Brian De Palma

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colinr0380
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Re: Arrow Films

#26 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:03 pm

Fantastic about The Fury. Now Arrow just need to rescue Redacted and pack it with extra features!

For the record, the worst De Palma is Mission To Mars :P
Finch wrote:Forgot about Obsession, another DePalma I haven't seen yet. From the little I've read, The Fury seems another "straight horror" (for the lack of a better phrase) like Carrie which I also like a lot (I think to date the only DePalmas I wasn't too thrilled with were Mission Impossible, Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale). Thanks Dom.
The Fury is great, taking the telekinetic and teen angst aspects of Carrie and building a wider paranoia thriller around it (with some very interesting, albeit brief, allusions to the Middle East).

Though you have to be OK with this being one of De Palma's most extreme, and extremely beautiful, operatic films. Even discounting the finale, which is fake and highly amusing, yet also disturbing in its sheer excessiveness (one of the few things to give me nightmares as a kid - I think like the final scene in Scanners I have issues with beautiful rooms having something horrible occur in them that will sort of taint that environmental space forever more!) this is the one where you get the slow motion taken to enormous lengths, especially in Gillian's escape from the clinic or her vision of Robin. It is also a film where people don't just do anything by half: they move as if drugged, or lash out wildly. And they don't just bleed, they spray gouts of blood everywhere.

I concede however that I might be biased with regard to this film as I have been in love with the main trio of actresses in this film ever since first seeing it: Amy Irving (after being the only survivor of Carrie I often wonder if she relished the chance to play havoc with telekinetic powers herself in this one!), Carrie Snodgress as Hester (her wonderful getting-to-know-you scene with Irving's Gillian is both cheesy and sincerely wonderful at the same time: playing in the park, playing Pong on their television and having a great ice cream and topping mid-day snack that I am still incredibly envious of, and which always makes me hungry!) and Fiona Lewis as Robin's substitute doctor-confidant-lover.
Randall Maysin wrote:I think it's one of the best examples of "garbage cinema" i've ever seen. there's so many terrible things in it that are like bad movie primal scenes, like the black homeless guy going "HO-LEE SHIT" and dodging cars twice in succession as Kirk Douglas and his pursuers drive after each other down the homeless guy's alleyway. Or the bizarre encouraging patter given to Kirk Douglas by one of the people he ties up. Really delightful.
I agree, and in a way it is a shame that the more comedic stuff is confined to the early section of the film with Douglas's character caught up in getaway antics. The only real flaw I can find in the film is that there are not too many of those kinds of scenes in the later stages of the picture (in a darker way the death scenes end up performing that function!) Once the main plot starts up in earnest (and particularly once Hester is out of the picture) the film for understandable reasons becomes darker and more tragic.

In a sense the couple in the apartment that Douglas briefly takes hostage early on in the film have no place later in the film, as the film narrows its focus from a wider view (of organisations and politics) down into a claustrophobic focus on only those characters relevant to the climax. From a school, to a specialist psychic institution to a private estate, to a bedroom. That narrowing, increasingly obsessive approach to environment and individual characters can only end in liberating destruction.

But interestingly the film never really plays as funny. There are comedic moments or exchanges but they are almost always brutally and immediately undercut by the seriousness of the situation. For example, in addition to those great quotes described above by Randall Maysin there is also that great walkie-talkie exchange (with great whip-pans between the speakers!) that manages to humanise the faceless henchmen of the evil organisation and is sandwiched between two of the biggest setpieces of the film
Man (on roof): Top Guy 2, this is Top Guy 1. Do you have any coffee left?

Man (on street): Top Guy 1, that is an affirmative. I have got about a cup of lukewarm coffee left. Do you want to negotiate a trade?

Man (on roof): Top Guy 2, I have one Hershey bar to trade.

Man (on street): Top Guy 1, I read you. Is that with or without almonds?

Man (in car across the street): Alright Asshole 1 and Asshole 2. Stop cluttering up this frequency.

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domino harvey
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Re: Arrow Films

#27 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:10 pm

Sometimes I understand the board. Other times, nope

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Arrow Films

#28 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:34 pm

Haha, I enjoyed The Fury but it pretty clearly seems compromised by the need for all of Douglas's hero business derring-do. instead of digging at the interesting manifestation of burgeoning toxic masculinity thing that Robin has going for the last half hour or so.

