CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Movie Miscellany › The All New Brian De Palma Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The All New Brian De Palma Thread

post #1 of 262
Thread Starter 

My favorite of the "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" film brats. He's one of the directors that made me fall in love with film. Continually underrated (except perhaps by Generation X critics), his films rewards repeat viewing, and his best work is up with the master Hitchcock. With a new movie hitting soon, I thought now would be a good time to list favorites, and discuss his best (and worst).

 

My Top 10:

 

1. BODY DOUBLE - so ahead of its time

2. BLOW OUT - the 70's sucked, with the 80's a bad moon rising, few films get the vibe of the times like this masterpiece

3. THE FURY -Godard's favorite and one of mine

4. CARRIE - the extended build up to the dumping of the pig's blood excruciatingly suspenseful! One of many of his perfect films

5. OBSESSION - collaboration with Schrader his most underrated; swirling, reved up airport finale a brilliant sequence

6. SCARFACE - an 80's over the top masterpiece; motel chainsaw scene a masterclass of suspense

7. SISTERS - his first Hitch homage, brilliant use of split screen; Salt's drug induced nightmare one of his most horrifying sequences

8. HI, MOM - one of the masterpieces of counter culture cinema

9. DRESSED TO KILL - his most darkly funny and audacious Hitch tribute

10 PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE - rock n' roll musical a true cult classic

 

Honorable mention: CARLITO'S WAY, FEMME FATALE, CASUALTIES OF WAR

 

What say you folks?

post #2 of 262

Probably my 3rd favorite director after P.T. Anderson and Tarantino. His elegant cinematography and dark wit are unmatched in Hollywood. If only more directors were influenced by his shooting style rather than the quick cut/shaky cam style so prevalent today. 

 

My Top 10 since I've only seen 10 (still need to catch up with his pre-Sisters oeuvre plus Phantom and Obsession and most post-Casualties).

 

1.Blow Out

2.Sisters

3.Body Double

4.Casualties of War

5.Scarface

6.Dressed to Kill

7.Carlito's Way

8.The Untouchables

9.Carrie

10.The Fury

post #3 of 262

Alongside the usual list-toppers (BLOW OUT, UNTOUCHABLES, PHANTOM), I do dearly love RAISING CAIN.  I'm probably alone on this, but I think it's gloriously entertaining and a fucking field day for Lithgow.  

 

THE FURY is also a big favorite of mine.  Such a grand mashup of genres and still has the all-time best final scene in the history of cinema.  Yeah, I said it!

post #4 of 262

I go back and forth between Body Double and Phantom of The Paradise. Body Double is just so playful about the medium, so perverse and fascinating. Feels like the ur-Brian DePalma film. And Phantom - christ, movies don't get more fun than that, do they? Dizzying.

 

I am behind on some of his films (and a couple I genuinely don't care about), but I've only recently become a total devotee. "Passion" brought back memories of Body Double -- it's plenty wacky and perverse and playful, not one of his best, but defiantly, specifically, one of his without a doubt.

 

I even liked Redacted for the angry conceptual content of the picture.That was one pissed-off low-fi movie that DePalma made for clearly political purposes. I think because of the framing device, stylistically it's a bit removed from his usual work, but thematically, it's all there. And the vicious irony of the final montage (and the story behind it) is kind of brilliant.

post #5 of 262

There are several significant De Palma films I haven't seen:  Raising Cain, Casualties of War, Phantom of the Paradise, Hi Mom, Greetings, Home Movies, or all of The Fury. (Sad, I know.) So, here's my incomplete list:

