Brian De Palma

b. September 11, 1940, Newark, New Jersey, USA

filmography
bibliography
articles in Senses
web resources

Is Brian De Palma cursed? From a purely populist perspective we might conclude in the affirmative, but this would be to deny the development of a career now in its fifth decade and still provoking the most divisive of viewer reactions. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that De Palma is the most visible American director now working to inspire such passionate, often violent, choruses both pro and con. Yet in the face of these critical tempests one simple fact is conveniently ignored: De Palma continues to work steadily through it all. Whatever one’s opinion of the man’s output, his sheer dedication to his art form, regardless of those praising him to the heavens or condemning him to an early grave, is reason enough to take a closer look at a varied career, one fascinating in its complexity, themes, and obsessions.

I. Birth, Death and Dreams

Why does it not surprise me that Brian De Palma’s birthday is September 11? :-)

— from a colleague’s (and De Palma detractor’s) e-mail message

No one can help when they’re born. From our first breath a birth-date is life’s one true certainty, an unavoidable fact we keep coming back to on a mockingly circuitous route. It reminds us of the joy of being alive, but there’s also a mixed-in cosmic contradiction: it forces us to consider, more often subconsciously, our own mortality. How was De Palma to know that his birthday would become a cultural curse, a date with more explicit, tangible, conscious images of mortality than anyone should ever have to witness? And yet it’s fitting, for a key to De Palma’s cinema is this very idea of staring death (life’s simultaneous certainty and uncertainty) in the face. In an unplanned bit of prescience, De Palma’s film Sisters (1973) has several glimpses of the unfinished Twin Towers. In this way does film act as both historical witness and time capsule. Combined with the timelessness of De Palma’s cinematic technique, his films have the distinction of looking backward at history and forward to the future. Put more simply, De Palma forces us to remember, to confront our dark pasts and secrets in an effort at recognizing our perpetual humanity.

Numerous stories quoted throughout De Palma biographies attempt to explain the director’s fascination with death. Oft told is the one about De Palma’s father, a surgeon who let his son (the youngest of three boys) witness medical operations. Many take this as the signifying stressor for De Palma’s liberal use of blood in his films. But this is too superficial a response. Much more pointed and interesting is this story, which Laurent Bouzereau relates in his book The De Palma Cut:

During his early years, De Palma experienced an event that left with him a sensation of intense terror: his two brothers were playing and young Brian hid behind a refrigerator and got stuck; eventually, he had to cry out for help. Evidently, this event reinforced the inferiority complex De Palma felt toward his brothers, and added to it the fear of being humiliated for losing control. (1)

This anecdote touches on a recurring motif in De Palma’s work, which feeds into his portrayal of death. Helplessness is a constant, an inferiority (or impotence) of both physical and emotional means. A De Palma protagonist rarely has control over the events in which they find themselves embroiled. This springs from a lack of communication, often a verbal or sexual remove from the people around them. Emotions run rampant, as illustrated cinematically by De Palma’s luxurious, fluid camera movements, and inevitably someone ends up dead.

The anecdote specifically recalls De Palma’s film Body Double (1984), the director’s last all-encompassing thriller of the ’80s, which treads on the post-modern impulses he will explore in Raising Cain (1992). Craig Wasson’s Jake Scully is the ultimate example of an impotent De Palma protagonist. A Z-movie actor playing a Z-movie actor may seem like a too-obvious joke, but it is this very lack of star persona that gives Body Double its expressive power. If it was Kirk Douglas or John Travolta decked out in vampire garb in the opening movie-within-a-movie, then the slow disintegration of Scully’s facial expression into abject terror would pack a significantly lesser punch. Minus the buffer of a recognizable face we’re with Scully from the get-go. It’s a distillation of De Palma’s relationship to his audience—his best films are about identifications (between characters, audience, and director) within cinematic moments.

Dressed to Kill

The finest example of this is in De Palma’s thriller Dressed to Kill (1980). The much talked about elevator murder, in which Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) is razor-slashed by the transsexual Bobbi, climaxes with the introduction of prostitute Liz Blake (Nancy Allen) as both witness and carrier of the moral torch. Lying in pools of her own blood, Kate reaches out to the horrified Liz, and De Palma slows down the film to zoom in on both actress’ eyes, emphasizing connection. In this moment we are subject to one woman’s dying point-of-view as she passes her emotional truth onto the conscience of another. De Palma plays with this sort of identification throughout his career: it is how Gillian (Amy Irving) becomes a tragic killing machine in The Fury (1978), how Eriksson (Michael J. Fox) becomes a silent witness (hence participator) in the central rape that haunts Casualties of War (1989), and how the astronauts of Mission to Mars maintain connection with each other across that film’s vast reaches of space. Point-of-view is key to understanding the humanity in De Palma’s work. Like many of his technologically obsessed characters it is through film form that he finds human truths and, as movies practically demand crises to maintain interest, De Palma uses death as a way of challenging his audience’s precepts.

Of course, death in a De Palma film can take on forms other than the physical and it’s not rare for the director to end his movies on a metaphysical note, within the limitless space of dreams. Funny that it is most often De Palma’s female protagonists who are the inhabitants of this dream-space. In Dressed to Kill the film is book-ended by the fantasies of its leading ladies. Kate Miller, the bourgeois housewife, escapes into her violent dreams because of a rotten sex life. Finally making her fantasies reality (by picking up a stranger in a museum) Kate’s violent inner world follows suit, and she pays a price for her indiscretion. Enter Liz Blake who helps to solve the mystery behind Kate’s murder and is then invited home, platonically, by Kate’s son Peter (Keith Gordon). There, Liz dreams of her own death at the hands of the razor-wielding Bobbi, only to wake up in the very same bed Kate occupied at the film’s outset. The prostitute who uses sex in her normal occupation ‘dies’ because of her stray into domestication. It’s a darkly funny reversal of societal gender roles and, using the transsexual Bobbi as the connecting force between the two women, it adds to De Palma’s complicated views of the opposite sex that are also a career constant. Some other examples that illustrate this consistency: Sandra’s (Genevieve Bujold) regressed memories in Obsession (1975), Sue Snell’s (Amy Irving) final run-in with Carrie (Sissy Spacek) in Carrie (1976), Margo’s (John Lithgow) rebirth in Raising Cain, and Laure Ash’s (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos) film noir imaginings in Femme Fatale (2002).

Conversely, De Palma’s men are more usually confined to waking life’s nightmares. Jake Scully in Body Double, racing along a Jacques Tati-like beachfront after the villainous Indian, is unable to get through a tunnel because of his claustrophobia, and it’s this self-impotence that prevents him from stopping the murder of Gloria (Deborah Shelton). Common to De Palma’s work, Jake gets a second chance—in the form of porn star Holly Body (Melanie Griffith). “I like to watch,” he says in the sex film within the film, a verbal explication of his passive character and the very thing he must overcome for Body Double to reach its true conclusion. That Scully succeeds at both saving the girl and keeping his life is an uncommon De Palma occurrence, and one of the reasons Body Double remains a major work—its happy ending feels like a goodbye of sorts, and indeed De Palma doesn’t tread in this lurid, sexual world as explicitly until Femme Fatale. Other De Palma men who aren’t as lucky as Jake: Charlie (Charles Pfluger) with his apprehensions about marriage in The Wedding Party (filmed 1964), Winslow Leach (William Finley) and his subjugation to the music industry in Phantom of the Paradise (1974), Jack (John Travolta) failing to save Sally (Nancy Allen) in Blow Out (1981), Tony Montana’s (Al Pacino) inescapable demise in Scarface (1983), Eriksson’s moral and cultural helplessness in Casualties of War, and Rick Santoro’s (Nicolas Cage) fall from media grace in Snake Eyes (1998).

Blow Out

In listing these examples I hope to refute another common misconception about De Palma: that he is a misogynist. I think these selections show both the director’s acute awareness of gender differences and how he treats this loaded idea cinematically. Having a concrete understanding of maleness, De Palma deals with it in a real world setting, warts and all. He likewise does so with femininity (almost all of his women are complex real-world creations), but adds an extra dream layer to acknowledge their mysteriousness, that ineffable something that, rightly, baffles him. I can hear the naysayers calling this a kind of reverse misogyny—the illusion of complication hides De Palma’s one-sided hatred. In which case I can only step aside and point to several of De Palma’s actresses as guides: the cutting gaze of Amy Irving in The Fury, the feisty toughness of Nancy Allen in Dressed to Kill and Blow Out, the profound sadness of Thuy Thu Le’s face in Casualties of War, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos’ lithe grace and gender-defying striptease in Femme Fatale. These are in no way hateful stereotypes and the actresses’ performances illustrate it better than I could ever say it.

