De Palma, Brian,
1940–, American film director, b. Newark, N.J. Heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock
, he is especially known for bloody, shocking, and suspenseful thrillers. Sometimes accused of voyeurism and misogyny, De Palma has also been praised for his visual stylishness and technical virtuosity. His first feature, the comedy The Wedding Party
(1963, released 1969), was followed by several other unprepossessing movies. He became a major Hollywood director with the release of Carrie
(1976), adapted from a Stephen King
novel, a film that is alternately sensitive, humorous, and horrifying. His other dark shockers include the Hitchcockesque Dressed to Kill
(1981), and Body Double
(1984); he also directed the gangster epics Scarface
(1983) and The Untouchables
(1987), a major box-office hit. Among his later films are Casualties of War
(1989), Bonfire of the Vanities
(1990), Mission: Impossible
(1996), Snake Eyes
(1998), and Mission to Mars
(2000). De Palma also wrote and directed Raising Cain
(1992), Femme Fatale
(2002), and Redacted
(2007), a violent, provocative, and confrontational film about the Iraq war.
See Brian De Palma: Interviews (2003), ed. by L. F. Knapp; studies by M. Bliss (1983), S. Dworkin (1984), L. Bouzereau (1988), K. MacKinnon (1990), and E. Peretz (2007); N. Baumbach and J. Paltrow, dir., De Palma (documentary, 2016).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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