‘De Palma’ Documentary Trailer Salutes the Life and Works of a Cinematic Master
In the generation of filmmaking greats that came up during the ’60s and ’70s, Brian De Palma can still stand comparison to such film school dropouts and Hollywood rebels as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Steven Spielberg. His distinct brand of highly stylized, formally audacious thrillers have enraptured audiences again and again over a career that’s spanned genres and decades. The trailer embedded above, for Jake Paltrow and Noah Baumbach’s admiring new documentary De Palma, strikes the strongest chord during the intertitle cards listing De Palma’s various films — he’s been responsible for a staggering number of phenomenal films, from the low-rent psychothriller Sisters to insta-cult classic Phantom of the Paradise to uberblockbuster Mission: Impossible.
The newly unveiled trailer for the documentary, set for a release from A24 on a date to be determined, starts with the master director’s earliest days scuttling around film sets and methodically tracks his career over the years, hitting on the iconic moments from Carrie and Blow Out we both love and fear. The format of the documentary takes a slightly unorthodox shape; as opposed to gathering various collaborators and supplementary voices to speak about their experiences with the director, the film follows a long, discursive conversation between the two directors and De Palma, a little reminiscent of the legendary tete-a-tete between Alfred Hitchcock (one of De Palma’s greatest inspirations) and Francois Truffaut.
For fans of art cinema, this might as well be a ticket to a master class in filmmaking technique and methods. Listening to the great auteurs from that high-water mark in Hollywood movie-making is an edifying experience without fail; nobody makes better recommendations for old movies to check out than Martin Scorsese and Brian De Palma.