discovered that he is working on a new musical based on the TV show Happy Days. The committee hopes Williams will be able to perform a concert as part of next year's Phantompalooza (You can read the entire story of their meeting with Williams here.
|Updated August 9 2005 - Posted August 7 2005|
ELBLING TALKS TO PHANTOMPALOOZA
UPDATED - MORE DETAILS ON WORKING WITH DE PALMA
The Phantompalooza committee traveled to Los Angeles recently, and met up with Paul Williams following a screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica. The committee members also met actors Archie Hahn (pictured here, the "Undead" person on the left) and Peter Elbling (center), who was also the choreographer for Phantom Of The Paradise. An interview with Elbling is up at the Phantompalooza web site. In it, the actor explains why he was billed as "Harold Oblong," saying that it was not a good decision on his part. "People had always had trouble with 'Elbling'," he tells Phantompalooza. "They would say 'Elbing' or what have you. My real name is Harold Peter Elbling, and because 'Cary Grant' had been chosen, I thought 'Harold Oblong' would work! When you're young you don't always make good decisions!"
Elsewhere in the interview, Elbling talks about being hired by De Palma:
I was appearing in a rock and roll musical in New York called Lemmings, and my old friend William Finley brought Brian De Palma down to see me and Brian asked me to be in the movie and I immediately said yes. The night before principal photography there was a big party, and I happened to be standing next to Brian De Palma, and he said, "Well, all I need now is a choreographer...” and I said “I’ll do it!”--the second easiest gig I ever got.
About his choreography work on the film, Elbling tells Phantompalooza, "We’d just meet every day, listen to the record, and work out moves. Brian liked it." When asked what De Palma was like on the set, Elbling replied:
Quite cheerful considering all of the abuse he had to put up with! We were totally disrespectful, calling him Mr. De Pismo, Mr. De Plasma, and so on....I recall one evening everyone seemed to be in an upbeat, jovial mood, quoting a lot of Monty Python bits back and forth and so on...but Brian was having none of it. Finally, he said "can't you come up with something original?" And I said "you're one to talk, all you're doing is ripping off Alfred Hitchcock!"
Elbling also talks about filming the "Somebody Super Like You" sequence:
What you don't see in the film was we put out an appeal for people to appear in the film as extras, but they were only able to get around a hundred people! It's a big theatre, and if you were shooting behind us, you would see that the theatre was empty. So every half hour, they had to say, "everybody up and move over to this section!" to make it look like a full house!
Read more at Phantompalooza.ca, and watch that site for upcoming pages about the Phantompalooza committee's meetings with Paul Williams and Archie Hahn-- coming soon...
|Posted August 8 2005|
HARTNETT INTV. IN FRENCH MAG
SAYS DE PALMA IS "ONE OF MY FAVORITE FILMMAKERS"
Josh Hartnett is interviewed in the August/September issue of the French magazine ONE, and is asked about his role in The Black Dahlia:
Yes, it is a film noir in the same style as those produced by Hollywood in the 40s, in which I play a cop who studies the case of the savage murder of a young woman. The film was made by Brian De Palma, one of my favorite filmmakers.
The interviewer then asks Josh about costar Scarlett Johansson, and the rumors about his off-camera relationship with her:
She is a brilliant actress. I won’t add any other comment on that subject.
You can view scans of the interview pages, as well as a full transcription of the interview itself (provided by "joshhartnettfan") at the JOSHHARTNETT.CC fan host forum.
|Posted August 6 2005|
CARLITO PREQUEL ART
DVD OF NON-DE PALMA PREQUEL ARRIVES SEPT. 27TH
"From the producer of Scarface and Carlito's Way," states the top of the DVD case for the upcoming Carlito's Way: Rise To Power. But this prequel to the latter is not from director Brian De Palma. Still, we are hoping the prequel is a decent companion piece to De Palma's original film, which will be rereleased on DVD two weeks prior to the prequel. The cover art for Rise To Power comes courtesy of DVD Times.
|Posted July 29 2005|
KEVIN DUNN IN DAHLIA
AND MORE INFO ABOUT THIS WEEK'S SET PICS
Above is a pic from the "Diner By The Sea" set of The Black Dahlia, which was shot in San Pedro. This is the setting of a scene in which Bucky (Josh Hartnett) and Lee (Aaron Eckhart) question Cleo Short, who is played by yet another De Palma regular, Kevin Dunn. Dunn has appeared in two previous Brian De Palma films: The Bonfire Of The Vanities and Snake Eyes (in the latter, Gary Sinise played a character named Kevin Dunne).
A source has also set us straight on who is who in the set pics below, which were first posted this past Tuesday. The man next to Hartnett on the park bench is indeed Gregg Henry, who plays the bookie Pete Lukins. The blonde girl is brunette Jemima Rooper in a wig. Rooper plays Lorna Mertz, although in the book she is named Linda Martin. I was told they had to change the name for legal reasons. [Possible minor spoiler in the next sentence; run your mouse over the blank part if you wish to read it.] Lorna/Linda is the 15 year old lesbian who makes the porno tape with the Dahlia. (One of our sources has seen the footage of that scene, and says it's pretty hot.)
