DE PALMA & DE NIRO: THE EARLY FILMS

Empire (UK) - - REVIEW - IAN FREER

Out 12 NOVEM­BER / Cert 15 / 267 Mins

Some 25 years be­fore The Un­touch­ables, Brian De Palma and robert De Niro started mak­ing movies to­gether. this three-film col­lec­tion shows off their nascent, rough-hewn ge­nius. Well, two of them do. their fea­ture de­but, The Wed­ding Party, is a cheapo, flashy-but-patchy nup­tials-based com­edy, with De Niro as a grooms­man. But Greet­ings (in my De Palma top three) and se­quel Hi Mom! are a class apart, stun­ning snap­shots of 1960s coun­ter­cul­ture tak­ing in JFK, porn, Viet­nam, ex­per­i­men­tal the­atre, class di­vi­sions and ra­cial anx­i­eties. Be­fore he got into Hitch­cock mode, you see De Palma is at his most fun, im­pro­vi­sa­tional, free­wheel­ing and hu­man, while De Niro burns a hole in a screen as a voyeur-turned-adult film­maker. If De Niro had stuck with De Palma over Scors­ese, things might have turned out very dif­fer­ent. At least, more split screen-y.

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