When I was in junior high school, Scarface was the most talked about movie in the hallways. It was 2000, and those hallways were a reflection of the culture at large. One time a kid asked me, “Who directed Scarface, Scorsese?” He had never heard of Brian De Palma.
There’s a popular book called Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. It’s a gossipy, oral history of 60s and 70s American movies. In the back of the book, they summarize the directors integral to the movement and give a filmography for each. Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas, and Malick are featured, but not Brian De Palma—despite being mentioned heavily in the book. You’d think the guy that gave Robert De Niro his first on-screen appearance (The Wedding Party, 1969) and gave him steady work way before Scorsese ever did, would be important enough to mention.
Continue reading Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Brian De Palma (But Didn’t Care Enough to Ask)
There’s an odd video on YouTube where Quentin Tarantino lists his 20 favorite movies that have come out since he became a director in 1992. The video was made in 2009—making it a 17th year anniversary celebration of him being a director. The arbitrariness of this echoes The Simpsons’ 138th episode spectacular (although that was a joke).
His list is surprising—in good ways and bad. I love that he lists The Matrix and also makes a point to disregard the sequels “that serve only to tarnish the mythology of a badass movie”. And with Jan de Bont’s Speed, he adds a clever caveat that we “forget everything that happens after the bus stops.” But then, for some reason, he names Woody Allen’s Anything Else—one of his least significant movies. (It’s also kind of a bummer since Allen’s best movie, Deconstructing Harry, came out in ’97—well within Tarantino’s arbitrary 17-year timespan.)
Continue reading ‘Wanna Hang Out?’, or, Airheads is Better Than Dog Day Afternoon