Brian De Palma is an American film director and writer, born on September 11, 1940, in Newark, New Jersey. De Palma attended Columbia University in New York, New York. He made his first film, Icarus, as a student there. After De Palma graduated in 1962, he spent time at Sarah Lawrence College on a writing fellowship. In the mid-1960s De Palma began working on his feature-length debut with The Wedding Party
, released in 1969 and featured an up-and-coming actor named Robert De Niro
. De Palma’s career began to take off in the 1970s with the horror film Carrie
, based on a Stephen King
novel. Often compared to the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock
, De Palma has helmed numerous thrillers, such as Dressed to Kill
(1980), Blow Out
(1981) starring John Travolta
and Body Double
(1984). He has also created one of Al Pacino
as a Cuban refugee who climbs Miami drug kingpin. In 1987, De Palma directed The Untouchables
based on the television show about real life federal agent Eliot Ness' war agains the Chicago bootlegging empire of Al Capone.
He's a BIG fan of Hitchcock—and it shows
! Also, many of his films have moments of intense self-reflectiveness about cinema: Blow Out
, for example, has a sound editor (whose equipment assists his amateur investigation) as a protagonist; Body Double
has an actor (and a major plot point involving body doubles
); the beginning of Femme Fatale
takes place at Cannes; and The Black Dahlia
has Hollywood culture in the 1940s as an important plot point.
He's also well known for having heavy doses of Fanservice
in his films—often linked in some way with violence.
Films directed by Brian De Palma include: