New American Cinema icon Brian De Palma is being celebrated at the Metrograph through June 30 in a new retrospective screening series. “Loved and loathed with equal fervency over the course of his amazing five-decade career, this singular American artist is a revolutionary and a rascal, an intellectual disguised as a peddler of garish Hollywood entertainment,” writes the movie house. Roger Ebert once wrote of the great visual stylist:
The ads for DePalma’s Dressed to Kill describe him as ‘the master of the macabre,’ which is no more immodest, I suppose, than the ads that described Hitchcock as ‘the master of suspense.’ DePalma is not yet an artist of Hitchcock’s stature, but he does earn the right to a comparison, especially after his deliberately Hitchcockian films Sisters and Obsession. He places his emphasis on the same things that obsessed Hitchcock: precise camera movements, meticulously selected visual details, characters seen as types rather than personalities, and violence as a sudden interruption of the most mundane situations.
Here’s what De Palma has to say about making movies within the studio system, shooting sex scenes, and our culture of remakes and sequels.