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colinr0380
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Re: Arrow Films

#29 Post by colinr0380 » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:41 pm

I will concede that The Fury is a nuttier film than Carrie, but I even love the incongruous Kirk Douglas stuff. Especially when he's shacked up with Sondgress in the back of their VW van for their love scene on the top of a parking garage!

It also makes an interesting double bill with an Italian film Douglas was in just before The Fury, Holocaust 2000, another film (although more influenced by The Omen than Carrie) with strange Middle East allusions that involves Douglas trying to reunite with and/or save the world from his son.

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Moe Dickstein
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Re: Arrow Films

#30 Post by Moe Dickstein » Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:44 pm

I understand the irony of me saying that Wise Guys is a worse DePalma film than Mission To Mars which I rather like. Let's also throw Home Movies in the pile too

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tojoed
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Re: Arrow Films

#31 Post by tojoed » Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:25 pm

Moe Dickstein wrote:I understand the irony of me saying that Wise Guys is a worse DePalma film than Mission To Mars which I rather like. Let's also throw Home Movies in the pile too
No, because I rather like "Home Movies". There's only one truly bad De Palma movie and that's
"Scarface", which is really an Oliver Stone movie anyway, and doesn't count.

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kingofthejungle
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Re: Arrow Films

#32 Post by kingofthejungle » Fri Jul 26, 2013 5:36 pm

domino harvey wrote:LOL @ the Fury being Armond White's Marnie
Well, to be fair, Mission To Mars is his Marnie, too:
Armond White wrote:It can be said with certainty that any reviewer who pans (Mission to Mars) does not understand movies, let alone like them
With certainty.

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R0lf
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Re: Brian De Palma

#33 Post by R0lf » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:15 am

And to be fair MISSION TO MARS has that amazing decompression set piece and the ludicrously staged in two takes BBQ exposition sequence.

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colinr0380
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Re: Brian De Palma

#34 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:10 pm

And the scene showcasing the scientific uses of M&Ms.

Talking of Mission To Mars, I suppose that it is the only other film that I can think of apart from The Fury where someone is literally spun to death! Though The Fury did that better too.

I guess I'm probably overly harsh on this film as I think that I'm looking for more of a Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars/Green Mars/Blue Mars serious sci-fi adaptation about the issues surrounding colonisation, not just another riff on The Abyss just set on a different planet.

LavaLamp
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Re: Brian De Palma

#35 Post by LavaLamp » Wed Aug 28, 2013 8:59 pm

Been a big De Palma fan for years. Some of my favorite films by him:

Greetings: Nice period piece of late 1960's NYC culture & also probably?! one of the earliest films to experiment with quick editing cuts. The whole film was amazing, but the scenes in the arty bookstore were especially hilarious.

Sisters (1973): Wow, what a creepy, disturbing film. Quite unsettling in many ways, with an ending that you could kind of see coming, but still horrifying none-the-less.
SpoilerShow
The last shot of the private detective (Charles Durning) hanging from the telephone pole while still doing surveillance on the "mysterious package" was brilliant.
Blow-Out (1981): Inspired both by the great '60's film Blow-Up and a true incident that happened in the early '70's (re: the booklet that came with the Criterion Collection DVD), this is definitely one of my all time favorite De Palma movies. Excellent, and IMHO one of John Travolta's best roles. Early 1980's Philadelphia may as well be another character in the film.

The Fury (1978): Superb film, and the telekenesis angle was really well done - the scenes when the Amy Irving character made people bleed after touching them was horrific. And, the ending scene was truly mind-blowing : ) It's seems that D. Cronenberg may have "borrowed" some ideas from The Fury which made their way into Scanners, which came out a couple of years later. Though the film was obviously a drama/horror film first & foremost, I was very amused by the "Mother Knuckles" character - her short cameo was hilarious, and especially funny was when she was very deferential & nice to the Kirk Douglas character who had broken into their apartment, while her son?! and daughter-in-law were uncomfortably bound nearby - LOL. The "shinola" shoe-polish reference in this scene (when Kirk D. was putting this in his hair as a disguise) also brought to mind the old expression, "You don't know s%$% from shinola".

