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Best Brian DePalma moments

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Lets start the thread with Carrie

post #2 of 35

post #3 of 35

And while we're talking about that scene, the unbroken shot that introduces the prom is genius at both giving the viewer information (location of the characters) and just being a brilliant piece of tech showmanship.

 

Also, the Angie Dickinson museum scene from "Dressed to Kill".

post #4 of 35

The death of Oscar Wallace remains one of the few scenes from any film I have to fast-forward through.

post #5 of 35

Pretty much the whole Lithgow/Davidovich/Bauer following each other scene in RAISING CAIN

 

The opening scene to BLOW OUT

 

post #6 of 35

The ending to Blow Out. "It's... a good scream..."

 

post #7 of 35

When they send Winslow Leach to Sing Sing in Phantom of the Paradise. 

post #8 of 35

The heist at Cannes at the beginning of Femme Fatale

 

Can't find a video, but it's really well done and exciting, here's the trailer

 

 

 

Pretty much, uh, EVERYTHING in The Untouchables, but I'll go with the staircase shoot-out. Every time, every single fucking time, I'm tense about that baby being okay. I also love how loud the guns are in De Palma's historically and wildly in-accurate( I always say, print the legend! )but wonderful epic.

 

 

Malone's fake interrogation and shooting is so darkly funny that I love it

 

 

Watching Mann's shockingly dull Public Enemies, I kept wishing I was watching The Untouchables.

post #9 of 35

The final scene in THE FURY belongs in the Smithsonian.  Couldn't find video, but if you know it, you know what I mean.

post #10 of 35

post #11 of 35

When Charles Durning died a few days ago, my first thought was of him in the final scene of Sisters, with his binoculars trained on that dumpster.

 

The shot in Blow Out I always think about is John Travolta holding Nancy Allen while fireworks shoot off all around him. DePalma's operatic style in full flower.

post #12 of 35

The hand reaching out from the grave in the coda for CARRIE. One of the great jump scares in all of Horror.

post #13 of 35

The chainsaw motel sequence in SCARFACE. It rivals Hitch's shower scene in execution. A masterclass in suspense filmmaking.


Edited by Fat Elvis - 12/29/12 at 11:15pm
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

When Charles Durning died a few days ago, my first thought was of him in the final scene of Sisters, with his binoculars trained on that dumpster.

 

My first thought as well.

post #15 of 35

The climactic train station shootout in Carlito's Way (no video).

1000

post #16 of 35

Be Black, Baby - HI, MOM!

 

Hilarious, shocking, brilliant.

post #17 of 35

700

DePalma in "popcorn mode" killed it with this tense, expertly crafted setpiece.

post #18 of 35

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

The hand reaching out from the grave in the coda for CARRIE. One of the great jump scares in all of Horror.

I've watched this several times over the last couple of years with my wife. She jumps out of her skin every time.

post #19 of 35

The Be Black Baby section of Hi, Mom is something else. Man.

 

 

The fact that Brian De Palma inspired Terrence Malick is just delicious.

 

 

EDIT: God damn you Fat Elvis!

post #20 of 35

Personally, nothing will beat this triumphantly cheeky marriage of pop music and sheer sexual energy. I still get chills from how goddamn brilliant the mirror gag at 2:46 is. Body Double is perfect, in a lot of ways, but this sequence just rockets the enterprise into the stratosphere. Pure cinema from a beautiful madman. Plus, the cross-cutting of the dual 360 degree arch shots is divine (made even more so by Pino Donaggio's lovely melody).

 

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratty View Post

The final scene in THE FURY belongs in the Smithsonian.  Couldn't find video, but if you know it, you know what I mean.


BOOM!

post #22 of 35

Robert Loggia's final scene in Scarface - is this the first recorded instance of the "I'm not going to kill you...(Hands gun to subordinate)...Kill him!" gag?

 

post #23 of 35

Also, the scene in Mission Impossible which allegedly caused such confusion with audiences - where Cruise is talking with the newly-resurrected John Voight, and we hear Voight's version of events whilst seeing Cruise visually thinking though (and applying logic to) the different scenarios. Brilliant. This is what you get when you have a true master directing your action film, rather than a fetishist (Woo), a TV guy (Abrams), or a talented guy pitched at the level of cartoons (Bird). My 2 cents : )

post #24 of 35

death by power drill BODY DOUBLE - horrifying, yet tongue in cheek funny

post #25 of 35

 

THAT is how you open a film.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBlair View Post

Also, the scene in Mission Impossible which allegedly caused such confusion with audiences - where Cruise is talking with the newly-resurrected John Voight, and we hear Voight's version of events whilst seeing Cruise visually thinking though (and applying logic to) the different scenarios. Brilliant. This is what you get when you have a true master directing your action film, rather than a fetishist (Woo), a TV guy (Abrams), or a talented guy pitched at the level of cartoons (Bird). My 2 cents : )

 

Oy. While I'll be the first to admit his American output (save for Face/Off) left a bit to be desired, to say John Woo is just a "fetishist" and not a master is woefully misinformed. Have you seen his Hong Kong work? Even if you think Mission: Impossible works better than Mission: Impossible 2, DePalma could never craft action as exhilarating or kinetic as Hard Boiled or The Killer.  And how is DePalma not a fetishist? Christ, the guy's got the biggest Hitchcock fetish in cinema. Granted, it gradually became subdued but his early work?  To quote GOB Bluth: "Come on!"

 

And to suggest that Brad Bird's background in animation somehow makes him "lower" than the guy who gave us Snake Eyes and Mission to Mars is laughable. Bird's work with The Iron Giant and The Incredibles blows a good portion of DePalma's filmography out of the water. Even though I like what he did with Star Trek, I'll give you JJ Abrams being a TV guy. However, if you're not finding dramatic craft and acting on par with cinema in a lot of TV shows these days, you are not paying attention.

 

Just my two cents.

post #27 of 35

Mike, I thought my feelings on those guys might be controversial - hence the "my 2 cents" : )

 

Not wishing to derail the thread, but quick feedback:

 

Brad Bird - Seems talented, but MI4 has the sophistication of a kids cartoon in terms of motivation, complexity, etc. I enjoyed it as froth, but the villain's plot (he wants to nuke the world! Because...He's evil!) and the film's failure to expand on the characters beyond one characteristic each bugged me (also, weirdly, Paula Patton comes across as more sensual in stills from the movie than she does when in motion in the actual film - the director is doing something wrong).

 

Abrams - Yes, some world-class TV out there at the mo, but MI3 played to me as a TV episode with a couple of tasty set pieces.

 

Woo - Seen 'em all, I think, apart from Dolph in "Blackjack." Just doesn't work for me. Love action movies, love martial arts, love lurking in the B Movie Action thread, but Woo just doesn't work for me. I recognize this might be more my issue than Woo's, however : )
 

Back on topic - more "Raising Cain" brilliance, with trademark De Palma tracking shot:

 

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike J View Post

 

Oy. While I'll be the first to admit his American output (save for Face/Off) left a bit to be desired, to say John Woo is just a "fetishist" and not a master is woefully misinformed. Have you seen his Hong Kong work? Even if you think Mission: Impossible works better than Mission: Impossible 2, DePalma could never craft action as exhilarating or kinetic as Hard Boiled or The Killer.  And how is DePalma not a fetishist? Christ, the guy's got the biggest Hitchcock fetish in cinema. Granted, it gradually became subdued but his early work?  To quote GOB Bluth: "Come on!"

 

And to suggest that Brad Bird's background in animation somehow makes him "lower" than the guy who gave us Snake Eyes and Mission to Mars is laughable. Bird's work with The Iron Giant and The Incredibles blows a good portion of DePalma's filmography out of the water. Even though I like what he did with Star Trek, I'll give you JJ Abrams being a TV guy. However, if you're not finding dramatic craft and acting on par with cinema in a lot of TV shows these days, you are not paying attention.

 

Just my two cents.

 

Well said on Woo but "Come on!" on your dismissal of DePalma. Films (masterpieces) like BLOW OUT and THE FURY transcend the indebtedness to Hitchcock, and none of his work I would call a fetishistic pastiche. And I'll go ahead and say it -MISSION TO MARS is one of the underrated films of its decade.

post #29 of 35

The Dubai sequence in MI4 blows most of this thread out of the water, Brad Bird can be my director any day
 

post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat Elvis View Post

 

Well said on Woo but "Come on!" on your dismissal of DePalma. Films (masterpieces) like BLOW OUT and THE FURY transcend the indebtedness to Hitchcock, and none of his work I would call a fetishistic pastiche. And I'll go ahead and say it -MISSION TO MARS is one of the underrated films of its decade.


I didn't mean to come off like I was dismissing DePalma. The Untouchables is one of my ten favorite movies ever. I also love Blow Out and Carlito's Way. And I really like Phantom of the Paradise and Sisters. So yeah, he's legit but so is Brad Bird. I didn't like the idea that somehow Brad Bird is "lower" than him due to his animation background.

post #31 of 35

Can't find video, but the opening steadicam shot of SNAKE EYES is some sheer filmmaking bravado. Too bad the rest of the film couldn't match it.

post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBlair View Post

Mike, I thought my feelings on those guys might be controversial - hence the "my 2 cents" : )

 

Not wishing to derail the thread, but quick feedback:

 

Brad Bird - Seems talented, but MI4 has the sophistication of a kids cartoon in terms of motivation, complexity, etc. I enjoyed it as froth, but the villain's plot (he wants to nuke the world! Because...He's evil!) and the film's failure to expand on the characters beyond one characteristic each bugged me (also, weirdly, Paula Patton comes across as more sensual in stills from the movie than she does when in motion in the actual film - the director is doing something wrong).

 

Abrams - Yes, some world-class TV out there at the mo, but MI3 played to me as a TV episode with a couple of tasty set pieces.

 

Woo - Seen 'em all, I think, apart from Dolph in "Blackjack." Just doesn't work for me. Love action movies, love martial arts, love lurking in the B Movie Action thread, but Woo just doesn't work for me. I recognize this might be more my issue than Woo's, however : )
 

Back on topic - more "Raising Cain" brilliance, with trademark De Palma tracking shot:

 


I would classify none of the M:I films as "sophisticated." Just because the first one has a slightly convoluted plot doesn't mean it's sophisticated. The M:I films have just enough motivation and plot to get the characters moving and then we're treated to some fantastic action sequences and set pieces. I agree with the bravejoe24, the Dubai sequence in Ghost Protocol is a series highlight. I don't know what Bird was drawing on to make that happen but I promise we would have never seen anything like it with DePalma directing (and let me emphasis again, I think he's a great director).

post #33 of 35
Thread Starter 

The Phantom running down the hallway in Phantom of the Paradise.

post #34 of 35

Obsession: Robertson and Bujold running towards each other at the airport.

post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disciple_72 View Post

Obsession: Robertson and Bujold running towards each other at the airport.

 

With the Bernard Herrmann soundtrack swirling.

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