The exclusive Capital Region release of the new Brian De Palma written and directed fictional documentary Redacted features screenings at 8 PM on Friday, February 1 and 8 PM on Saturday, February 2, 2008 at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 3361 Sixth Avenue in Troy. Rated R. Tickets are $5-$10.
De Palma won the Silver Lion for Best Director at the 2007 Venice Film Festival for this film, a fictional story inspired by true events. Redacted is a unique cinematic experience that pushes viewers to radically reconsider the filters through which we see and accept events in our world, the power of the mediated image and how presentation and composition influence our ideas and beliefs.
A profound meditation on the way information is packaged, distributed and received in an era with infinite channels of communication, Redacted utilizes a variety of created source material—video diaries, produced documentary, surveillance footage, online testimonials, news pieces—to comment on the extreme disconnect between the surface of an image and the reality of ideas and the truth, especially in times of strife.
"An amazingly vigorous work and De Palma’s strongest cinematic statement since ‘Casualities of War’" — Richard Corliss, Time
"The only Iraq film I would rank alongside ‘No End in Sight’ in the category of essential viewing" — Scott Fondas, LA Weekly
"A sensational film. De Palma’s filmmaking skills have seldom been a razor sharp" — Ray Bennett, Hollywood Reporter
"De Palma’s anger and frustration with the media course through ‘Redacted’ like an electrical current" — Stephanie Zacharek, Salon
Centered around a small group of American soldiers stationed at a checkpoint in Iraq, Redacted alternates points of view, balancing the experiences of these young men under duress and members of the media with those of the local Iraqi people, illuminating how each have been deeply affected by the current conflict and their encounters with each other.
The charged apotheosis of Brian De Palma’s filmmaking career, Redacted caps off a body of work which has explored the politics of image-making and reception more fully than any living filmmaker.
"Once again a senseless war has produced a senseless tragedy," says De Palma. "I told this story years ago in my film ‘Casualties of War.’ But the lessons from the Vietnam War have gone unheeded. How to tell the story today? And how did it all begin? Last year at the Toronto Film Festival I was approached by a representative of HDNET films who asked if I would be interested in making a film using high definition video. I said I would if I could find a subject matter that would be best explored in the medium. Then I read about an incident in the Iraq War where members of a US army squad had reportedly raped a 14 girl, slaughtered her family, shot the girl in the face and set her body on fire. How could these boys have gone so wrong? In searching for the answers, I read soldier’s blogs, books, watched soldier’s home made war videos, surfed their web sites, and their ‘YouTube’ postings. It was all there, and all in video."
"To redact is to edit, or prepare for publishing. Frequently, a redacted document or image has simply had personal (or possibly actionable) information deleted or blacked out; as a consequence, redacted is often used to describe documents or images from which sensitive information has been expunged. The true story of our Iraq War has been redacted from the mainstream corporate media. If we are goings to cause such disorder then we must face the horrendous images that are the consequences of these actions. Once we saw them in Vietnam our citizens protested and brought that misguided conflict to an end. Let’s hope the images from this film have the same effect."
Writer/director Brian De Palma has showcased his filmmaking talents in diverse films ranging from thrillers such as "Sisters," "Obsession," "Dressed to Kill," "Body Double" and "Snake Eyes," to the blockbuster action film "Mission: Impossible," the acclaimed police dramas "Scarface," "The Untouchables" and "Carlito’s Way" to the unique visions in "Carrie" and "Phantom of the Paradise."
De Palma has also directed war films, comedies and science fiction.
Born in Newark, New Jersey on September 11, 1940, De Palma grew up in Philadelphia where his father was an orthopedic surgeon. Early on, De Palma became fascinated by physics and went to Columbia College to study the subject. He soon changed paths and began studying first theater, then cinema.
In 1960, he made his first mid-length feature, "Icarus," followed by "6601224, The Story of an IBM Card" and "Wotan’s Wake," for which he received several awards. De Palma undertook his first full-length feature, "The Wedding Party," while studying at Sarah Lawrence College. "The Wedding Party," a semi-improvised comedy, would be Robert De Niro’s and Jill Clayburgh’s film debuts. After this first film, De Palma went on to do several documentaries and short films, including "The Responsive Eye," and put on an exposition of Op Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
In 1967, he made his second full-length feature, "Murder à la Mod," a sophisticated thriller packed with Hitchcockian references. The anti-establishment fever of the sixties led him to make the satirical comedies "Greetings" (Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival) and "Hi Mom," which lifted him into the ranks of young American filmmakers. The big Hollywood studios began paying attention to De Palma, but it was his modest independent production "Sisters," which brought his first big success. Breaking away from the semi-improvisational style of his previous films, he made apparent that his talent for writing, his sense of construction, his framing and rhythm were worthy of the best Hollywood directors.
Two years after his success, De Palma made the musical thriller "Phantom of the Paradise" which came away with the Grand Prize from the 1975 Avoriaz Film Festival. In 1976, he (with Paul Schrader) wrote and directed "Obsession," a romantic thriller starring Cliff Robertson and Genevieve Bujold, followed by "Carrie," which triumphed worldwide and earned Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie Oscar nominations. The film, which also featured Nancy Allen, John Travolta and Amy Irving, remains one of the most brilliant adaptations of a Stephen King novel. Its famous last scene, as well as others, has been widely imitated over the years.
In 1977, De Palma directed Kirk Douglas, John Cassavetes and Amy Irving in "The Fury," a spy film that combined the occult with political fiction. In 1978, he made "Home Movies," a semi-autobiographical comedy starring Kirk Douglas and Nancy Allen, with the assistance of fellow film students from Sarah Lawrence.
In 1980, De Palma returned to suspense with "Dressed to Kill," starring Michael Caine, Nancy Allen and Angie Dickinson, then went on to write and direct "Blow Out," which explored two of his major themes: voyeurism and politics.
In 1982, Brian De Palma directed a baroque, hyper-violent remake of "Scarface" from an Oliver Stone screenplay, starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer.
In 1984, he made "Body Double," which gave Melanie Griffith her breakthrough role. Leaving behind the film genre which had made him famous, Brian went on to direct "The Untouchables," a huge spectacular saga about prohibition which earned its star, Sean Connery, an Oscar, and launched the careers of Kevin Costner and Andy Garcia.
In 1989, Brian directed Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn in the war film "Casualties of War" and in 1990, he adapted Tom Wolfe’s satirical novel "The Bonfire of the Vanities," which starred Tom Hanks, Melanie Griffith and Bruce Willis.
In 1992, De Palma returned to thrillers with "Raising Cain," which starred John Lithgow and Lolita Davidovich, as well as directing Al Pacino in "Carlito’s Way."
In 1996, he brought together Tom Cruise, Jon Voight, Emmanuelle Beart and Jean Reno in "Mission: Impossible," a tribute to the cult television series.
"Mission: Impossible" became an enormous international success and was followed by "Snake Eyes," starring Nicolas Cage and Gary Sinise, as well as his first science fiction film, "Mission to Mars," which starred Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Don Cheadle and Connie Nielsen.
Most recently, De Palma directed Josh Hartnett, Hilary Swank, Aaron Eckhart and Scarlett Johansson in the 2006 film noir thriller, "The Black Dahlia," an adaptation of the popular novel by James Ellroy.
This presentation is made possible by volunteer labor and hundreds of small donations from patrons of The Sanctuary for Independent Media.
The Sanctuary for Independent Media is a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts, located in an historic former church at 3361 6th Avenue in north Troy, NY. The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds.