I will be staying close to the Metrograph between June 26th and June 30th. I will catch most of the De Palma films screened during this stretch, which includes Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, Femme Fatale and more.
I will also watch the De Palma doc a few times, I guess
Let me know if anyone else is going and would like to meet up. I will meet up with at least one other afficionado during my trip
Francis Ford Coppola Really like the Conversation and Godfather. Godfathers 2 & 3 due for repeat viewings..
You should give a chance to his 80s movies, which are really underrated. Smaller budget movies than a Godfather but still super interesting to watch. I loved Peggy Sue Got Married, The Outsiders and Dracula as well. His last three movies are... Strange, and they may verge on pretentious. He sort of had the same fate as de Palma, who got kicked out of Hollywood and who made low-budget movies in Europe. So I have a lot of empathy towards the guy.
Lean, Lawrence has unrivalled beauty, love it - but still could have been cut by 1 1/2 hours... It's funny that you say that because I read an interview by de Palma not so long ago where he said he adored concise movies and hated films that went on and on. He gave the example of The Deer Hunter and the wedding scene that lasts for about an hour!
Bob Fosse - Talk about great visual style Must check out Pedro Almodovar - He’s still blazing new ground - Agreed. Francois Ozon - Uneven, but always visually unique Terrific work David Lynch - Even the ones I don’t love, I admire Yep Orson Welles - Of course Interesting dude. Saw the great new doc on BFI Southbank this summer.. Some great work, but turned off the Trial after 60 seconds.. Hitchcock - Of course, of course Of course Stephen Frears - Always interesting Seems very bland to me, no distict style.. but haven't seen that many. Remember Mary Reilly being pretty good.. Really looking forward to seeing The Program.. Did you see it? Mike Nichols - Class, style and more class Yeah, Love The Graduate, hate Closer, like Wolf, must see more.. adam McKay - Very instd to see what comes after Big Short Look forward to seeing that one..
I have this weird fascination for unloved directors whose works vary in quality. It's only natural that I adore de Palma. As for the others:
Thanks for your input, Yorick It's interesting regarding De Palma and the argument of varying quality, I hear this a lot in regards to his work, but I find him to be one of the most consistent directors..
M. Night Shyamalan
Yeah, I really like the one with Mark Wahlberg.- The Happening, was it..? The Sixth Sense is good, but probably a bit overrated in my book.. I have to see The Village..
George Mille Hated the only one I've seen,Fury Road, but I guess I'm the only one I was just appalled with what I erceived as rabid misantrophy. Maybe I missed some of the methaphors, I guess I will give it a second chance one of these days..?
David Lynch (not so much, now) Love Blue Velvet and Lost Highway.. ! Not crazy about Wild at Heart, but will give Mulholland Drive a second viewing, beeen on my list forever..I was there this past winter, very intriguing place..
Brad Bird Yeah, really good work om M:I 3
Spike Lee Hmmm, way WAY overrated in my book.. Love Do the Right Thing, though.. What else do you like from him? That heist movie was conventional, but competent.. He had had a war movie recently that was dreadful.. Love his work for Michae Jackson..
Tim Burton Like him, unique voice
Joe Dante Genius
Pedro Almodovar Genius
Francis Ford Coppola Really like the Conversation and Godfather. Godfathers 2 & 3 due for repeat viewings..
Steven Spielberg True Genius. Not understood, IMO. Just saw Bridge of Spies yesterday, which rankes among his best, IMO.
The Coen Brothers Always funny. Love Intolerable Cruelty and The Big Lebowski especially!
As for the ones who passed away:
Clouzot, Wow, how great would Inferno have been?? I was absolutely blown away by the bits and pieces.. I really think this could have gone down as one of the greates movies ever..
Hitchcock, Vertigo is one of my all time favorites, North by Northwest not far behind..
Pressburger and Powell, Brilliant, Love Peeping Tom
Wes Craven, Not bad
Lean, Lawrence has unrivalled beauty, love it - but still could have been cut by 1 1/2 hours...
and so many others...
Wong Kar-Wai is probably my second favorite director. Kubrick and Leone might both crack the top 5 :-)
Last Edit: Jan 29, 2016 12:26:15 GMT -5 by Christian
Can't wait to see what it's going to look like! So far, it's the most "concrete" project Brian de Palma has been associated with (considering how vague Retribution and Happy Valley were). I'm really excited to see how he will shoot his (sadly only) second action movie. That's where he's at his best!
Agreed on both counts. The foreign financing and the seemingly highly motivated and high powered-partners make this seem much more likely to get made than Retribution, IMO. Happy Valley is pretty much dead, I think, based on De Palma's own account. And I love De Palma doing action as well. (Well, his thrillers really are cinema landmarks, so there's that also
On a bigger scale, this is a very important movie in the history of Hollywood. Since all the big "masters" from the previous decades have been shunned and cast away to Europe (Coppola, Polanski, Altman, Cimino, even Eastwood and Spielberg can't direct all of their projects), it only makes sense to see them heading towards the huge Chinese industry that had been looming at the horizon for so long... They are the only people able to compete with Hollywood, both in terms of cultural effervescence and finance. I wonder if more directors will follow de Palma in that direction...
Great point, Yorick. Sure seems like it. Via De Palma Ala Mod: "China is putting emphasis on rejuvenation and protection of its culture as global force able to hold its own," writes Hong. "Recognizing that the competition with the West is fierce, Xi [Jinping] aims to control the trend of globalization in the film industry within China, and to raise the quality of domestic films for greater competitive power. With these goals on agenda, China is in the forefront of seeking talents for its film industry revolution."
So De Palma is leading the filmmaking revolution once again! ;-)
This sounds very interesting, and like a perfect film for our man, Mr. Brian D.
