2 items from 2014
The third entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin.
There is a story of how Brian De Palma works with his film editors: he looks at what they have already done in assembling a scene, and then instructs them on how to improve it, to his precise specifications, by tapping out a particular beat: ‘1 … 2 … 3 … cut there!’ His work on cinematic form is rhythmic, musical—and always keyed to emotional, physical patterns of tension and relaxation. So he counts out the beats to draw all the elements of image and sound, gesture and architecture together, in a masterful choreography/orchestration of elements.
In approaching an audiovisual analysis of De Palma’s films (which we dearly love, and find inexhaustible as objects of study), we too faced the task of not merely enumerating the abundant motifs and structures in his work, but also bringing »
- Cristina Álvarez López & Adrian Martin
This piece naturally reveals the end of every film mentioned. You have been warned.
What is most exciting about the pure joy of watching a Brian De Palma film usually comes as far away from subtext as one can get. Very few filmmakers can stage a major setpiece in their climax where the visceral excitement is derived largely from happenstance and character quirks. A whole chase scene is nearly derailed simply due to a fat guy’s asthma; a car is left out in a storm with the reverse still on; even in a deleted scene, the entire resolution to one film was the result of a sudden, giant Atlantic City wave.
Much derided by those not in the hip-hop industry as a shameless, bloated excess, Scarface is arguably best remembered for a shootout finale as gratuitous as a mountain of cocaine. It’s so over the top, audiences »
- Kenny Hedges
2 items from 2014
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