If you detect a kind of vitriol seeping in at this point, I acknowledge it. To be a De Palma connoisseur, I’ve found, is to invite all sorts of ridicule and there’s a frustration that comes along with that, which tries even the most patient of cinephiles. As I said, no other American director I know of inspires such a wide variety of responses and it’s tough to wade through all this muck and come out the other side with something worthwhile. With that sentiment in mind I think now’s the time to deal with the most common De Palma criticism, one which, quite sadly, deserves a section all its own.

II. The Hitchcock Problem

I am what you made me, Dad.

— Cain (John Lithgow) to his father (John Lithgow) in Raising Cain

While re-watching The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) I experienced firsthand the hex that continually haunts De Palma’s critical appraisals. Picture a rainy courthouse exterior: an overhead shot shows a mass of people, umbrellas opened, running towards an arriving limousine. As they swarm around the car, shaking it slightly with a crowd’s sheer momentum and force, a lone voice (from my side of the screen) cries out, “Look! It’s the umbrella scene from Foreign Correspondent [Alfred Hitchcock, 1940]!”

“Ha,” I think to myself. And I shoot my companion a withering glance to complete the contemptuous silence. In an ideal world this would be an isolated occurrence, something easily brushed off and forgotten. But De Palma’s movies themselves have shown that the world is a less than ideal place (a reality that the director does not exclude himself from) and so the Hitchcock problem remains. I have no doubt it will follow De Palma to his dying day and beyond, and at this point I say bring it on. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then repetition (in this case of a decades old critical reduction) is the mortal enemy with which it must struggle.

I don’t mean to sound reductionist to either camp. In no way do I consider De Palma an imitator of Alfred Hitchcock’s visualizations and themes, but I do admit that the criticism has a factual basis upon which several writers have expounded eloquently. My point here is to reinterpret the Hitchcock criticism within the context of another common De Palma theme: generational conflict.

An interviewer once asked De Palma about his past, and the director pointed to Home Movies as the most explicit answer. Indeed, what is most interesting about the 1979 feature, made as part of a film production course De Palma taught at Sarah Lawrence College, is its insight into the director’s life. Critical to the film is the relationship between the young Dennis Byrd (Keith Gordon)—the obvious De Palma stand-in—and his elder brother James (Gerrit Graham) who passive-aggressively dominates him. This sibling rivalry is the best part of an otherwise very amateurish movie because it feels like a personal exegesis—as in the best of De Palma’s work both the pain and humor of life make for a palpable combination.

What strikes one most about the brothers’ relationship is the physical differences: James is big, broad and muscled as compared to weak-framed Dennis. If this is indeed a self-projection it provides a clue as to how De Palma views himself within the shadow of his own cinematic brother, Alfred Hitchcock. Or might De Palma view Hitchcock as a long-lost father?

The Fury

Key to that latter interpretation is the relationship between the government operative Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) and his psychic son Robin (Andrew Stevens) in The Fury. Separated at the outset of the film, the reuniting of father and son is a key plot element of The Fury. During their separation, however, Robin changes to such an extent (subjected to manipulative tests at the hands of the evil Childress [John Cassavetes]) that the characters’ reunion is anything but a happy one. If we read Peter as a fatherly Hitchcock and Robin as the young De Palma, then things become clearer.

By the release of The Fury Hitchcock had made his last film Family Plot (1976) and the way Douglas plays Peter Sandza suggests a man in his twilight years whose last shades of greatness are behind him. Conversely, Robin is in the prime of his life (a true reflection of the man who had just made Carrie) and it’s no accident that The Fury opens with two tenderhearted conversational scenes between father and son, both devilishly interrupted by Childress. In the ensuing separation (which lasts about a year) the lack of contact between the two effectively destroys their tender bonds—Robin believes his father is dead and Peter thinks his son is the same as he always was. As a result, when they meet again they inevitably destroy each other. Perhaps this is De Palma slyly and subtly addressing the Hitchcock criticism, which, in spite of The Fury‘s destructive efforts, continued to follow him into the present day.

These examples illustrate how I like to view the Hitchcock criticism: as a conversation between two filmmakers—one who has been absorbed into history and memory, and another who uses certain of the elder filmmaker’s techniques and themes as a prism through which he filters his own sensibilities. As with the best conversations between artists, this is a love/hate relationship, typified by the two examples above and several other De Palma mentor/protégé associations: Michael (Cliff Robertson) and Amy (Genevieve Bujold) in Obsession, Eriksson and Meserve (Sean Penn) in Casualties of War, Margo and Carter Nix (John Lithgow) in Raising Cain, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) in Mission: Impossible, among others.

