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Arrow Releasing De Palma & De Niro: The Early Films

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  • Arrow Releasing De Palma & De Niro: The Early Films

    NEW UK/US/CA TITLE: De Palma & De Niro: The Early Films (Blu-ray)

    Brought together for the first time - and each newly restored - these three films offer a fascinating insight into the early careers of two American cinema's major talents.

    Pre-order via Arrow in the UK:
    Pre-order via Amazon in the UK:
    Pre-order via DiabolikDVD in the US:
    Release dates: 12/13 November

    In 1963, Robert De Niro stepped in front of a movie camera for the first time. The resulting film, a low-budget black and white comedy called The Wedding Party, would take three years to complete, and another three years to be released, but it would also establish a hugely important working relationship for the aspiring actor. One of the filmmakers, long before he became synonymous with suspense thanks to Carrie, Dressed to Kill and other classics, was Brian De Palma. He and De Niro would team up again in the next few years for two more comedies, both with a countercultural bent.

    Greetings, the first film to receive an X certificate in the United States, is a freewheeling satire focusing on a trio of twentysomething friends - a conspiracy theorist, a filmmaker, and a voyeur played by De Niro - as they try to avoid the Vietnam War draft. Hi, Mom!, originally named Son of Greetings, returns to De Niro's voyeur, now an aspiring maker of adult films, for another humorous glimpse at late-sixties society, this time turning its attentions to experimental theatre, cinéma vérité, the African American experience, and the white middle classes.

    Brought together for the first time - and each newly restored by Arrow Films especially for this release - these three films offer a fascinating insight into the early careers of two American cinema's major talents.

    • Brand new 2K restoration of The Wedding Party from the original film negative, carried out exclusively for this release by Arrow Films
    • Brand new 2K restorations of Greetings and Hi, Mom! from original film materials, carried out exclusively for this release by Arrow Films
    • Original uncompressed mono soundtracks
    • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on all three films
    • Brand new commentary on Greetings by Glenn Kenny, author of Robert De Niro: Anatomy of an Actor
    • Brand new appreciation of Brian De Palma and Robert De Niro's collaborations by critic and filmmaker Howard S. Berger
    • Brand new interviews with Charles Hirsch, writer-producer of Greetings and Hi, Mom!
    • Brand new interview with actor Gerrit Graham on Greetings, Hi, Mom! and his other collaborations with Brian De Palma
    • Brand new interview with actor Peter Maloney on Hi, Mom!
    • Hi, Mom! theatrical trailer
    • Newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
    • Limited collector's edition booklet featuring new writing on the films by Brad Stevens, Chris Dumas and Christina Newland, plus an archive interview with Brian De Palma and Charles Hirsch

    Click image for larger version

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    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  • #2
    I'll be getting this, I love Hi, Mom. Other films are worth owning.


    • #3
      Great news! Greetings has never really had a credible release on disc as far as I know.


      • #4
        I like HI, MOM! a lot. GREETINGS is pretty tedious (the horrible theme song will be stuck in your head forever) but it has a couple memorable scenes, particularly one near the end where Allen Garfield sells De Niro a nudie film strip.
        Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome? Why did you watch it, Max?


        • #5
          What, no love for THE WEDDING PARTY? You must have seen it. It's OK but a mere shadow of BDP's ability (the 3 director concept didn't help}.
          The world awaits a legit release of HOME MOVIES on dvd/bd.

          Love Allen Garfield- anyone ever interview him? His resume is insane.


          • #6
            I gave HI, MOM! another look today after years and years. Happily, it still holds up.

            “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” was a phrase used in the civil rights movement of the 60s (popularized by Gil Scott Heron in song). Director Brian DePalma's film takes out the word “Not” in HI, MOM!

            This follow-up to GREETINGS again follows Jon Rubin (Robert DeNiro) who stumbles into an idea of making a peep show film (the seedy Producer is perfectly played by Allen Garfield). For a while the film resembles a cross between Hitchcock's REAR WINDOW and Jim McBride's then contemporary DAVID HOLTZMAN'S DIARY as Rubin woos a neighbor he's spied on Judy (Jennifer Salt in her first significant role). One of the Jon's other Rear Window style voyeuristic subjects Gerrit (Gerrit Graham) leads Jon to the film's centerpiece - a Documentary on the Black experience, culminating in an audience participation experimental theater piece entitled “Be Black, Baby”.

            Even fifty years later, “Be Black, Baby” is still corrosive with it's Black Face/White Face role reversals and confrontational use of the N-word. The Documentary within the film is portrayed as being by the NIT (National Intellectual Television, sort of an unfiltered underground version of PBS; the service had it's roots as NET (National EDUCTATIONAL Television). One's reaction to HI, MOM! almost certainly rests with how the viewer reacts to this long sequence. It's brutal and confrontational. It stings.

            Watching the film now, it's hard not to see DeNiro's Jon as a prototype for Travis Bickle in TAXI DRIVER just six years later (DeNiro, Scorsese and DePalma being long-time friends, of course). Charles Durning has an amusing cameo as does Paul Bartel. Robert Elfstrom's Cinematography is gritty and appropriate and Eric Kaz' music gives the film some bounce.

            DePalma has made many bigger and more successful pictures in the decades since, but, he never made another so immediate. It's rude, crude and full of (righteous) anger.