De Palma

June 2016109 minutes

One of the most talented, influential, and iconoclastic filmmakers of all time, Brian De Palma’s career started in the 60s and has included such acclaimed and diverse films as Carrie, Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito’s Way, and Mission: Impossible. In this lively, illuminating and unexpectedly moving documentary, directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow engage in a personal and candid discussion with De Palma, exploring not only his life and work but also his singular approach to the craft of filmmaking and his remarkable experiences navigating the film business, from his early days as the bad boy of New Hollywood to his more recent years as a respected veteran of the field. In the end, what emerges is a funny, honest, and incisive portrait of a truly one-of-a-kind artist, and an exhilarating behind-the-scenes look at the last 50 years of the film industry through the eyes of someone who has truly seen it all.
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Rotten Tomatoes® Score
Audio Language
English (5.1)
English [CC]
Rental Period
Start within 30 days, finish within 48 hours.
Eligible for Family Library
Eligible if purchased with select payment methods. Rentals are not eligible. Learn More
Run time
109 minutes
Uncle Howard was buried on his thirty-fifth birthday. He was gay; an Ivy League graduate; a broke artist; a rising Hollywood star; a heroin user; a jetsetter; a seedy nightlife lover; a director of cult docs; a devoted friend. To director Aaron Brookner, he was a loving uncle who died of AIDS in 1989 when he was only seven and right when Howard was about to make it as a filmmaker. William Burroughs wrote: “Immortality is the only goal worth striving for". Howard’s relationship with the famed writer marked his gateway to artistic and personal freedom. Twenty-three years after his death, Howard’s work and memory are fading but Aaron wants to fight for his uncle's right to be immortal. He finds the clues to the many sides of his uncle’s story in a modern day tomb: Burroughs’ New York City bunker. More than 300 cans of film offer a glimpse at Howard’s life and career, including outtakes from his 1983 debut film Burroughs: The Movie (the first and most revealing film about the iconic writer), Howard’s video diaries documenting his illness and personal feelings, photographs, rehearsal videos from his Hollywood feature with Madonna and extensive documentation from the mid-80s. Through conversations with family and close friends – including Jim Jarmusch, Tom DiCillo, Sara Driver, Hisami Kuroiwa, Brad Gooch, Darryl Pinckney, James Grauerholz and Robert Wilson – comes an exploration into the cultural revolution of the late 70s and early 80s, a bankrupt and sordid New York City, the eruption of the AIDS plague, sex, drugs, politics, and the artistic determination of a filmmaker whose life was cut short. Featuring long-lost footage and archival photos of William Burroughs, Patti Smith, John Giorno, Allen Ginsberg, Brion Gysin, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Terry Southern, Andy Warhol, Spike Lee, John Waters, Francis Bacon, Matt Dillon, Madonna, and more, Uncle Howard reveals a portrait of the tumultuous and mysterious life, struggles, and untimely death of Howard Brookner.
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