14 items from 2016
In a career fixated on the machinations of filmmaking presented through both a carnal and political eye, Brian De Palma’s fascinations converged idyllically with Blow Out. In his ode to the conceit of Blow Up — Michelangelo Antonioni’s deeply influential English-language debut, released 15 years prior — as well as the aural intrigue of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation, De Palma constructs a conspiracy thriller as euphorically entertaining as it is devastatingly bleak.
In a fake-out opening — shot by Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown — that combines the voyeurism, nudity, and threat of murder that are De Palma’s calling cards, we see Coed Frenzy, the fifth movie in two years that sound technician Jack Terry (John Travolta) has done for the shlock director employing him. By showing the artifice of the B-movie, this film-in-a-film positions Blow Out as a more mature offering from the filmmaker, explicitly foreshadowed during the split-screen opening »
- Jordan Raup
Brian De Palma‘s Carrie begins in the soft-haze of a high-school girls’ locker room. The camera lingers of the naked bodies of Carrie’s (Sissy Spacek) abusers and clearly sets them apart from the frail girl who showers by herself. As the others frolic and laugh among themselves, Carrie rests inside of her own body. In close-up, Carrie washes her face, breasts, and abdomen until she reaches her inner thigh. She drops her bar of soap and the lilting score from composer Pino Donaggio changes key into something more sinister when it is revealed that Carrie has begun her first period and menstrual blood slides down the side of her leg. She screams at the arrival of the punishment of Eve, and blood will be a harbinger of everything to come for one Carrie White.
Carrie is De Palma’s most empathetic picture in large part because of Spacek »
- The Film Stage
According to Entertainment Weekly, the set will be available on October 11 and includes a 4K scan of the film’s original negative and nearly three hours of bonus features. It will also have a featurette which will take a look at the film’s original locations and interviews with writer Lawrence D. Cohen, editor Paul Hirsch, actors Piper Laurie, P.J. Soles, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley, William Katt, Edie McClurg, casting director Harriet B. Helberg, and director of photography Mario Tosi.
Read More: The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far
Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, the thriller was a box office success, earning over $33.8 million. It also received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. »
- Liz Calvario
While we previously got the Bluray double feature of the TV adaption of Stephen King’s Carrie & the sequel to the 1976 adaption of the film, horror fans have been waiting for a Good HD release of Brian De Palma’s Sissy Spacek-led film. Previous releases have been “eh” at best, and it’s a title that just Begs for the Scream Factory treatment…and it looks like that’s about to happening. In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the horror classic, the Sf gang are pulling out the stops with a brand new October 11th Bluray release, complete with a new transfer, new supplemental material and quite the artwork (all versions…keep reading…).
It’s an excellent year for all things De Palma, and this news is really something for horror lovers to latch onto. I know I’ll be checking this one out, how about you fright fanatics? »
- Jerry Smith
*Updated with the official press release.* This fall, Scream Factory will give horror fans an early Halloween treat with their 40th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray release of Brian De Palma's Carrie (1976).
Initially announced on EW, the Carrie Collector's Edition Blu-ray will be released on October 11th with a 4K scan of the movie's original negative and over three hours of extras for fans of the Stephen King adaptation to enjoy.
Similar to their 30th anniversary Return of the Living Dead Blu-ray, Scream Factory will also release Carrie in both a regular Collector's Edition and a Deluxe Limited Edition with an exclusive second slipcover, poster, and shipping of the film three weeks before its release.
Press Release: Los Angeles, CA - In 1976, Carrie, the “absolutely spellbinding horror movie” (Roger Ebert) directed by Brian DePalma (Scarface, The Untouchables, Dressed to Kill) and based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, premiered in theaters, »
- Derek Anderson
Ryan Lambie Jul 4, 2016
Brian De Palma's 80s thriller Blow Out contains one of the era’s great shock endings. It shows why we need movies that challenge us...
Nb: This article contains spoilers for the 1981 film, Blow Out.
It all begins with a scream. Jack (John Travolta) is a sound technician working on a tawdry, low-budget slasher movie where the usual gaggle of photogenic teenagers gets hacked up by a knife-wielding maniac. The big problem for Jack is, the director doesn’t find the strangled, squeaky cry of the killer’s latest victim convincing enough. Jack and the director sit in the editing bay, glumly reviewing the footage, listening to the co-ed’s keening wail over and over again. Nope: it simply doesn’t work.
Jack’s quest to find a truthful-sounding, blood-curdling scream for the B-slasher provides the jumping-off point for Blow Out, director Brian De Palma’s mind-melting thriller murder, »
When it comes to telekinesis and gory visual effects, the movie that generally springs to mind is David Cronenberg’s 1981 exploding head opus, Scanners. But years before that, American director Brian De Palma was liberally dowsing the screen with claret in his 1976 adaptation of Carrie - still rightly regarded as one of the best Stephen King adaptations made so far. A less widely remembered supernatural film from De Palma came two years after: De Palma’s supernatural thriller, The Fury.
