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"While it doesn't seem groundbreaking, I know I will watch it eventually because of the four legends in the cast." - Rebecca

"Adored both Bergen and Keaton (and Garcia!), liked Fonda and unfortunately, thought Steenburgen kind of drew the short straw here. Overall, had a ball!" - Andrew


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Entries in Brian de Palma (9)

Saturday
Mar312018

Pfandom: Scarface

P F A N D O M  
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Episode 9
by Nathaniel R 

Michelle Pfeiffer was not an overnight success, nor was Elvira Hancock in Scarface (1983), a true star-making role. That's hard to fathom now that the movie is so embedded in pop culture but the early fame attached to the movie was Pacino Ham and de Palma Excess specific. Pfeiffer's Movie Star Ascendance was four or five years away but with Scarface, The Actress inside her arrived...

So the natural place to focus is Elvira Hancock's own entrance. We first spot that gangster's moll when Tony (Al Pacino) does, turned away from us in a backless gown in the home of local crime boss Frank (Robert Loggia). She descends into the scene by elevator, like a trophy encased in glass. Her body language is all impatience though not in the practical sense or she might have glided down the stairs with more speed. The sleek teal gown is cut down to there in front, saving all its fabric for Pfeiffer's lower half.  It flows with her every shift in movement, dancing around her legs as if it's already at the club Elvira's so eager to get to...

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Friday
Feb162018

Months of Meryl: Still of the Night (1982)

Hi, we’re John and Matt and, icymi, we are watching every single live-action film starring Streep...

#7 — Brooke Reynolds, a Waspy urbanite and unlikely femme fatale with a shady past and a killer blonde bob.

MATTHEW: No actor, not even the oft-cited Greatest Actress of All Time, is immune to the inevitable and indisputable stinker. Seven projects in and just touching the surface of true-blue movie stardom, Meryl Streep finally made her first real turkey...

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Thursday
Sep152016

10th Anniversary: The Black Dahlia

David looks back at Brian de Palma's wildest film, ten years on from its release.

The Black Dahlia is a curious artefact. It is likely to be remembered simply by virtue of being in the catalogue of Brian de Palma, even if the film’s quality is negligible compared to his biggest hitters Carrie and The Untouchables. When compared to the other famous James Ellroy adaptation, the Oscar-winning L.A. Confidential (which celebrates its own birthday, its 19th, in just a few days), de Palma’s effort certainly pales. In the career of cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (the film’s sole Oscar nominee), it’s likely to be a footnote in the late man’s incredible career, coming after his work with Spielberg, Cimino and Altman. The film’s stars probably took a year at most to write it off as a failure on all their parts.

Yet the film continues to fascinate - to lure you back into its craven web...

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Wednesday
Jun082016

Make America Link Again

• Vague Visages why critics often fail when writing about acting
EW Forget to link up to the Meryl Streep as Donald Trump thing. Sadly no better video has emerged than this very shaky cel phone
• Playbill in the most exciting theater news imaginable The Lovely Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon will co-star in the revival of The Little Foxes. The best part? They'll be alternating roles periodically!
• TFE ...If you missed our Smackdown which featured The Little Foxes you should read it. It is a great play which made for an excitingly cutting movie with killer performance by Bette Davis and Patricia Collinge. Can't wait to see it on stage and see what Linney & Nixon do with those two very different roles.

• Slate the enduring influential portrait of genius and mediocrity in Amadeus 
The Tarzan Files has images from Total Film's behind the scenes report on the Legend of Tarzan
Variety Netflix releases some data on how quickly people binge watch but not enough. I mean, I wanna hear how often a viewer DOESN'T complete a show. There must be stats on that and is that how they decide what to cancel?
Variety Geena Davis producing a documentary on Hollywood's gender inequality
/Film JK Simmons is working out a lot to play Commissioner Gordon. Doesn't he know Gordon never gets any action beyond telephone calls and holding a gun?
• Village Voice on Brian de Palma and divisive auteurs eventually being labelled masters
• Comics Alliance James Wan talks about why he chose to direct Aquaman over Flash as both were offered to him
• Pajiba on the worst thing about Warcraft. Yup, we have another incredibly good looking actor (this time it's Daniel Wu) buried in makeup and latex until you can't recognize him.
• TFE ...If you missed the last podcast we talked about this problem with franchise pictures. Why do they keep hiring beautiful actors when they intend to cover up their beauty and make them unrecognizable?
• Antagony & Ecstasy a rare 10/10 review for The Lobster 

Off Screen
SBS a breakdown of victim blaming using pie charts 

 

Thursday
Apr282016

April Showers: Carrie

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at our favorite waterlogged moments in the movies. Here's Kieran Scarlett on Carrie (1976).

Brian de Palma’s horror classic Carrie has scenes at both the beginning and the end in which our heroine, Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) gets clean. Because of what happens between those scenes, they take on very different meanings. When we first see Carrie White, she is diffident and beleaguered—whether at home with her mother Margaret’s (Piper Laurie) stentorian declarations of fanatical Christian values or at school with the focused torment of her peers. It’s very clear that Carrie has internalized the harsh words of Chris Hargensen (Nancy Allen):

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Friday
Jan082016

The Revenant's Jack Fisk on Outdoor Movies & His Life with Sissy Spacek

Jack Fisk at the Oscars for "There Will Be Blood" with his Best Actress wife Sissy SpacekThe Revenant, just nominated for eight (!) BAFTAs, opens nationwide today so here's our last interview of the week to celebrate this wilderness epic. 

Jack Fisk, the Oscar-nominated Production Designer (There Will Be Blood) is no stranger to outdoor challenges. Many of his most famous films, due in no small part to his long collaboration with Terrence Malick, feel the spiritual pull of nature as does the man who designs them. He prefers to build on location and with the tools that would have been present at the time, whatever time the movie happens to take place in.

When he signed on for The Revenant, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu gave him a copy of Andrei Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev which he used for inspiration of scale and detail. His longtime collaborators Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki (Cinematographer) and Jacqueline West (Costumes) Fisk -- who he had worked with on many projects though only once altogether (The New World, 2005) were also on hand to realize this brutal of frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) surviving bear attacks, bloody skirmishes, and mercenary Tom Hardy.  

I asked Fisk about his onscreen life with auteur collaborators, his offscreen life with one of the great screen actresses, and his preference for outdoor cinema. Our conversation is after the jump...

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