Sunday, August 14, 2016

DE PALMA (2016)

Because the famed Belcourt Theater in Nashville has reopened it's doors after extensive renovations I once again have the opportunity to see the occasional documentary on the big screen. Last weekend I ventured into the shiny new place to see DE PALMA (2016) because - of course - I'm a huge fan of director Brian De Palma's movies. I was excited that someone finally decided to talk at length to the man about his work and this film allows us to be a fly on the wall as they go through his entire career movie by movie. That makes for some fascinating stories as we learn De Palma's thoughts about his oeuvre as well as the motivations for specific choices. I loved getting to hear his tales and at times wished we could ask questions too so as to dig into certain themes and influences. I especially wanted more details about the days Steven Spielberg spent on the set of SCARFACE helping set up gunfights and stuntmen. That sounded like a blast!

But in the end I was left wanting more from DE PALMA than the film delivers. It is really only an extended interview and doesn't dig much deeper than it takes to illicit a bunch of cool stories about a man's career. I was hoping for a profound and multifaceted look at De Palma and his movies. As it is, this is more a fantastic DVD extra and less a complete film. I enjoyed it but I hope a better documentary comes along one day with a broader view and maybe a few of his collaborators contributing their thoughts as well. 

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