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Sunday, November 23, 2014
PICS FROM LAST NIGHT'S 'PHANTOM' SCREENING
ESTEFAN TOLD THE AUDIENCE SHE'S BEEN GREAT FAN OF 'PHANTOM' SINCE INITIAL RELEASE



Gloria Estefan tweeted the picture above, taken at last night's event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise. Estefan is pictured with Tracey Jackson and Paul Williams, the latter of which, of course, wrote the song score for the film and played the villain, Swan. Jackson and Williams have co-written a book together, Gratitude and Trust: Recovery is Not Just For Addicts, and appeared to together this morning on Oprah Winfrey's Super Soul Sunday. All three appeared on stage together last night (see image below, courtesy of a tweet posted by Joachim de Posada).

In response to Estefan's tweet above, Williams tweeted, "I don't have language skills sufficient to describe Emilio and Gloria's generosity. Old Souls. Angels." Emilio is Gloria's husband, a musician and producer who was with her in Miami Sound Machine. Their son, Nayib Estefan, is the man behind Miami's Secret Celluloid Society, which has programmed De Palma's film several times in recent years, culminating in last night's 40th anniversary screening.

According to a report at FOX News Latino, last night, "Estefan acknowledged that she has been a great fan of [Phantom Of The Paradise] since it came out 40 years ago and especially of its music, which was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe award."


Posted by Geoff at 1:09 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, November 23, 2014 1:33 PM CST
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014
MORE DETAILS ABOUT GLORIA ESTEFAN & 'PHANTOM'
HER SON, NAYIB, IS THE GUY BEHIND SECRET CELLULOID SOCIETY
An article today by Shelly Davidov at the Miami New Times provides more details about the link between Gloria Estefan and how she came to be hosting a screening of Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise, at 11:30pm this Saturday at Coral Gabes Art Cinema (see yesterday's post). The man behind Miami's Secret Celluloid Society is none other than Gloria's son, Nayib Estefan. Estefan has screened Phantom before, but says this will be the last time. The reason? "There is no way humanly possible to top what is going to happen on Saturday night," he posted on the Secret Celluloid Society's Instagram page. He adds that "Gloria Estefan will be conducting an extremely rare introduction and late nite Q+A with someone special." As mentioned yesterday, the rumor is that the "someone special" will be Paul Williams. Estefan tells Miami New Times that his mother "has always been a huge fan and inspired by Paul Williams as a songwriter. When she was in college (before she was married), she went to see Phantom on its original run at a local miami movie theater. She loved the movie and the soundtrack written by Paul Williams so much that one day when her communications teacher asked her to sing a song in class as a project, she chose 'Old Souls,' the ballad from the film."

'PHANTOM' IS THE DEFINITION OF A CULT MOVIE

"Secret Celluloid Cociety is unashamedly a movie cult and Phantom of the Paradise is the definition of a cult movie," Nayib Estefan tells Miami New Times. "Not only one of my favorite movies, but one of the best. [It was] light years ahead of its time; it's the most relevant commentary on the music business ever made and it is more popular now than it's ever been."

Posted by Geoff at 11:34 PM CST
Updated: Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:10 PM CST
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014
'PHANTOM' W/GLORIA ESTEFAN & MYSTERY GUEST
40TH ANNIVERSARY SCREENING THIS SATURDAY IN FLORIDA; IS IT PAUL WILLIAMS?
Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will be screened this Saturday night at 11:30pm at the Coral Gables Art Cinema, in Coral Gables, Florida. But that's not all-- "Come out for a night of surprises featuring Gloria Estefan in-person with a special mystery guest from the film," reads the theater's website description. The Phantompalooza Facebook page sheds some light on the question of why Gloria Estefan, and also the possible identity of the evening's mystery guest. "Apparently," the Phantompalooza post states, "famed songwriter Paul Williams, who wrote the flick's score, was a huge inspiration to Estefan, who sang the film's Old Souls during her communications course in college. Rumor has it Williams, in town for Miami Book Fair International, will make a special guest appearance at the screening." Will there be other surprises? We'll be watching for reports.

Posted by Geoff at 8:52 PM CST
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Wednesday, November 12, 2014
SC MIRA COVER 'PHANTOM' SONGS ON MEDLEY
HALLOWEEN-THEMED "MIXTAPE" FROM WINNIPEG DUO AVAILABLE TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD
Sc Mira, a musical act from Winnipeg made up of Sc (Stephanie Catherine) and Tyler Wagar, released a Halloween-themed mixtape last month made up of three songs, including two Paul Williams-penned numbers from Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise: "Somebody Super Like You" and "Life at Last." You can listen to the mixtap, titled Candy Apples and Razor Blades, via the YouTube video embedded below. The third song is a cover of the Misfits' "Halloween."

Sc Mira received some attention this year for its single, "On My Own," and have an EP (Waiting Room Baby) all ready to go for next year that was mixed by Arcade Fire producer Howard Bilerman, according to MetroNews' jrockarolla. In that same article, Sc tells jrockarolla that she grew up watching Phantom Of The Paradise. "I’ve seen that movie so many times," she tells jrockarolla. "My dad showed it to me and my siblings as kids, and I remember thinking it was so scary." Wagar then adds, "Winslow’s mask still freaks me out."