Below are the pics from Echo Park, with updated explanations.
|Updated July 29 2005 - Posted July 26 2005|
DAHLIA SET PICS SURFACE
DE PALMA, HARTNETT, ROOPER, & GREGG HENRY
Pictures taken in Echo Park on the Los Angeles set of The Black Dahlia have surfaced on the internet-- you can view all of them at the joshhartnett.cc forum (thanks to Kate!!). The gentleman below on the park bench with Josh Hartnett is Gregg Henry. The female is Jemima Rooper, who plays the 15-year-old Lorna Mertz (in the book, she is named Linda Martin, but for legal reasons, the name was changed for the film). At left, of course, is Brian De Palma with Josh and Jemima.
|Posted July 28 2005|
SCARLETT TALKS JOSH
"HER CO-STAR IN THE VERY PROMISING BLACK DAHLIA"
A reporter from inq7.net was at the New York premiere of The Island a couple of weeks ago. At one point, Scarlett Johansson, who stars in the film and was at the premiere, was asked to describe Josh Hartnett, who the reporter writes is "her co-star in the very promising The Black Dahlia (Hilary Swank also stars in this upcoming Brian De Palma thriller-drama)." About Josh, Scarlett replied, "He's just lovely. He's very sensitive and thoughtful, a great all around guy--a good old Midwestern boy."
|Posted July 25 2005|
ULTIMATELY GOES STRAIGHT TO VIDEO...?
Last week, Universal announced that it would release an "Ultimate Edition" DVD of Brian De Palma's Carlito's Way on September 13, 2005. Now this week, the company has announced (according to DVD Times) that the prequel to the film (which De Palma is not involved with) will be released on DVD two weeks later, on September 27th. The quick assumption is that the prequel, Carlito's Way: Rise To Power, will skip a theatrical release on its way straight to video. However, we have to remember that this is Universal, a sometimes tricky company, and that these are ever-trickier times for the movie industry. The average window between theatrical and DVD releases is getting tighter and tighter, with DVD versions of films being released sooner than ever following their theatrical releases. Some companies are looking into releasing films in several formats (theatrical/DVD/cable, etc.) simultaneously.
In 2003, Universal released De Palma's Scarface for a limited time to theaters in several American cities to celebrate and promote its 20th anniversary DVD release of the film (the DVD was released a couple of weeks following the theatrical rerelease). A premiere party drew the likes of De Palma, Al Pacino, and several of the film's performers. Could Universal be planning similar strategies, with a similar limited theatrical release, for the Carlito's Way prequel? Time will tell, but note the new slogan, "From the director of Scarface," at the top of the upcoming "Ultimate Edition" DVD. If the studio did a limited theatrical release of the prequel to coincide with the DVD release of the original, the new film might be promoted as a sort of Scarface/Carlito for the new generation. [Note: I have not seen the prequel and have no idea if it is any good, or if it does justice to De Palma's original film. I am merely speculating based on Universal's past promotion of Scarface.] Universal had wanted to add a new soundtrack to Scarface for the 2003 rerelease, but De Palma refused, saying that if it was the masterpiece they said it was, they shouldn't change a thing. Word is that Universal was still trying to persuade De Palma on this matter earlier this year (Universal will also distribute De Palma's upcoming The Black Dahlia).
The prequel is directed by Michael Bregman, who co-produced the original Carlito's Way with his father, Martin Bregman. Jay Hernandez plays the younger Carlito Brigante, who was played by Pacino in the original. Luis Guzman appears in both films as different characters, and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs also appears in the prequel as kingpin Hollywood Nicky. Both films were based on the Edwin Torres novels Carlito's Way and After Hours.
The "Ultimate Edition" Carlito's Way DVD will arrive a mere two years after Universal released a "collectors edition" of the film, making some fans feel cheated. The new version will feature an apparently new interview with De Palma about Carlito's Way, along with some deleted scenes. It will also have the same documentary on the making of the film that was on the collectors edition.
|Posted June 28 2005|
DE PALMA UNTOUCHABLE AGAIN
SIGNS ON FOR PREQUEL ABOUT CAPONE & MALONE
A year after the project was first announced, Brian De Palma has signed on to direct a prequel to The Untouchables, according to Variety. A Variety article dated June 30, 2004, stated that the project was in its preliminary stages at Paramount, and that the working title was The Untouchables: Mother's Day. Antoine Fuqua was in talks to direct, but had yet to sign on the dotted line. Art Linson, who had produced the original film, was to produce the prequel with his son, John Linson. Meanwhile, De Palma has been working with Art Linson on The Black Dahlia, which just completed filming last week in Los Angeles. Today's Variety article states that De Palma became interested in the Untouchables project over the past two months. According to Variety, De Palma and Linson will be developing the prequel, now titled The Untouchables: Capone Rising, with screenwriters Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders), who were hired for the project by Paramount last August. "Their hope is to get the prequel into production next year," states the paper. John Linson will be executive producer.
STORY OF CAPONE VS. MALONE
An Irish cop, who is as crooked as every other Chicago cop on the take, has a moral awakening after seeing the level of violence and criminality that Al Capone, the king of the underworld, brings to the city.
A YOUNG DE NIRO, A YOUNG CONNERY: AN ONGOING MOVIE BRAT SITUATION
LINSON AND SON
Many of Art's pals, in particular [David] Mamet, Robert De Niro, Sean Penn and De Palma, are famously prickly perfectionists. Asked how he managed to get along so well with such difficult types, he laughed. "Birds of a feather, babe. I'm one of them." Of course, it's not that simple. "Art is always falling in love with people he thinks have talent," says screenwriter Mitch Glazer, who's written several Linson films. "Some people in this town are in love with money or power, but with Art, he's always chasing the talent."
Linson told Goldstein that he has just completed a screenplay based on What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales From the Front Line, his book about producing movies in Hollywood. He said that he plans to make the film next year, with Barry Levinson directing and Robert De Niro starring [hmmm... a sequel of sorts to Wag The Dog?]. The article closes with the following paragraph:
Now it's on to the next. Art is just back from several months in Bulgaria, producing De Palma's "The Black Dahlia" with Hilary Swank and Scarlett Johansson. "I've been whining about how tough the business is for years," Art says. "But what else would I do?" He offers a thin smile. "I consider it a luxury to get to work with John. Other fathers and sons go fishing. For us, it's making movies together."
(Thanks to Martyn, Romain, and Chuck!)
|Posted June 27 2005|
SWANK 'DOING IT UP' FOR DAHLIA
HAVING FUN PLAYING THE FEMME FATALE
Hilary Swank is featured on the cover of July's Allure magazine. In the article inside, Swank talks a bit about dressing up for the role of Madeleine Sprague in The Black Dahlia, which takes place in 1947:
I play the femme fatale, which is nothing I've done before, and that's going to be fun-- really beautiful costumes, really fun makeup. You know, women really did it up back then! You couldn't leave the house without your hair done proper. I can't really imagine living like that. I don't fix myself up, quote unquote. I'm a kind of a get-out-the-shower-and-let-my-hair-drip-dry kind of girl.
|Posted June 24 2005|
ELLROY ON THE DAHLIA FILM:
"IT LOOKS GREAT!"
James Ellroy, author of The Black Dahlia, appeared on CBS' The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson last night (June 23rd). After discussing Ellroy's book, My Dark Places, and the unsolved murder of Ellroy's mother, the talk segued into The Black Dahlia:
Ellroy: I heard about the Black Dahlia on the occasion of my eleventh birthday, in '59, seven months after my mother died. My mother's case and the Black Dahlia's case merged. Many years later, I write the novel, and they're filming The Black Dahlia now, here in L.A.
Ferguson: They're filming the...
Ellroy: The movie version.
Ferguson: The movie of your book.
Ferguson: Who's in it?
Ellroy: Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart, directed by Brian De Palma.
Ferguson: Couldn't they get anybody?
Ellroy: It looks great!
|Posted June 22 2005|
DAHLIA ON HOLLYWOOD & VINE
DUTCH VACATIONER REPORTS ON SOME FILMING
A man from the Netherlands was visiting the U.S. a couple of weeks ago, and stumbled onto a Los Angeles street set for The Black Dahlia after returning from a movie on Sunday, June 12th. Thierry van Keeken reported the following yesterday on the IMDB message boards:
When we came out of the subway on Hollywood & Vine we were all of a sudden standing on a fifties street. Complete with cars, cabs, transformed houses and a huge cinema.
It appeared to be the set of The Black Dahlia. At first we did not know yet, but when we came back from the movie we saw that the set they we're building was almost done and filming was about to start. After we asked around for a bit it became clear to us that a few major stars would be on set so we waited.
Eventually Josh Hartnet came onto the set in his costume and he took place in a car which was set up on a truck for some driving shoots. Lighting the scene took forever... Also there was a huge crane for the raining in the scene.
When the scene was filmed Scarlett Johansson also came to take a look and Brian De Palma was present as well.
After the whole shoot it was 1:30 in the morning and everybody began to strike the set. I took my chance and walked up to Scarlett for an autograph, which she gave me... The rest was already gone except for Josh Hartnet who was kind enough to wave.
In a later posting yesterday, van Keeken described more about the shooting of the film:
When we arrived for the second time a stand-in was sitting in the car that was standing on the truck. He was probably there so that Josh could finish his BLT sandwich. He had the exact same costume, just was a little bit shorter than Josh... (which is kinda strange for a stand-in come to think of it)
When they we're done with the lighting, Josh came up and he took place in the car which backed up for about 100 feet. Then at the 'Action!' all the extra's started moving and the cars started rolling, at the second action the main rigged car with Josh started driving and the rain fell down. Of course from such distance no dialoque could be heard. They did the scene four times and then they were done.
Scarlet did not appear in this scene, nor was she in costume. She just sat with a few people in one of those really cool filmset chairs with the movie title on them.
We were not allowed to make pictures with flash and unfortunately none of the flashless pictures turned out very well... When I went for the autograph it was either that or a picture since she was only a few feet away from here trailer... I went for the authograph...
Meanwhile, David McDivitt (see story below), who was scheduled to have his second day on the set yesterday, received word that he would not be needed a second day after all.
|Posted June 20 2005|
DAHLIA SET PICS
AND MORE IMDB USER REPORTS
Pictures of Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson from the set of The Black Dahlia can be viewed at Kika Press & Media (go ten rows down, and click on the picture of Josh-- thanks to Erin at FanHost Networks: Josh Hartnett for pointing them out!). The pictures were taken June 17, 2005 (this past Friday). In addition, two more set reports have surfaced at the Internet Movie Database. The first one is in answer to the report cited June 18th (see story immediately below). On this page, "markgist" states that he caught the production filming at the same location as BEARisonFord, but seven days earlier, on June 11. Here is what markgist wrote at IMDB:
I saw them shooting on last Sunday (11th) at this same location, it's in the front of the pantages theatre, lots of old cars, and they had the rain machines pouring rain the whole time, a bus go's by and some people come out of the theatre, watched them shooting this over and over again, till i moved further down the street and actually saw De Palma, and could see a telephone booth where someone was going into,making a call talking for a few seconds then hanging up, i finally saw who it was when he came out to see the playback, it was Josh Harnett, dressed in a brown trench coat, he took it off to reveal a gun harness. It looks pretty good, from what i've see so far.
