Author Topic: BRIAN DE PALMA  (Read 25441 times)

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godardian

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« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2003, 05:32:59 PM »
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Quote from: cowboykurtis
Quote from: godardian
[Criterion releases films that are considered by those in the film-scholar community to be prescient or of some value to film history. .


thank you for the "criterion mission statement" but it was a rhetorical question... i thought the movie was garbage, and in no way important to the history of film. it doesn't measure up to the integrity of many other criterion releases -- maybe they wanted to congradulate de palma to be the one of the first to deliberately and unashaedly rip off hitchcock...


So... you think Carnival of Souls, Flesh for Frankenstein, Haxan, and The Blob- a vein of Criterion editions in which I would also place Sisters- have more "integrity?"

Where you say "ripping off," I would say "goofing on." I described in a different thread how De Palma tweaks the nose of film history, and I think what most people see as deficiencies are integral to his style, which does not work without a certain irrevent, playful, humorous approach. I guess the reason that people don't call, say, The Coen Bros. to task or get up in arms over them "ripping off" Preston Sturges and Robert Aldrich is because maybe people feel it's okay to goof on film noir and screwball comedy, but it's not okay when it comes to suspense/horror...? To me, the latter genres beg flip revaluation much more than the former ones.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2003, 05:47:01 PM »
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I agree with you mostly, Godardian. But here's the reason why I don't think suspense/horror lends itself to the re-evaluation: the one almost unbending genre rule with these types of films is that the ending must be either Monster/Bad Guy gets killed by hero/heroine or Bad Guy lives to kill another day. It's so hard to come up with fresh endings for this kind of movie, which, incidentally, turns out to be my only problem with DePalma films.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Gold Trumpet

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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2003, 06:03:36 PM »
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SoNowThen,
in your observance of the "rules" that seem to be put on horror films that make them not worth to be reevaluated, isn't your focus only on the smaller details to those films? Really, some of the most interesting work can be done with those things added. The things you said that needed to be there don't really fall into bringing down much of the material. Actually, in my own mind, it is just another rule for another genre that insivisibly is wrapped around most genres and being broken in small and various ways. In my review of Blow Out, I said it was like a brother film to the art film Blow Up, but was comercial instead. The main difference that seems to be between those two kinds of film is that the art film never really goes for answers, it goes for bringing up questions and ambiguilties. Nothing is more frowned upon in Hollywood than that because studio heads feel everything should be answered to please the audience and a lot of the most acclaimed films do this and many other little things that follow invisible rules. The thing is though, the rules never define most of the book, but only the smaller parts and thus movies by people like De Palma can and are interesting becaus of the talent put into the middle. The outcome, if maybe cliche, doesn't really determine the rest of the film.

~rougerum

cowboykurtis

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« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2003, 07:22:34 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
Quote from: cowboykurtis
Quote from: godardian
[Criterion releases films that are considered by those in the film-scholar community to be prescient or of some value to film history. .


thank you for the "criterion mission statement" but it was a rhetorical question... i thought the movie was garbage, and in no way important to the history of film. it doesn't measure up to the integrity of many other criterion releases -- maybe they wanted to congradulate de palma to be the one of the first to deliberately and unashamedly rip off hitchcock...


So... you think Carnival of Souls, Flesh for Frankenstein, Haxan, and The Blob- a vein of Criterion editions in which I would also place Sisters- have more "integrity?"

