12 items from 2016
Femme Fatale is a bubbling cocktail of Double Indemnity meets To Catch a Thief meets Vertigo meets The Double Life of Véronique that kicks you in the head real good right at the first sip and is so smooth going down that, by the time you notice you’re drunk, it’s too late to care, and there goes willowy Rebecca Romijn, a nesting doll shedding an archetype. The opening twenty minutes, a jewel theft set at the 1999 Cannes premiere of East/West, are what one might call “pure cinema” — which is to say they are series of hyperkinetic moments strung together through the rhythms of music and editing that could not be captured by any medium other than cinema, or any other filmmaker other than Brian De Palma.
Romijn plays Laure, a master thief who steals a beautiful piece of jewelry (which serves as an elaborate snake-like top, with »
- The Film Stage
This family weepie about a boy who imagines a monster to cope with the impending loss of his mother tugs at the heartstrings and aims for wonder – but still comes up a little short
Hollywood has a strange habit of repeating itself, often within the span of a few months. Deep Impact vs Armageddon, Mission to Mars vs Red Planet, No Strings Attached vs Friends With Benefits … the list goes on. Already this year, families have been gifted The Bfg and Pete’s Dragon, two films about a child and their creature pal. We now have a third in Ja Bayona’s A Monster Calls.
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- Nigel M Smith
Simon Brew Sep 2, 2016
Premiere magazine highlighted 10 movie executives to watch in 1990. So what happened to them?
In its May 1990 issue, the sadly-missed Us version of Premiere magazine published an article, highlighting ten young movie executives, and suggesting that these were people with very big futures ahead of them in the industry.
Given that much is written about movie executives, without actually digging much deeper to find out who they actually are, I thought it was worth tracing what happened to these ten, and – 26 years later – whether Premiere was correct in saluting them as the future of the industry. So, er, I did...
Senior production VP, Paramount Pictures
Pictured in the article on an office swivel chair with some snazzy purple socks, Lance Young, Premiere wrote, had been “groomed for big things since joining Paramount at the age of 23”. He was 30 at the time the article was published, and »
“It can be said with certainty that any reviewer who pans [Mission to Mars] does not understand movies, let alone like them,” declared Armond White in 2000. While perhaps an over-corrective to the critical drubbing the film had just received, there’s nonetheless a grain of truth in his statement. Far from being a pale imitation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as many reviewers accused, Mission to Mars actively deflates its predecessor’s misanthropy and grandeur – on one level, it’s a lavish, epic-scale lark from a director who’s often been as much a satirist as a craftsman.
With a budget of $100 million, it was and still is the most expensive project Brian De Palma has tackled. It’s also the only straight-up piece of science fiction among his filmography, as well as a relatively wholesome, PG-rated affair – a rarity for this most salacious of mainstream American filmmakers. Originally to be directed by »
- The Film Stage
In the weeks leading up to Snake Eyes’ release in August of 1998, my dad and I had gone together to see Lethal Weapon 4, There’s Something About Mary and The Negotiator. Both action titles were forgettable fare, but were a big deal upon release. (Riggs and Murtaugh vs. Jet Li! Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey conversing via walkie-talkie!) Brian De Palma‘s Snake Eyes with dad was the next order of business. The theater was packed because adults frequented the multiplexes not so long ago. You’re all of 10 years old, Nicolas Cage’s recent output – The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off — has been terrific, and something seemed off with this new one. You remember leaving the theater not disappointed, but with little to discuss with dad on the ride home. Dad passed away in 2013, long after the Gary Sinise villain era and a few years before »
- The Film Stage
It’s a Brian De Palma kind of month, with most people giving their two cents on the auteur after having seen Jake Paltrow and Noah Baumbach‘s documentary, De Palma. We also recently launched a career-spanning series in which we will look at all of his films over the summer. De Palma is one of the more polarizing filmmakers around – one day he makes masterful filmmaking such as Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, and Carrie and then he pulls out a Mission To Mars or the quasi-unwatchable Bonfire of the Vanities.
De Palma’s best movie Blow Out, a riff/tribute to Antonioni’s Blow-Up, was a smart, hallucinatory take on voyeurism. John Travolta and De Palma evoked Hitchcockian tradition in the best of ways. It’s also the best performance from the actor we’ll likely ever see.
