9 February 2017 | ollie1939-97-957994
In this film, Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow interview one of Hollywood's most polarizing directors in Brian De Palma. De Palma has been praised for his innovative camera techniques and his suspenseful stories but has been criticised for misogyny in his films as well as seemingly ripping of many "Hitchcockian" traits. I am familiar with De Palma's work, although I haven't seen too many of his films apart from his most well known ones (Scarface, Untouchables, Carlito's Way etc.) but this documentary certainly wants me to explore more of his movies. The film is mainly just one shot of De Palma talking to the camera intercut with scenes from many of his movies. He goes into extreme detail about every single one of his movies, whilst occasionally talking about aspects of his personal life.
De Palma is a very interesting character. He's eccentric and funny but also can be arrogant sometimes. However, as a director he is a great storyteller and talks about most of his movies in extremely intricate and interesting detail e.g. how he performed certain shots to how he dealt with many of the different egos on his set. If you're someone who isn't particularly interested in film, you'll probably not find too much enjoyment in this documentary. It really is a documentary for cinephiles (such as myself) or at least people who have some interest in the art of film making. I do sometimes wish the documentary would perhaps tap into more aspects of De Palma's personal life such as his childhood or his relationship with his peers (Scorsese, Spielberg etc.). There are moments when De Palma talks about his childhood and refers to incidents that impacted his voyeuristic style but I wish the movie tapped into more moments like these. One other criticism I also have is perhaps De Palma does tend to talk about certain movies more than other ones. I would've liked for him to go into more detail about some of his more notable failures like Mission to Mars and Passion but De Palma generally just skips over these particular films.
However, if you're a movie fan or Brian De Palma fan( hell, even a detractor) you'll find great enjoyment out of this fascinating documentary about one of Hollywood's most prolific directors.