Phantom of the Paradise (1974): A great rock opera/revenge fantasy re-telling of the "Faust" storyline & Phantom of the Opera, this was a truly amazing movie. I enjoyed the various incarnations of the "Juicy Fruits", .i.e. '50's rock, beach rock, '70's glam rock, etc. and thought the transition(s) were very well done (this actually reminded me somewhat of the various incarnations of the band Spinal Tap in that 1984 film, though of course Phantom pre-dated this by 10 years). The actress who played "Phoenix" did a great job in her role, and though I usually don't like soft rock, I liked her vocals when she sung (if that was really her singing, of course).

Scarface (1983): Not much to be said about this film that hasn't already been said. Iconic early '80's movie with a lot of quotable lines, and has gotten so popular that most people have forgotten that this is actually a re-make of a 1930's film. The very first time I saw this was in 2003, during a limited theatrical release to promote the film's 20th anniversary.

Body Double (1984): Very good mystery, and probably the most in-your-face "1980's" of all De Palma's '80's film, i.e. the music video shoot, etc.

Untouchables (1987): Classic film with many excellent action scenes, most notably the shoot-out on the Canadian border, the rooftoop chase, and of course the iconic slow-motion shoot-out in the train station w/the carriage rolling down the steps - classic! I wonder if the subway shoot-out at the end of 1993's Carlito's Way was "inspired" by this Untouchables sequence?!

Casualties of War (1989): Though extremely well-done, this was quite brutal and hard to watch. MJF & Sean Penn were great in this.

Carlito's Way (1993): Superb film, though unfortunately very underrated. I liked how the story moved along, and the film had many amazing scenes - one of my favorites was when Carlito removed the bullets from his sleazy lawyer's (Sean Penn's) gun, and later threw them in the trash can, in slo-mo - Brilliant! The battle in the subway station at the end was also incredible. I also found this film superior to Scarface (the other De Palma/Pacino film), though I will admit Scarface is more iconic.

Black Dahlia (2006): Atmospheric noir film & nice period piece; superb cinematography as well. It was interesting to see W. Finlay (a De Palma regular in many of his '70's films) in this movie. Definitely a throw-back to b&w films from the 1940's; in fact, IMHO it would have been great if this had been filmed in b&w instead of color.
Last edited by LavaLamp on Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:46 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: Brian De Palma

#36 Post by Cold Bishop » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:48 pm

LavaLamp wrote:IMHO it would have been great if this had been filmed in b&w instead of color.
Which was, purportedly, one of the main sources of contention that made David Fincher walk away from the project.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Brian De Palma

#37 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:33 pm

No big abiding memories of Mission To Mars, but I liked this piece from the soundtrack. I wonder if the disastrous reaction to the film is why Ennio hasn't done anything remotely Hollywood since then.

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Moe Dickstein
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Re: Brian De Palma

#38 Post by Moe Dickstein » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:51 pm

Using a fucking pipe organ to score a space sequence is one of the things I love most about that movie. Mission To Mars is SEVERELY underrated.

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Dylan
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Re: Brian De Palma

#39 Post by Dylan » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:04 pm

I wonder if the disastrous reaction to the film is why Ennio hasn't done anything remotely Hollywood since then.
I believe this had much more to do with his What Dreams May Come score being rejected. From an FSM report:
The Maestro was asked about What Dreams May Come -- for which his score was replaced by one by Michael Kamen -- and the fact that this and other scores of his are now circulating on various fan and pirate edition CDs. He ducked the piracy issue (or perhaps it was not fully presented to him in the translation) but did talk about the experience on What Dreams May Come, a film he adored and felt he gave the director, Vincent Ward, exactly what he asked for. He suspected that the director made a film too far-out for the production company and acknowledged that the filmmakers felt his unused score was too heavy, although he had intended to do something that was paradoxically "light," in response to the beautiful images. He also suspected that perhaps the film's mix had been too dense or too loud, and that had caused his "light" music to become "heavy." He concluded his answer by saying that it was legitimate if the director decided he wanted something else, but that it would have been a sign of respect had HE (i.e. Morricone -- and he got very emphatic at this point) been the one to rewrite it. (At this point the audience full of composers and fans applauded.)
There is another interview that I cannot locate where Morricone talks more about "walking" from Hollywood after this. That said, he may have "walked" but the window has almost cracked open a couple times since (Inglourious Basterds, and The Black Dahlia) but there was always a schedule conflict.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Brian De Palma

#40 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:26 am

Makes sense. Could have been that M2M was the last straw that started here (FWIW, Kamen's score for What Dreams May Come might be his best soundtrack work, and a project I read in interviews he was particularly passionate about). I do remember reading rumors that he was going to work with Clint Eastwood a few times (notably on Blood Work).