As we [David McDivitt and Josh Hartnett] did not talk to each other, He seems to know how to take instruction from the director. Today the 19th was hot. Standing on the steps of LA's City Hall, just BSing with another cop as other background actors had to walk up and down the steps. over and over for the right shot. Hartnett has to pass me on this one shot so you should get a good strait on shot of me as he passes. Later he drives a 1950's car into the police station and I am walking down the ramp and have to move aside.
McDivitt was originally supposed to have his first day on the set be last Friday, June 17th, but that day's shoot has been postponed until June 21st (tomorrow).
|Posted June 18 2005|
DAHLIA FILMING REPORT
FROM IMDB USER
"BEARisonFord" posted a report today on the message boards at the Internet Movie Database, saying that he/she witnessed some shooting of The Black Dahlia today "on Ivar and Yucca (near Hollywood and Vine) down here in Hollywood." BEARisonFord went on to say:
Lots of period automobiles, etc. They were up the street in a sort of ghetto-fied area of Hollywood, perfect for classic Los Angeles. They've been shooting here for a few days and have setup their base camp in a nearby parking lot on Ivar (much to the dismay of some looking for parking). Didn't see any of the actors, but thought it'd be interesting nonetheless.
|Posted June 11 2005|
ELLROY GIVES IT STRAIGHT
HOPES DAHLIA FILM LIVES UP TO 'FLUKE' OF L.A. CONFIDENTIAL
James Ellroy, author of The Black Dahlia, talked to the Montery Herald on the eve of this weekend's stint in which he is discussing two films as part of the Golden State Theatre's series on writers and film. Tonight, Ellroy will discuss L.A. Confidential, which Curtis Hanson adapted in 1997 from Ellroy's novel. Ellroy told the paper he would be disingenuous if he did not include the film on his list of favorites. "It's a one-of-a-kind movie," he told the Herald. "It's a crime story. It's a love story. It's a very grand and intelligent entertainment." According to the article's author, Jonathan Segal, Ellroy said it was a fluke that his book was adapted into a good movie. He said that his work defies adaptation because it is dense and complex and set in specific periods in history, making it expensive to produce. "Chances are, they'll fuck it up," said Ellroy. The article then states:
Ellroy hopes to get lucky again with the big-screen adaptation of his novel The Black Dahlia, with Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett, directed by Brian De Palma. He said he doesn't have much sympathy for writers who complain when Hollywood butchers their stories on film. "You've been paid." he said. "They can't hurt your book."
Although critics often draw comparisons between Ellroy's work and films such as Sin City and Pulp Fiction, Ellroy feels that the irony of those films is worlds away from what he does. "I've got no real use for parody or satire of what I do," Ellroy told the paper. "My stuff, unless I write in a comedic vein, is completely straight."
|Posted June 9 2005|
DAHLIA IN LOS ANGELES
IMDB USER TO PLAY COP AT 'DINNER' & 'CITY HALL'
Actor and stunt man David McDivitt is excited to be playing a cop during the upcoming Los Angeles shoot of Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia (shooting in L.A. begins this Saturday). Writing on the message boards of the Internet Movie Database, McDivitt states that he will be filming his scenes on June 17th and 19th, and that we can look for him "at the Dinner and City Hall." He also has a role as a bridge officer in Wolfgang Petersen's upcoming remake of The Poseidon Adventure.
|Posted June 8 2005|
GREEN LIGHT FOR MI3
FILM WILL PREMIERE TEN YEARS AFTER DE PALMA'S MISSION
Paramount has given a green light to Tom Cruise to go ahead and make Mission: Impossible 3, which J.J. Abrams will direct as his debut feature. According to the Los Angeles Times (you can read their story at Newsday), the third installment of the franchise will begin shooting in Italy July 18th. The film will have its premiere May 5, 2006, almost exactly ten years after the original Brian De Palma-directed film premiered (May 17, 1996). Paramount head Brad Grey had been tentative to greenlight the new sequel, as its budget had soared past $185 million. But Cruise has apparently adjusted his end of the deal and shaved the budget.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MI3
|Posted June 6 2005|
DAHLIA MOVES TO L.A.
CARS SENT BACK TO FRANCE
Filming for The Black Dahlia in Bulgaria was officially announced as ended a couple of days ago. The production will now move to Los Angeles, where it will film on location for two weeks beginning June 11th. According to Romain at Brian De Palma, le virtuose du 7ème art, the period cars used for the Bulgarian shoot are on their way back to France. (You can see a picture of a truck carrying the cars from France to Bulgaria on May 1st at the above link to Romain's site.)
|Posted June 3 2005|
SCARLETT AND JOSH IN ROME
The June 13 2005 issue of US Weekly (which hit newsstands this weekend) features the photo and caption on the left, with the headline, "TWO HOT: SCARLETT & JOSH!" According to the article, the photo (which shows Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett in what could be nothing more than a friendly embrace) was taken in Rome on May 14th, which was two days after Scarlett was at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of Match Point. The article, part of Timothy McDarrah's "Hot Stuff" column, says in part:
The pair, costars in Brian De Palma's upcoming The Black Dahlia (a fictionalized account of a famous 1940s Los Angeles murder case), got romantic May 14 at the rooftop restaurant in Rome's luxurious Hotel Eden. After Hartnett arrived at Johansson's table, "they were kissing, holding hands and hugging for at least five minutes," an eyewitness tells Hot Stuff. Earlier, on location for Dahlia in Bulgaria, the couple spent "quality time in her trailer," according to a separate source, and had several dinner dates. Officially, a Universal rep for Dahlia tells Hot Stuff, "We don"t comment on talents' personal lives."
