New To Blu: De Palma (2016) - Reviewed

The career of Brian De Palma has been a decades long spectacle of early artistic flair, self assured cinematic expressionism and a mind baffling comedown loaded with cinematic flops, minor disasters, and large budget catastrophes. The man has been a viable success at times and a total failure at others. Claiming that no director makes a great motion picture after 70 years old, Mr. De Palma has abandoned the industry which defined his adult life and finally gives his fans a chance to understand his processes and decisions.

In this nearly two hour documentary, De Palma tells his own story through a chronological lense fixated on his meager beginnings, commercial highs, his frustrations with the Hollywood system and its ways of destroying a director's vision. The film is a mostly humble story from Brian's view as he journeys throughout the decades, telling his viewers about each and every project he's worked on. For a true fan of cinema, this is one of the best and most personable documentaries ever made about the art itself. While Mr. De Palma can seem frustrated at times, he ultimately comes across as a creative genius that's butted heads with corporate leadership while trying to stay true to his artform.

Throughout this beautifully crafted documentary about an absolute living legend, one thing becomes certainly clear. De Palma has a long obsession with Alfred Hitchcock. And he discusses it at length. Using similar filming techniques and cinematography, he utters the Hitchcock name repeatedly, showing his love and admiration for  his personal favorite director while also giving viewers comparative shots showing them how exactly he paid tribute to the creator of Psycho. Armed to the gills with the best scenes from De Palma's works and a perfected historical accuracy mixed with his cocky sense of humor, this is a purified love letter to all things film.

Respect. Mad respect. 

It's interesting to see him engage with the camera on a personal level as he explains his loves, his losses, and his moderate feelings towards a system that bleeds creativity from its victims. Beginning with his youthful tales of Lucas, Spielberg, Scorsese, and Coppola, this is a vignette of highs and lows bent on giving us a reality based lesson about the man that gave us Body Double, The Untouchables, Carrie, Carlito's Way and Scarface. De Palma is no fool. He understands why some of his movies worked and why others didn't. This doc lets us get inside his mind to see exactly how things work and how his ego might have hurt him at some distinct points in his life.

If you're a fan of movies and you don't see this, you're a fool. This is what it's all about. See De Palma right now.

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