 
1. Blow Out - My favorite De Palma, hands down. His meta film tendencies mesh perfectly with story and character. A masterpiece.
2. Carrie - I think Sissy Spacek's performance may be my favorite performance by an actress in a horror movie. (Okay, maybe her and Elsa Lanchester)
3. Scarface - I didn't really like this movie at all when I saw it years and years ago. Now I recognize as the great scuzzy masterwork that it is. Lurid, hypnotic, wonderful.
4. Carlito's Way - Deeply underrated. I like Pacino's performance in this MUCH more than his work in Scent of a Woman from around the same time, and I think this may be Sean Penn's best performance.
5. Sisters - My favorite of De Palma's Hitchcock pastiches. The use of split-screen, that ending...glorious. Also, Margot Kidder was quite the looker in the 70s.
6. The Untouchables - I'm probably ranking this too high, but I have to give it bonus points for Morricone's score.
7. Dressed To Kill - I've gone back to this much more than Body Double, a film I liked but haven't revisted in quite a while.  
8. Femme Fatale - The opening Bolero sequence at Cannes is wonderful, one of De Palma's finest setpieces. If Rebecca Romijn-Stamos were a better actress, this would probably be higher on my list.
9. Snake Eyes - An opening 20 minute single shot sets the stage for a riff on Rashomon. I wish the film were as good as that description, but I think it was unjustly maligned.
10. Mission: Impossible - It was between this and Obsession, which is my least favorite of DP's Hitchcock riffs. It seems less like an examination of Vertigo than a parody of it. So, I went with this, the first and still most interesting of the desultory M:I franchise. 
.
.
.
272. Wise Guys - De Palma and Joe Piscopo, together for the first time! It's...not very good.
273. Bonfire of the Vanities - Awful. At least it led to one of the better books about filmmaking, "The Devil's Candy" by Julie Salomon.
post #6 of 262
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

 

 

My Top 10:

 

1. BODY DOUBLE - so ahead of its time

2. BLOW OUT - the 70's sucked, with the 80's a bad moon rising, few films get the vibe of the times like this masterpiece

3. THE FURY -Godard's favorite and one of mine

4. CARRIE - the extended build up to the dumping of the pig's blood excruciatingly suspenseful! One of many of his perfect films

5. OBSESSION - collaboration with Schrader his most underrated; swirling, reved up airport finale a brilliant sequence

6. SCARFACE - an 80's over the top masterpiece; motel chainsaw scene a masterclass of suspense

7. SISTERS - his first Hitch homage, brilliant use of split screen; Salt's drug induced nightmare one of his most horrifying sequences

8. HI, MOM - one of the masterpieces of counter culture cinema

9. DRESSED TO KILL - his most darkly funny and audacious Hitch tribute

10 PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE - rock n' roll musical a true cult classic

 

Honorable mention: CARLITO'S WAY, FEMME FATALE, CASUALTIES OF WAR

 

 

 

I forgot about THE UNTOUCHABLES. Slide that in at number 10. As my man Beaks said, it is his STAR WARS.

post #7 of 262

Wise Guys is worth it just for Captain Lou Albano.

 

"This is the strangest pillowcase I've ever seen."

"IT'S MY UNDERWEAR, ASSHOLE"

 

Makes me laugh like a moron every time.

post #8 of 262
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Blank View Post

Wise Guys is worth it just for Captain Lou Albano.

 

"This is the strangest pillowcase I've ever seen."

"IT'S MY UNDERWEAR, ASSHOLE"

 

Makes me laugh like a moron every time.

 

That's one I'd like to revisit. His early comedies are so funny, it was weird that his later return to the genre would have the reputation of being tone death, although i believe Ebert was also a fan of WISE GUYS. Another one I'd like to revisit (available on Warner Archive) is one i only saw once as a teenager, GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBIT. I believe there was studio tampering with that one, but he returned triumphantly with SISTERS.

post #9 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

 

4. Carlito's Way - Deeply underrated. I like Pacino's performance in this MUCH more than his work in Scent of a Woman from around the same time, and I think this may be Sean Penn's best performance.
 

 

 

Seconded. A great film with much more heart than initially appears to be the case. Pacino is awesome too; it's one of his last great performances IMO.