MEANWHILE, SCARLETT TALKS ABOUT KAY LAKE
|Posted May 30 2005|
PANKOW IS DAHLIA EDITOR
11TH COLLABORATION WITH DE PALMA
With all of this new information coming in from Romain's reports, we almost forgot to note that Bill Pankow is the editor already at work on The Black Dahlia. On his last day visiting the Dahlia set last week, Romain met Pankow briefly. Pankow has previously worked on ten films with Brian De Palma, including some wonderful work with split screens in Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale. Early in his career, Pankow was an assistant to Jerry Greenberg on Dressed To Kill and Scarface, the latter of which he was recently called upon to splice into another film he was working on, Paid In Full. Brett W. Leitner interviewed Pankow for Bill Fentum's Directed by Brian De Palma Web site upon the release of Femme Fatale in 2002.
|Posted May 30 2005|
ROMAIN'S DE PALMA INTV.
EXPANDED ROLE FOR MIA; HORNER 'ONE OF THE BEST'
Romain's interview with Brian De Palma is up at Brian de Palma, le virtuose du 7ème art. In it, De Palma talks about: taking on The Black Dahlia after David Fincher tried to develop a script with Art Linson for years; "simplifying" James Ellroy's material (too many subplots for a film about what is already a complex subject); expanding the part of Elizabeth Short (played by Mia Kirshner) to involve the audience more with her tragedy; why he chose James Horner to score the film ("Because he's one of the best composers around in Hollywood today"); and much more, including pictures of De Palma with William Finley (one of which is above left).
|Posted May 28 2005|
ROMAIN VISITS DAHLIA SET
INTERVIEW WITH DE PALMA TO COME
Romain Desbiens, webmaster of Brian de Palma, le virtuose du 7ème art, was a guest on the set of The Black Dahlia last week. He just returned from Bulgaria yesterday, and has posted a page of daily report briefs, which you can read here. Romain conducted an interview with De Palma about the film, which he is working on transcribing (look for it in a few days). While he was there, Romain met star Josh Hartnett, who told Romain that he loved John Travolta's character in De Palma's Blow Out. He also met several other actors, including one we hadn't yet known was cast in Dahlia: Steve Eastin, who plays a detective in the film. According to Romain, Mike Starr is playing Russ Millard. Other tidbits are that De Palma uses three cameras on a scene (Romain: "What I saw on the monitors was simply fan-tas-tic!"), and on three occasions, there were some problems with the negatives in the Bulgarian labs, and several scenes had to be reshot. There are many other interesting tidbits (including the fact that Romain took a new photo of De Palma with William Finley, who Romain saw acting in a scene with Aaron Eckhart); read them for yourself right here.
|Posted May 27 2005|
SCARLETT ON DE PALMA, DAHLIA
"A FILM NOIR PRECISELY TO FILM NOIR STANDARDS"
IGN Film Force talked to Scarlett Johansson earlier this week. After asking the actress to contrast working with Michael Bay to working with Woody Allen ("when I told Woody that I was doing a Michael Bay movie, he was like, 'Who?'"), interviewer Jeff Otto asked her to compare Bay with Brian De Palma:
Michael is so incredibly energetic. He never leaves the set. I was convinced he never went the bathroom for five months… Brian is a 65-year-old man. He's been doing it for a long time. He ends his workday at 5:30. We start at eight, we end at 5:30. It's very civil. (Laughs) He's very quiet. It's a totally different experience because we're doing a film noir drama precisely to the film noir standards, so it's a different kind of focus that he has. Michael is busy directing 300 extras on a huge, huge action movie, where as The Black Dahlia is so much lying and a whole twisted story. Brian is only focusing on the actors. There's not much, other than a couple of really gory and violent [scenes]… Which Brian does very well. (Laughs) And sex and all of that fantastic stuff that he can do so well. It's a character-driven film completely… It's a totally different experience…
Scarlett also says in the interview that because she decided to do another movie with Woody Allen, scheduling conflicts keep her from doing Mission: Impossible 3 with Tom Cruise.
|Posted May 24 2005|
TOYER ON FAST TRACK
WEINSTEIN CO. WILL FUND, DISTRIBUTE DE PALMA FILM
According to Donal, writing at the Juliette Binoche, A French Dream forum, a Sunday Times article from this past weekend stated that Brian De Palma's adaptation of Gardner McKay's two-act play Toyer has been put on the fast track. This comes as a result of the new deal between producer Tarak Ben Ammar and the Weinstein Co., which was struck at last week's Cannes Film Festival. Donal summarizes that the "Weinstein Co. will complete the funding of the film, formerely at Franchise Pictures, and in return will distribute it in the U.S. and Canada. The plan is to get the film into production as soon as possible after De Palma wraps his current film." Donal suggests that it will be difficult to pin down Juliette Binoche, who is set to play the female lead, as she has several films scheduled to shoot in the next year. Binoche is currently in London shooting Anthony Minghella's Breaking And Entering, which will finish filming in July. Colin Firth is to play the title character in Toyer.
