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The Best of Brian De Palma (Feel Free to Argue)

The Best of Brian De Palma (Feel Free to Argue) (photo)

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Brian De Palma’s tense thriller Blow Out airs at 8 p.m. ET tonight. It stars John Travolta as a sound man who stumbles upon what he believes is a murder, only no one believes him. Brian De Palma’s skillful direction enhances the intrigue without being overpowering. He let’s John Travolta shine as an actor while still pushing the boundaries of movie making. De Palma’s skill is in aiming for over-the-top film making, but tempering it with skilled editing and strong stories.

Brian De Palma manages to competently direct movies as varied as Obsession, Bonfire of the Vanities, and Snake Eyes, but it’s in his psychological thrillers that his skills really shine. There are few directors who would dare to try to pick up Alfred Hitchcock’s mantle, but in Body Double, De Palma gives an excellent effort. Before Blow Out airs we are taking a quick look at the best films in Brian De Palma’s body of work. Disagree? Head to the comments and tell us what movie you think belongs on the list.

Scarface may not be exactly historically accurate, but accuracy doesn’t translate to awesome anyway and there is little doubt that Scarface is awesome. Under De Palma’s directorial vision and Al Pacino’s acting skills, Tony Montana became the quintessential portrait of a frightening drug dealer with a disastrously violent ambitious streak. De Palma manages to slip in some social commentary, but it doesn’t stand a chance next to the Girls! Drugs! Guns!:

Body Double is a stylish and sexy story that is classic De Palma. It’s a near-Hitchcockian thriller with yet another murder that no one but the main character quite believes happened. The story evokes Hitchcock’s Rear Window if Grace Kelly was a porn star:

Brian De Palma’s Carrie is based on the novel by Stephen King, but under De Palma’s direction the film became a masterpiece of anxiety, tension and horror. It also features a young John Travolta in his first motion picture role. So we have De Palma to thank for Look Who’s Talking:

We’ve already talked about our love of Blow Out here, but here’s the trailer anyway because it definitely deserves a spot on the list of the best of Brian De Palma’s films:

Starring Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Andy Garcia, and Sean Connery The Untouchables is De Palma’s ode to Chicagoland gangsters. The superb performances by the actors under De Palma’s direction offers up a beautiful raunchy and rough portrait of Chicago in the Prohibition era. The Ennio Morricone score doesn’t hurt either.

Blow Out airs on IFC tonight at 8 p.m. ET

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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