The 75 year-old De Palma seems to be everywhere these days. »
- The Film Stage
Bringing up Brian De Palma as if he’s still some kind of marginalized or misunderstood figure is now heavily contentious, not just in the sense that “the discussion” has, with the presence of the Internet, become so heavily splintered that every figure has at least seem some form of reappraisal, but in that this is being discussed on the occasion of a new documentary and retrospectives in New York, Chicago, Austin, and Toronto (the lattermost of which this symposium will be timed to). Yes, the line has probably tipped past “divisive,” but that doesn’t mean there still isn’t room for debate.
It’s not hard to understand why De Palma’s work strikes a cord with a new cinephilia fixated on form and vulgarity. Though, in going film-by-film — taking us from political diatribes against America to gonzo horror to gangster films your parents watch to strange European »
- Ethan Vestby
Brian De Palma taught me the value of film criticism. The first time one of his films really registered for me actively was when Dressed To Kill was released in 1980. I was starting to get bit by the film bug at the time, still in the early days of the sickness, and there were many ways I would digest films beyond just seeing movies. For films I wasn’t allowed to see, there were still ways for me to get some sense of the movie. Mad magazine, for example. Undressed To Kill was one of the movie parodies that ran in 1980, and it was a beat for beat riff off of the real film. I knew the story and I even knew the twist, since Mad was not shy about spoilers. It was easy to feel like you’d seen the film after you read a Mad parody, and I »
- Drew McWeeny
One of the most talented, influential, and iconoclastic filmmakers of all time, Brian De Palma’s career started in the 60s and has included such acclaimed and diverse films as Carrie, Dressed To Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito’S Way, and Mission: Impossible. The director even delved into sci-fi with the 2000 adventure Mission To Mars, featuring a futuristic score from composer Ennio Morricone.
A24 has released a brand new poster for their upcoming movie on the filmmaker. Opening on June 10th, check out the trailer below.
In this lively, illuminating and unexpectedly moving documentary, directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow engage in a personal and candid discussion with De Palma, exploring not only his life and work but also his singular approach to the craft of filmmaking and his remarkable experiences navigating the film business, from his early days as the bad boy of New Hollywood to his »
- Michelle McCue
Diverse, awe-inspiring and memorable treasures that have sadly fallen off the radar
The noughties were a tough decade for film music fans. Not only was there the unprecedented loss of four great masters in the form of Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, Michael Kamen and Basil Poledouris; the nature of the industry itself began to go through some seismic changes, not all of them for the better.
With the art of film scoring becoming ever more processed, driven increasingly by ghost writers, electronic augmentation and temp tracks, prospects looked bleak. However, this shouldn’t shield the fact that there were some blindingly brilliant scores composed during this period. Here’s but a small sampling of them.
The career of Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who on Feb. 26 will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has few — if any — parallels in the history of film music.
The composer for “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “The Mission,” “The Untouchables,” “Cinema Paradiso” and an estimated 375 other feature films (not to mention another 90 or so TV projects) is perhaps the most prolific in Western cinema.
He is also among the most respected. Filmmakers from Terrence Malick to John Boorman, Mike Nichols to Barry Levinson, Roman Polanski to Bernardo Bertolucci, Roland Joffe to Brian De Palma, have sought him out to contribute to their films.
Reached at his home in Rome, he says via interpreter, that receiving the star is “a great accolade,” adding, “I can only anticipate how I’m going to feel when I’m there in L.A.”
It’s just the latest honor for the 87-year-old maestro. »
- Jon Burlingame
With Deadpool doing unexpectedly huge business over the past few days, we should imagine all kinds of projects have already been poked under the nose of its star, Ryan Reynolds. And according to reports floating in across the Atlantic, one of the major offers on the table is a lead role in Life, a forthcoming sci-fi film from Skydance Productions and Paramount.
While Reynolds has been in talks for the project for some time, it'll probably look an awful lot more attractive to him after the events of the past few days: Life is written by Deadpool's scripting duo Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. The director's no slouch, either; Daniel Espinosa signed up last year, and he's the chap behind such films as the Swedish thriller Easy Money »
12 items from 2016
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