BAMcinématek Presents: Brian De Palma Suspense

A consideration of the suspense films of Brian De Palma, for Vol. 1 Brooklyn


Brian De Palma’s films are about either amateur detectives or monsters. Without conducting a poll or consulting the grosses, my gut tells me that the monster movies have been more successful at imprinting themselves on the culture and enriching their investors. Among these, Scarface and Carrie have surely left the deepest impressions, for they are films in which every single character manages to take a turn at being a violent grotesque. Tony Montana isn’t simply a guy who sold and snorted too much coke before getting his head blown off, he’s a folk hero who gets to hang out at the top for a minutes, while Carrie White presents the ultimate sad-sack teenager who gets to off her mom and the kids at school in a great big fireball of justified pyrohormonal rage. Like all great monsters, they destroy all they they encounter until they self-destruct.

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