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Warren Beatty's
Howard Hughes
moving forward

Filmmaker Mike
Cahill believes
he has world's
first double-
vertigo shot

Rie Rasmussen
to direct remake
of Cronenberg's
Shivers

Mentor Tarantino
says she's the "perfect
choice" to direct

AV Club Review
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Spielberg Predicts
'Implosion' of
Film Industry

Scorsese tests
new Zaillian
script for
The Irishman
with De Niro,
Pacino, Pesci

James Franco
plans to direct
& star in
adaptation of Ellroy's
American Tabloid

Coppola on
his recent films:
"What I was
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
much more ambitious
and bigger in scope and
budget and ambition,
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
supernatural
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

« November 2011 »
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Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

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a la Mod

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a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
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Sunday, November 13, 2011
ELBLING RAISING MONEY FOR SHORT FILM
OFFERING SPECIAL PERKS FOR 'PHANTOM' FANS, SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
Peter Elbling, who portrayed "Juicy Fruit" member Harold Oblong in Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, is raising money for a new short film, Mr. Vinegar And The Ants. The film stars Elbling as "an inept bumbler who, thinking he is better than he is, inevitably brings the world crashing down on his own head." The film will feature physical humor in the style of Chaplin, Keaton, and Mr. Bean. The plan is to make the short film and bring it to festivals as Elbling and his team works toward getting financing for a "Mr. Vinegar" feature.

Elbling is offering special perks for Phantom fans-- note the limited quantities available, so you may want to check with Elbling (via PeterElbling.com) to make sure a perk you are expecting is still available before you make your donation. Here they are:

$125 USD donation: Phantompalooza II poster signed by the cast (2 available)
$75 USD donation: French PAL version of the DVD with complete cast interviews. Still in shrink wrap. (1 available)
$60 USD donation: French PAL version of the DVD with complete cast interviews. Opened (1 available)
$50 USD donation: Phantompalooza II T-shirt (10 available).
$10 USD donation: Buttons or Guitar pics with Death Records Logo. (40 available)


Posted by Geoff at 10:20 AM CST
Updated: Sunday, November 13, 2011 10:26 AM CST
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Sunday, October 30, 2011
'PHANTOM' RADIO SPECIAL HALLOWEEN NIGHT
NEW INTERVIEWS WITH WILLIAMS, HARPER, FINLEY, GRAHAM, JUICY FRUITS
ALSO: FANGORIA TEASES 'REMARKABLE GENRE-RELATED PROJECT WILLIAMS IS PART OF'

Tomorrow night, on Halloween, CJOB Radio in Winnipeg will broadcast a 90-minute Phantom Of The Paradise special from 10:30pm to midnight (central time). The special promises all-new exclusive interviews with Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham, and "Juicy Fruits" Peter Elbling, Archie Hahn, and Jeffrey Comanor. The participants will discuss the film, as well as Phantompalooza I and II. What's that you say? You don't live in Winnipeg? Oh, that's okay-- you can listen live online at CJOB.com.

Meanwhile, Fangoria has been running its own interviews with Phantom collaborators of late. Last month's issue (#307) featured an interview with Harper, in which she revealed that when Brian De Palma took her out to dinner the night of her screen test in Los Angeles, they were joined by Martin Scorsese. She also mentioned that Steven Spielberg visited the Phantom "a few times." When asked by Fangoria's Chris Alexander how Phantom was pitched to her, Harper replied, "It was never pitched as a horror film; I understood it to be a spoof rock musical. Originally it was called Phantom Of The Fillmore, which spoke to me because I used to hang out at the Fillmore East all the time. But I never thought of it as a horror movie."

Despite that, Phantom Of The Paradise did make Fangoria's 300th issue earlier this year, in which the magazine presented its "Ultimate Horror Movie Guide." In that issue, Michael Koopmans wrote of Phantom, "De Palma plunges you headfirst into the musically excessive world of the 1970s with a film that's part horror, part satire, and complete rock opera."

The current issue of Fangoria (#308) includes an interview by Alexander with Paul Williams, who brought a certain scene from the film itself to mind as he discussed the audition he held in New York for the role of Phoenix:

"I had everyone at the New York audition, including Jessica, sing Leon Russell's Superstar. Jessica was singing it quietly to herself as she waited her turn. I stood behind her and listened-- beautiful. When she sang for Brian and I, she sang out like a Broadway actress reaching the back of the house. I told her to sing softly. It was magical. She killed it.

Williams also mentions to Alexander that he never consciously went for a Phil Spector-type energy in his performance as Swan, saying, "I tried to create what Brian gave me, and his vision was spot-on." At the end of the article, Alexander says to keep checking Fangoria.com "for news of a remarkable genre-related project Williams is part of."


