Film Junk Premium Podcast #73: Brian De Palma

“This is the job. Don’t wait for it to happen. Don’t even want it to happen. Just watch what does happen.” For this month’s premium podcast we finally sat down to examine the filmography of one of the most accomplished yet divisive filmmakers of his generation: Brian De Palma. We chose to highlight six of his key movies from the ’70s through to the ’90s including Phantom of the Paradise, Carrie, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill, The Untouchables and Snake Eyes. The lively discussion covers such topics as split screen vs. split diopter, the mutual influence of his Movie Brat pals, how to blow the lid off a conspiracy and the full extent of his Hitchcock obsession. So is Brian De Palma a master mash-up artist or just a straight up thief? Is Blow Out his ultimate masterpiece? Why didn’t Phantom of the Paradise catch on? More importantly, what is Frank’s beef with Beef? Have a good scream and download this month’s premium podcast below.

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This series of premium podcasts was created to help support the regular weekly Film Junk Podcast. Head on over to Bandcamp and download full episodes for a minimum donation of just $1. As always, let us know if you experience any technical difficulties or if you have any other suggestions for future specials. Thanks for your support!

  • Jay Lee

    Hmmm… found this disappointing. The selection here is rather strange…. the likes of Phantom and Snake Eyes is included, but no Fury, Scarface or Carlito’s Way? Also… overrated paycheck shit like The Untouchables but no Body Double….. one of his best and most interesting films. I just don’t understand your picks here at all. Also felt rather rushed except for the Carrie convo, though at least Jay clowned Frank on his blind and uneducated love for Quindouche Taranstealo…. that made it all worth it.

  • Sean

    We tried to cover a bunch of different genres and decades, obviously we couldn’t cover it all. This is always a problem with director-themed premiums. The Fury is a pretty obscure choice in my opinion. We knew Scarface was a big oversight but we will be revisiting Scarface on the regular show when the 4K hits. Maybe we’ll do De Palma Part 2 at some point? Thanks for listening!

  • Jay Lee

    Think you had a pretty good spread on the other director premiums though, just didn’t vibe with the selection here, but hey. Of course you also keep them shorter now than the early ones, or at least it feels that way.

  • Tommy

    If The Fury was too obscure then Hi Mom never had a chance. Lol.

  • Sean

    Yeah I hear ya. De Palma really is case where almost everything could make for a good discussion so it’s tough. I still want to delve into a lot of his older stuff personally so maybe some of those will show up on the regular show as well.

  • devolutionary

    I rewatched all the movies in the Premium this week or incidentally within the past month (like Blow Out with the exception of Snake Eyes. The first half of that movie always lures me in but the 2nd half always takes a massive dump. Especially the ending. I swapped it for Carlito’s Way myself. Always preferred it to Scarface.

  • Jay Cheel

    This show is 2 hours and 50 minutes long. In what world is that considered short?

  • B MP Rooney

    Please discuss the Bret easton Ellis Podcast. Even if it’s a minute. Would love to hear your thoughts on his thoughts! (Have you considered Patreon any further than last discussed? Would be glad to subscribe.)

  • B MP Rooney

    It was a great premium for a great director. Thank you, dudes!

  • devolutionary
  • Fletcher Thomas

    Great premium, thanks heaps guys.

  • In cases like these, similar to how the Kubrick premium was approached, it maybe would add another talking point if you pick 5 movies all across a director’s filmography to contrast the evolution (or relapse) of an artist over the course of their career. You essentially stopped with the 20th century even though De Palma has kept on making movies for another 20 years (albeit more sparsely).

    Granted, there would most likely be lamenting if you either dropped Blow Out or Dressed to Kill but then those two films are 1 year apart. I’m not saying such a release span couldn’t be of interest (for instance in the case of Spielberg’s Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park) but maybe lose one and include The Black Dahlia or Passion (or Domino, for that matter, surrounding all the behind the scenes quarrels with its production). Now I know, maybe there’s a future Noir premium on the horizon for which Black Dahlia would qualify and you can always come back for a round 2 of a director but generally I would assume it’d be adding insight if these director premiums considered the span of an artist’s career not only in technical pro- or regression but also genre-wise.

    That being said and all bitchin’ aside: thanks for the premium and the time invested! Looking forward to listen to this.

  • Jr

    Well, I enjoyed it. Thanks guys!

  • Jay Lee

    I guess it only feels that way, like I said. I haven’t checked the time, but stuff like the Hitchcock one just seemed much longer

  • What was everyone’s first De Palma experience.

    Mine was in 1987. Visiting grandparents in Ohio. I wanted to see Spaceballs. My parents took me to see The Untouchables.

    I liked it. I thought the music sounded cool. Remember my Dad doing Mallone’s, “He pulls a knife . . .,” line in the car and then everywhere else for weeks even years after.

    I still wanted to see Spaceballs though. I was around nine so there’s that.

  • devolutionary

    Carrie for me (8 or 9?). And yes, looking back, I was definitely too young to understand a lot of the non-traditional horror concepts in it. Surprised my parents let me watch it. Maybe they didn’t know what it was? ;)

  • Haven’t listened yet, sadly, but I wanted to counter the complaints and say, for me, it’s a great lineup even if you guys only ever get around to one De Palma premium. Other than Mission: Impossible (previously covered on another premium) and Body Double (oh well) it’s basically my top six De Palma, so I can’t help but be very pleased with it. Especially considering I thought Carrie would’ve been preempted (because I forgot it wasn’t on the King premium, and what you explicitly said about that on the King premium!).

    Anyway, here’s hoping you guys liked Snake Eyes! (Not holding my breath on that.)

  • Newtman98

    Mission Impossible in the theater. I was obsessed with that movie. The soundtrack was the first cd i ever bought.

  • stevens1

    With Blow Out, why does JT decide to use the scream of the dead woman in the film? What’s the reason for tormenting himself like that?

  • stevens1

    We wont more contentz

  • Maybe to torment himself? He couldn’t get there in time and he doesn’t want to forgive himself for his failing. His second one involving a wire.

  • TimC

    I love that Frank is slowly turning into Joe Rogan.

    That’s craaazy, man…

  • OsoDuck

    If this was a preview of what’s to come, I’m looking forward to the conspiracy discussions of an Oliver Stone premium. May I even suggest a 70s paranoid thriller premium, with The Manchurian Candidate thrown in there for a bonus?