Posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Director Brian De Palma is one of the most influential and iconic directors that cinema has ever seen. His body of work includes films such as Scarface, Carrie, Blow Out, The Untouchables, Casualties of War, Mission: Impossible, Snake Eyes, The Black Dahlia, Carlito’s Way and most recently, Passion. Now the filmmaker himself dives into his impressive ouvre in a documentary simply titled De Palma.
Directors Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) and Jake Paltrow (Young Ones) sat down with Brian De Palma to conduct about 30 hours of interviews, featuring the filmmaker recounting unheard stories from his time behind the camera, working in the Hollywood system and paying tribute to Alfred Hitchcock with his own work. Watch the De Palma trailer below to see just how amazing this documentary is going to be for cinephiles.
Here’s the DePalma trailer straight from A24:
The film looks simple in its execution, letting De Palma and clips from his movies speak for themselves. This is one of those times where some of the pull quotes actually have me even more interested in seeing the movie, specifically Jason Bailey’s comment about the movie being full of “wonderful, no-fucks-left-to-give stories.”
De Palma already screened at the Venice Film Festival, and it got plenty of praise in the reviews that followed. While there’s not really anything innovative in the filmmaking department, it’s the focus on De Palma, in his own words, that seems to make the movie so damn fascinating.
The Film Stage mentions some of the tales included:
The stories from here never stop. From discovering Robert De Niro in a workshop in Sarah Lawrence and directing Orson Welles at thirty years of age, to the success of Sisters and Carrie in the 1970’s, kicking Oliver Stone off the set of Scarface, to filming Blow Out, The Untouchables and Dressed to Kill the decade after, the list of highlights is staggering.
While The Hollywood Reporter commends the director’s candid discussion:
De Palma is candid about his failures, honest about his disappointments, and doesn’t bother with false modesty where his great pictures are concerned. Speaking of the various remakes and subsequent adaptations of Carrie, the film that put him on the commercial map, he chuckles over the amusement of watching other people make mistakes that he avoided.
This is the kind of documentary I wish that we could get with every filmmaker. It feels like one of those Interviews books brought to life, but with a lot more content and intimate storytelling involved. Here’s hoping more footage that didn’t make it into the film ends up included on a home video release at some point.
One of the most talented, influential, and iconoclastic filmmakers of all time, Brian De Palma’s career started in the 60s and has included such acclaimed and diverse films as Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, and Mission: Impossible. In this lively, illuminating and unexpectedly moving documentary, directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow engage in a personal and candid discussion with De Palma, exploring not only his life and work but also his singular approach to the craft of filmmaking and his remarkable experiences navigating the film business, from his early days as the bad boy of New Hollywood to his more recent years as a respected veteran of the field. In the end, what emerges is a funny, honest, and incisive portrait of a truly one-of-a-kind artist, and an exhilarating behind-the-scenes look at the last 50 years of the film industry through the eyes of someone who has truly seen it all.
De Palma hits limited theaters on June 10.Cool Posts From Around the Web: