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trying to do with
those films was to
make three student
films in order to
try and set a new
trajectory and try to
say, 'Well, what
happens if I have no
resources?' Now, having
done that, my new
work is going to be
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but now building on a
new confidence or
assurance. The three
little films were very
useful. I'm glad I did
it. I hope George Lucas
does it, because he
has a wonderful personal
filmmaking ability that
people haven't seen
for a while."

Sean Penn to
direct De Niro
as raging comic
in The Comedian

Scarlett to make
directorial feature
debut with
Capote story

Keith Gordon
teaming up
with C. Nolan for
thriller that
he will write
and direct

Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

-Picture emerging
for Happy Valley

-De Palma's new
project with
Said Ben Said

-De Palma to team
with Pacino & Pressman
for Paterno film
Happy Valley

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Thursday, May 22, 2014
Scream Factory today released the details about its upcoming Blu-ray edition of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, which will be released August 5th. If you pre-order straight from ShoutFactory ($21.95), they are offering an exclusive 18"x24" poster of the new cover artwork, but only while supplies last. The Scream Factory press release repeats the news that the Swan Archives reported a couple of weeks ago: that there will be two discs included in the package. The first is a Blu-ray of the original movie, along with several new commentaries and new interviews, and the second disc is a DVD packed with special features old and new. Below is the rundown from the press release, but be sure to check the Swan Archives' News Page for a details about where each feature originally appeared.


High-Definition transfer of the film
NEW Audio Commentary with Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham and the Juicy Fruits (Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor and Harold Oblong aka Peter Eibling)
NEW Audio Commentary with Production Designer Jack Fisk
NEW Interview with director Brian DePalma (36 minutes)
NEW Interview with Paul Williams talking about the music of PHANTOM (30 minutes)
NEW Interview with Make-up Effects wizard Tom Burman discussing the Phantom Helmet


Paradise Regained – documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian DePalma, Producer Edward R. Pressman, William Finley, Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham and more… (50 minutes)
Interview with Paul Williams moderated by Guillermo Del Toro (72 minutes)
Interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton (10 minutes)
NEW Interview with producer Edward R. Pressman (15 minutes)
NEW Interview with drummer Gary Mallaber (15 minutes)
NEW Alvin’s Art and Technique – a look at the neon poster (15 minutes)
NEW Phantom of the Paradise Biography by Gerrit Graham - 1974 Publicity Sheet written by and read by Graham (8 minutes)
Alternate Takes (40 minutes) Swan Song Outtake Footage (10 minutes)
Radio Spots
TV Spots
Theatrical Trailer
Still Gallery

Meanwhile, Phantom Of The Paradise will be screened from DCP at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles this Saturday at midnight.

This past Sunday, the Billboard Awards show on ABC-TV included a Michael Jackson holograph performing one of the songs included on the new posthumous release, Xscape. Today, Vulture's Geeta Dayal posted an essay that, at one point, linked the ghostly Jackson to the Phantom Of The Paradise. Here's an excerpt from Dayal's post:


Sunday's unsettling hologram performance at the Billboard Awards showed, once and for all, that the thriving Michael Jackson industry doesn’t need Michael Jackson to survive. Jackson is a global corporation, a portfolio of investments — a lucrative moneymaking machine that hums along, with or without a human at the controls.

Xscape — a potpourri of exhumed Jackson demos and discarded tracks, organized by L.A. Reid and fleshed out by top producers including Timbaland and Rihanna hitmakers Stargate — is currently the No. 2 album in the country. While it’s a bit odd to see the King of Pop lagging behind the Black Keys, the current No. 1 act, being second best isn’t too shabby when you’ve been dead for five years. All in all, Xscape — eight “new” songs in total, which go back as far as 1983 — is an admirable effort to make a full meal out of reheated leftovers...

Part of what made Jackson’s holographic performance so bizarre was the song itself: “Slave to the Rhythm,” a song on Xscape that was originally recorded in 1991 during the Dangerous sessions. The song is not half bad, though it’s easy to see why it was kept on the cutting-room floor until 2014. “She’s a slave to the rhythm,” Jackson sings, ostensibly about a woman. “She danced through the night/In fear of her life/She danced to a beat of her own,” Jackson continues urgently, filling in gaps with his requisite “hee-hees” and perfectly placed hiccups. But the song sounds autobiographical — you could think of it as Jackson’s ghost, talking about his own tortured afterlife. Jackson, five years after his death, is a slave to the rhythm — shackled by the corporate interests that refuse to let him rest in peace. He’s the phantom in Brian De Palma’s creepy 1974 classic Phantom of the Paradise — the sad, undead guy in the skintight black leather outfit who forgot that he signed a recording contract in his own blood, who’s now trapped in a recording studio and forced to craft megahits for eternity.

Jackson is an unending source of income, spinning out in all directions until the end of time. Like the Star Wars franchise, there will be sequels — and when the sequels are done, there will be prequels. Hundreds of unused songs — demos, outtakes, and other bits and pieces — are said to be in Jackson’s vaults. As holographic technology inevitably improves, the possibilities for live performances in the future will be endless. But perhaps we should leave Jackson be instead of trying to digitally reanimate him for eternity. In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of the Sith, after witnessing a Darth Vader hologram slay a Jedi, “I can’t watch any more.”


Posted by Geoff at 5:26 PM CDT
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