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Brian de Palma

Started by Crenners, July 03, 2022, 10:00:33 PM

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Crenners

One of my favourite films as a kid was The Untouchables but I'd not seen it in probably thirty years. I never knew anything about the director, I was just captivated by the performances, the dialogue, the violence and the incredible soundtrack. I just watched it again, Paramount have done an excellent 4K release and it looks and sounds fantastic in Dolby Vision and Atmos.

Now that I know de Palma much better, from Body Double, Dressed To Kill, Blow Out and Carrie, I could see much more of his particular fingerprints all over and I was delighted to find that it's still a fucking excellent film. The Morricone score does so much emotional labour but the camera work is also superb and keeps the film lively and exciting even during the court scenes and ledger chat.

Costner and Connery are pure heart in a schmaltzy comic book kinda way which I love, but Garcia is even better somehow. There's an integrity and purity there which I absolutely adore. He's straight as a fuckin die but prepared to go all the way. De Niro is also larger than life but it's one of my favourite performances from him, broad and smarmy and intimidating.

There are several very memorable scenes but the Union Station shootout is utterly spectacular, right to the last shot. Pure tension and release, the very best of cinema. The Connery scene at his home and the Billy Drago rooftop scenes are also immensely emotive/cathartic.

Whatever criticisms are thrown at de Palma, he's an incredible director with the right material.

What's your favourite de Palma? I still have Phantom of the Paradise to watch but it seems a bit daft.

luckyjim

Carlito's Way is one of my all time favourite films.

Great soundtrack and costuming, excellent casting. Pacino puts in a great performance, Sean Penn is great as the grotesque lawyer David Kleinfeld. Also has a bizarre but brilliant one scene appearance by a then little known Viggo Mortensen.

bgmnts

"I got no deeeek meng!"

Carlito's Way is incredible, Brian de Palma made me enjoy Sean Penn, which is a feat in itself.

But yeah wall to wall bangers on his CV; Carrie, The Untouchables, fucking SCARFACE, Blow Out, Carlito's Way and even the first Mission Impossible film.

Rizla

Quote from: Crenners on July 03, 2022, 10:00:33 PMI still have Phantom of the Paradise to watch but it seems a bit daft.
It's a brilliant piece of work, in my top 5 films of all time. I can see why it might look daft but it's not like a campy trashy thing, like Rocky Horror or Tommy, it's a dark vicious satirical fable about fame, greed and ego, everyone's a cunt, no-one wins, brilliant performances and the music's excellent.

Shame about what a fucking let-down The Black Dahlia was. You'd think if ever there was a perfect choice of director to make that it would've been De Palma, but somehow he blew it.

What was his last good film, Snake Eyes in 1998 maybe? But yeah, pretty stellar run up till then.

bgmnts

Oh fucking hell yeah Snake Eyes. Banger.

Old Nehamkin

Really love Blow Out, Carlito's Way, Body Double and Femme Fatale. Also quite like Sisters. Untouchables is all well and good but not entirely my kind of thing. Carrie, Scarface and Dressed to Kill remain shameful blindspots among some others. But yeah he good two thumbs up.

phantom_power

Blow Out is probably my favourite of his as it has all the De Palma traits dialled up with a compelling story, great performances and fucking knock-out ending

Carrie was a film I wasn't that fussed about when I saw it years ago but I saw it again recently and it is brilliant. So stylish and measured in its build-up to that famous denouement.

Worthy mentions for Untouchable (for which I have a similar history to the OP with regard to this film and De Palma), Phantom of the Paradise (some of it doesn't work but it is so much fun) and Body Double (same, including that fantastic Frankie Goes To Hollywood sequence, really audacious in a pulpy way)

Sebastian Cobb

Body Double is sick for using the Chemosphere as a setting alone.

Stigdu

One of my favourite directors. Also bought the Carlito's Way 4k disc a few weeks ago (I don't have a Dolby Vision-capable telly but it should still look great). I think pretty much all of his films are excellent. The only ones that I consider lesser De Palma would be Obsession from the earlier stuff, then Femme Fatale, Passion and The Black Dahlia from the new lot. Haven't seen Domino or Mission to Mars.

So many wonderful moments in his films. "There is no body because there is no murder!" I do love Sisters, particularly the Bernard Herrmann score.

