Brian De Palma – Body Double (1984)

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Brian De Palma’s trickiest and most ambitious movies often earn the harshest reactions from audiences and critics. Many of the filmmaker’s most sophisticated acts of cinematic gamesmanship are seen by much of the populace, assuming they’re seen at all, as operating on an aesthetic plane that’s roughly equivalent to a fitfully amusing midnight Skinamax entry. Body Double, Femme Fatale’s cynical older cousin, weathered many of the usual accusations of the director’s unoriginality and misogyny. Continue reading

Brian De Palma – Obsession (1976)

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Brian De Palma has often been accused of ripping off Hitchcock, the director he most admired as a young man. Nowhere is this influence more apparant than in Obsession which is so heavily inspired by Vertigo as to be suspiciously familiar. Having said that, De Palma’s film is very entertaining in its own right and full of technical virtuosity that serves the story as well as being impressive on a purely aesthetic level.

On a technical level, the film is astonishingly well made. It’s here that De Palma really demonstrates his imaginative brilliance as a director. This was present in large portions of Sisters and Phantom of The Paradise, and even in his early work like the obscure Get To Know Your Rabbit and the underrated Hi Mom, but it flowers in Obsession into a signature style that he has been using ever since. Continue reading

Brian de Palma – The Wedding Party (1969)

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This independent film was a joint effort by Sarah Lawrence theatre professor Wilford Leach and two of his students, protégé Brian De Palma and wealthy Cynthia Monroe, who bankrolled the project. The trio shared screen credit as writers, directors, and producers, although it is De Palma’s touch that is most evident in the film’s technical aspects, while Leach’s theatrical background suggests he was responsible for supervising the performances of the ensemble cast.
The film was made in 1963 but not released until six years later, after one of its supporting players, Robert De Niro, had begun to draw notice for his work in off-Broadway theatre and De Palma’s 1968 release Greetings. Also in the cast were Jennifer Salt and William Finley, both of whom were De Palma regulars, and fellow Sarah Lawrence student Jill Clayburgh as the bride-to-be.
(from wiki) Continue reading

Brian De Palma – Dionysus (1970)

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“NY Times wrote:
RICHARD SCHECHNER’S “Dionysus in 69” played during 1968 and 1969 in a converted garage on Wooster Street. Brian De Palma made his movie version in the course of just two actual performances. It opened yesterday at the Kips Bay Theater.

Although rough in a few technical details, it is a film of extraordinary grace and power. With exceptional imagination and intelligence, De Palma has managed both to preserve the complex immediacies of Schechner’s dramatic event (based on “The Bacchae” of Euripides) and to work those immediacies into the passionate and formal properties of his own creation Continue reading