I especially like the idea of De Palma dealing with blindness and human senses in an action movie (thriller?) that "raises unsettling questions about government secrecy and what can and can’t be seen." The allegorical potential makes this film seem very well suited for Brian, who really is a master of the political allegory (Scarface, The Fury, Blow Out, Snake Eyes, Femme Fatale. The Fury and Femme Fatale were perhaps more what I would call "humanist allegories" than political, but you catch my drift.. I am probably forgetting some allegories, help me out...?)
I've always been a bit mystified by the critical response to his films.
Obviously his particular visual style is quite rare and therefore not widely understood. Which is really ironic since I kinda thought this was a visual medium anyway However a literary reading emphasizing character, story and dialogue is the dominating paradigm among scholars and critics. I think it's important to understand that critics in this tradition will never get DePalma. With this in mind I don't think a 35% fresh rating at RT and 52 at MetaCritic is that surprising.
However, that's only part of the story, I believe. Reading a number of interviews with De Palma this summer it has become very clear to me there's another even more important reason why his films often don't connect with critics. Perhaps it was the interview at fillm.com that illustrated this best:http://www.film.com/movies/brian-de-palma-interview-passion His films clearly have a meta-level and De Palma does not shy away from engaging the audience on several different levels at the same time. Passion is both funny and scary at one the same time, it's both a character study and camp at once.
So in other words, to fully appreciate his films, you have to both inside the story, flowing with it; and outside it, analysing all layers and meta-levels at the same time. It's a very complicated exercise that goes against the dominant tradition where you know which genre you're in, and what you are supposed to feel. With De Palma's films you have to feel and think at the same time, and in the case of Passion; even feel two different things at the same time.
I will try to write more and give more concrete examples later..
Agree with everything you said about Hitchcock and De Palma. The plagiarism-allegations are pretty much just laziness from critics.
Lynch is interesting as well. I consider Lost Highway one of the greatest films I've seen. Blue Velvet is interesting as well, need to rewatch the whole thing of of these days.. That scene with Kyle McLaughlan in the closet is brilliant pure cinema..
Just saw part of Alejandro Jodorowsky's Sante Sagre on YouTube. Did not really expect to like it, and there was indeed a scene that turned me off and I stopped watching. But I did not expect to see such a strongly visually driven film. Claerly a talented guy - I'll watch some more one day when I've worked up the stommach..
Great thread idea! Always interesting to see what other directors people like..
For me I would say:
Sergio Leone (some of the strongest visuals of any director next to De Palma) Stanley Kubrick Wong Kar-Wai (mainly for In the Mood for Love, but Chungking Express, fallen Angels and The Grandmaster also deserves mention) Pedro Almodovar Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo is astonishing) Steven Spielberg (frequently underrated) Jean-Pierre Mellville Martin Scorsese probably also (although somewhat overrated in my mind)
a few more probably..
Polanski I suppose also ( I LOVE Rosemary's Baby)..
Last Edit: Aug 18, 2013 13:27:52 GMT -5 by Christian
This is also particularly true of De Palma`s the Black Dahlia and the performances of Hilary Swank, and in particular Fiona Shaw as Ramona Linscott. Many critics hated her performance for being over the top, but to me it is darkly humerous and perfectly apt. Her final scene even takes place in front of what looks like a stage curtain and De Palma is playing games with convention.
Going back to Passion one other thing that that later struck me is the minimalist clean style and approach that De Palma uses uses in this film. I don't recall seeing that so much as a feature in his other works.
Good point with Fiona Shaw, that was obviously a diliberately over-the-top performance. That was one of my favorite scenes from a movie that I otherwise did not care much for.
When it comes to your oint about the minimalist style, I think all his latter films from 2002 onwards have been more restrained (much to my disappointment ) - I love Brian for his fearless, operatic, deeply idiosyncratic work - the camera angles and lighting are less dramatic and the camera moves fewer and less intense nowadays, it seems. The first hour of Passion is visually very flat, I think. So to see the fireworks in the last part of the movie made me very happy.
In fact I was deeply touched that this 71-year old man was able create such a brilliant piece of filmmaking this late in his career. That is definitely not something to be taken for granted.
One other question I have is whether anyone has seen the original film that Passion is based on (Crime d'amour)? I'd like to see this to see how the two films compare and work out what has been carried over from the original and what is entirely De Palma's vision. (I read for example that the twin sister story element is not in the original - please correct me if I'm wrong!)
I have seen the original. I can't remember there being anything about a twin sister in the original, but I could very well be wrong. What's interesting though, is just how DePalma used that idea and ingeniously turned it into a motif of guilt, further elevating the great ending.
I was never a fan of the original, which I though was quite overrated; flat and unconvincing. In fact, I though it was so mediocre that I felt it would take nothing less than a monumental effort on De Palma's part to make it worthwhile. I said several times Brian would have to completely disassemble and reinvent the film in order to make it interesting.
Well, Brian did just that.
So what De Palma did, was to take took what was very much a plot-based movie (hinging on a rather ludicrous plot twist at that), and turned it into something much more visual. This has to be one if the absolute best re-makes I've seen. It's really nothing like the original: only the skeleton remains. And that's the way any remake should be done.
Updated my list with Passion In 9th for now, we'll see how repeat viewings will affect
1. Dressed to Kill 1. Carlito's way 3. Blow Out 4. Snake Eyes 5. Mission: Impossible 5. Scarface 7. Femme Fatale 8. Carrie 9. Passion 10.The Fury 11. Sisters 12. Greetings 13. The Untouchables 14. Casualties of War 15. Raising Cain 16. Redacted 17. Mission to Mars 18. Body Double 19. Obsession 20. Hi, Mom! 21. Bonfire of the Vanities 22. Wise Guys 23. The Black Dahlia 24. The Wedding Party