 

Love the Untouchables/Star Wars comparison - so true. The film's just pure fun, and the way DePalma abruptly darkens the tone when the deaths satrt racking up is beautifully handled. Also, another case of De Palma pulling a great performance from a seasoned and increasingly schtick-driven performer (In this case Connery).

post #10 of 262
Thread Starter 

CARLITO'S WAY was one of my big in theatre disappointments back in '93, but then it grew on me to the point where i put it up with SCARFACE (a movie it's kind of a spiritual sequel to). My last time taking it in it dropped a bit in my estimation, mainly due to the framing device and Penelope Ann Miller. However, love Pacino, and pool room shoot out is one of DePalma's classic sequences.

post #11 of 262
Thread Starter 

The A.V. Club's De Palma Primer:

 

http://www.avclub.com/articles/brian-de-palma,52964/

 

Love the props given to OBSESSION.

post #12 of 262

1. Blow Out

2. Dressed To Kill

3. The Untouchables

4. Carlito's Way

5. Body Double

6. Carrie

7. Phantom of the Paradise

8. Sisters

9. The Fury

10. Scarface

 

 

Honorable Mention: Casualties of War, Mission: Impossible, Femme Fatale.

 

I also have soft spots for Raising Cain and Snake Eyes, but they belong on neither list.  I still need to see his pre-Sisters work, Obsession, Homes Movies, Wise Guys, Bonfire of the Vanities, and Redacted.

 

I can't wait for Passion.  While I'm not expecting a masterpiece, it definitely looks like it could at least be as good as Femme Fatale.

post #13 of 262
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by S.D. Bob Plissken View Post

1. Blow Out

2. Dressed To Kill

3. The Untouchables

4. Carlito's Way

5. Body Double

6. Carrie

7. Phantom of the Paradise

8. Sisters

9. The Fury

10. Scarface

 

 

Honorable Mention: Casualties of War, Mission: Impossible, Femme Fatale.

 

 

 

I have DRESSED TO KILL at number 9 on my Top 10 list, but it could easily be a top 5er. I was kind of obsessed with it earlier in the year, watching it everytime it popped up on MGM. So many killer scenes and sequences. The museum one take tracking shot. Dickinson's post-one night stand frenzy and doom. Oh, and Keith Gordon is one of the great 80's geek characters. Love him in the movie.

 

It is also the movie that got DePalma unfairly labeled a misogynist, a charge that stuck for most of the decade (resurfacing hardest with CASUALTIES).

post #14 of 262
Thread Starter 

FEMME FATALE, best Thriller of the 00's?

post #15 of 262
Thread Starter 

Also, after revisiting CARRIE again last week, have to acknowledge Nancy Allen's Chris Hargensen is one of the great bitch goddesses in all of Horror.

post #16 of 262
Thread Starter 

A favorite thing about CARRIE is how the Horror is deftly balanced with AMERICAN GRAFFITI-like depiction of a teenaged day-in-the-life. The early scene of Travolta driving around, sneaking a sip of beer, while fooling the cops with an 'aw shucks' grin is GRAFFITI Harrison Ford cool. Even the much maligned tuxedo scene works despite its stylistic goofiness.

post #17 of 262

Finally watched Raising Cain, I'm probably the only one who thinks this but I believe this is DePalma's masterpiece, it's as if all his films up to that point were a prep for Raising Cain. Plus there's references to The Untouchables, Dressed to Kill, Body Double, and probably tons of others I didn't notice. 

post #18 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagboy92 View Post

Finally watched Raising Cain, I'm probably the only one who thinks this but I believe this is DePalma's masterpiece, it's as if all his films up to that point were a prep for Raising Cain. Plus there's references to The Untouchables, Dressed to Kill, Body Double, and probably tons of others I didn't notice. 

