If David Fincher has been channeling Hitchcock for the last two decades, Brian De Palma has been doing it for the last five decades. De Palma has referenced Hitch by constantly casting blondes as leading ladies, using Hitchcock regular Bernard Hermann’s scores and – more importantly – copying camera techniques of such classics as "Vertigo," "Rear Window" and "Psycho." Of course De Palma has still managed to infuse his own auteur voice into his films; he’s one of the very best filmmakers for the long take/tracking shot and his constant use of the split screen has been nothing short of revolutionary. His familiar obsessions still linger inside him as he continues making movies decade after decade, but there’s mistaking the fact that he’s been in an obvious funk these last 20 or so years.
I have not seen De Palma’s latest critical bomb “Domino” (31% on RT) but I am a completist and I intend to give it a fair shot in the coming week. I do hope millennials know that there is more to De Palma than just the infamous stinkers he’s given us in the aughts and twenty-teens (“Passion,” “The Black Dahlia,” “Redacted,” “Femme Fatale” and “Mission To Mars.”) His last five movies also happen to be the five worst of his career (“Bonfire of the Vanities” notwithstanding.) Regardless, the De Palma I will always remember is the man that was on such a roll, between 1976-1993, that you might say his winning streak was as almost as good as that of Scorsese's or Woody's during that same time-period.
He’s a time-capsule worthy director for the sheer fact that he is responsible for directing, in no particular order: “Blow Out,” “Carrie,” “Dressed To Kill,” “Scarface,” “The Untouchables,” “Carlito’s Way,” “Body Double,” “Mission: Impossible” and “Casualties of War.”