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Creator / Brian De Palma

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"The camera lies all the time; lies twenty-four times a second."

Brian Russell De Palma (born September 11, 1940 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American film director and screenwriter of Italian descent.

De Palma attended Columbia University in New York City, and made his first film, Icarus, as a student there. After graduating in 1962, he spent some 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 '70s with the horror film Carrie, based on a Stephen King novel. Often compared with legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, De Palma has helmed numerous thrillers, such as Dressed to Kill (1980), Blow Out (1981), and Body Double (1984). He also helped create one of Al Pacino's most iconic roles: as Tony Montana, a Cuban refugee who climbs the criminal ladder to become a Miami drug kingpin in Scarface (1983). In 1987, De Palma directed The Untouchables, based on the TV series about real-life federal agent Eliot Ness and his war against the Chicago bootlegging empire of Al Capone.

More than the other New Hollywood directors, De Palma embraced the technical side of filmmaking, excelling at sophisticated camera moves (like the Orbital Shot) and editing techniques (like Split Screen). It's not every director who cares enough about how his film is screened, and knows enough about how film projection works, to send out a memo to theater managers with hints on how to best resolve screening difficulties. 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 a BIG fan of Alfred Hitchcockand it shows! Many of his films have obvious allusions to Hitchcock's work, and a few are even considered loose remakes of Hitchcock films. This makes him controversial among cinephiles. He's either considered to be the person who carried on the Hitchcock legacy, or an untalented pretender prone to ripping him off.

He's also well known for having heavy doses of Fanservice in his films — often linked in some way with violence against women, occasionally drawing some controversy for this. His response: "I'm always attacked for having an erotic, sexist approach — chopping up women, putting women in peril. I'm making suspense movies! What else is going to happen to them?"

He also had a small but important impact on A New Hope; he held joint auditions with his buddy George Lucas for it and Carrie, because of the similar actor types needed for Carrie White/Princess Leia and Tommy Ross/Luke Skywalker. Then, when Lucas showed him the draft for his film's opening crawl, De Palma found it too long and too "gibberish". De Palma rewrote and edited down the crawl to the now-famous text audiences know and love that established Star Wars.

Films directed by Brian De Palma include:

Tropes Pertaining to Brian De Palma's films:


Video Example(s):


Snake Eyes extortion

Rick Santoro extorts money from a drug dealer with Brian De Palma's trademark one-take.

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