 

I love RAISING CAIN.  It's so gloriously batshit, and Lithgow is sublime.  

post #19 of 262
Thread Starter 

If somebody could post a link to that recut RAISING CAIN, I'd appreciate it.

post #20 of 262
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratty View Post

 

 

THE FURY is also a big favorite of mine.  Such a grand mashup of genres and still has the all-time best final scene in the history of cinema.  Yeah, I said it!

 

THE FURY gets overlooked since it's the follow up to CARRIE, and there is a similar central plot point. However, it's one of his masterpieces, and it's fun to see genres played with so effortlessly and effectively. Amy Irving's escape is a classic set piece. Agree final scene is brilliant. Film is also Kirk Douglas' last classic.

post #21 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

If somebody could post a link to that recut RAISING CAIN, I'd appreciate it.

http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/feature-brian-de-palmas-raising-cain

post #22 of 262
Thread Starter 

A look at DePalma's most underrated, the forgotten HOME MOVIES

 

http://mooninthegutter.blogspot.com/2009/09/forever-extra-never-star.html

post #23 of 262
Thread Starter 

A great blog entry on BODY DOUBLE:

 

http://www.cinemaviewfinder.com/2009/09/de-palma-blog-thon-dont-look-now.html

 

"I've always had a huge crush on this movie. I'm sure hormones played a part in that, since I was 13 or 14 at the time. But the film has never failed to mesmerize me since. It's one of the most hypnotic movies I know of and a masterpiece of mise-en-scene. I could marvel at that beach scene forever. The subtext of the film is all about De Palma raising his middle finger to the critics who slaughtered him for Dressed to Kill and Scarface. He openly confronted them with the very things they accused him of (excessive violence, misogyny) and made sure to enthrall them at the same time, just to point out their hypocrisy. Feminists who hate the film will love me agreeing on this, but I really do think Gloria Revelle - her name says it all - is strictly an object of desire. Besides a bunch of other things, Body Double is very much about male fantasy. Gloria's good looks and vulnerable attitude make her the perfect projection of male obsession. There's nothing real about her. She's an ideal, a goddess. (Mind you, the way De Palma uses a sexual archetype in order to explore the theme of male desire is hardly the same as portraying ALL women as sex objects.) Her death scene isn't exactly devastating, but a cold shower. Because De Palma puts so much effort into the visual "foreplay", Gloria becomes our object of desire as well. When the killer breaks into her house, we are torn between two extremes: wanting to save her and wanting to have her (there's no way I'll ever accept the drill is not a symbol for penetration, no matter what De Palma has said to defend himself). Especially because we don't get to see the actual killing ourselves, the emotional result is a double anti-climax. Not Gloria but Jake is the victim here, and it's ourselves we pity. In the end, the audience is revealed to be just as voyeuristic as Jake, and that thought made a lot of people uncomfortable. If Gloria's death scene doesn't seem emotionally satisfying, well... that's the whole idea, really... It's just about the cinematic equivalent of premature ejaculation if you think about it. De Palma's death scenes are really love scenes and his love scenes are really death scenes. Despite the likes of Armond White calling him a "weak actor," I've always thought Craig Wasson was perfectly cast in this. Yes, he totally lacks the star power that could have helped to make the film a commercial success and he doesn't exactly deliver what can be described as a powerhouse performance. But the man's playing an unemployed actor, for God's sakes--a born loser, a regular Joe longing for a little excitement in his lousy life. A charismatic star like John Travolta in the same everyman role wouldn't have been believable. Because Craig Wasson plays Jake as such a goody two-shoes, you never really believe he's a pervert, even though he's peeking at naked women and digging up panties from trashcans. I even like the part where Jake is pretending to be a sleazy porn producer. His performance is quite impossible to take seriously and it makes perfect sense, since we're looking at the reason why the guy's unemployed to begin with... I guess it's more the character that the actor that annoys people, because weakness isn't exactly considered a virtue. But this is the story of somebody who tries to overcome his weakness. The story of an actor trying to act. The story of a sexless nobody wishing to become a stud. The weakness is an essential element of the narrative.”  - 24 Lies A Second

post #24 of 262

I don't know how I didn't know of this thread's existence. But better late than never.


