De Palma movie poster

Perhaps the oddest duck in the flock that included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese — i.e., the lucky ducks who got to express very personal visions with studio-level backing back in the ‘70s — sits down and looks back on his career as a director, from his early inspirations (Hitchcock, French New Wave) to his youthful successes (Carrie) to his later failures (Bonfire of the Vanities) to his eventual blockbuster hit (Mission: Impossible) and beyond. The juicy psychological details — young Brian once followed his wayward father to a tryst and confronted him with a knife — are doled out alongside on-set anecdotes (Robert De Niro’s first film, Sean Penn vs. Michael J. Fox during Casualties of War, the staircase scene in Untouchables), discussions of craft (the over-the-bucket shot in Carrie), and talk about the business side of show business. De Palma enthusiasts will benefit the most here (small surprise), but there’s good material for anyone interested in how their cinematic sausage gets made. Directed by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow. 2015.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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