• Blow Out

Brian De Palma’s Scarface, a remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks gangster classic, screens at the Logan on Mon 7/29, 11 PM. As Dave Kehr notes in his review, this is De Palma’s most serious film, which makes it probably his least interesting. (The Bonfire of the Vanities is also a strong candidate, although Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography occasionally impresses.) Indeed, De Palma is at his best when he’s at his most quirky, though his perceived irreverence has earned him as many (if not more) detractors as supporters. I’ve long admired De Palma’s various idiosyncrasies, including his curiously cynical political positions, his obsession with the various limits and possibilities of the cinematic image, and, of course, his reverential application of Hitchcock’s work to his own. Each of these elements contribute to De Palma’s bold stylistic vision, a knowing disregard of convention (narrative, visual, and everything in between) in favor of a heightened sense of materiality and artifice. You can catch my five favorite De Palma films after the jump.