Posted by Geoff at 6:41 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, October 30, 2011 6:42 PM CDT
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011
'PHANTOM' IN SIX DIMENSIONS FOR HALLOWEEN
MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION FROM BALTIMORE ROCK OPERA SOCIETY
The Baltimore Rock Opera Society will present Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise in 6D, or six dimensions, over Halloween weekend. The show will be presented on Friday October 28, and Saturday October 29 at the Autograph Playhouse. For these two shows, the film, which "has been modified to blow your mind," will be projected from six projectors. In addition, there will be a live band with costumed singers, "AND," states the website decription, "it’s a costume party–-come dressed in the best rock freakiness you’ve got!" The descriptions at the website also tout security cameras and "custom video editing." Showtimes are at 8pm each night. Tickets are $10 each. Sounds like a steal, Winslow!

Posted by Geoff at 4:14 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, October 30, 2011 6:07 PM CDT
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Saturday, September 10, 2011
'PAUL WILLIAMS' DOC-MAKER NODS TO WINNIPEG
SAYS AMAZING 'PHANTOM' EVENT SHOWED HIM A TOUCHING LEVEL OF AFFECTION FOR THE SONGWRITER
The Toronto Star's Linda Barnard spoke by phone with Paul Williams and Steve Kessler, director of the documentary Paul Williams Still Alive, which premieres tomorrow at the Toronto International Film Festival. Barnard asked the duo about the film's link to Winnipeg, where Kessler first made contact with Williams during one of the city's "Phantompalooza" events:

Q: The movie starts in Winnipeg where the (1974 musical directed by Brian De Palma with music by Williams) Phantom of the Paradise has a cult following. That's where Steve first makes contact with you.

PW: There are two cities in the world (the other is Paris) that got it and I don't understand it. There is such a love affair with the film . . . in Winnipeg, there are people who got that piece of art.

SK: I have to say if it wasn't for the people of Winnipeg this movie would never have gotten made. When I saw the level of affection people had for Paul, I said, “I can't be the only person on earth with this level of affection for Paul.” This was an amazing event.

Q: I have to ask you about your signature hairstyle, that long blond shag you wore in the '70s.

PW: Me and Hayley Mills. I ripped her off. It's just the way it grew in — the Swan hairstyle.

WILLIAMS' NEW SONG 'SUMS UP HIS LIFE IN A VERY HONEST WAY', SAYS KESSLER
Barnard also reports that Williams wrote the title track to the documentary, and was sent an mp3 of the song, which, she writes, "it has the signature Williams mix of melancholy and flashes of self-deprecating humour." Regarding the song, Kessler told Barnard, "I think he summed up his life in a very honest way. It really adds something."


Posted by Geoff at 7:58 PM CDT
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Monday, September 5, 2011
DE PALMA: 'I HAVE NEVER READ NATIONAL LAMPOON'
SAYS IDEA THAT 'PHANTOM' MAY HAVE BEEN INSPIRED BY MAG'S PARODY IS 'COMPLETELY FALSE'
A couple of days ago, I posted a link to the latest episode of The Projection Booth, which was devoted to Phantom Of The Paradise, and featured interviews with Jessica Harper and Ari, the Principal Archivist at The Swan Archives. Near the end of the program, the hosts asked Ari about the "dark side" of Phantom, namely the speculation that a photoplay published in a 1971 issue of National Lampoon called "The Phantom Of The Rock Opera" may have provided some inspiration for De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise (the photoplay can be viewed on the Swan Archives' Production page).

De Palma listened to the podcast, and said he "was quite impressed with Ari's understanding of Phantom Of The Paradise." However, the filmmaker would like to correct the speculative "dark side" mentioned above. "The 'revelation' that Phantom Of The Paradise was inspired by a National Lampoon satire is completely false," stated De Palma. "I have never read the National Lampoon and I can only guess the similarities are purely coincidental. Needless to to say, I have no problem borrowing from the classics, but this wasn't one of them."

Posted by Geoff at 6:20 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, September 5, 2011 6:21 PM CDT
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Saturday, September 3, 2011
HARPER INTV'D ON 'PHANTOM' PODCAST
ALONG WITH THE PRINCIPAL ARCHIVIST FROM THE SWAN ARCHIVES
This past Wednesday's episode of The Projection Booth was devoted to Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, and included a brief but fun interview with Jessica Harper. The entire episode, hosted by Mike and Mondo Justin, played host to Ari, the Principal Archivist at The Swan Archives, who shared bits from what seems like a limitless well of knowledge about Phantom Of The Paradise for almost a full hour. Ari differed with his hosts about each one's taste in De Palma's films in general (Ari loves them all, Mike and Mondo Justin, well, not so much), but all agreed that Phantom is something special. Harper talked about the Broadway (Hair) and Off Broadway (Dr. Selavy's Magic Theater) shows that led to her being discovered by De Palma and Paul Williams. She mentioned being in competition with Linda Ronstadt for the role of Phoenix, and that the dance she does in Phantom was "my own choreography," something she'd made up in rehearsal. Regarding De Palma, Harper says that the director was very helpful to her on Phantom, her first film. She said De Palma is able to get great performances out of people.

