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Monday, March 10, 2014
NEW 'PHANTOM' BLU-RAY ART BY JUSTIN OSBOURN
SCREAM FACTORY RELEASE OUT AUGUST 5TH, SPECS TO COME EARLY SUMMER


Above is the cover artwork for Scream Factory's upcoming Blu-Ray edition of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, which was shared today by The Swan Archives and JoBlo. The art was done by Justin Osbourn, who has also created covers for other Scream Factory titles. A limited edition 18" x 24" poster of this terrific art will be available exclusively through Scream Factory when you pre-order a copy of Phantom, but pre-sales don't begin until sometime in May. Details on the special features for this Blu-Ray edition will be unveiled in early summer.

Posted by Geoff at 7:51 PM CDT
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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
CRITIC: 'PHANTOM' THRIVES ON DE PALMA'S EXCESS
AND IS PERHAPS DE PALMA'S "MOST BRECHTIAN FILM"
In a review for Arrow's new Blu-ray of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, Mostly Film's Blake Backlash analyzes how the film's song lyrics by Paul Williams work in conjunction with the film's themes and worldview. He also turns David Thomson's criticisms of De Palma upside down, embracing the very qualities that Thomson would use to dismiss De Palma with. Here are some excerpts from Backlash's inspired review:
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Because it is a musical, this is Brian De Palma’s best film. The opening number is ‘Goodbye Eddie, Goodbye’, a pastiche of 50s rock n roll that, amidst all the doo-wop sass, tells the story of a singer with a terminally ill sister and not enough money to pay for her life-saving operation. He kills himself because: Eddie believed the American people / Had wonderful, lovegiving hearts / His well-publicised end he considered would send / His memorial album to the top of the charts… and it did.

The song was written by Paul Williams (who also plays Swan, the film’s villain) and is a kind of bubble-gum overture, anticipating a number of notions that the film will kick around. So we’re turned on to the idea that this movie will be about how the music industry processes tragedy into sensation and sentiment in order to sell records. But the current of dark humour in the lyrics cuts that idea with a playful cruelty in the way it views Eddie:

Well you did it Eddie and though it’s hard to applaud suicide / You gave all you could give so your sister could live / All America’s choked up inside. The overall effect is a three-minute summary of a worldview which, while more on the side of art than industry, is still ready to stick a pin in the way artists see themselves. There’s wit there and that wit is a gift from Paul Williams to Brian De Palma.

David Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film makes a case against De Palma that seems capture much of why people who don’t like De Palma, don’t like De Palma. According to Thomson he is ‘ready to control everything except his own cruelty and indifference. He is the epitome of mindless style and excitement swamping taste or character… He has contempt for his characters and his audience alike.’ I’m not sure. When things do go wrong for De Palma he seems burdened not with cynicism but with an excess of moist-eyed sentimentality. One can find both sentiment and cynicism in De Palma’s films but what defines him as director is his excess. So both the cynicism and the sentiment often get given free reign. And the films are visually excessive too. De Palma is fond of lurid and striking formal techniques – split-screens, long tracking shots, slow-motion, and splashes of vivid colour – which demand the viewer either fall in love or fuck off. And sometimes, when the visual excess, the sentiment and the cynicism are all cooking at once, he delivers scenes that are marked by a vivid, sick purity.

Paul Williams makes that sentiment, cynicism and purity sing. He heightens the cynicism with lyrics that have a verbal sharpness lacking in De Palma’s dialogue. And he lends depth to the sentiment with the kind of melancholy early-70s torch-songs that seem perfect for capturing sadness and regret...

There is another affinity between the songs and De Palma’s technique. Arrow’s lush and comprehensive Blu-ray release includes a long interview between Guillermo del Toro and Williams. In it del Toro talks about the stylistic eclecticism of the songs and draws a parallel with the variety of filmmaking techniques De Palma employs. One of the conceits of the film is that the songs of Winslow Leach, the sensitive singer-songwriter who becomes The Phantom, are supposed to be debased when they are given a pop rewrite by Swan. So Winslow’s heartfelt ‘Faust’ becomes a cheerful Beach Boy’s pastiche called ‘Upholstery’. Inevitably ‘Upholstery’ is about ten times as much fun as ‘Faust’. And the scene where we see it is performed is the best scene in the film...

