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304 Ratings

De Palma

United States, 2015
Documentary, Biography


In the annals of Hollywood film since the artistic glories of the New Hollywood era, few have a better reputation and body of work in the field of suspense films exploring the contemporary darkness in American life than Brian De Palma.

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De Palma Directed by Noah Baumbach, Jake Paltrow

Awards & Festivals

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2016 | Nominee: Best Documentary

National Board of Review

2016 | Winner: Top Five Documentaries

De Palma holds court, going through his films chronologically, one by one, relating some terrific anecdotes, and overall being a surprisingly genial guide. The result is an aesthetically impoverished documentary about a great visual thinker—a disconnect hard to get over—but more detrimentally, his perspective on his own work’s merits is mostly tied to financial success (as is the case with many American filmmakers, including Spielberg).
January 16, 2017
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While Paltrow and Baumbach never explicitly argue for the value of De Palma’s work in an increasingly polarised media landscape, preferring instead to highlight his formal and technical prowess (which, as the film convincingly argues, carries forward a visual language pioneered by Hitchcock), allowing the director to speak for himself for 110 minutes makes the case in a way that is powerful – and plain enough – to see.
October 07, 2016
What makes De Palma an exciting and instructive film in its own right is that its subject is able to analyse his films from an emotional remove. He’s like a mortician conducting a series of autopsies. That’s not to say that he isn’t proud of what he made, or that he’s overly self-critical. But he’s very rational with regard to what they are, what they achieved and how they have matured.
September 19, 2016
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