Posted by Geoff at 8:20 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, September 3, 2011 8:22 PM CDT
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Friday, June 17, 2011
'PHANTOM' PART OF '70S MUSICAL SERIES IN NY
SCREENS TONIGHT WITH '200 MOTELS', NEXT FRIDAY WITH 'ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL'
Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will screen at 9:30 tonight as part of Anthology Film Archives' series, "Hollywood Musicals Of The 1970s & 80s, Part 1: The 1970s." Tonight, Phantom will be paired with Tony Palmer and Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, and next Friday, the De Palma classic will be paired with Allan Arkush's Rock 'N' Roll High School (Phantom screens at 7pm that night, June 24th). Other films in the series include Martin Scorsese's New York, New York and Peter Bogdanovich's At Long Last Love. The New York Press' Craig Hubert posted a write-up of the series the other day.

Posted by Geoff at 6:31 PM CDT
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Wednesday, April 6, 2011
PRESSMAN & FINLEY Q&A SATURDAY AT NY 'PHANTOM' SCREENING
BAMcinématek'S "DE PALMA SUSPENSE" SERIES STARTS THIS FRIDAY
Ed Pressman and William Finley will take part in a Q&A at a screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise this Saturday (April 9) at New York's BAMcinématek. The screening is part of the series "De Palma Suspense," which is presented by BAM Cinema Club Chair Noah Baumbach, who will introduce the series' opening night film, Sisters this Friday (April 8) at 7:30pm. The Pressman/Finley Q&A will take place during the 6:50pm screening on Saturday-- Phantom Of The Paradise will play again at 9:30 that night. Finley's name was just added to the schedule within the past couple of days, so it is possible some more surprises are on the way at BAM... stay tuned. In anticipation of the series, the New York Press' Craig Hubert and the Village Voice's Nick Pinkerton have each posted articles summarizing these key De Palma films.

REVIEWS OF NEW "BLOW OUT" CRITERION EDITION
Criterion is set to release De Palma's BLOW OUT April 26th, and Baumbach's hour-long filmed interview with De Palma is being touted as a worthwhile special feature in early reviews. Check out the reviews at MovieMan's Guide To The Movies and Big Picture Big Sound.

Posted by Geoff at 1:44 AM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 1:46 AM CDT
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010
DEL TORO LOVES PHANTOM, TOO
DIRECTOR HAS REPORTEDLY DREAMT OF REMAKING DE PALMA CLASSIC
Something that seems to have slipped by underneath my radar is the fact that Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise is one of Guillermo Del Toro's very favorite films. In 2002, he told the Austin Chronicle's Marc Savlov that the film changed his life when he was young. Earlier this year, Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles mentioned Del Toro's dream of remaking Phantom Of The Paradise:

One night Guillermo Del Toro and I agreed that nobody that didn’t like PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE could be cool. And then we spent many hours as he told me why he wanted to remake it as I spent hours convincing him that it would never be as brilliant as the original. Then Guillermo cried in my arms and suckled upon my thumb. At least. That’s how I remember the conversation. I’ll never forget BNAT 1. Guillermo screened his 35mm print of this as we sat together, annoyingly singing out loud every lyric from memory.

Last week, Criterion released Del Toro's feature debut, Cronos, on DVD and Blu-Ray. One of the bonus features is called "Welcome to Bleak House, a video tour by del Toro of his office." According to Manekikoneko, the tour includes several mentions of Phantom Of The Paradise, with "models and everything." (Manekikoneko thinks Del Toro may have mentioned Phantom during the Cronos commentary track, as well, but does not remember for sure.) In any case, about a month ago, Del Toro moderated a discussion with fellow Phantom fan Edgar Wright, along with the cast and creator of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World at Los Angeles' Egyptian Theatre. At one point, Del Toro and Wright agree that they share at least two very favorite films: De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, and Mike Hodges's Flash Gordon, both of which were among the cinematic influences on Wright's Scott Pilgrim adaptation.


Posted by Geoff at 11:24 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 11:28 PM CST
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010
PHANTOM SCENE-BY-SCENE
SWAN ARCHIVES UNVEILS INVALUABLE NEW SECTION

The Swan Archives has dug itself into the control room of Swan's Video Surveillance Center and opened up a new section that looks at Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise scene-by-scene. As can be seen from the snapshot above, frames from the film are used to explore each scene from a variety of angles, including an enormously entertaining amount of behind-the-scenes notes. Two of my favorites: the Archive notes that the whole idea of removing the prisoners' teeth is a direct reference to Nathanael West's 1934 novel, A Cool Million; and the Archive also points out that the incidental music arranged by George Aliceson Tipton for a scene in Phoenix's dressing room is really an arrangement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1. Each of these is highlighted with links to, respectively, the text of the appropriate page from West's novel, and audio clips of Beethoven and the Tipton arrangement. Put together with love and wit, these pages will keep any fan reading for hours. Bravo!

Posted by Geoff at 10:05 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 10:07 PM CST
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