Step One: Go to www.random.org.
Step Two: Pick a Number.
Step Three: GET WEIRD!
Phantom of the Paradise
The Most Highly Acclaimed Horror Phantasy Of Our Time.
Rock Opera version of Phantom Of The Opera with elements of Faust. Record producer Swan steals both the music and the girl (Phoenix) from composer Leach. Disfigured Leach plans revenge on Swan and his rock palace, The Paradise, and becomes The Phantom. Leach signs contract with Swan to complete rock opera based on the life of Faust for Phoenix. Double crossed by Swan who hires heavy metal singer Beef, Leach exacts his vengeance.
This is my favourite movie of all time -- one of the films that I will vehemently defend against all criticisms. I own the film on VHS and DVD; I imported the only blu ray version available from France; I own the soundtrack on CD and vinyl. I have a cult obsession with this film and I absolutely fucking adore every thing about it. I've seen it hundreds of times; this is my go-to film to put me in a good mood.
But why do I love this film so much?
There are a lot of ways to answer that question, but perhaps the best place to start is with the music. Paul Williams' music is incredibly energetic an fun…
PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE > THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW.
A bizarre, outlandish, musical descent into sheer madness.
Something that struck me as quite fun took a turn into a literal hell on earth.
A man wants revenge for the crimes committed against him, but all he finds is something fair deeper than he could ever image for someone simply wanting to create beauty through sound and undying love.
What follows afterwards is a series of events that range from horrifying to hilarious to even both at the same time. Imagines that express the beauty of horror and oddness as a means of enhancing a story that goes back centuries.
Colors bright and foreboding, creating a nightmarish atmosphere with sweeping camera work, bizarre camera angels, wild shots, quick fire editing,…
/tv/ Film Club Week 2: Musicals
Look, Philbin. I am a professional. I have been in this business a long time. Now if I don't want to perform, it's not because I got stage fright. It's because some creature from beyond doesn't want me to do the show. Now gangway.
When you think of Brian DePalma, ones thoughts probably immediately jump to Scarface, Blow Out, Carrie or The Untouchables. You probably didn't think DePalma's name would be in any way attached to an obscure, flamboyant rock opera from the 70's....
Yeah, me neither.
But now whenever I hear his name I'm not going to be able to stop my brain from immediately thinking of this dark and dastardly fun musical.…
I'd never realized this before, but when Phoenix sings "Old Souls" and becomes an instant sensation, she's exactly like Albuquerque singing "It Don't Worry Me" at the end of Nashville, which was released some eight months later. In both cases, a star is murdered onstage mid-performance, and these relative nobodies are sent out to pacify the audience. These scenes draw on a show biz movie cliché at least as old as 42nd Street—"You're going out a youngster but you've got to come back a star!"—though I think both De Palma and Altman (the latter working with Joan Tewkesbury) have something more cynical, more incisive in mind.
Like Nashville, Phantom is a ruthless satire of the music industry whose political scope…
Faustian tragedy played out as farcical rock opera ("Death Records" couldn't be more appropriate). Irreverently cinematic.
A man sells his soul to the devil to become a pop star in order to write a song about a man who sells his soul to the devil to become a pop star, but the devil himself had already sold his own soul (to become a pop star).
Artistic integrity fighting for success in a world run by popular tastes (the evil producer is played by the man who actually wrote all the music for the film—a beautiful and topical irony).
We absolutely loved this movie so much! The soundtrack, the theatrics, the acting, the bizarre! All of the bizarre!
5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films – Round 3
Director Count: #1 of 5
Challenge Count: #1 of 25
Hahaha that was batshit insane. Phantom of the Paradise is a creepy, amusing, flamboyant and tragic horror rock musical drama that mixes genres and has one of the most insane plots i've seen. It's campy and such a throughly entertaining film that also manages to be a great satire of the music industry. Paul Williams makes a super sleazy villain, Beef is an awesome character, and Paul Finley is pretty much perfect as The Phantom. There's plenty of great songs in this film and De Palma's direction makes all the weird elements work so damn well. It's heavily stylized and all the stylistic choices are super cool, especially the split-screen bomb scene. All its weirdness was really creepy and made me feel uneasy, but it also contained this feeling of fun and sadness throughout. This film rocks!
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
I think my favorite genre is the bombastic color horror musical with lots of visual variety, closeups and crazy stuff happening. This is the kind of cinema that isn't done anymore and that won't ever be recaptured, this is like catching thunder, it doesn't happen often, and here it's just that lightning bottled up and charging up my soul into creative and spiritual realms.
I'm sorry letterboxd. It just doesn't come together.
Do musicals get much better than Phantom of the Paradise? Does Brian De Palma ever make a film like Phantom of the Paradise again? Do I think Brian De Palma has ever made a better film? The answers, receptively, are no, no and most probably not.
This film is De Palma through and through. It takes what he is known for and what he is best at and delivers on every single level. In this movie you have a familiar story (Phantom of the Opera) all twisted up, you have a split screen sequence (one of the best), you have De Palma staple William Findley, you have dark and twisted, you have a fantastic Hitchcock homage, you have wierd, dark,…
Even sharper and crazier than I remembered. A broadside against the music industry and its manufactured stars amidst a Phantom of the Opera retelling? Hey, great. You’ll never hear the word “cantata” more times in your life than in this movie. It’s freewheeling in a way that later De Palma isn’t — marvel at those galloping handheld shots! The production design is wild, very Clockwork Orange, but with very spare sets, almost like experimental theater.
Is that Caligari-looking glam band supposed to be a goof on KISS? Either way, this is a very timely movie, and very influential — look at Phantom Winslow and try telling me that’s not the blueprint for Darth Vader.
Possibly De Palma's best film, and one of the greatest movie musicals of all time. It's not just a musical that was original to the screen, but one that's clearly made to take full advantage of it- it's an insane story realized through swiftly moving cameras, ingenious cuts and montages, and a score that mixes the cynical with the outright spiritual (thanks to the work of the great Paul Williams.)
The story wears its influences on its sleeve, and is yet strangely original- there's Phantom of the Opera, Faust, and even the Portrait of Dorian Grey in there, yet De Palma synthesizes all of this into something new and heartfelt. The visual style is crude yet dazzling, the performances are charming, and the music unforgettable. A classic.
De Palma has more range than he gets credit for.
It's kind of impressive how this was immediatly followed by both Obsession and Carrie, two very different films, all of them flawed to some extent, but solid. You have an excessive rock opera adapted from classic gothic literature which puts Rocky Horror Picture Show to shame, a sort of baroque European moody art piece about infatuation and betrayal heavily borrowed from Vertigo, and finally a brooding examination on adolescent self-discovery, repression and religious fanaticism based on a more post-modern source that is often disregarded as "low literature" by detractors and pundits, not much different from De Palma's own experience with critics.
Rewatching this again just reaffirms that this is De Palma's finest hour, and... it's not close. The music, the camera movements, the editing & pacing, the sets & costumes, Paul Williams, it has it all. And come on, it has William Finley & Jessica Harper as leads. And i'm just speaking facts.
Step One: Go to www.random.org.