De Palma | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 107 minutes · 2016

Filmmakers Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow interview Brian De Palma, director of such durable thrillers as Scarface (1983), The Untouchables (1987), and Mission: Impossible (1996). As a documentary, this is pretty lazy; Paltrow and Baumbach simply walk De Palma through his filmography and collect his best stories (most of which involve him clashing creatively with someone and ultimately being proven right). But this systematic approach has a nice leveling effect in that his more obscure, offbeat projects (Greetings, Phantom of the Paradise, Home Movies) get as much attention as his signature films (Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out). De Palma came up in the business alongside Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas, and the rap against him has always been that, despite his mastery of suspense mechanics, he lacks their strong personal vision. Nothing here really contradicts that, though the sheer variety of De Palma's work reveals an artist more eclectic and ambitious than people usually acknowledge.

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