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Entries in Brian de Palma (7)

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...

Click to read more ...

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):

Click to read more ...

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...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Sep292015

NYFF: De Palma

Brian de Palma. The man behind: Passion, Mission to Mars, Body Double, Scarface, Carrie, Sisters, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, and many more.Jason reporting from the New York Film Festival.

Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's documentary De Palma is, at a basic level, just a sit-down walk-through with the director Brian De Palma across the length of his entire movie career. The co-directors had previously gotten this tour on a personal level, having weekly dinners with the man, and decided, for awesomeness' sake, to capture for future generations of movie-geeks' sake. I saw De Palma only a week and a half ago, and I feel like it needs to be known that not only have I been forced, literally forced, in the wake of it to go and watch three of De Palma's movies in the time between watching the doc and writing this review, but it's also colored every single thing I've written in the time since, and if you follow my hyperactive blog then you know I write a whole lot in a week and a half. A ton. And Brian De Palma, he done swallowed me whole. I can only see things through his eyes now.

I mean, I'm an easy mark, the easiest of easies: I've vigorously defended the likes of Snake Eyes or Femme Fatale at dinner parties; I've drunkenly slurred out verbal love-letters to Fiona Shaw's three miles passed the mark performance in The Black Dahlia; I've had more nightmares scarred by Angie Dickinson's elevator experience than most people have had nightmares, period.

Paltrow, de Palma, and Baumbach

I love sleaze and I love Hitchcock and in Brian De Palma the twain they meet and they meet like fireworks bursting over a triumphantly dead Nancy Allen, and it's like roadhouse whiskey to me -- I like it, I like it!!!

He is New York's Verhoeven -- fun and dirty and adult, dumb and genius in equal gasping measure. I'll go down with his ship, lapping up every red drop. And De Palma, The Film, captures the the man's madness in glorious measure. It is indeed like sitting down to dinner with the man who could dream up both Holly Body's cum speech and "Say hello to my little friend" and poking him in the belly for more. He is ready able and willing to spill more or more still for us, and it's this geek's idea of paradise. I could've watched fifteen full hours of De Palma.

De Palma is screening at the NYFF on Wednesday, September 30th and will eventually be distributed by A24.  Previous NYFF reviews here. For more Jason De Palma love, you need to visit My New Plaid Pants.

Thursday
May152014

Dressed to Link

Today's Must Read
The Hairpin's "Being Maleficent", on play-acting, female aggression, and iconic villainy

'Me, please,' they said. 'I want to be Aurora.'

I chewed my fingernails and felt my glasses slip down my nose. I wanted to be Aurora too. I wanted to be the center of the play. I wanted the woodland creatures to dance around me and the whole room to talk about my beauty, even if it was just pretend. But at seven, I was already hyper-aware of my skinned knees, my knobby elbows and my boy haircut. I stood up. 'I’ll be Maleficent.'...

More Recommended Links
de film Krant loved this impassioned vote for Brian de Palma as a sensibility shaper and the problems with "greatest of all time" lists
Grand Old Movies looks back at a Norma Shearer movie I hadn't heard of - Let Us Be Gay (1930). With deglamming! 

/bent Tilda Swinton reteaming with her Teknolust director and she will reportedly play a "phosphorescent talking cat" rather than the female lead. Um...
Pajiba the first teaser for Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella if you feel like looking at a shoe for a minute 
The Stake has a response to that much discussed MZS article on how boring/interchangeable superhero movies are 
VF smart piece from Joanna about how Samuel L Jackson's star cameo on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. exposed the show's core flaw. Co-sign.
Variety Harrison Ford for Blade Runner 2. I guess maybe he doesn't hate it anymore?
Film School Rejects so they're making a Morrissey biopic that's not called Morrissey and won't include any of his music and which he didn't approve. okay.... 

 

Fonda and Ziyi at the Grace of Monaco premiereWe Cannes Cannes Cannes
And here's a reminder to check out our extensive Cannes coverage. I'm so happy we've gone full French. Now to pester Diana again for more info on what she's up to...

Diana's Diary
- we finally have someone on the ground
Opening Gala Tidbits - in which critics attack, buyers buy, and Kidman still owns my heart
Best Palme D'Or Winners ever? - we made a group list
Competition & Un Certain Regard - Nick and I chatted up the lists of mouthwatering possibilities