I've been doing some work catching up on De Palma's oeuvre as preparation for Passion's upcoming release; it's maybe shameful, but outside of Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables, and Mission Impossible, I'm not (or I wasn't) all that familiar with his filmography, to the point where I really don't (or didn't) feel like I had any stake in debates over his talent (which is immense) and his influence (natch). But I have recently caught a handful of his more important pictures-- Sisters and Blow Out, which is gauche to some since they're just Criterion releases, and also Raising Cain and Hi, Mom!-- and I gotta say, I'm not sure why I waited this long to tap into his work.

 

For my part, Sisters really takes the cake in De Palma's career, as it basically represents his biggest artistic turning point and acts like a blueprint for every film he would go on to make after 1973 in terms of thematic pursuits and technical trademarks. I would actually argue that speaking very strictly, Blow Out is a better film, but I think Sisters holds more currency when doing an overview of his whole career; and, honestly, between the two I like the latter slightly more than the former, but I realize that this is just a matter of splitting hairs and that you can't go wrong with either of them.

 

Raising Cain, well, I'm going to have to throw my weight behind that one, too. I cannot in good conscience deny a film in which John Lithgow goes all Nutty Professor and plays twin brothers, their father, and two split personalities. He's glorious at every single second, and that final shot just does it for me on a number of different levels. (Level one: oh shit! Carter-Margot is right behind you! Level two: oh shit! John Lithgow, a grown-ass man, in a fucking dress! Etc.) Glad to see that movie getting love here.

post #25 of 262

1. Blow Out
Obsession
Dressed To Kill
Carrie
The Fury
Body Double
The Untouchables
Raising Cain
Sisters
10. Casualties of War

Scarface is cool but not quite top 10 for me, same for Carlito's. Phantom of the Paradise, let me put it this way- I'm not sorry I watched it, but one viewing was enough (I don't turn to DePalma for "fun"). Home Movies I never got round to seeing, should probably fix that.


I think I have a sort of Carpenter/Cundey thing with Brian DePalma and Pino Donaggio; he's an awesome filmmaker on his own, but add that "secret weapon" and Holy Fucking Shit. Gotta give a shout out to Herrmann for those amazing final 5 minutes in Obsession too, of course.

post #26 of 262

1. Blow Out
2. Hi, Mom!
3. Body Double
4. The Fury
5. Carrie
6. Obsession
7. Dressed to Kill

8. Sisters

9. The Untouchables
10. Casualties of War

post #27 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

 

THE FURY gets overlooked since it's the follow up to CARRIE, and there is a similar central plot point. However, it's one of his masterpieces, and it's fun to see genres played with so effortlessly and effectively. Amy Irving's escape is a classic set piece. Agree final scene is brilliant. Film is also Kirk Douglas' last classic.

 

I didn't see the Fury until last year, but yes, it is one of his masterpieces for sure. It's such a bonkers movie in a lot of ways. I can see why people had a hard time loving it when it was released, but it's incredible. The whole thing is wrought with some kind of crazy tension. It grabs you by the scruff of your neck and doesn't let go. 

post #28 of 262
Nic Cage's leather jacket in Snake Eyes is by far one of the coolest looking articles of clothing ever seen in film.
post #29 of 262

But does it represents a symbol of his individuality, and his belief in personal freedom?

post #30 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomTastic View Post

But does it represents a symbol of his individuality, and his belief in personal freedom?

Well it fits the character, a cop living well above his means via shady dealings, more concerned with being seen than flying under radar. The tailoring and leather quality is insane, it looks ridiculously expensive even just at a glance.
post #31 of 262

BLOW OUT - I still have problems with the last 20 minutes of this mess: Travolta and Allen's characters are so unbelievably stupid, the pathos so overwhelming, the denouement so tasteless and misguided, I can't tell if De Palma meant this as a joke or could no longer hide his contempt for the audience.