|Posted May 24 2005|
KD LANG TO SING PORTER SONG
"LOVE FOR SALE" CHOSEN BY MIA FRYE
We have some new information regarding the song that k.d. lang will sing in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia. According to "dahlia911", writing at the 24 Lies A Second Forum, dancer/choreographer (and sometimes actress) Mia Frye chose the Cole Porter song Love For Sale to be highlighted in the film. Frye had choreographed Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' striptease in De Palma's Femme Fatale. When the classic rock song that Rebecca had wanted to use proved to be too expensive, Frye found a song by French recording artist, Saez, whose song Sex was a perfect fit for the scene. For The Black Dahlia, it was producer Art Linson who suggested k.d. lang to sing the Porter song chosen by Frye. Linson had told the Hollywood Reporter that lang would sing the "title song," which would suggest a song titled "The Black Dahlia." However, that appears to have been a mistaken communication. lang arrives in Sofia this week to film her part, and according to "dahlia911", it will be the last thing they shoot before the production moves to Los Angeles.
|Posted May 23 2005|
GREGG HENRY IN DAHLIA
MORE CAST NAMES AT IMDB
Add Gregg Henry to the list of De Palma-regulars cast in the director's The Black Dahlia. Henry appeared in De Palma's Scarface in 1983, and then went on to appear in three more De Palma films over the years, including De Palma's latest completed film, Femme Fatale. Henry played one of the main roles in Body Double, and played a cop in Raising Cain. The Internet Movie Database has added a slew of names to its cast list for The Black Dahlia, including another Scarface alum, Pepe Serna, as well as Mike Starr, who appeared in De Palma's Snake Eyes. It also turns out that Fiona Shaw, rumored last year to have been cast in the film, does indeed have a part, as well.
|Posted May 21 2005|
MILLION DOLLAR PALMS
OSCAR WINNERS HAND OVER THE PALME d'OR IN CANNES
Hilary Swank, apparently taking a break from filming The Black Dahlia in Bulgaria, joined her Million Dollar Baby costar and fellow Oscar winner Morgan Freeman at the closing ceremony of the Cannes Film Festival tonight. The pair were called upon to deliver the highest prize of the festival, handing over the 2005 Palme d'Or to Belgian brothers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne for their winning film, L'Enfant. Karina Longworth, who watched the ceremony live on IFC, wrote at Cinematical that Freeman and Swank did "a really annoying 'comedy' bit about how they just both won Oscars ... ugh. Ugly Americans." (But obviously, this is what the Cannes Festival organizers wanted them to do.)
|Posted May 20 2005|
K.D. LANG TO FILM IN BULGARIA
SINGER WILL APPEAR IN DAHLIA, SING TITLE SONG
According to Sofia News Agency, k.d. lang will arrive in Bulgaria in late May to shoot her part in Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia. The Hollywood Reporter had stated last weekend that lang would perform the title song for the film, and now it appears that she will do so on camera. I don't know about you, but I'm getting a sort of Blue Velvet vibe about all of this-- in a good way.
|Posted May 19 2005|
WISE GUYS DVD AUG. 30
NO EXTRAS, BUT ORIGINAL POSTER ART COVER
Brian De Palma's underrated comedy Wise Guys (1986) will be released on DVD by Warner Bros. August 30th. According to JoBlo.com, the disc will have no extra features, but the Web site has a preview of the cover (pictured here), and it is a delight to see that it features the film's original poster art. This cover gives a clear sense of the comic sensibilities of this very funny film. Now we just wonder whether this version will feature Bruce Springsteen's song Pink Cadillac-- the old VHS version did not include the song, citing liscensing problems in getting the rights to use the song, which require an entirely different set of legalities than those of theatrical film. The cable version of Wise Guys did include the song, however. I hope the song is included-- without it, the scene in question is not nearly as funny, and actually becomes sort of surreal, as Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo take off in a pink cadillac, except that during what should be a high note in the film, there is instead an odd silence, leaving a very different feel.
From the article, What's sparkling at Cannes?
First man: "Did you say you had some pictures of Scarlett from last night?"
Second man: "Yeah, look, here she is. Now that's a money shot."
The "money shot" appeared on the front of newspapers all over the world the following day. When 20-year-old Scarlett Johansson stepped on to the red carpet for the premiere of her new film, Woody Allen's Match Point, crowds of paparazzi fought to get the best view of the girl with the pearl earrings. And these weren't just any pearl earrings, but a pair of conch pearl earrings with rubies and seven-carat, 18th-century Indian diamonds.
For "insurance reasons", Chopard will not disclose how much they are worth, but it's probably safe to assume that if any of the company's super-rich clients would like to order something similar, they wouldn't get much change out of six figures.
Veronica (Rie Rasmussen) and her Chopard snake are followed by their "babysitter" at the Cannes Film Festival in Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale.
More from the article at fashion.telegraph:
Being incredibly expensive (Elton John had a baguette diamond watch worth 120,000 euros flown over for Chopard's party on Sunday), the jewels - and therefore, the actresses wearing them - are accompanied by a bodyguard, or "babysitter", as Roques jokingly calls them.
These burly men do not let the jewels out of their sight from the moment they leave the company safe to the moment they are returned, which often means they have to stay out until the early hours of the morning at celebrity parties. On Sunday, the bodyguard assigned to Paris Hilton's necklace didn't knock off work until 6am. Last week, one of the "babysitters" who had been assigned to Salma Hayek - or rather, the 12-carat diamond earrings she was wearing - had a moment of panic when one fell out and bounced on to the red carpet. Fortunately, he found it soon afterwards - and Chopard got its money shot.
|Posted May 16 2005|
SLOTNIK JUST FINISHED DAHLIA
CHICAGO ACTOR WITH FAMILIAR FACE
Chicago actor Joey Slotnick mentioned to Chicago Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker Friday night that the reason his hair was "flame-hued" was because he had "just finished filming The Black Dahlia which Brian De Palma directed in Bulgaria." Slotnick has one of those faces that make you say, "Where have I seen that guy before?" He has appeared on TV's Boston Public, as well as in Paul Verhoeven's Hollow Man. He also provides voices for FOX TV's Family Guy.
|Posted May 14 2005|
UNIVERSAL PICKS UP DAHLIA
JAMES HORNER SCORES; k.d. lang SINGS TITLE SONG
BERGREN'S NAME ON SCRIPT; MID-JUNE SHOOT 2 WEEKS IN L.A.
In what the Hollywood Reporter calls "the first big North American sale at Cannes this year," Universal has picked up the distribution rights to Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia [contrary to my previous mistaken report that Warner Bros. had picked up the rights-- my sincerest apologies for running that story without checking up on the facts first!]. Sources told the trade that Universal paid $10-$15 million. According to the article, Universal vice chairman Marc Shmuger visited the Bulgarian set of the film en route to the Cannes Film Festival this week, and became convinced that this "was vintage De Palma material like The Untouchables. I was wowed by everything I saw. It's a rare opportunity to find a project with such great talent and a masterful story, self-financed and available. The director, the cast, the key departments that they put together are extraordinary." Shmuger told Variety (in a story also posted today from Cannes) that the film is a "gem that the studios have overlooked." He also said, "This film came together with all the best elements. It has the right mix of director, cast and all key departments on every level. It's made with impeccable quality and brings 1940s L.A. to life in a very big way." Producer Art Linson told Variety that the film will be done in three weeks (Universal plans to roll it out in 2006). "Several studios wanted this picture," said Linson, "but we felt he (Shmuger) was the best person for it and that the studio would provide a great home for it." According to the Hollywood Reporter, Linson hailed Shmuger as the best marketing mind in the business and a "great creative partner." Universal is the studio that recently vindicated De Palma's Scarface, which was publicly maligned upon its initial release in 1983, by rereleasing it in theaters prior to its new DVD release in 2003. The move showcased the popular longevity of the film, something that is not lost on Linson. "This kind of material harkens back to [De Palma's] work on Scarface," Linson told the Hollywood Reporter. "It's playing right to his strengths."
PRODUCTION TO SHOOT 2 WEEKS IN L.A. FROM JUNE 11
WHAT DID AVI LERNER'S PROMO CARDS SAY?
Then there was a segment that listed Brian De Palma as director, James Ellroy as the author of the novel, and Josh Friedman as the screenwriter. This was followed by a brief plot description at the bottom of the page. In any case, there have been some doubters that Mia Kirshner has indeed been cast in this film-- let there be no more doubt. Mia has been cast, has been shooting scenes, and she looks sensational. Everybody and everything looks sensational in these photos, as shot by the wonderful Vilmos Zsigmond. There is a Chinatown-look combined with an Untouchables-feel to the shots displayed thus far, with a little Carrie (prom night)/Babylon Club vibe working in the "Happy New Year 1947" still. Scarlett is half Marilyn Monroe and half Sharon Stone in the shot where she is smoking, and Josh has never looked better, like a slightly darker, Jake Gittes-ized Eliot Ness. The shot with him and Aaron at the police meeting reminded me simultaneously of Ness' first police meeting in The Untouchables and a similar meeting in L.A. Confidential. Can't wait to see what Hilary Swank is going to look like in this world...
|Posted May 12 2005|
DAHLIA PICS AT CANNES
LERNER SHOWS STILLS TO CANAL PLUS
Avi Lerner appeared on a Canal Plus TV segment from the Cannes Film Festival today talking about The Black Dahlia, and showing stills from the film. The pics look spectacular (they begin about 14:50 into the video). Lerner says on the video, in his typically grandiose manner, that The Black Dahlia will be one of the greatest films of all time. The stills feature Scarlett Johansson in several costumes, Mia Kirshner playing the Dahlia, Josh Hartnett by himself and with Aaron Eckhart, along with a couple of other very Untouchables-looking shots. The segment ends with Lerner in front of a still of Josh and Scarlett getting down on a table. (Thanks to Romain, Carlito, and Rick Santoro at the 24 Lies A Second forum!)
|Posted May 10 2005|
SONY EXEC TO VISIT DAHLIA SET
EN ROUTE TO CANNES, SEARCHING FOR BIG FILMS
The Hollywood Reporter posted an article tonight about North American buyers descending on this year's Cannes Film Festival, which begins Wednesday, May 11. One paragraph of the article talks about the "newly relaunched" TriStar Pictures, which is a Sony company that focuses on bigger film productions than its Sony counterpart, Sony Pictures Classics (which focuses on smaller indie films). One TriStar executive, Valerie Van Galder, told the trade mag that she has no plans to "lust after little movies" and compete with in-house rival SPC. "En route to Cannes," states the article, "she's checking out the Yugoslavia set [which we all know is really in Bulgaria] of Art Linson and Brian De Palma's foreign-financed $60 million The Black Dahlia, which has North American rights available. Her mandate is to release three or four director-driven, midsize commercial projects a year, she said, not specialty or foreign fare."
|Posted May 10 2005|
SWANK, DE PALMA INVITED TO M-TEL MASTERS
SUPER CHESS TOURNAMENT WEDNESDAY AT SOFIA HOTEL
According to the official M-Tel Masters site, "Oscar-winning actress" Hilary Swank and director Brian De Palma have each been invited to the M-Tel Masters super chess tournament, which will take place at 6pm Wednesday, May 11, at the Grand Hotel Sofia, where Swank and De Palma are staying while they film The Black Dahlia. According to Standart News, producer Art Linson and set designer Dante Ferretti, also guests at the hotel, have been invited as well. The hotel was buzzing as the world class chess players arrived earlier today. "The marble chess-tables," reported Standart News, "installed in the garden behind Grand Hotel Sofia across from the Ivan Vazov National Theater, caused a real bustle among the friends of the game."
|Posted May 10 2005|
FRESH-FACED ACTOR COPS DAHLIA
IMDB ADDS TO ITS DAHLIA CAST LIST
The Internet Movie Database has added some names to its cast list for The Black Dahlia, as well as to its production list. All of the cast names added are ones we've already heard about, with the exception of Graham Norris, a fresh-faced actor who may be best known for a guest stint on TV's Gilmore Girls last year. According to the IMDB, Norris plays a cop in the Brian De Palma-directed film.
|Posted May 6 2005|
MIA FRYE IN DAHLIA
FEMME FATALE CHOREOGRAPHER HAS SMALL ROLE
According to rumor, Mia Frye, the choreographer who created the Macarena and who coached Rebecca Romijn-Stamos' striptease performance for Brian De Palma's Femme Fatale, has a small role in De Palma's The Black Dahlia, which is currently filming in Sofia, Bulgaria. Frye has worked several times with Luc Besson, and played the lead role of a mute dancer in The Dancer, which was produced and cowritten by Besson.
|Updated April 29 2005 - Posted April 28 2005|
ROSE McGOWAN ON DE PALMA
AND THIS CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED DAHLIA
Rose McGowan appeared on the U.K.'s Richard & Judy show yesterday (April 28), and when asked what was coming up next, she said: "I just was in Bulgaria to film a thing called The Black Dahlia with Brian De Palma. It’s L.A. film noir shot in Bulgaria. That’s Hollywood, baby!" Host Richard asked her if it was a remake. "No," said McGowan. "No, no, no, The Blue Dahlia is what you’re thinking of... but this is from the book. James Ellroy book." Rose also appeared yesterday on MTV U.K.'s Total Request Live, and elaborated about working with De Palma. "He doesn’t talk to people. But he loves me, so we talked the entire time, and it was great. About old movies, stuff like that. Deep passions. He’s awesome." One of the hosts then said, "Preferably his old movies," to which Rose clarified, "No. Well, no, no, no, no, like movies from the 1930s, not his. But, really, it’s so hard, I just want to be a dork and be like, ‘Okay, in Scarface, when the guy put his face in a giant pile of coke, WHAT WAS IT?’ You know, stuff like that. But I couldn’t." You can watch these interviews yourself at the wonderful site, Rose McGowan Online.
(Thanks to Riikka Pennanen of Rose McGowan Online for the news and clips!)
|Posted April 28 2005|
COMING NEXT YEAR, WITH PAUL WILLIAMS, MORE
Gloria Dignazio, the head organizer of this year's Phantompalooza, has sent in photos and stories from last weekend's events, along with news about her plans for Phantompalooza II. First, last weekend: Gloria said, "It was better than I ever dreamed!" The night before Phantompalooza, a group of Winnipeg musicians performed the entire soundtrack from Phantom Of The Paradise, with William Finley and Gerrit Graham even joining them up on stage. According to Gloria, "William sang that song 'Never Thought I'd Get to Meet the Devil' and the fans went completely wild! It was awesome to hear it live after all these years!" Gloria herself joined in the fun, as she dressed up like "a bad nurse" during the song, "Somebody Super Like You," while her twin brother Eric played the role of the guitar-knife-wielding axeman.
WILLIAMS TO APPEAR NEXT YEAR;
The Chocolate Bunnies From Hell...
(The two pics below were sent in by Aaron)
|Posted April 28 2005|
HILARY ARRIVES IN BULGARIA
BEGINS FILMING MAY 2ND; FINLEY DUE THIS WEEK, TOO
Hilary Swank arrived in Sofia yesterday to begin work on Brian De Palma's The Black Dahlia, according to Standart News and Estrella Digital. According to the film's producers, Swank will begin filming on Monday, May 2nd. William Finley is also expected to arrive in Bulgaria this week to begin working on the film.
|Posted April 26 2005|
PICS FROM PHANTOMPALOOZA
FROM A PHAN WHO WAS THERE
Aaron was at Phantompalooza in Winnipeg last Saturday, and has sent in some pictures he took at the event. Aaron said that one of the questions at the Q&A asked William Finley and Gerrit Graham what was their favorite De Palma film to work on. Finley said it was Sisters, and Graham said it was Home Movies. Aaron said that both actors generously signed autographs for about a half hour at the afterparty. "Both were incredibly gracious and extremely friendly," said Aaron. Here are some of the pics Aaron took-- more to come later!