Last month, the members of Sc Mira discussed their love of Phantom Of The Paradise with Sam Tweedle at Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict:

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Sam: So this is a gem you’re sitting on. Now I read you have a Halloween project in the works.

Tyler: Yeah. We just had a Halloween EP released about a half an hour ago. We recorded a couple of our favorite Halloween tunes.

Sc: Yeah. It’s free on-line as a Sound Cloud stream, but Exclaim! did an article on it. We did it as a free release to get some content out there because we are sitting on the EP. Its three songs. Two are covers from the soundtrack of The Phantom of the Paradise.

Tyler: Oh yeah.

Sam: Phantom of the Paradise is one of my top three all-time favorite films!

Sc: Nobody usually knows what it is.

Sam: What songs did you do?

Sc: We did

Life at Last and Somebody Super Like You because the themes are very Halloweeny. The last song we did is Halloween by the Misfits.

Sam: Now it’s Winnipeg that has that strange Phantom of the Paradise cult following, right?

Tyler: That’s defiantly Winnipeg.

Sam: Yeah – that film was a hit in Winnipeg and nobody else in the world.

Sc: Yeah. I grew up watching Phantom of the Paradise. I’ve seen it so many times. My Dad would show it to us and my siblings. I guess Tyler watched it as a kid too.

Tyler. Yeah. It was also my Dad’s favorite musical film.

Sc: So it just seemed natural because Phantom of the Paradise is common ground for both of us. We both already knew the songs. I listen to the record year round.

Sam: So do I. I have it on my computer in my office. It’s one of my all-time favorite film soundtracks.

Tyler: When we were working on the EP in Montreal last year we ended up in a vintage store and ended up finding the record just lying around.

Sc: I had been looking for that record for a long time. We found it for three dollars in some shop that we went into. We both went in and thought I might find something worth taking home and I found it at the very back of the stack.

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Posted by Geoff at 9:26 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2014 9:28 PM CST
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'SUPERNATURAL' WRITER DREW FROM 'PHANTOM'
IN CRAFTING LYRICS FOR MUSICAL 200TH EPISODE
The CW series Supernatural aired its 200th episode last night, and presented it as a musical. Series writer and producer Robbie Thompson tells TV Line's Vlada Gelman that Phantom Of The Paradise contributed to the vibe of the songs.

"Unlike something like ‘Once More, With Feeling,’ which is integrated into the story, this is more the boys seeing a music version of their lives,” Thompson explains to Gelman. "So it’s a little more presentational.” Thompson tells Gelman that he listened to “mostly musicals and one movie, Phantom of the Paradise, which is this ’70s, weird Brian De Palma movie which I just love from my childhood. So somewhere in between Rent and Phantom of the Paradise, which is a weird mix."

Posted by Geoff at 12:34 AM CST
Updated: Tuesday, November 11, 2014 11:42 PM CST
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Friday, October 31, 2014
PAUL WILLIAMS, JESSICA HARPER TALK 'PHANTOM'
ESQUIRE WRITER ALSO TALKED TO WILLIAM FINLEY IN 2012
Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise was released in theaters 40 years ago today. Esquire's Peter Gerstenzang posted an article today to celebrate "THE MOVIE NO ONE SAW BUT EVERYONE LOVES," featuring fresh interviews with Paul Williams and Jessica Harper, along with fresh quotes from William Finley, who spoke to Gerstenzang shortly before Finley's death in 2012.

"I often wonder why movies like ours develop cults," Harper tells Gerstenzang. "I think, in part, it's because we're like the rescue dog that nobody wants. The film comes out, it gets rejected by people, and it's up for grabs. And it's something that you can call your own, if you want. It's yours. People like to form communities around things. So why not a movie?"

Williams tells Gerstenzang, "It's always been intriguing to me that Brian came to me to play Swan in this kind of a movie, considering the kind of work I was known for at the time. It's amazing he would pick the guy who co-wrote 'We've Only Just Begun' to pen songs for a film that was supposed to be depicting the future of rock. But Brian saw something in my music that made him think I could span the various kinds of genres in the film. Plus, the great treat for me was that I was able to satirize the kinds of music I love, like the Beach Boys and '50s stuff."

Williams also discusses how De Palma at first wanted him to play Winslow Leach, and how perfectly Finley embodied that role. "Throughout the movie," Williams tells Gerstenzang, "the Phantom plays his songs wearing a mask that shows only one eye. There's only one actor who could let you see just an eye and make you cry as a result. And that was Bill Finley." Williams adds, "When I was up in Winnipeg for the movie's premiere, some awestruck kid asked me, 'Hey man, a guy selling his soul to the devil, did you make that up?' And I said, 'Well, no, there was this guy named Goethe who did that.' Still, I think that it's so mythologically powerful, the Faustian idea of a guy selling his soul, combined with the Dorian Gray element. And Larry Pizer's gorgeous cinematography is essential, too. That draws you in. But mostly it's our audience, who keeps finding the movie on their own, on cable or through friends. When you love something that the world ignores? You become impassioned!"