When I’m in the right mood, I find this scene intensely pleasurable to watch. There’s something thrilling about the ways in which the layers of smartarse showing-off connect with one another. De Palma is trying to simultaneously reference and outdo Touch of Evil by having a bomb-in-a-car scene done with two simultaneous extended long-takes, instead of Welles’s one, and combining them in a split-screen, as characters move between both takes. The fact that the bomb is put in a prop car makes such intertextual riffing come off as light and playful, rather than stifling. There’s even a hint of a self-detracting joke, in the way the scene’s reworking of Touch of Evil mirrors the way Swann has reworked ‘Faust’ into ‘Upholstery’. And it’s just fun to be able to switch one’s attention between two different types of set-piece: the musical number, and the suspense countdown. Not only that, the two add a little pep to one another: I like how the ticking of the bomb compliments the song’s rhythm. I also like how the camera move on the right-half of the screen, which shows us first The Phantom and then Swann seeing the Phantom, works as quick bit of misdirection to distract you before the explosion in the left-half.

The scene has never looked and sounded better than it does on Arrow’s Blu-ray release. In previous DVD versions the soundtracks from the two takes tended to melt into each other, so the dialogue was impossible to make out. Arrow have cleaned up the soundtrack and used stereo to compliment the split-screen. That gives the scene a tingly immersiveness that adds to how much fun it is.

Early in his career De Palma talked about wanting to be the American Godard. And, since Godard attempted to take Brecht’s theories about theatre and put them into practice in the cinema, it’s maybe not too cheeky to call Phantom of the Paradise De Palma’s most Brechtian film. There is no attempt at realism. Winslow escapes from prison by climbing into a box on the production line he works. He’s half bursting out of the box and is accompanied by both guards and old-timey, silent-film chase music. But somehow the next shot is of the box falling off the back of a truck outside the offices of Swan’s record label...

In the closing credits William Shephard appears twice, for playing ‘Rock Freak’ and for doing the choreography in the climactic assassination/wedding scene. What this means is De Palma got him to do the kind of thing he did for Dionysus in 69, which was break down the barriers between the audience and actors. So you can see Shephard at the film’s climax dancing, getting in the extras’ faces, mocking Finley and causing trouble. De Palma filmed all this like he filmed Dionysus in 69, without really knowing what Shepard would do or how people would react. He also managed to film the carefully timed assassination set-piece happening at the same time. Then he and his editor Paul Hirsch put something together that interweaves uncontrolled excess and precision well enough to prove that De Palma is, at least sometimes, truly brilliant.

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Posted by Geoff at 2:16 AM CST
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Monday, February 24, 2014
'PHANTOM' ARROW BLU-RAY REVIEWS
OFFICIALLY RELEASED TODAY
Arrow Video's Blu-ray of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise is released today, and the reviews are popping up. Here are some excerpts:

Michael Flett, Geek Chocolate
"Despite the modest budget of an independent picture, De Palma’s direction is kinetic, the choices of lenses and angles unorthodox, everything emphasised as befits the spectacle of a rock opera, with glorious colour vibrant beneath the spotlights, though director of photography Larry Pizer states his favourite moment is quieter, the rooftop scene during the reprise of the showstopping Old Souls as the Phantom spies Swan and Phoenix through the skylight, the rain representing the tears his damaged eyes cannot shed...

"That song is singled out as 'one of my favourites… of my whole catalogue' by Paul Williams in an extended interview conducted by friend by Guillermo del Toro, who is very open about his highs and lows of his career. Now clean and sober since 1990, he comments that 'you know you’re an alcoholic when you misplace a decade,' joking that the only thing he recalls about the eighties is 'the intentionally bad songs for Ishtar,' but stating he is now 'passionate about recovery and passionate about creator’s rights,' he could not be more different from the character her portrays."

