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    New on Video: ‘Angel’

    Angel is a 1937 feature directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Marlene Dietrich … deserving of attention, at the very least, because it’s a film directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Marlene Dietrich. More

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    De Palma’s ‘Carrie’: a simple story transformed into a visual masterpiece

    It was the first film to be adapted from a Stephen King novel. Its leading ladies were acclaimed for their career-defining performances, and the film pushed its relatively unknown supporting cast into the limelight. It is one of the very few horror films to be recognised at the Academy Awards and has sincere spawned a musical, remakes, and a sequel. However, 40 years on since the publication of the original novel, nothing has captured the sheer horror of Brian De Palma’s 1976 film adaptation. So, what is it about Carrietta “Carrie” White that makes her so special? More

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    Top Ten Brian De Palma Climaxes

    This piece naturally reveals the end of every film  mentioned. You have been warned. What is most exciting about the pure joy of watching a Brian De Palma film usually comes as far away from subtext as one can get. Very few filmmakers can stage a major setpiece in their climax where the visceral excitement […] More

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    De Palma’s ‘Snake Eyes’ is more than meets the eye

    De Palma has relied on expressionist imagery and self-reflexivity for most of his career, so why is it a problem with Snake Eyes? Were critics expecting a different sort of experience because of the genre? Either way, the issue seems worth delving into, if only to unpack false notions of the film being a waste of time. More

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    ‘Body Double’ is an exploration, exaltation and condemnation of trash culture

    It is obvious that Body Double (1984) is a combination of the plots of Vertigo (1958), Rear Window (1954) and Dial M for Murder (1955) by Alfred Hitchcock, and nearly as obvious to say that the film also takes cues from Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960) and elements from various slasher films like Abel Ferrara’s The Driller Killer (1979). Unfortunately, a good number of critical pieces on Brian De Palma are obsessed with listing off his influences and coming to the inept conclusion that he is merely a Hitchcock imitator with a couple of clever cinematic tricks up his sleeve. Few writers take De Palma on his own terms, though select critics are finally coming around, and most ignore the way he constructs his complex thriller narratives, creates exquisite images that take advantage of cinema’s unique artistic properties, and underscores his films with dissenting politics. Body Double features all of these elements and more, making this film one of De Palma’s finest and most entertaining in his extensive filmography. More

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    ‘Blow Out’ and ‘Blowup’: examining two masterpieces

    Please note that the following piece contains spoilers for the final act of Blow Out. Taken at face value Blow Out, Brian De Palma’s 1981 film, is a nifty and tightly wound little thriller. It starts to run into some trouble, however, when compared to Michelangelo Antonioni’s seminal counter culture classic Blowup (1966), the film […] More

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    The Definitive War Movies: 50-41

    With Memorial Day a week ago and Independence Day fast approaching, it seemed fitting to look at the history of war films from the world (I’m American, after all – though this site originates in Canada). So, as we move through the list, the important aspects to remember: first, these have to take place during […] More

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    ‘The Fury’ is Brian DePalma’s most-underrated movie

    The Fury Directed by Brian De Palma Written by John Farris USA, 1978 In this action-suspense picture packed with paranormal activity, Kirk Douglas plays government agent Peter Sandza, whose telepathic son (Andrew Stevens) has been kidnapped by his colleague Ben Childress (John Cassavetes), working for a CIA-like secret government agency that plans to exploit the […] More

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