Brian De Palma Turns 72 Today
Brian De Palma, the visionary director behind such classic suspense films as Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out and Body Double, as well as the Hollywood blockbusters Scarface, The Untouchables and Mission Impossible, turns 72 today.
Brian Russell De Palma, the third of three boys and son of a brain surgeon, was born on September 11, 1940 in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, the young filmmaker actually began his career making social satires before moving on to the Hitchcockian thrillers that he would become most known for.
Beginning with the cleverly made low budget Sisters in 1973 to the box office hits Carrie in 1976 and Dressed to Kill in 1980, De Palma gained a large cult following and the title of “The Modern Master of Suspense”, a take on Alfred Hitchcock’s title of “The Master of Suspense”.
Critics of De Palma often claimed that his films were direct rip-offs of Hitchcock’s because of their stylish camera set-ups and certain shared themes between the two filmmakers. However, if any of them bothered to look beyond the surface they would clearly have seen that De Palma’s films often used ideas borrowed from Hitchcock as a jumping off point to explore his own themes such as voyeurism, sexual frustration and guilt.
Beginning with Scarface in 1983, De Palma would direct big budget Hollywood blockbusters which gave him a larger canvas to express his artistry in films that would appeal to a larger audience than his smaller, more personal films, while still continuing to make suspense films like Snake Eyes and Femme Fatale.
Brian De Palma’s current film is the erotic thriller Passion starring Rachel McAdams.
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