YOU’VE GOT OR YOU HAVEN’T GOT STYLE: Movie Reviews of De Palma and The Neon Demon by Howard Casner

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rev 1Two movies have opened recently that revolve around style. One is a documentary about a filmmaker who is known for his, the other is a film by a director who has it.

How one reacts to De Palma, the new doc by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow about the director, first name Brian, who really made his mark in movies with the horror film Carrie, may depend on how you feel about the filmmaker’s films in general. For me, De Palma, who is the only talking head here, it’s his show all the way, is only as interesting as his movies, which means that once we get to Blow Out, it’s all down here from there.

His earliest films tended to be of the independent sort, made on a shoestring budget, if that. They may not have always looked as professional as a Roger Corman production, but they had a fresh hipness to them and gave us such actors as Robert DeNiro and Jill Clayburgh.

His most successful films, when it comes to a meshing of auteurism and box office, came with the movies that were heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, films like Carrie, Dressed to Kill and the aforementioned Blow Out. There was something so kinetic and thrilling in his combination of individual style with Hollywood slickness that gave these films a certain electricity. Read the rest of this entry »