Review: DE PALMA

By Liz Lopez

Rating: A

No matter what age a film fan is, he or she has probably heard of, if not viewed, the following films: Carrie, 1976; Dressed to Kill, 1980; Blow Out, 1981; Scarface, 1983; The Untouchables, 1987; Carlito’s Way, 1993; and Mission: Impossible, 1996. These are but a few of the feature films Brian De Palma has directed since he began as a filmmaker in 1960 with a short, Icarus. This documentary, starring Brian De Palma, is written/directed by Noah Baumbach (Mistress America, The Squid and the Whale) and Jake Paltrow (Young Ones, The Good Night) is one I highly recommend if you are a fan of De Palma’s work, and/or are wanting to learn more about the highly regarded filmmaker.

Not only is the film informative about the multitude of information from De Palma’s filmography, viewers who admire the visual storyteller are entertained by De Palma in front of the camera, as he tells a story about his life and career. Not only do you hear De Palma speak of the “making of” and success of some of his feature films, it is also quite an experience to listen to the elder filmmaker speak of the times his films were not widely excepted, misunderstood, or not what he wanted to create, and the lessons learned in retrospect. The entertaining film is Baumbach and Paltrow’s first feature doc.

The son of a successful surgeon, he has two brothers and has a Quaker education in Newark and Philadelphia. He studies film at Sarah Lawrence, and as the story about his background is unfolding, the viewer learns of his friendship that became a long-term association with Robert De Niro while in school. The scenes of De Palma and De Niro in their youth are very engaging and entertaining.

After the documentary was part of the Venice Film Festival and New York Film Festival (Special Events) last September, it has made the rounds at least seven other film festivals to date. This month, De Palma has had a theatrical release and opens in Austin on Friday, June 24th at Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar.

The film is rated R and has a run time of 147 minutes.

Source: A24

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