To judge from David Rooney‘s 9.8 Hollywood Reporter review, Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow‘s De Palma, a A24 doc about the once-dazzling auteurist who’s been downswirling for at least the last 15 years, is a lot of fun, or more precisely “a blast.” It’s just played in Venice and will screen at the N.Y. Film Festival…but not, apparently, here in Toronto.
My view is that De Palma was a truly exciting, must-watch director from the late ’60s to mid ’70s (Greetings to The Phantom of the Paradise to Carrie), and an exasperating, occasionally intriguing director from the late ’70s to mid ’90s (Dressed To Kill, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, Mission: Impossible, Snake Eyes). But he’s been “over” in the sense of failing to read or respond to the culture for years. I used to love the guy but then he made Mission to Mars (’00), Femme Fatale (’02), The Black Dahlia (’06), Redacted (’07) and Passion (’12)…over and out.
But it sounds as if the Baumbach-Paltrow doc is brimming with flavor and great anecdotes. De Palma, 74, is reportedly honest and amusing about many of the aspects of his 50 year-career, and for this quality alone I can’t wait to see it. I’m very sorry that I’ll be missing the NYFF screening. Perhaps A24 will allow some of us in Los Angeles to view it simultaneously?
De Palma is one of the most committed and relentless enemies of logic of all time. For a great director he has an astonishing allegiance to nonsensical plotting and dialogue that would choke a horse. I tried to re-watch Blow Out last year — I couldn’t stand it, turned it off. The Fury drove me crazy when I first saw it, although I love the ending. I found much of Dressed To Kill bothersome when it first came out 35 years ago, and to be honest I haven’t watched it since. Honestly? I’m probably won’t buy the Criterion Bluray.