Here’s a filmmaker interview stretched to feature-length hero worship as directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow sit Brian DePalma down for hours and let him windbag on about himself and his movies.
Luckily, he’s a great windbag with lots of stories to tell and some brilliant films under his considerable belt, and we get a lot of nice clips to illustrate the anecdotes and directorial insights.
You see Robert DeNiro in his earliest movies and sunlit memories of how Brian hung out with Marty, George and Steven in early 70s Hollywood. They scoot over the drug abuse and Brian soon ends up back in New York after his mates all have hits and he has a flop called Get to Know Your Rabbit, starring a wayward Orson Welles.
Brian says “Holy Mackerel” a lot, but then gets Bernard Herrmann (Benny, he calls him) to do the score to Sisters and it’s a hit.
There’s oodles of Hitchcock worship and some good memories of making, casting, releasing Carrie, Scarface, The Untouchables and Carlito’s Way. He’s good on the hits and honest about the flops – “My Bonfire of the Vanities is actually fine as a movie, just don’t the read the book first.”
You remember Casualties of War and learn what a bully Sean Penn can be, and see the madness of big budget Hollywood when Brian talks about getting Mission:Impossible over the line. It’s a fun doc***, no doubt: Hollywood’s crazy, making movies is brutal and you have to be an ego-maniac to do it. Tell me something I didn’t know….