Peter Turner, Filmoria
"It’s an enthusiastic early directorial effort from the director who would later tone down the excess but rarely be better. It riffs on Faust, Phantom of the Opera, The Picture of Dorian Gray and in one silly send up, even Hitchcock’s Psycho. It’s packed with nicked ideas and wonderfully inventive technical showmanship and builds to a frenetic climax of colour, light, bright red blood and murder. The story might be cobbled together from all sorts of clear influences but the style is original and way ahead of its time. Even after forty years, Phantom of the Paradise is still fresh, frantic and funny...

"Extras... Guillermo del Toro interviews Paul Williams with the pair sharing a wonderful rapport. del Toro is in awe of his friend Williams and draws out some fascinating revelations from his subject. It’s over an hour long and only very occasionally cuts to clips from the film. Mostly it is two outsiders who clearly share a strong bond talking about a movie they both have a lot of love for."

Rob Munday, Front Row Reviews
"What is our problem with Brian?

"Brian De Palma is one of the best directors to emerge from the New Hollywood rejuvenation of the 1970s yet still he seems to be treated like an errant little brother who refuses to shut up and leave the train set alone. Perhaps it is the broadly drawn characters, the refusal to be constrained by realism, the joy in playing with the possibilities of cinema. His career may be patchy but anybody who has made Greetings, Carrie, Blow Out, Scarface, Carlito’s Way and Redacted deserves some props. The fact is there’s no one else you’d rather direct the prog-rock fandango that is Phantom of the Paradise...

"Histrionics take centre stage here, pushing promising characters into the wings, and bending the plot to fit the tune. But De Palma brilliantly handles the overblown, creating a dizzying blend of prog-rock tragedy with the virtuoso work of Jack Fisk (production design), Larry Pizer (director of photography), and Paul Hisch (editing), making you believe that maybe this is what New York was really like in 1974.

"The Blu-ray vividly captures the fantastic visuals and grandiose music that makes this as close to Giallo as American films ever got. Dario Argento would later use Harper in Suspiria, and the feeling lingers that De Palma remains the greatest Italian genre director that never was.

"As the extras on this edition detail the film was hampered by a number of lawsuits with the most damaging involving the use of the Swan Song records name (Led Zeppelin got there first) that meant considerable compromise in the final edit (ironic for a film that champions unfettered invention in the face of corporate power). Despite this it remains ripe for re-discovery. Before The Rocky Horror Picture Show, before Little Shop of Horrors, this bombastic melodrama went balls-out in the face of mediocrity."

Dr. Svet Atanasov, Blu-ray.com
"Written and directed by Brian De Palma, Phantom of the Paradise is a terrific piece of psychedelia. It is colorful, wild, mesmerizing, frustrating, kitschy, hilarious, odd and beautiful. It is also a musical of sorts - one that bends forms and styles in such a wicked fashion that one must wonder what was going on in director De Palma's life when he shot the film...

"De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise reminded me of American expatriate William Klein's Mister Freedom. Both films allow for two profoundly different reads of their stories - one where the audience isn't required to pay close attention to the numerous references they contain, and another where reading between the lines is essential. Both films also seem fairly comfortable with the idea that kitsch allows for great storytelling so long as at the end the kitsch is somehow rationalized. In Klein's film the kitsch is used to effectively criticize America's imperialistic ambitions; in De Palma's film the kitsch is used to satirize the showbiz.

"The flavor of the kitsch in Mister Freedom, however, differs considerably from the one present in Phantom of the Paradise. In Klein's film the exaggerations are blunt and frequently quite vulgar. As a result, the main protagonist is impossible to like; the political overtones in the film are also extremely easy to detect.

"In Phantom of the Paradise the main protagonist is so weak that once he begins to suffer it becomes quite easy to feel for him; he is the ugly duckling that no one wants. Yet instead of embracing him De Palma proceeds to exploit his misery, thus ensuring that Phantom of the Paradise does not evolve into a cliched soap opera.

"Visually, Phantom of the Paradise is overwhelming. What takes place on the screen has to be seen to be believed. During the film's final act it literally feels as if De Palma demanded everyone to go berserk in front of the camera, just like Fellini did in a few of his films. The only difference here is that Phantom of the Paradise lacks the grace and elegance of Fellini's films which, arguably, is precisely what makes it so special...