FINLEY: DE PALMA USED TO HANG OUT AT THE FILLMORE A LOT AND TAKE PICTURES
Gerstenzang also quotes Finley from 2012: "Brian wrote the script originally in 1969. He used to hang out at the Fillmore a lot and take pictures. And he noticed, as the '60s were ending, that we were starting to see a lot more preening self-regard by the frontmen of bands. And the kids having an unhealthy attraction to it. I actually think that Robert Plant was the original model for Beef, but the character kept evolving. Still, I think Brian was very prescient about the coming of glam rock and the narcissism that came with it. He always had a good read on rock culture."


Posted by Geoff at 9:55 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, October 31, 2014 9:59 PM CDT
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Posted by Geoff at 6:35 AM CDT
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Saturday, October 18, 2014
'PHANTOM' TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT IN SANTA CRUZ
AND 'CARRIE' OUTDOOR SCREENING TONIGHT IN L.A., PRESENTED BY TRAILERS FROM HELL
Sorry for the late notice, but Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise is the midnight movie this weekend at the Del Mar Theatre in Santa Cruz, California. The film screened last night at midnight, and will play again at midnight tonight. The cost is only $6.50, and there are said to be prizes involved.

Meanwhile, tonight in Los Angeles, on the "lush west lawn of Hollyhock House," Barnsdall Art Park Foundation and Joe Dante’s Trailers From Hell present a screening of De Palma's Carrie on a high resolution screen, with a surprise guest on hand to introduce the film. Carrie is the final event of a five-film series called "School Nights." The other four films were School Of Rock, Election, Rock 'n' Roll High School, and Fast Times At Ridgemont High.

For $25 tonight, you get the movie and tasting (3 pours of beer or wine courtesy of Silverlake Wine). The movie-only tickets for Carrie, which went for $10 each, are sold out already. There is, however, free parking, and, according to the web site, "you are welcome to bring your own food, soft drinks, and a blanket; however, NO outside alcoholic beverages will be permitted. No dogs are allowed. Movies start at dusk on top of Los Feliz’s scenic Olive Hill. This fundraiser is a 21+ over event." According to the Barnsdall specific Carrie page, "All profits from the wine tastings benefit Barnsdall Art Park Foundation programs and projects, such as Free Sunday Art Classes for children and families in the community, as well as capital projects like the Monument Sign."

As posted yesterday, Carrie also screens at midnight tonight at the Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, DC.


Posted by Geoff at 11:27 AM CDT
Updated: Saturday, October 18, 2014 12:48 PM CDT
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014
'PHANTOM' BACK IN BUFFALO TUESDAY & FRIDAY
AND WINNIPEG SUN ARTICLE ABOUT UPCOMING SHOWS AT THE MET
According to The Buffalo News, Brian De Palma's Phantom Of The Paradise will screen tonight (Tuesday) at 7pm at the Screening Room Cinema Cafe in Buffalo. Phantom will also play there this Friday, October 17th, at 9:15pm, just after a screening of Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein. Both films are celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year.

Meanwhile, The Winnipeg Sun's Doug Lunney posted an article yesterday in anticipation of the upcoming anniversary celebration screenings at The Met on November 1st. Phantompalooza's Gloria Dignazio is quoted extensively in the article-- here's the first part of it:
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It was 1975, I was 10 years old and for some reason I felt compelled to bring my Phantom of the Paradise album to school.

Most of my classmates at Angus McKay School brought theirs as well. Our teacher certainly didn't allow us to play it, but at breaks we would gather to read the lyrics, gawk at the soundtrack cover and discuss the movie.

Gloria Dignazio, like me, first saw the movie at the downtown Garrick Cinema.

"The album is fascinating to look at," said Dignazio, 51. "I remember drawing it in Grade 6 -- the pink, the neon and the lightning bolt.

"We brought it to school because it was so cool."


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Posted by Geoff at 5:41 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 12:00 AM CDT
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Saturday, October 11, 2014
'PHANTOM' IN KANSAS, IRELAND, BUFFALO
EX-FLAMING LIPS DRUMMER PART OF POST-SCREENING CONCERT IN KANSAS
It's getting difficult to keep up with all the screenings of Phantom Of The Paradise happening around the globe as it celebrates its 40th anniversary. Last night, Brian De Palma's classic screened at the Buffalo International Film Festival, according to Art Voice.

On Thursday, October 30th, Phantom will screen at 7:30pm at the Lawrence Art Center in Lawrence, Kansas. After the screening, there will be a concert that will include Kliph Scurlock, the drummer from the Flaming Lips who was fired from that band earlier this year. According to an article by Lawrence Journal World's Nadia Imafidon, "The different characters in the film will be represented by soloists onstage."

And on November 9th, Phantom will screen at Triskel Christchurch as part of the Cork Film Festival.

And of course, don't forget the anniversary screenings coming up in Winnipeg at the Met on November 1st-- as tickets sold quickly for the evening screening, an afternoon screening has been added at 1pm.

(Thanks to Chris, and to the Swan Archives!)


Posted by Geoff at 12:03 PM CDT
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