I was just thinking that it’s a shame that Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow‘s De Palma, a five-years-in-the-making documentary which screened in Venice and New York last September, won’t be screening at Sundance ’16. Every Christmas I get a little hungry for fresh watchable movies, knowing full well that I won’t have this satisfaction until I hit Park City, which isn’t for another three and a half weeks.
A24 plans to release De Palma documentary sometime in ’16, but to my knowledge they haven’t announced a date. Early last September David Rooney‘s Hollywood Reporter review noted that it “has the feel of a rushed edit, with jittery cuts in the interview segments and uneven audio. Plus the bid to be comprehensive and cover every last movie makes it feel hurried at times, hurtling over career highlights to touch on minor entries possibly best forgotten. But there’s a ton of great material here and a nonstop flow of expertly chosen clips. With further finessing to allow more time to breathe and savor some of the many virtuoso set-pieces that are a De Palma trademark, this could be a definitive study of the director’s work.”
From a 9.10.15 piece called “De Palma Getting Gold-Watch Treatment”: “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 sounds like it’s 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.
“De Palma is one of the most committed and relentless enemies of logic of all time, and as such has bothered the hell out of me for decades. 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.