A Conversation With Brian De Palma
Panels and Events | 60 minutes

This film played at HIFF 2019
on 10/12/2019
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Guild Hall | Saturday, October 12 | 2:30pm

HIFF 2019 will honor legendary director Brian De Palma with a Lifetime Achievement Award, along with a special screening of his iconic film BLOW OUT (1981) on October 12.

Equally regarded as a leading member of the New Hollywood movement, the Master of the Macabre, and the heir-apparent to Hitchcock’s legacy as an unparalleled auteur of suspense filmmaking, Brian De Palma has held a singular role in American filmmaking for almost a half-century. After getting his start in the late sixties with a series of irreverent New Wave-esque satires, De Palma gained his first mainstream recognition with a run of landmark cult favorite thrillers throughout the seventies (including SISTERS and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE), culminating in the release of his first major mainstream success: 1976’s CARRIE.

Capitalizing on that film’s box-office momentum, De Palma quickly proved himself to be a master technician of genre filmmaking imbued with a trademark audacity, mixing huge outbursts of violence with a keenly aware sense of humor and provocation. Whether working within the world of SCARFACE’s 80s cocaine-fueled hysteria, BLOW OUT’s uneasy conspiracy thriller, THE UNTOUCHABLES’ prohibition-set gangster epic, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE’s brash throwback escapism, or CASUALTIES OF WAR’s stark examination of war crimes at the hands of American soldiers in Vietnam, the director created a slew of classics that still stand as watershed moments of their respective genres. Now entering his sixth decade in filmmaking, De Palma has continued to build on a body of work as much defined by its mastery of craft as by its restlessness, never content to settle on what’s come before and always keen to push himself, and his audience, out of their comfort zone.


The A Conversation With… series is a HIFF tradition, presenting one-on-one interviews with legendary personalities. Past conversations include Steven Spielberg, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Altman, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, Michael Moore, Edward Norton, Holly Hunter, Emily Blunt, Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening, Rob Reiner, and many more.

Photo Credit: TCD/Prod.DB