. I guess the reason that people don't call, say, The Coen Bros. to task or get up in arms over them "ripping off" Preston Sturges and Robert Aldrich is because maybe people feel it's okay to goof on film noir and screwball comedy, but it's not okay when it comes to suspense/horror...?


yes, i do feel all those films you listed are more important to the history of film than sisters.

regarding the coen bros: i think they rip alot off from other film makers -- it's crazy when watching a film like sullivan's travles or even some of frank capra's work (especially its a wonderful life) how much they have "borrowed" -- there are some scene's that they almost "borrow" shot by shot -- however i feel the big difference between the coen and depalma is; the coen take genre's and make them their own -- further, their films are extremely entertaining -- sister's isnt.... on the other hand, you have depalma who seems to "borrow" with mediocre results -- when i look at SISTER'S it looks like a poor attempt of re-making a hitchock film - -i don't feel it has any breath of it's own... i think a big reasons our opinions differ is: you seem to find that de palma is "goofing on" the suspense genre -- if that was the case, i think he failed even more miserably -- at no point did i feel it was a farse -- i just saw it as a failed attempt at a thriller.
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« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2003, 09:34:04 PM »
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sisters is one of my fav depalma

rustinglass

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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2003, 10:42:13 AM »
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Why isn't The Wedding Party here, I though it was pretty funny, with some very interesting experimental rythm (can I say it like this?).
It's not my favourite (Femme Fatale is) but I gess it could be up there.

Also it's pretty funny to see "Robert DENERO" on the credits
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SoNowThen

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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2003, 11:01:08 AM »
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Quote from: The Gold Trumpet
SoNowThen,
in your observance of the "rules" that seem to be put on horror films that make them not worth to be reevaluated, isn't your focus only on the smaller details to those films? Really, some of the most interesting work can be done with those things added. The things you said that needed to be there don't really fall into bringing down much of the material. Actually, in my own mind, it is just another rule for another genre that insivisibly is wrapped around most genres and being broken in small and various ways. In my review of Blow Out, I said it was like a brother film to the art film Blow Up, but was comercial instead. The main difference that seems to be between those two kinds of film is that the art film never really goes for answers, it goes for bringing up questions and ambiguilties. Nothing is more frowned upon in Hollywood than that because studio heads feel everything should be answered to please the audience and a lot of the most acclaimed films do this and many other little things that follow invisible rules. The thing is though, the rules never define most of the book, but only the smaller parts and thus movies by people like De Palma can and are interesting becaus of the talent put into the middle. The outcome, if maybe cliche, doesn't really determine the rest of the film.

~rougerum


You're kinda running round and round. And the outcome DOES determine the whole film, because watching films is a linear experience, and you know the old expression: save the best for last. I don't care if film events are in order, but the last bit of the film generally should pay off for the rest of it. I felt Blow Out turned goofy, hence ruining the rest for me. But what I was saying is that it's hard to craft a horror film that will really be satisfying in the end to people who have seen the same old thing time after time. The one really great ending to a horror film for me was Texas Chainsaw -- Leatherface raging in the middle of the road was creepy as all hell, and stayed with me for a while.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2003, 11:12:00 AM »
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...and I said "doesn't LEND itself" to re-evaluation, not "isn't worth" re-evaluation. I would never say any genre isn't worth re-evaluation. Unless it's a shitty musical. And it's called Chicago. And it steals best picture from my favorite director. Die.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

godardian

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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2003, 11:53:43 AM »
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I think goofiness is part of De Palma's charm... like Godard, De Palma is an extremely self-conscious and stylistic filmmaker, but where Godard attains that quality through rapidity and (apparent) randomness, De Palma gets it by always doing too much, always pushing it one step further than plausible, always pushing the funny into gruesome and back again.

When you say the end ruined it for you, is it because of the scene at the patriotic celebration where John Travolta arrives too late to save Nancy Allen, stabs John Lithgow against the American flag backdrop, and then cradles Allen's lifeless form as fireworks shatter the sky? 'Cos I think that scene is spectacularly gorgeous in so many ways; it's the payoff of the film, really. It's a purely tactile thing- it overloads your cinematic sense-memory. And that ending, with the scream... I think that's very impressive. It brings it back full circle; it's the epitomization of the film's mournfulness toward the divide between controlled fiction and uncontrollable reality. I absolutely love it.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

godardian

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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2003, 11:55:14 AM »
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Quote from: rustinglass
Why isn't The Wedding Party here, I though it was pretty funny, with some very interesting experimental rythm (can I say it like this?).
It's not my favourite (Femme Fatale is) but I gess it could be up there.