"I have mixed feelings about this new release of Phantom of the Paradise. Its basic characteristics are unquestionably superior to those of French label Opening Distribution's release, which we reviewed in 2010. Indeed, grain is better resolved, dirt and specs have been carefully removed, and the encoding is superior. The color timing and contrast balance of this new release, however, are drastically different. In fact, the discrepancies between the two releases are so big that when comparing the two it actually feels like they enhance entirely different qualities -- the look of the French release supports the kitschy qualities of De Palma's film, while Arrow's release supports the film's lusher musical qualities. Generally speaking, on the Arrow release there is a much wider range of well saturated browns and yellows, which appear to have replaced a good range of nuanced reds/pinks that are prominent on the French release (compare screencapture #1 with screencapture #4 from our review of the French release). The contrast and brightness settings are also different. As a result, the film looks darker but also lusher (screencapture #6 with screencapture #2 from our review of the French release). However, not knowing whether the new color scheme has been in any way approved or endorsed by director De Palma, one will have to rely on one's instincts to choose the 'correct' version of the film. My feeling is that the color adjustments performed at Fox are too strong...

"Special Features and Extras:

"Guillermo del Toro Interviews Paul Williams - in this wonderful new video interview, acclaimed Mexican director Guillermo del Toro and Paul Williams (Swan) discuss the actor's fascination with music and cinema, the production history and style of Phantom of Paradise, the mystery of Swan, etc. r. Williams also talks about his alcohol addiction, making Ishtar, artist rights, and the importance of following your creative instincts. In English, not subtitled. (73 min)."

Mike Pereira, Bloody Disgusting
"I’ve been a Brian De Palma advocate ever since I first laid eyes on the iconic Scarface and soon after Carrie. Whether you like his stuff or not, De Palma’s majestic approach to filmmaking is cinema at its absolute purest. After the trend-setting techniques established by the brilliant Alfred Hitchcock (which he’s frequently been accused of being nothing more than a carbon copy of), this polarizing artist has continued on that fine tradition and in my opinion, took that cinematic language into new majestic heights. The horror/musical Phantom of the Paradise which he also wrote is a clear standout among his filmography. Sure, it contains his signature visual style and bag of tricks (split screen and POV shots aplenty) yet by operating in the musical realm, De Palma is liberated to take his operatic tendencies to new places. It’s a match made in heaven...

"As with most musicals, everything is played in broad strokes on just about every level. Phantom of the Paradise plays it big yet by doing that it somehow connects the viewer to its main character’s plight and the potent themes being explored more so. The filmmaker is greatly assisted by his terrific cast who play their parts with conviction...

"De Palma gets consistently discredited for his reliance on style over substance. His work can consistently be enjoyed for its superior craftsmanship however in much of his finer work you can see a genuine personal connection to the material. A chunk of his films like Blow Out, Snake Eyes, The Untouchables, Casualties of War, The Fury are about his protagonist’s valiant yet seemingly futile, obstacle-ridden crusade to unravel an ominous, corrupt system. Phantom of the Paradise is no different and might very well be the best, most poignant example of this. While De Palma is clearly taking aim at the music and film industry, it’s easy to connect this satire with corporate greed in general. All of these elements are sadly still every bit as vital today which makes Phantom of the Paradise as effective today. Strip all that subtext away and you still have one feverishly fun horror/tragicomedy. De Palma is clearly having [a] blast. He packs this wild romp with unfettered imagination, not to mention some clever nods to his influences (Psycho and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari fans will no doubt be amused) for good measure. Phantom of the Paradise is still far and away my favorite musical of all time and having it work on a horror level as well makes it all the more endearing to me.