The Fury was made with a more generous budget than Carrie, had a starrier cast (Kirk Douglas in the lead, John Cassavetes playing the villain), and it even did pretty well in financial terms. Yet The Fury had the misfortune of being caught in a kind of pincer movement between Carrie, »
“It’s very dirty, and I know dirty.” Near the end of Brian De Palma’s oneiric exercise in sleaze, Dressed To Kill, high-class prostitute Liz Blake (Nancy Allen) recounts a recurring dream where she strips in front of a phantom intruder before he puts a razor blade to her neck. It’s remarkably similar to the film’s first scene — a dream sequence where a showering Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) vainly attempts to attract her shaving husband’s attention, only to be murdered behind a thin veil of glass.
This time, it’s notably described in real-time as Blake’s voice becomes shaky. She’s a women who’s used to sexual kinks, but this dream is something more confusing. It’s threatening, but also cathartic in the details.
But for a film obsessed with the presence of skin and the possibility of sex, Dressed to Kill is excessively »
- Michael Snydel
Taking a glance over his filmography, it’s quick to surmise Brian De Palma’s lack of interest in the words “Inspired By” or “Based on a True Story.” His attraction to images leans so heavily towards their natural falsity rather than some kind of prosaic yet still wholly phony verisimilitude. But one of the few exceptions lends a tragic weight that few of his films have.
The true story in question is what’s commonly referred to as Incident on Hill 192: in 1966, an American army squad in the Vietnam War kidnapped a young village girl, then subsequently gang-raped and murdered her. Journalist Daniel Lang brought this to further public attention with a 1969 article in The New Yorker entitled Casualties of War, of which De Palma’s film would share the name.
- Ethan Vestby
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):
- Kieran Scarlett
The late Roger Ebert often told this story about himself: During an Ebertfest screening of “Citizen Kane,” featuring commentary he had recorded for a Criterion Collection laser disc, he went for popcorn and asked a patron what she thought of the movie.
“I like it a lot,” she replied. “But I wish that guy would stop talking.”
The voice of America’s most famous and influential cinema maven has been stilled since 2013. Yet his words and spirit continue to permeate the film festival he founded, with wife Chaz and scholar Nate Kohn, at his beloved U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
On post-festival drives back from Champaign, she took notes as he held forth on future programming ideas. “We could run the festival for another 10 years” on the notebooks she preserved, she says.
- Bob Verini
Hal Ashby remains one of the most curious auteurs to rise out of the prosperous 1970s American studio era, his titles maintaining an indelible mark on the glorious period of filmmaking, ranging from 1971’s Harold & Maude to 1979’s Being There. The 1980s weren’t quite as kind, and Ashby, like a passel of other mavericks of the decade (Altman comes immediately to mind), stumbled into the age of excess, and in this particular case, eventually oblivion. On the surface, most of Ashby’s films promise to be comedies, quirky or otherwise, but he eventually reveals those expectations to be a superficial veneer, his characters mostly downtrodden sorts who are either bitterly disillusioned or resigned to their own dysthymic worldview. One of his greatest achievements was his third effort, 1973’s The Last Detail, pairing Ashby with another icon of the era, Jack Nicholson, himself in the midst of his own golden »
- Nicholas Bell
Jack Nicholson found his personal favorite role in this fine road picture: Navy signalman Buddusky, charged with escorting sad-sack prisoner Randy Quaid to prison. Hal Ashby's direction and Robert Towne's script pitches the story at the human scale favored by '70s director-driven filmmaking. The Last Detail Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1973 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 104 min. / Ship Date January 19, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, Carol Kane, Michael Moriarty, Luana Anders, Kathleen Miller, Nancy Allen, Gerry Salsberg, Don McGovern, Pat Hamilton, Michael Chapman, Jim Henshaw, Derek McGrath, Gilda Radner, Jim Horn, John Castellano. Cinematography Michael Chapman Film Editor Robert C. Jones Original Music Johnny Mandel Written by Robert Towne from the novel by Darryl Ponicsan Produced by Gerald Ayres Directed by Hal Ashby
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Bring up the 'golden age' of director-driven movies in the 1970s and the »
- Glenn Erickson
Cinema suffered a cataclysmic loss this past Monday when one of the greatest cinematographers of our time, Vilmos Zsigmond, passed away. With a decade-spanning career and collaborations with directors from Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Steven Spielberg, and Brian De Palma, Zsigmond’s legend will certainly live on, and he’ll continue to inspire generations of cinephiles and newbies alike. Read More: R.I.P Vilmos Zsigmond (1930-2016) Zsigmond’s contributions to such a variety of filmmaking secure his unparalleled place in history; he was truly a master of shadow and light. In this new video essay by Brad Jones, Zsigmond’s beauteous gift is paramount, and through seamless and clean shots, the beholder is overcome by his talent. Whether it’s the juxtapositional light adorning Warren Beatty’s face in “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” Richard Dreyfuss’ illuminating out-of-this-world experiences in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” or John Travolta and Nancy Allen meandering in the. »
- Samantha Vacca
14 items from 2016
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