Conflict is inherent in all these characters’ relationships, and I think it is, in subtext, De Palma addressing his own relationship to the filmmaker who inspires him most. That this filmic conversation continues, and is constant throughout De Palma’s career, is not something to criticize, but to use as another route to understanding both the filmmaker’s work and the intrinsic role inspiration plays to any artist working in the medium they love.

III: Brian De Palma: Political Humorist

Nobody cares what anything’s about.

— Philbin (George Memmoli) from Phantom of the Paradise

Brian De Palma cares, and one thing often ignored in light of the Hitchcock criticism is the director’s pointed and cutting sense of humor. I think a lot of people consider the beginning of De Palma’s career to be Sisters or Carrie and, in doing so, ignore his comedic roots. That’s a shame because to see these early films is to see a De Palma quite different from the populist view. Often accused of being a cold, humorless director, De Palma’s output from The Wedding Party through Hi, Mom! (1970) reveals otherwise untold depths, and key to this success is another artist not often recognized for his comedic talents: Robert De Niro.

De Niro first appears in The Wedding Party as Cecil, the beefcake friend of the protagonist Charlie (Charles Pfluger), and half of the Punch-and-Judy act rounded out by the tall, gawky Alistair (William Finley). This film, directed by the triumvirate of college-aged De Palma, classmate Cynthia Munroe, and their instructor Wilford Leach, is most clearly De Palma’s in the scenes between Cecil, Charlie, and Alistair. Here is a comedic energy, of both physical and verbal means, that effectively satirizes the bland Charlie’s conflicting impulses—Cecil and Alistair are like the angel and devil sitting on his shoulders arguing about virtue and vice. Showing the director knew talent when he saw it, De Palma uses De Niro in most of his ’60s output, while Finley appears in Murder à la Mod (1968) and is a main fixture of De Palma’s ’70s work.

Greetings

The De Palma/De Niro collaboration through three more films (Greetings, Hi, Mom!, and The Untouchables [1987]) is much more rewarding overall than De Niro’s more popular association with Martin Scorsese, which starts out brilliantly but devolves into been-there/done-that. De Palma seems to make sly note of that inevitable decline in The Untouchables with De Niro’s cartoonishly entertaining Al Capone—a post-modern riff on the actor’s own Travis Bickle with a dash of Rudolf Klein-Rogge’s Mabuse.

No surprise then that De Niro’s Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976) character has his roots in Jon Rubin, the protagonist of Greetings and Hi, Mom!. Initially a supporting player in the former (running around carefree as he and his two friends dodge the Vietnam draft) he comes front-and-center in the latter as the voyeuristic purveyor of “peep art”, the failure of which drives him to commit a terrorist act. Greetings plants the seeds of Rubin’s discontent in its best scene, a bravura real-time take in which the budding voyeur, as an off-camera voice, instructs a girl to take off her clothes. Funny and horrifying in equal measure, the fact that neither De Palma nor De Niro flinch from the sight before them speaks to the sequence’s great satirical punch. You laugh, but it sticks in your throat. You’re forced to consider two or more simultaneous responses, which is exactly what the best satire should do. And then the director and the actor take you further in a climactic scene with Rubin now in Vietnam instructing a Vietcong girl to strip for a news camera, thus conflating collective and personal voyeurism into the same sordid ball of wax.

De Palma’s first masterpiece, Hi, Mom!, finds a parallel to these audacious scenes in its revolutionary “Be Black, Baby” sequence. Rubin, now returned from Vietnam, is a restless war veteran who tries out several occupations to satiate his voyeuristic desires. A Rear Window-like attempt at capturing real-life sex acts in the building across from his fails, and so Rubin joins up with a troupe of experimental theater actors who are putting on a show (similar in ways to what De Palma’s camera catches in Dionysus in ’69 [1970]) that attempts to emulate the Black experience. We see the performance in near-totality as a television documentary playing in a storefront window. This framing device creates the illusion of the performance being a single shot, and it adds several layers of experience to the very act of watching what unfolds (a theme of the whole of Hi, Mom! and an integral one to De Palma’s career). As the theatrical troupe verbally harass and physically batter their terrified white, bourgeois audience, we as viewers are drawn in, equally passive towards and active with the proceedings. De Niro’s Jon Rubin doesn’t show up until late in the game and when he does, we’re allowed a breather. Our total absorption into the scene is broken and we can laugh at the absurdity of it all. But this is just set up for the final, painful joke—that moment when we realize that no one involved (audience or actors) have learned anything from the other. “Clive Barnes was right!” shouts one of the bloodied, smiling audience members. And our own laughter sounds like a hollow scream.

