5 films of autuer Brian De Palma which you must watch

Published: 11th September 2018 12:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2018 01:51 PM  

Brian De Palma, one of the frontrunners of the 'American New Wave' in the 1970s have inspired filmmakers for over forty years. (Graphics | Vijesh C K)
Often considered an auteur (a film director whose signature is so evident that they rank as their film's author), De Palma has made films which delved deep into the psyche of the human mind. Themes of voyeurism and violence found a significant place in his films and De Palma often used techniques like split diopter, canted angle shots and split screens to lit that scene on fire.
De Palma is the original Tarantino if that is a thing. He quotes other director's work, sometimes even remaking them, often giving them a new twist- he famously remade Michelangelo Antonioni's classic 'Blowup' as 'Blow Out' in 1981. In image: De Palma and Tom Cruise while shooting 'Mission Impossible'.
1. Body double- Body Double is probably the most Hitchockian movie De Palma has made till now, except 'Femme Fatale'. This 1984 movie is about a struggling actor who takes up a house sitting job only to find a gorgeous blond in the opposite house. Voyeurism, obsession and danger are the outstanding themes in the film. Film critic Roger Ebert wrote that 'The movie is so cleverly constructed, with the emphasis on visual storytelling rather than dialogue, that we are neither faster nor slower than the hero as he gradually figures out the scheme that has entrapped him.'
2. Casualities of War- Hailed as one of the greatest films on Vietnam War, De Palma's 1989 film starring Michael J Fox and Sean Penn is based on the novel 'Incident on Hill 192. The movie revolves around Max Eriksson, a Private who is conflicted between the war and the orders he is given by his superior- to kidnap and rape a Vietnamese farm girl.
3. Carlito's Way- What happens when a stylish filmmaker who makes films on voyerurism directs a crime thriller. Al Pacino stars as Carlito Brigante, a Puerto Rican criminal who is dragged back in to the mob business despite his attempts to retire. Like most of De Palma's movies, Carlito's Way received an average theatre response but has since then go on to become a cult favourite and one of the best performances by Al Pacino.
5. Obsession- Written by Paul Schrader ('Taxi Driver'), 'Obsession' stars Cliff Robertson, Genevieve Bujold and Stocker Fontelieu in lead roles. The movie follows, Michael Courtland, whose failed attempt to rescue his kidnapped wife and daughter leads to their death. Courtland falls in love again, years later, only to find the spiralling mystery behind the kidnapping.
4. Blow Out- A remake of Michelangelo Antonioni's classic 'Blowup', De Palma's version stars John Travolta as Jack Terry the sound effects technician for American slasher films. Jack accidently captures evidence of a murder and runs into the perpetrators. 'Blow Up' has become a cult favourite, notably because of its style, a terrific score by Pino Donaggio and Travolta's underplayed performance.
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