"The A/V

"The video is very different than the one found on the French Blu-ray release. This latest transfer shows more information in the frame, presents much warmer colours and what may cause some debate; a darker appearance. The contrast is strong and at times can swallow up some of the background detail. It never gets to the point of distraction in my opinion but I can see many being bothered by this. As for the sharpness, the video is every bit as good as the French release. The print is also in great shape, the cleanest it’s ever been. Now I haven’t seen the film during its theatrical presentation so I can’t say if this is what De Palma had intended or. Overall though, I find this transfer to be the most visually striking to date. With the deeper contrast and gorgeous colourization, De Palma’s stylish aesthetic stands out like never before.

"While the video might rattle some feathers, the audio definitely won’t. Arrow presents the original 4-Track Stereo Mix in all its lossless glory. Williams’ memorable soundtrack has never sounded so good. Also, the bass channel packs more punch than I could have ever imagined. There is also a very fine 2.0 Stereo PCM track but it never quite matches the more engaging DTS-HD 4.0 Master Audio."


Posted by Geoff at 2:09 AM CST
Updated: Monday, February 24, 2014 8:11 PM CST
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Monday, February 10, 2014
NICOLAS CAGE ON 'PHANTOM', IN 2009:
"THAT'S THE FILM THAT MADE ME WANT TO MAKE MOVIES"
I hadn't seen this before, but stumbled upon it just now. It's an article by HitFix's Drew McWeeny from March 2009, in which McWeeny visits the set of Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass. We have previously noted Vaughn's love of some of De Palma's gangster movies, but here McWeeny notes the resemblance of the mask worn by Nicolas Cage in Kick-Ass to that of the Phantom in Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise. The mask complements a costume that was inspired by Batman's, and both mark a change from the comic book version of the Big Daddy costume, which was more a sort of ski mask and a trench coat.

In McWeeny's article, he writes about seeing Cage walk onto the set in costume. "My first thought when I see him is Phantom Of The Paradise," writes McWeeny. "The costume looks like someone's homemade attempt to duplicate the black-sculpted body armor look of the new Batman movies, but the mask, especially when you see it in profile, is absolutely a nod to Phantom. There's no missing that crazy pointed beak face thing. So just seeing Cage, I start to smile. It's not what Big Daddy looked like in the comics, and Cage isn't trying to look paunchy or fat the way the character was drawn. Instead, he looks like a guy who takes this all really, really seriously."

Watching Cage working on the set, McWeeny notes that his character seems to be talking, in costume, like Adam West, who played Batman in the '60s TV series. This leads to a very interesting couple of conversations between the two. Here's an excerpt from McWeeny's article:

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Now, keep in mind... before I arrived on set, I was sent an e-mail explaining that I had full access to the set, but I was going to have to keep away from Nic Cage while there because his working process demanded it. Okay. Fair enough. Knowing that, though, I was a little surprised to see Cage walking towards me, taking off the helmet, right after Matthew called cut. I thought he was going to yell at me for laughing during the take, no matter how quiet I was, and for a moment, I envisioned Cage actually having me thrown off the set while he was working.

Instead, he put out his hand and introduced himself. I did the same, and he asked what it was that made me laugh. I could feel Matthew watching me, curious to see what I'd say, so I explained that the choice to use Adam West's cadence was so crazy but so inspired that the laughter was involuntary.

"And I gotta say," I continued, "I love the 'Phantom of the Paradise' mask." He gave me a sharp look, then looked at the mask again and smiled.

"You think so, eh?" He held it sideways for me, so the profile was visible again. Unmistakable. "Do you know that film well?"

"I do," I said. "It's one of my faves. I love De Palma, but that's one of his that I have a special affection for."

"That's the film that made me want to make movies," Nic replied.

-----------------------------------------

After another take, Cage comes back to discuss with McWeeny the possible influence of Phantom on Darth Vader:
-------------------------------------------

As Vaughn called cut so they could move the camera for the next round of shots, Nic walked back over to where I was. I could see he had something on his mind, something I assume he'd been thinking about for a while.

"Okay. Let me ask you something. What year was 'Phantom of the Paradise' released?"

"Uhhh... 1974, I think?"

"And what year did 'Star Wars' come out?"

"1977. Definitely."

"Do you think the design of the Phantom had any influence on the design of Darth Vader?"

"Well, sure. All in black. Helmet. Breathing device on the chest. Cape. De Palma was a friend of George's back then. I can totally see that being an influence."

He smiled and, without saying anything else, headed back onto the set. I felt like I'd passed a test of some sort.

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Posted by Geoff at 3:12 AM CST
Updated: Monday, February 10, 2014 3:14 AM CST
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
'PHANTOM' IN PHOENIXVILLE & SANTA ROSA
FEBRUARY 14 and FEBRUARY 20, RESPECTIVELY
The digital restoration of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will be screened next Friday, February 14th at the Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. "Celebrate Valentine’s Day at The Colonial with an unconventional love story," Brendan Carr writes of the screening at the Colonial Theatre website. The screening begins at 10:15 pm. (Thanks to the Swan Archives for the news!)

And the following Thursday (February 20th), over in Santa Rosa, California, a double feature of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Phantom Of The Paradise will screen as part of the Cult Film Series at the Roxy 14. The double feature begins at 7pm.

Posted by Geoff at 10:56 PM CST
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Posted by Geoff at 9:56 PM CST
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Monday, January 27, 2014
PAUL WILLIAMS TALKS 'PHANTOM' POST-GRAMMYS
TELLS PRESS THAT DAFT PUNK & DEL TORO COLLABS ARE DIRECT RESULT OF 'PHANTOM'


Daft Punk's Random Access Memories won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year last night, and "the robots" left it to their collaborators Paul Williams and Nile Rodgers to speak in acceptance of the award (Pharrell Williams had already spoken on the robots' behalf for two other awards they had won earlier for the song Get Lucky). You can watch video of Williams' speech below.

Meanwhile, in the video above, at a press conference backstage following the ceremony, Williams is asked by a journalist if he ever spoke with Daft Punk about Phantom Of The Paradise. "You know, it’s interesting," Williams replies. "In 1974 I made a movie with Brian De Palma called Phantom Of The Paradise that nobody went to see in this country. [Laughing] I made movies and albums that even my family didn’t go to or buy, you know. But through the years there have been some people that have kind of discovered Phantom Of The Paradise. Two of the collaborations that I’m working on right now are direct results of Phantom Of The Paradise. One is the guys in Daft Punk saw Phantom Of The Paradise twenty times, and they loved the movie. I’m writing a musical based on Pan’s Labyrinth with Guillermo del Toro, and my whole relationship with Guillermo del Toro is based on his love for Phantom Of The Paradise. I’m writing that with Gustavo Santaolalla, who’s a brilliant, brilliant composer from Argentina. Yeah, my life’s pretty good right now, you know? My life’s pretty good right now. Thank you."

As reported earlier this month, Arrow Video's upcoming Blu-ray of Phantom Of The Paradise will include a 72-minute segment in which Guillermo del Toro interviews Paul Williams about the movie.


Posted by Geoff at 10:38 PM CST
Updated: Monday, January 27, 2014 10:43 PM CST
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Thursday, January 16, 2014
DEL TORO INTERVIEWS PAUL WILLIAMS
FOR ARROW'S 'PHANTOM' BLU-RAY; COMPLETE SPECS REVEALED
The not so bad news is that Arrow Video's Blu-ray release of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise has been delayed one week, to February 24th. The wonderfully awesome news is that the reason for the delay, according to The Swan Archives' News page, is because a 72-minute interview between Paul Williams and Phantom-fan Guillermo del Toro had to be delayed, and was finally shot "just a couple weeks ago on location at del Toro's man-cave," according to the Principal Archivist. "In addition to that brand new interview," reports the Archivist, "the extras on the Arrow disk will include a new featurette (scripted by our Principal Archivist, and utilizing our Swan Song Fiasco footage) discussing the last minute changes made to the film as a result of the claims brought by Peter Grant, which you can read more about, if you're so inclined, on our Swan Song Fiasco page. The disc will also feature all of our collection of deleted footage and outtakes, run together from beginning to end, available for the first time in a hi def transfer (which Arrow made directly from our archival camera negatives and interpositives). Arrow has licensed Deborah Znaty's terrific "Paradise Regained" featurette, which was first released on the Opening DVD in 2006, the "Carte Blanche" interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton, and William Finley's faux advertisement for the Phantom action figure, also from the Opening disc. Arrow is also using Randy Black's backstage photographs (which Mr. Black had unearthed specifically for the Swan Archives a few years ago, and which appear in lower resolution on our Production page). And, the collector's booklet that accompanies the disk contains some writings by our Principal Archivist, as well as new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth. In addition to our deleted footage, Arrow borrowed our radio spots, and will be stocking the release with the original trailers as well. In terms of technical features, the disc will showcase the film in 1080p with the original uncompressed stereo soundtrack (PCM) and a 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, as well as, for the first time anywhere, an isolated music and effects soundtrack (so that you can hear the incidental music without dialogue playing over it!)."

