Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: UPDATED - De Palma Blog-A-Thon: Considering De Palma Elsewhere in the Blogosphere (Part 3)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

UPDATED - De Palma Blog-A-Thon: Considering De Palma Elsewhere in the Blogosphere (Part 3)

As we start heading down the home stretch (the Blog-A-Thon wraps up on Wednesday) here are even more posts I've caught around the blogosphere. First, Cinema Viewfinder's oldest and dearest friend (and spiritual mentor), considers one of the director's harder to find films (I'VE never seen it) at Moon in the Gutter:
It’s one of the most breathtaking shots in Brian De Palma’s entire canon. Nancy Allen, at her loveliest, walks through a doorway in slow motion towards a visibly stunned Keith Gordon, who is frantically pounding away at some mashed potatoes. Pino Donnagio’s score grows more and more lush and dramatic as the luminous Allen walks straight towards the camera, as if some unseen force is inviting her. This classic De Palma moment isn’t from Dressed to Kill, or Blow Out, or any of the other classic films that he shot with his (then wife) Allen in the late seventies and early eighties. It is from the almost totally forgotten 1980 release Home Movies, and the unseen force inviting Allen to come closer is us, the audience... Read more here.
As part of his contribution to the Blog-A-Thon, Neil Fulwood considers Body Double at The Agitation of the Mind:
... I know that sounds snide, but I'm absolutely serious: Body Double is a conflation of Rear Window and Vertigo. De Palma's homages to Hitchcock run through his entire filmography, and these are the two films he most frequently references. In Body Double he takes his frenzy for Hitch to its logical extreme and makes unapologetically explicit everything that Sir Alfred left elegantly implicit. There are whole screeds to be written (by someone else [...maybe Dennis Cozzalio did yesterday? -ed.]) on whether this is a good or a bad thing. All I'll say is take a look at Hitchcock's penultimate film: it contains some pretty grim and graphic material. Had the maestro lived and continued making films into the '80s, how far would he have gone with what he depicted onscreen? Read more here.
In considering De Palma, Bryce Wilson brings up a popular refrain amongst De Palma fans at Things That Don't Suck:
... There are of course those who believe that De Palma is merely a director of great scenes rather then great movies and thus (oddly enough it’s his champions rather then his detractors who I usually hear go this route) I shouldn’t worry about it. Bull, the best DePalma films work almost like puzzle boxes with scenes folding out of and mirroring each other in surprising and gratifying ways (the dual screams in Blow Out, the blood at both ends of Carrie) ignoring the whole in favor of the parts does De Palma a disservice... Read more here.
UPDATED: That Little Round-Headed Boy has posted a quite humorous piece on De Palma's sartorial leanings at his eponymous site:
... When we talk of the style of Brian De Palma, we often speak of the swirling camera, the Hitchcockian references, the Hermann-esque music, the slow-motion sequences. But there is one other style point that is ever-present in any discussion of the director: The safari jacket. It springs up in every interview and profile, the parenthetical phrase "said De Palma, wearing his trademark safari jacket..." But the question must be raised: Has there ever been a director who has such exquisite visual taste and yet dresses like crap in quite the way Brian De Palma does? Read more here.
And Jordan Ruimy at Mind of a Suspicious Kind:
... DePalma has the tendency to overstylize everything & bring a sort of what I'd like to call 'Hitchcockian queerness' to it all. [Carrie] is one of the rare times that DePalma takes a back seat and paves the way to a towering performance. There's an abandon in the filmmaking that I don't think DePalma ever achieved again-a fearless, joyous abandon that makes you realize how talented the man truly is... Read more here.
And here are more links to other De Palma related writings that have recently come to my attention. These are ones not written specifically for the Blog-A-Thon. The Black Dahlia: Interview with Brian De Palma, September 26, 2006, by Geoff Beran at De Palma a la Mod Greetings: Greetings by MovieMan0283 at The Dancing Image General Discussion: Interview with Brian De Palma, February 26, 2002, in Paris, France by Geoff Beran at De Palma a la Mod


that little round-headed boy said...

FYI, Tony, I've posted a contribution at my site, as well.

Tony Dayoub said...

Charlie Brown,

I updated the post to reflect your contribution.

Thanks for the piece.

Nostalgia Kinky said...

Thanks so much for the link and for the incredibly nice words. They really mean a lot...keep up the always tremendous work and thanks again.