 

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE - Bizarre, very funny, excellent music and performances (Jessica Harper, "introduced" here, nearly steals the movie in her two numbers), and skirts camp because you give a damn about the characters. 

 

CARLITO'S WAY - It says something about Pacino's towering presence that the man can go in and out of a goofy Puerto Rican accent or fall back on SCENT OF A WOMAN bellowing -- e.g. his opening courtroom remarks -- and still be riveting. Seeing Carlito's sad, consistently foiled attempts to go straight and his loyalty to a rat (Sean Penn's dirty lawyer) is great entertainment, and though we know from the very beginning that Carlito will stop a bullet on the Grand Central platform, we'll hope and root for him all the same.

 

MISSION TO MARS - Hugely underrated, probably in my De Palma Top 10. Skipped this during its theatrical run because of the almost (save Armond White's) uniformly mediocre to terrible reviews, MTM is a surprisingly subtle and moving drama about faith and loss. De Palma stages a number of impressive scenes, including his usual extended tracking shots and a weightless waltz to Van Halen's "Dance the Night Away." Jim & John Thomas' dialogue is for the birds, though, and the ending could lose some syrup and that terrible-looking CGI alien.

 


Edited by Malmordo - 10/21/12 at 7:16am
post #32 of 262

HI, MOM! is right up there as Classic De Palma, though a bit disjointed and rough around the edges. It's also a very tough and cynical satire without any warmth, which may turn you off. Begins with a hilarious pre-credit sequence where Vietnam vet Jon Rubin (De Niro) rents a shitty apartment from a sleazy landlord (Charles Durning), then continuing with Rubin's artistic endeavors as a "peeper" cameraman for a porno filmmaker (Allen Garfield is priceless in the part, and he and De Niro do some great semi-improvisatory work) and his screwball attempts to seduce a pretty neighbor (Jennifer Salt) and, finally, the jaw-dropping twenty-minute mockumentary-within-a-film "Be Black Baby," featuring the incomparable Gerrit Graham (also from GREETINGS!) and De Niro trying out his TAXI DRIVER routine to great comic effect. This movie is essential viewing, and it's a damn shame it hasn't earned its place beside well-known 70s satires like MASH and NETWORK.

GREETINGS! isn't as strong. The gags tend to be repetitive and some which I imagine were fresh at the time (Graham's JFK conspiracy obsession) have been done to death. De Palma also seems to lose his way by trying to juggle three characters (De Niro, Jonathan Warden and Graham as draft-dodging friends), and a total lack of serious, un-ironic communication between these guys (who are very likable) can be tiresome. Still, there are many funny moments, and the long sequence where De Niro and Graham give Warden advice on how to evade military service is just one small piece of the film's terrific ensemble work.

The Great

 

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, BODY DOUBLE, SISTERS, HI, MOM!, THE UNTOUCHABLES, CARLITO'S WAY, MURDER A LA MOD, MISSION TO MARS, RAISING CAIN

 

I really can't stand THE BLACK DAHLIA, the third acts of BLOW-OUT and SNAKE EYES, and most of GET TO KNOW YOUR RABBIT. I've always found SCARFACE to be laughably awful, and I need to revisit THE FURY and WISE GUYS (neither of them I remember being very impressive).

 

Blind Spots:

 

I have never seen OBSESSION, REDACTED, and two of the early features (THE WEDDING PARTY and DIONYSUS IN '69). 

 

 

post #33 of 262
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malmordo View Post

BLOW OUT - I still have problems with the last 20 minutes of this mess: Travolta and Allen's characters are so unbelievably stupid, the pathos so overwhelming, the denouement so tasteless and misguided, I can't tell if De Palma meant this as a joke or could no longer hide his contempt for the audience.