The rest of the Archivist's news post is worth reading for its details about how the Archivist was holding on to the outtakes and deleted scenes, in the hopes they could be used for a special edition just like this. "We attempted on numerous occasions to get in touch with Criterion," states the Archivist, "but they never responded. We made sure that both Brian De Palma and (Phantom editor) Paul Hirsch knew that we had the footage. We told Mr. De Palma that we'd be happy to deliver it to him should he so request; he told us that we should just hang on to it, and that the materials were better off in the Archives' hands. Mr. Hirsch told us that if anyone wanted to try to restore the film using our footage, he'd be happy to help."

Here are the complete specs for Arrow's Phantom, as posted at Blu-ray.com:

Special Features:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the feature, available in the UK for the first time!
  • Original uncompressed Stereo PCM / 4.0 DTS-HD Master Audio options
  • Isolated Music and Effects soundtrack
  • Optional English SDH subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
  • Paradise Regained – A 50 minute documentary on the making of the film featuring director Brian De Palma, producer Ed Pressman, the late star William Finley, star and composer Paul Williams, co-stars Jessica Harper and Gerrit Graham and more!
  • Guillermo Del Toro interviews Paul Williams (72 mins, 2014)
  • The Swan Song Fiasco: A new video piece exploring the changes made to the film in post-production
  • Archive interview with costume designer Rosanna Norton
  • William Finley on the Phantom doll!
  • Paradise Lost and Found: Alternate takes and bloopers from the cutting room floor
  • Original Trailers
  • Radio Spots
  • Gallery of rare stills including behind-the-scenes images by photographer Randy Black
  • Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by festival programmer Michael Blyth and an exploration of the film's troubled marketing history by Ari Kahan, curator of SwanArchives.org, illustrated with original stills and promotional material
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Red Dress [Amaray release only]
  • Limited Edition SteelBook™ packaging featuring original artwork [SteelBook only]

Posted by Geoff at 5:42 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, January 16, 2014 11:10 PM CST
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Friday, January 10, 2014
'PHANTOM' RERELEASE IN FRANCE FEB. 26
AND JANUARY SCREENINGS IN NASHVILLE & CHICAGO
Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, which turns 40 this year, is part of the January line-up at Nashville's Cult Fiction Underground, a theater and lounge located in the basement of Logue’s Black Raven Emporium, according to Nashville Scene's Randy Fox. The film will play there on Saturday, January 18th. Meanwhile, according to The Swan Archives, Phantom Of The Paradise will get a theatrical rerelease in France beginning February 26th, courtesy of Solaris Distribution. Watch the trailer for the French rerelease at the Swan Archives news page. As noted two weeks ago, Phantom Of The Paradise will be screened in DCP as part of Doc Films' De Palma Retrospective in Chicago, which started this week. Phantom screens there January 22nd.

Posted by Geoff at 12:44 AM CST
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014 7:54 PM CST
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Friday, December 13, 2013
AND IT HAPPENS JUST LIKE THAT
EDGAR WRIGHT, PAUL WILLIAMS IN TWITTER-TALKS WITH SHOUT FACTORY FOR 'PHANTOM' COMMENTARY


Posted by Geoff at 6:07 PM CST
Updated: Saturday, December 14, 2013 9:49 PM CST
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