El Unicornio, mang

Worth checking out a few of his films from 1968-70 (Greetings, The Wedding Party, and Hi Mom!) to see De Niro in his first proper film roles.

Hadn't realised until now that he directed the first Mission Impossible film.

Crenners

I can't remember watching Carlito's Way but I will get back that 4K when I see it on sale. Sounds brilliant.

the science eel

It's shit! very Hollywood with a ridiculous drawn-out chase finale and a bullshit drawn-out 'hero death' (which you know is coming because it's the very first thing you fucking see in the film!)

And it's too long, I was shouting for it all to end for the last 20 minutes. I'm not even sure Pacino was that good.

dissolute ocelot

Untouchables is a great piece of popular cinema, that takes a much ridiculed and parodied time in history (oh no! Rex Banner is going to take our booze away!) and makes it thrilling and dangerous. Costner at his best was a very good actor (e.g. A Perfect World), but even a lot of his critically acclaimed work is dull and safe, never mind stuff like Waterworld (which maybe isn't as bad as its reputation but still isn't good, and Costner can't really do anything other than flap his gills and punch people). He was never a selfish actor though, and here seems quite content to stand around and let other people do their things while looking handsome, noble, and tough. Sean Connery has scuppered a few films by his awfulness, but here he's exactly right, over the top but in a believable way: the film features a bunch of very different actors but makes them all work together.

Carrie is great partially because it often looks like a dopey teen movie, and manages to take the kids' feelings seriously, while also showing real horror (both in how the kids behave, and what happens to them). For me, it's so much better than something like The Omen or The Exorcist which both feel purely cynical vehicles of horror.

And some day I will watch The Bonfire of the Vanities! But probably not Domino or Redacted.

phantom_power

Quote from: Stigdu on July 04, 2022, 11:10:11 AMOne of my favourite directors. Also bought the Carlito's Way 4k disc a few weeks ago (I don't have a Dolby Vision-capable telly but it should still look great). I think pretty much all of his films are excellent. The only ones that I consider lesser De Palma would be Obsession from the earlier stuff, then Femme Fatale, Passion and The Black Dahlia from the new lot. Haven't seen Domino or Mission to Mars.

So many wonderful moments in his films. "There is no body because there is no murder!" I do love Sisters, particularly the Bernard Herrmann score.

I forgot about Sisters. That is a corker.

I remember liking Femme Fatale as almost a parody of De Palma and all his little foibles. Mission to Mars is dogshit

Stigdu

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on July 04, 2022, 02:00:36 PMAnd some day I will watch The Bonfire of the Vanities! But probably not Domino or Redacted.


I'll venture to say you'll be doing yourself a disservice by skipping Redacted. It's no Casualties of War, but still enjoyable.

He's got at least a dozen absolute bangers in his filmography. I zone out a bit after Raising Cain though. Should probably give Snake Eyes another go. 

Brundle-Fly

No love for The Fury (1978)?  One of those stalwart early video rentals of mine (and no doubt many other burgeoning horror nuts).

Quote from: Brundle-Fly on July 04, 2022, 04:01:26 PMNo love for The Fury (1978)?  One of those stalwart early video rentals of mine (and no doubt many other burgeoning horror nuts).

That one completely passed me by until Arrow Video put out a (very nice) Blu-ray of it. What an ending! And from every angle possible. Awesome.

Stigdu

The Fury is awesome. The editing during the scene where Amy Irving is making the train go faster and faster round the table is sublime. That's the thing with De Palma, isn't it? He's such an iconic, recognisably stylistic director that any fan of his work could choose a film of his and then pick 4 or 5 sequences from them that are superb.

phantom_power

Quote from: dontpaintyourteeth on July 04, 2022, 03:50:33 PMHe's got at least a dozen absolute bangers in his filmography. I zone out a bit after Raising Cain though. Should probably give Snake Eyes another go. 

It is not classic De Palma but it is fun. It falls apart a bit at the end though

Dex Sawash


Is there more than one Domino the one I saw was Tony Scott

zomgmouse

Quote from: Dex Sawash on July 11, 2022, 12:30:53 PMIs there more than one Domino the one I saw was Tony Scott

Yes this one was from 2019