Of course, the hysteria feels misplaced now, with the movie playing more as a clever mash-up of elements of “Vertigo” and “Rear Window,” significantly sexed-up for the music video eighties (there’s even a music video within the movie)) It’s also infused with De Palma’s trademark absurdist sense of humor, particularly when, towards the end, the narrative shuffles between the actual plot and the cheesy vampire movie that our main character (Craig Wasson, charming in his own, wooden way) is making. A media satire and send-up, “Hi Mom!” centers on Rubin (a Vietnam vet of course), back in New York finding his voyeuristic tendencies (De Palma preoccupation alert!) And if you still haven’t had your fill of De Palma, here’s a 52-minute long Summer Talk given by the ever-entertaining director hosted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. This month, New Jersey-born director Brian De Palma is the subject of two major, separate tributes. In fact, when Smothers says to Orson Welles —playing Mr. Delsandro, a master magician who runs an academy for wannabes — that he’ll work 24 hours a day if he has to, Welles looks at him and growls, “That would be terribly unfair to your rabbit.” The script, although intended for a major studio release, was heavily influenced by off-the-wall British comedy and focuses on zany gags like John Astin, playing Smothers’ co-worker, locking Smothers and his parents in a wardrobe to give them more privacy, while he walks around the spacious room. Beyond the individual moments, there are of course thematic and stylistic echoes, including doubles, voyeurism and blondes (there are apparently no brunettes in De Palma’s New York). De Palma cites this sequence as a progenitor of reality television, and compares it, rather unexpectedly, to a current TV staple: “It’s no different to Survivor today, where you see two people on the beach whispering to each other, except we know they’re surrounded by a camera crew and re-enacting something that they said earlier. but a standout nutball performance by Lithgow, never more terrifying, even as he tries on a number of increasingly absurd costumes and wigs. And we can’t forget Ennio Morricone’s lovely, bombastic score, old fashioned in all the right ways. After its disastrous response, both critically and commercially, De Palma fell into a deep depression, thinking that his personal projects were uniformly doomed. He uses a whole host of tricks as a kind of visual shorthand: the split diopter lens that allows both the foreground and background to be in focus, the employment of split-screen for a number of reasons (mostly to show the same event from two different locations or perspectives) and the use of slow motion as a way not just to amplify the visual importance of a moment but to accentuate the moment’s emotionality. While still very ragtag, De Palma’s affection for the French New Wave is very much in evidence, and while enthusiasm once again eclipses focus, “Greetings” is nonetheless vibrant, spirited and often times a hilarious portrait of the anxiety of living in the shadow of the draft. "De Palma isn't really relevant anymore," he said. and back again, several times over. “Sisters” is like a game of cinematic Mad Libs, only with Hitchcock’s films.

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+ How we made $200K with 4M downloads.

How we made $200K with 4M downloads.