Also it's pretty funny to see "Robert DENERO" on the credits


I don't think most people have seen Wedding Party or Hi, Mom- they're generally unavailable here, I think- so I didn't include them for that reason. If it's not your favorite, I won't bother Macguffin to add it to the poll.
""Money doesn't come into it. It never has. I do what I do because it's all that I am." - Morrissey

"Lacan stressed more and more in his work the power and organizing principle of the symbolic, understood as the networks, social, cultural, and linguistic, into which a child is born. These precede the birth of a child, which is why Lacan can say that language is there from before the actual moment of birth. It is there in the social structures which are at play in the family and, of course, in the ideals, goals, and histories of the parents. This world of language can hardly be grasped by the newborn and yet it will act on the whole of the child's existence."

Stay informed on protecting your freedom of speech and civil rights.

SoNowThen

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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2003, 12:14:18 PM »
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Quote from: godardian
I think goofiness is part of De Palma's charm... like Godard, De Palma is an extremely self-conscious and stylistic filmmaker, but where Godard attains that quality through rapidity and (apparent) randomness, De Palma gets it by always doing too much, always pushing it one step further than plausible, always pushing the funny into gruesome and back again.

When you say the end ruined it for you, is it because of the scene at the patriotic celebration where John Travolta arrives too late to save Nancy Allen, stabs John Lithgow against the American flag backdrop, and then cradles Allen's lifeless form as fireworks shatter the sky? 'Cos I think that scene is spectacularly gorgeous in so many ways; it's the payoff of the film, really. It's a purely tactile thing- it overloads your cinematic sense-memory. And that ending, with the scream... I think that's very impressive. It brings it back full circle; it's the epitomization of the film's mournfulness toward the divide between controlled fiction and uncontrollable reality. I absolutely love it.


I liked everything about that movie until the chase (Travolta's jeep crashes) through to where he stabs Lithgow. Then from there on I liked the rest. Just that little window of time was too much for me, it took the thriller mood into hyper action overdrive. I didn't care about the over-the-top backgrounds, but what especially bothered me was how Travolta managed to find Nancy Allen so easily among that huge crowd at the end. It was like DePalma just threw up his hands and said "well, he's gotta find her now, or else I got no ending". I just feel like most of his movies could do with a little screenplay polish before the shoot, to smooth some of this clunkiness out.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

modage

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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2003, 10:24:31 PM »
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i just saw DRESSED TO KILL for the first time, on my quest to see more depalma (whether i like it or not).  this now brings my total up to 12.

SPOILERS
it was okay. interesting choice to have the character you are with for the first 30 minutes killed off, leaving you to follow the rest of the story with a few characters that had only had a single scene each.  weird.  also, funny that michael caine took THAT part. this is another one that seems like a Donald Kauffman Creation, but was okay.  

END  SPOILERS

done talking now.  i'm planning on seeing Sisters next, despite mixed reviews. i havent seen much early stuff, mostly later, so thats next.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Cecil

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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2003, 10:32:03 PM »
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Quote from: themodernage02
SPOILERS
it was okay. interesting choice to have the character you are with for the first 30 minutes killed off, leaving you to follow the rest of the story with a few characters that had only had a single scene each.  weird.  also, funny that michael caine took THAT part. this is another one that seems like a Donald Kauffman Creation, but was okay.  

END  SPOILERS


SPOILERS FOR "PSYCHO"

have you seen psycho?

modage

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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2003, 10:33:54 PM »
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yeah, right. didnt even make that connection.  obviously the whole dressing up like a woman thing and split personalities and shower stuff all "borrowed", but yeah, you're right.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

Cecil

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BRIAN DE PALMA
« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2003, 10:36:08 PM »
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not that dressed to kill isnt brilliant, though

 

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