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Re: Brian De Palma

#41 Post by kekid » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:45 pm

Who has rights to Femme Fatale? I am surprised Arrow has not included it in their De Palma Blu Ray series. I think it is a much underrated film.

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domino harvey
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Re: Brian De Palma

#42 Post by domino harvey » Fri Aug 30, 2013 2:46 pm

Warners, I think. I'm sure it's coming to the Archives any day now...

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Dylan
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Re: Brian De Palma

#43 Post by Dylan » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:05 pm

Makes sense. Could have been that M2M was the last straw that started here
I haven't read any interviews where Morricone mentioned the reviews for Mission to Mars (either film or soundtrack reviews), but I know quite a lot of people thought his score was inappropriate. For what it's worth, I remember it being the only good part about the film (and I'm definitely a De Palma fan, but he's fallen on the horse numerous times).
(FWIW, Kamen's score for What Dreams May Come might be his best soundtrack work, and a project I read in interviews he was particularly passionate about)
I saw the movie but can't remember a note of Kamen's score (I have heard Morricone's, which is amazing). From what I understand Kamen only had a few weeks to write and record it. As far as him being passionate about the project, I can see this material inspiring any composer.
I do remember reading rumors that he was going to work with Clint Eastwood a few times (notably on Blood Work).
I think having Morricone scores would greatly improve the Clint Eastwood movies of the last decade or so, but at this late date I can't see Eastwood having anybody other than himself (or maybe his own son) scoring his movies. Of course, if Eastwood directs Jersey Boys that'll be something else entirely since the music is pre-existing.
Last edited by Dylan on Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tojoed
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Re: Brian De Palma

#44 Post by tojoed » Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:24 pm

kekid wrote:Who has rights to Femme Fatale? I am surprised Arrow has not included it in their De Palma Blu Ray series. I think it is a much underrated film.
Yes, it's Warners. I have the region 1 DVD in a nice snapper case, which we all love.

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Dylan
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Re: Brian De Palma

#45 Post by Dylan » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:01 pm

According to Screen Daily De Palma's next film is underway, and it sounds fascinating:
Brian De Palma’s loose adaptation of Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin, featuring both period and contemporary elements. Emily Mortimer will play the lead.

The story is about a film director and two actors shooting a movie version of Zola’s novel and finding that it reflects experiences in their own lives.

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Forrest Taft
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Re: Brian De Palma

#46 Post by Forrest Taft » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:24 pm

Sounds interesting! And the story you linked to also reports that Joe Dante will finally get to make his movie about Roger Corman doing acid/making The Trip. Fantastic news.

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knives
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Re: Brian De Palma

#47 Post by knives » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:32 pm

That's wonderful. De Palma is such a weird choice for Zola since despite both taking an anthropological view of humans their way of doing that is so radically different.

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Red Screamer
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Brian De Palma

#48 Post by Red Screamer » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:47 pm

An episode of Mark Cousin's Scene by Scene with De Palma This is one of the best De Palma interviews I've seen. My favourite part is when he points at the cameraman and essentially says "it doesn't take a genius to do what he's doing"
Last edited by Red Screamer on Mon Jun 06, 2016 5:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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colinr0380
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Re: Brian De Palma

#49 Post by colinr0380 » Mon Jun 06, 2016 2:40 pm

Two interesting interviews with De Palma as the documentary about him gets ready for a limited US release: an Indiewire piece and one by Business Insider.

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Dylan
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Re: Brian De Palma

#50 Post by Dylan » Fri Jun 01, 2018 10:50 am

Brian De Palma's next project is a horror film inspired by the Weinstein scandal

The article also mentions that Domino, while completed, is currently sitting on the shelf because it was underfunded by the producer and some of the staff never got paid.

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