TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (2)
|Also Known As:||Died:|
|Born:||September 11, 1940||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Newark, New Jersey, USA||Profession:||Director ...|
A film by De Palma is never accidental in any detail. He can offer a financier a precise prospectus: "Those are the actors, there's every shot of the picture, there's the script. You get exactly what you see there. I'm not a director like Francis Coppola or Marty Scorsese, who shoot so much material and work variations on a theme, trying to discover something as they are shooting. That's fine. but that's a whole different way of working. For Francis and Marty, their movies are almost created in the editing. For me, it's just finishing the design." --From The Movie Brats by Michael Pye and Lynda Myles (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979) p. 142.
"I think I first saw the irony when I was out on a publicity tour for "Greetings," he says. "I am in the midst of a society that is very capitalist, and whose values I completely reject. But I, too, became a capitalist. The problem is that by dealing with the devil, you become devilish to a certain extent. You need the machine. And once you use it, you are a tainted human being. . . . You can make message pictures, you can lead a Simon-pure life, but the very fact that you are in that world at all makes you a compromised individual. People who think they're going to sanitize this business, make it straight and honorable, are absolutely crazy." --From The Movie Brats by Michael Pye and Lynda Myles (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979) p. 153-154.
His example, still, is Orson Welles, the master he cast as a magician and teacher in "Get to Know Your Rabbit". "Just look at our gods," he says, "Look at Welles. He's the greatest director in the world, and he can't get a job and he's sold out. Totally. Orson Welles on the Johnny Carson show doesn't give us much to hope for. That is the story of this business." --From The Movie Brats by Michael Pye and Lynda Myles (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979) p. 153-154.
"There is a self-conscious cunning in De Palma's work, ready to control everything except his own cruelty and indifference. He is the epitome of mindless style and excitement swamping taste or character. Of course, he was a brilliant kid. But his usefulness in an historical survey is to point out the dangers of movies falling into the hands of such narrow movie-mania, such cold-blooded prettification. I daresay there are no 'ugly' shots in De Palma's films--if you feel able to measure 'beauty' merely in terms of graceful or hypnotic movement, vivid angles, lyrical color, and hysterical situation. But that is the set of criteria that makes Leni Riefenstahl a 'great' director, rather than the victim of conflicting inspiration and decadence." --David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994).
"De Palma's eye is cut off from conscience or compassion. He has contempt for his characters and his audience alike, and I suspect that he despises his own immaculate skill. Our cultural weakness admires and rewards technique and impact bereft of moral sense. If the thing works, it has validity--the means justify the lack of an end. De Palma is a cynic, and not a feeble one; there are depths of misanthropy there." --David Thomson, A Biographical Dictionary of Film (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994).
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