IV: A Newfound Hope

What was his crime? That he showed a little emotion?!

— Woody Blake (Tim Robbins) in Mission to Mars

The young De Palma’s humorist pokes and prods make for an interesting contrast with the De Palma of late. For with Mission to Mars and Femme Fatale De Palma’s cinema now reflects the wisdom of age, a newfound spiritual development akin to Carl Th. Dreyer in his final film Gertrud (1964). The sense of wordplay that is such an essential part of Dreyer’s masterpiece is also the entrée to understanding De Palma’s Mission to Mars. Many have criticized the space adventure script as sub-par and if one imagines the dialogue on the page alone then it is a valid criticism. But films are not just their scripts, and it is De Palma’s triumph that he makes language a fundamental part of Mission to Mars. Words, to these characters, are what ground them in an otherwise hostile and unknown environment—the cosmos.

Femme Fatale

This focus on more vast, epic spaces (both physical and emotional) is a radical change of pace for De Palma. Many of his films to this point are more microcosmic in their views, detailing the intimate problems of a select group of people and the hell it plays with their inner space. The jump to outer space (at the turn of the century to boot) suggests De Palma is at the point of considering more than earthly matters. With the help of frequent cinematographer Stephen H. Burum, Mission to Mars visually reflects this newfound hope. It is perhaps De Palma’s most ravishing film to watch—the camera floats as if a weightless participant, and it carries us along for the ride. When the mystery of Mars is revealed to the astronauts, De Palma frames each of them against a backdrop of glowing stars, an image that implies infinite connection and emphasizes each character’s personal choices. In the end Mission to Mars is Jim McConnell’s (Gary Sinise) journey, and the climactic shot wherein he opens his mouth to speak (or scream) and finds instead a transcendent peace makes full use of the expressive power of the human face—an individual ‘star’ among many—and readily builds upon the foundations of De Palma’s cinema.

With Femme Fatale the director returns to a favorite genre (the thriller), which has of late become a cinematic bastion for cynicism, and finds in it the possibility for redemption. The spirituality of De Palma’s cinema is rarely remarked on, perhaps because of the supposed tawdriness of the genres he works in. Nonetheless it is there, especially in the director’s death scenes—with their slowed down pace and focus on the characters’ eyes, De Palma attempts to catch moments of soulful recognition. In jewel thief Laure Ash (Rebecca Romijn-Stamos), De Palma finds all this and more. The director exercises his sensual and sexual nature, regarding his female lead as mysterious, independent, and a total bitch. But never one to stay on one side of the fence, De Palma makes audacious use of the dream trope that is his female characters’ frequent refuge. It provides Laure, as well as De Palma, the opportunity to explore several aspects of their natures, all ultimately ending up on the cosmic side of right. The resulting film is a De Palma masterpiece, mixing the satirical, sexual, voyeuristic, generational, and hopeful into a wondrous whole. “Only in my dreams,” says Laure at the film’s close—an awe-inspiring verbal summation of De Palma’s views on life, love, and art.

Conclusion

Pauline Kael, film critic: Wrong about De Palma still her acolytes proliferate

— from New York Magazine’s article “100 People Who Changed New York,” April 7–14, 2003.

Pauline Kael would have made a great De Palma protagonist—single-minded, sexual, and hopeful about an art form she loved wholeheartedly. I include this final, recent quote as both a reality check and a challenge. Put aside the fact that it is superficially about Kael and De Palma. Look deeper and you’ll see a more disturbing and far-reaching trend—the collective need to conflate artists into a comprehensible box that they do not fit. Kael fought against this tendency to her dying day, and Brian De Palma continues to do so. It is this dogged pursuit of individual truth (as a way of addressing universal issues) that makes De Palma a filmmaker worth considering as the practice of movie art continues to grow past any boundaries we may set for it.

A final note: in my previous Great Directors pieces I’ve discussed the artist’s work chronologically, but I’ve found in the writing that this does a disservice to De Palma. It is best to talk about De Palma thematically, weaving the films in and out as appropriate and necessary, but I can attest that viewing De Palma’s films chronologically is essential to a full understanding of his work. Par for the course, De Palma’s artistic achievements vary from film to film, but there is nonetheless a consistency of thematic obsession that never falters, and I hope my piece has shown this. Assume The Wedding Party as the foundation film from which De Palma builds to his most recent—I think finest—achievement, Femme Fatale. Viewed this way I think you’ll see as loud-and-clear a statement of cinematic (and life) intentions as any artist has given us. And hopefully you’ll find it as rewarding and worthwhile an experience as I have.

Brian De Palma and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in Scarface

Filmography

As director:

Icarus (1960) short

660124, The Story of an IBM Card (1961) short

Wotan’s Wake (1962) short

Jennifer (1964) short

Mod (1964) short

Bridge That Gap (1965) short

You Show Me a Strong Town and I’ll Show You a Strong Bank (1966) short

The Responsive Eye (1966) short

The Wedding Party (filmed 1964, released 1969) co-director, also co-producer, co-writer, editor

Murder à la Mod (1968) also screenplay, editor

Greetings (1968) also co-writer, editor

Dionysus in ’69 (1970) co-director, also producer, director of photography, editor

Hi, Mom! (1970) also story, screenplay

Get to Know Your Rabbit (filmed 1970, released 1972)

Sisters (1973) also story, co-writer

Phantom of the Paradise (1974) also screenplay

Obsession

Obsession (1975) also story

Carrie (1976)

The Fury (1978)

Home Movies (1979) also producer, story

Dressed to Kill (1980) also screenplay

Blow Out (1981) also screenplay

Scarface (1983)

Dancing in the Dark (1984) Bruce Springsteen music clip

Body Double
(1984) also producer, story, co-writer

Wise Guys (1986)

The Untouchables (1987)

Casualties of War (1989)

The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) also producer

Dionysus in '69

Raising Cain (1992) also screenplay

Carlito’s Way (1993)

Mission: Impossible (1996)

Snake Eyes (1998) also producer, story

Mission to Mars (2000)

Femme Fatale (2002) also screenplay

Toyer (2004) tentative

OTHER CREDITS

Rotwang Must Go! (Hans-Christoph Blumenberg, 1994) actor (The Famous American Movie Director)

Bibliography

Michael Bliss, Brian De Palma (Filmmakers, No. 6), Scarecrow Press, June 1983

Laurent Bouzereau, The De Palma Cut: The Films of America’s Most Controversial Director, Dembner Books, November 1988

Susan Dworkin, Double De Palma: A Film Study With Brian De Palma, Newmarket Press, November 1984

Leonardo Gandini, Brian De Palma, Gremese

Laurence F. Knapp, (ed.), Brian De Palma: Interviews (Conversations With Filmmakers Series), University Press of Mississippi, January 2003

Dominique Legrand, Brian De Palma, le rebelle manipulateur, Editions du Cerf. 1995

Kenneth MacKinnon, Misogyny in the Movies: The De Palma Question, University of Delaware Press, April 1990

Julie Salamon, The Devil’s Candy: The Bonfire of the Vanities Goes Hollywood, Delta, November 1992

Articles in Senses of Cinema

Myth and Magic in De Palma’s Carrie by Dmetri Kakmi

A Revelation: Carlito’s Way compiled by Fiona A. Villella

The Key to De Palma’s Raising Cain by Dmetri Kakmi

Web Resources

Directed by Brian De Palma
Probably the best website for all things De Palma. It includes interviews, behind-the-scenes articles, and a posting forum where fans can engage in lively discussion. Run by Bill Fentum.

De Palma a la Mod
A regularly updated news and fan site run by Geoff Beran.

Le Paradis de Brian De Palma
A bilingual (French/English) treasure trove of De Palma information, run by Carl Rodrigue and Tony Suppa.

Brian De Palma e i suoi FILM

A dedicated site in Italian containing many images, run by Andrea Carpentieri.

Brian De Palma’s Split World
Another bilingual site (Italian/English) run by Giuseppe Puccio.

Brian De Palma Le Virtuose du 7ème Art
A French De Palma site run by Romain Desbiens.

Click here to search for Brian De Palma DVDs, videos and books at

Endnotes

  1. Laurent Bouzereau, The De Palma Cut, Dembner Books, November 1988, p. 17