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Old 12-22-2010, 10:28 PM   #31
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I've never seen any Cassavettes. It's not much of a priority.
Mistake.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:36 PM   #32
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Not my type of thing. I respect what he's done (and I've seen a good number of clips) but are so many other auteurs who interest me more which I'm still working through.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:40 PM   #33
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Perfectly reasonable. Just saying, I'd recommend. He's one of my favorite American filmmakers at the very least.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:50 PM   #34
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I've never seen any Cassavettes. It's not much of a priority.

I did see him in DePalma's The Fury the other day though. A film that was not as good as I was hoping it would be, but shame on me for getting my hopes up with this director.
For me, The Fury is about as disjointed as all of his work outside of Blow Out, really with a couple of notable sequences (the opening shoot-out, Cassavetes' farewell, and Kirk Douglas swinging around lampposts dodging the feds). I think De Palma's always been able to coax strong performances out of naturally charismatic actors, Douglas and Cassavetes being prime examples here, but struggles to construct a complete film because of his focus on set-pieces and individual moments. With this film in particular, I fucking love the last 2 minutes... easily one of my favorite endings ever. Pauline Kael's rave of it is equally as entertaining.

With De Palma though, going back to his set-piece focus, I think it goes back to his true flaw as a filmmaker, he's bound by his two main influences: Hitchcock and Godard. Hitchcock in that he will construct a film based around several well-conceived and exacted sequences, with little focus in-between. With Godard, he's always seeking to make some type of meta-commentary on cinema with his art, but to me, it's much ado about nothing. What does the reflexive sleaze of Body Double or the knowing "pastiche" of Psycho with Dressed to Kill actually say about cinema and the genre that he's working in?

It's why I feel he's a talented, albeit frustrating filmmaker. Again, I think that Blow Out's his most accomplished work in that Travolta's emotional turmoil and paranoia do enough to work toward the goal of a commentary on cinema without De Palma reverting the attention to himself with excessively self-aware filmmaking. The strength of that performance is both due to De Palma's conception and Travolta's execution and it maintains throughout the film, always being the focus. One could argue that Carrie may also follow suit, though I feel like that climax has not only been so overexposed in popular culture, but also fails to hit the emotional satisfaction that the film leads you in beforehand. I can clarify later, but I feel like I'm straying from my main point.

Anyway, I remember your previous thoughts on his work from the time I watched a portion of his work earlier in the year, Laz. This is just the conclusion that I've reached from what I've seen from his filmography thus far.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:56 PM   #35
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With this film in particular, I fucking love the last 2 minutes... easily one of my favorite endings ever. Pauline Kael's rave of it is equally as entertaining.
Really? I think the ending was way too abrupt. Kaboom and then credits? That's it? I had just watched a Dario Argento film that ended almost the same way, but the last shot had a little more oomph to it. That film was Deep Red, which I've been waiting ages to see, specifically the longer cut. One of his best, for sure.

Did you ever manage to see DePalma's Femme Fatale? Because there are times I think it's his best work. When I think of that part where the film totally switches gears (the rain, Romijn waking up in the bathtub), I get chills. Love that film, even if it has some super cheesy parts (one of them being Banderas, who I don't mind too much to be honest.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:59 PM   #36
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Really? I think the ending was way too abrupt. Kaboom and then credits? That's it? I had just watched a Dario Argento film that ended almost the same way, but the last shot had a little more oomph to it. That film was Deep Red, which I've been waiting ages to see, specifically the longer cut. One of his best, for sure.
I take it as more of an epilogue, if anything. It's the only ounce of satisfaction that you reach in the whole film. It followed an anti-climax if there ever was one. I'm fine with Douglas' final decision and the direction that his son went in, but if you want to talk about abrupt, a lot of what I would've considered to be the emotional moments to hit were glossed over from what I recall.

My friend was just telling me about Deep Red today! And the one with Donald Pleasance sporting a Scottish accent and leading a pet chimpanzee around with a laser pointer. Phenomenon, I think it was.

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Did you ever manage to see DePalma's Femme Fatale? Because there are times I think it's his best work. When I think of that part where the film totally switches gears (the rain, Romijn waking up in the bathtub), I get chills. Love that film, even if it has some super cheesy parts (one of them being Banderas, who I don't mind too much to be honest.
If I were inclined to see one of his films anytime soon, that would be it. Snake Eyes put me off for a while, though it has arguably my favorite insane Nic Cage performance. He is out of control for 90 minutes.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:04 AM   #37
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Femme Fatale is one of the only De Palma films I can really get behind (insert joke here).
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:20 AM   #38
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Are Quentin Tarantino and I the only ones who would argue for Blow Out?
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:26 AM   #39
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Are Quentin Tarantino and I the only ones who would argue for Blow Out?
Criterion seems to agree.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:28 AM   #40
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I am way too excited for that to drop.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:32 AM   #41
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It's actually one I haven't seen, so I could end up on your side. Waiting for the Criterion is all.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:33 AM   #42
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I think Blow Out is very good, but its direct derivativeness bugs me a bit. Femme Fatale certainly has the usual influences (and pays homage to Blow Up as well), but is a little more unique to me, more personal, more poetic. And Romijn really is great.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:37 AM   #43
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It's funny, because I feel that the "derivative" tag thrown at Blow Out isn't exactly unjust (It's more like The Conversation than Blow-Up in its construction), but I feel like it forges enough of a unique point-of-view and emotional through-line to be an accomplished work on its own merits.

I'm not disparaging Femme Fatale in any way though. I'd very much like to see it.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:00 AM   #44
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I can only reiterate Lance's suggestion that Uncle Boonmee should be seen in theaters - if nothing else, because of its sound design.
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Old 12-27-2010, 12:41 PM   #45
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Reverse Shot’s Best of 2010 | Reverse Shot
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