 

 

MISSION TO MARS - Hugely underrated, probably in my De Palma Top 10. Skipped this during its theatrical run because of the almost (save Armond White's) uniformly mediocre to terrible reviews, MTM is a surprisingly subtle and moving drama about faith and loss. De Palma stages a number of impressive scenes, including his usual extended tracking shots and a weightless waltz to Van Halen's "Dance the Night Away." Jim & John Thomas' dialogue is for the birds, though, and the ending could lose some syrup and that terrible-looking CGI alien.

 

Your take on BLOW OUT is in line with the critical response at the time. Can't agree with you, though, especially about the emotionally devastating finale. It hits home hard, like the best Hitchcock, and the denouement is far from a tasteless joke, it's sadly moving in its resigned defeat. The point of the film.

 

You do make me want to revisit MISSION TO MARS. I think Beaks is a fan, too.

post #34 of 262

Half hour interview with De Palma:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdQ1jXYaXTQ

post #35 of 262

I find DePalma incredibly hit or miss.  When he's good, he's awesome, when he's bad he's fucking terrible.  I really like Scarface because of how unflinching it is.  Blow Out is awesome, so is Carrie and Mission Impossible.

 

I watched Body Double for the first time last night and Jesus, I couldn't stop laughing.  Firmly in the realm of parody (of himself and Hitchcock), whether conscious or not...it's as if this were DePalma's 13 year old boy fantasy come to life...I lost it at the 360 degree Vertigo shot...for someone who rips off Hitchcock so shamelessly, he doesn't seem to 'get' the man's films.  I think it's just a matter of either digging this stuff or not...I wouldn't call it a bad movie, because it's made with skill, but it's just so relentlessly silly.  

post #36 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambler View Post

I watched Body Double for the first time last night and Jesus, I couldn't stop laughing.  Firmly in the realm of parody (of himself and Hitchcock), whether conscious or not...it's as if this were DePalma's 13 year old boy fantasy come to life...I lost it at the 360 degree Vertigo shot...for someone who rips off Hitchcock so shamelessly, he doesn't seem to 'get' the man's films.  I think it's just a matter of either digging this stuff or not...I wouldn't call it a bad movie, because it's made with skill, but it's just so relentlessly silly.  

 

Body Double is certainly...something. I remember catching it while watching TV in a hotel room in Sweden, having no idea what it was, and throughoughly enjoying it as a campfest. I absolutley thought it was just some cinemax cheese, it was only around the Frankie Goes To Hollywood scene that I started thinking "waitaminit". I think a lot of DePalma's output is like this, actually, read the plot synopsis for his new one and it sounds like a softcore flick from the 80's.

post #37 of 262

As much as I love certain De Palma films (Dressed To Kill, Carrie, Body Double, the wonderfully loopy Raising Cain) I feel like Blow Out is just leagues above anyhting else he's ever done.

post #38 of 262
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingfan View Post

As much as I love certain De Palma films (Dressed To Kill, Carrie, Body Double, the wonderfully loopy Raising Cain) I feel like Blow Out is just leagues above anyhting else he's ever done.

Thanks to agracru, I've watched Sisters again, and I'd put it up there. It's a perfect fusion of De Palma's interests at the time in the same way Blow Out is for him in the 80s.

 

Also, I understand why Malmordo might not like the third act of Blow Out, but the ending gets to me more each time I see it.  I don't quite find it devastating, but I am more moved by it every time, although I do think the fireworks shot with Travolta holding her is more moving than the final scene.

post #39 of 262
.

Edited by Agentsands77 - 6/5/16 at 6:46pm
post #40 of 262

Raising Cain is one that people laughed at certain scenes without realizing De Palma was too. It's all absurd including the dramatic push-in on Steven Baurs wife right as he's kissing Lithgows wife. Anyway I love it. So fun. Home Movies is interesting but good luck getting a copy of it. Mission To Mars is unfairly dismissed. There's some really cool stuff in it. Black Dalia had some major casting issues. Hilliary Swank having no resemblance to The  Dahlia being the main problem. They should have just used Mia Kirshner to play both parts. I still like it a lot. William Finelys last performance for De Palma. If you watch Dionysus '69 you'll get all the Finely you can handle. It's on dvd for about ten bucks I believe. The Wedding Party I found fairly irritating but Get to Know Your Rabbit is still worthwhile even with all the problems he had on it. Can't wait for Passion.

post #41 of 262

Ed Gonzalez on Femme Fatale:

 

"Brian De Palma, like Alfred Hitchock and Dario Argento, is always looking. So are his characters, and in the opening of his new film, Femme Fatale, Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) watches Double Indemnity on French television. De Palma conceives for Romijn-Stamos a vixen made in Barbara Stanwyck's image, only he remembers to give his creation a humane purpose. For Laure, this is a spiritual act (one of many baptisms in the film), and for De Palma it's a correction: he flips Billy Wilder the bird by saddling his femme fatale with a crisis that matters, even if her personal pain is not readily apparent when she and a group of thugs break into the Cannes Palais, hoping to swipe a fortune in diamonds from Regis Wargnier's whorish girlfriend Veronica (Rie Rasmussen), with whom Laure makes out in a bathroom stall while Wargnier's hideous East-West plays on the big screen."

 

http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/femme-fatale/470

post #42 of 262
Thread Starter 

An Essay on the Symmetry between SCARFACE and CARLITO'S WAY:

 

http://www.cinemaviewfinder.com/2009/09/de-palma-blog-thon-scarface-1983-and.html

post #43 of 262
Imma just leave this right here.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4qHuiCLkYHc
post #44 of 262

Looking over these lists, you have to remind yourself that Brian is still alive and making films.  He did NOT die in 1987 after THE UNTOUCHABLES as the lists could lead us to believe.

 

post #45 of 262
Thread Starter 

My All New Top 10 DePalma!

 

1. BODY DOUBLE

2. BLOW OUT

3. THE FURY

4. CARRIE

5. SISTERS

6. SCARFACE

7. OBSESSION

8. DRESSED TO KILL

9. THE UNTOUCHABLES

10 HI, MOM!

 

Honorable Mentions: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE, CARLITO'S WAY, FEMME FATALE, SNAKE EYES

post #46 of 262

My Top 10 would go:

1.BLOW OUT

2.RAISING CAIN

3.THE UNTOUCHABLES

4.CARRIE

5.SCARFACE

6.SISTERS

7.CASUALTIES OF WAR

8.DRESSED TO KILL

9.BODY DOUBLE

10.OBSESSION

 

I have GREETINGS and HI, MOM at home unseen and still need to see a couple others like FEMME FATALE and SNAKE EYES, but he's definitely among my top 5 filmmakers of all time.

post #47 of 262

Oh, why not:

 

1. BLOW OUT

2. CARRIE

3. SCARFACE

4. SISTERS

5. CARLITO'S WAY
6. THE UNTOUCHABLES

7. FEMME FATALE
8. DRESSED TO KILL

9. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE

10. BODY DOUBLE

 

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE is screening in town this week. I'm guessing my list will change.

post #48 of 262
Thread Starter 

"Rewatching it, the only thing I can compare UNTOUCHABLES's baby carriage sequence to is Jimi Hendrix's cover of "All Along the Watchtower."" - Andre Dellamorte

post #49 of 262

.


Edited by Agentsands77 - 6/5/16 at 1:35pm
post #50 of 262

Want to show some love for Mission: Impossible because I think it's an excellent movie - and probably the most "DePalmaesque" out of DePalma's movies. It's like a "DePalma's Greatest Hits" package. Perhaps the purest argument for the existence of the Auteur theory if there ever was one. I'm not saying it's his "BEST" movie as such... but it really showcases his talents in the best way possible. Especially when you consider he was not the first director attached to it and it kind of fell into his lap. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Movie Miscellany
CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Movie Miscellany › The All New Brian De Palma Thread