5 items from 2015
July 25, 1980. That was the day Dressed to Kill opened in theaters across the country, and it marked the first of countless times I would see the movie projected on a big screen, on a drive-in screen, panned and scanned for home video, even interrupted and cut to ribbons for network TV. But I’ll never forget seeing it that first time, in a cavernous old movie palace in downtown Eugene, Oregon, its lush, complex, violently dynamic and meticulously choreographed images, all set to a Pino Donaggio score which reflected precisely those same qualities, thrilling me to my core. I left that theater buzzing, even if at first I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about the movie-- it took me a few days and another screening or two to decide that the outraged cries of Hitchcock plagiarism coming from some circles were unwarranted. For me, Dressed to Kill is »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun - New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
In the World Premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Junun, the director takes a trip with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, the composer for Inherent Vice, The Master and There Will Be Blood. Jake Paltrow and Noah Baumbach's De Palma on Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Mission To Mars, The Untouchables, Obsession, Redacted and Carlito’s Way director Brian De Palma and the 53rd New York Film Festival poster artist Laurie Anderson’s Heart Of A Dog are three of the Special Events to look forward to.
László Nemes’s Son Of Saul (Saul Fia), starring Géza Röhrig, Grand Prix winner at the Cannes Film Festival and Hungary's 2016 Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film is being screened as a Film Comment Presents. Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave and John Boorman »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Acolytes of Brian De Palma’s flavorful, flamboyant filmography hardly need reminding of his acrobatic ability as a visual storyteller; what they’ll learn from “De Palma” is that in front of the camera, he’s a pretty marvelous raconteur, too. The septuagenarian director provides an exhaustive but exuberant film-by-film account of a career spanning nearly half a century in Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow’s delicious documentary portrait — skimping neither on candid self-effacement or irreverent wit as he recalls such professional triumphs as “Carrie,” such dispiriting misfires as “Mission to Mars,” and the wealth of knowledge gained and opportunities lost in between. Elegantly linear in its setup, and reflecting at least one of its name helmers in its overriding mood of buoyant good humor, “De Palma” reps several Christmases come at once for fans, though it’s playful and perspicacious enough to engage all film-biz aficionados.
“Here’s the »
- Guy Lodge
Criterion beautifully restores Brian De Palma’s early masterpiece, Dressed to Kill, his 1980 title often lumped in with a quartet of other films categorized as Hitchcockian riffs, criticized or celebrated for how they playfully exhume style, narrative and tone from iconic titles. Although it’s nearly impossible to discuss the film without an acknowledgment of its obvious homage, it’s also a strikingly original piece in its own right, one that most easily sidesteps the derivative trappings of the ‘anxiety of influence’ theory thanks to its complex design as a critique on rigid social constructions.
Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is an unhappily married housewife, saddled with husband number two, a man whose underwhelming lovemaking she describes to therapist Dr. Elliott (Michael Caine) as the root her problems. When her precocious teenage son (Keith Gordon) declines to go on a lunchtime museum trip, Kate goes alone, and becomes involved in a casual tryst with a stranger. »
- Nicholas Bell
Hitchcock remakes have ranged from the bland (2007's "Rear Window"-lite "Disturbia") to the blah ("A Perfect Murder") to the godawful (Gus van Sant's pretentious shot-by-shot miscreation of "Psycho"). Often misguided and more often just pointless, these films are cursed to fail. While David Fincher and Gillian Flynn may have cannily dodged that hex by officially basing their forthcoming "Strangers on a Train" update on Patricia Highsmith's novel, they aren't out of the woods yet. Precedent does not bode well. Read: Hedren Talks Devious Hitchcock and 'The Birds' at Academy; "fairy tale" Discovery by Reville There are clever ways of repurposing the master of suspense. While Brian De Palma never could quite disguise his flamboyant homages — whether in "Vertigo"-esque "Obsession" (1976), since reviled by its screenwriter Paul Schrader, sexy "Rear Window" tribute "Body Double" »
- Ryan Lattanzio
5 items from 2015
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