DE PALMA WAS NOT APPROACHED ABOUT DIRECTING A DAFT PUNK VIDEO
DE PALMA: "DAFT PUNK EXPRESSED AN INTEREST IN DOING SOMETHING WITH PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE"
Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:
a la Mod:
For a change, this trailer does not mention that the film is "from the director of Scarface and The Untouchables," but simply "from acclaimed director Brian De Palma." Well, of course-- he's the director of Passion, which I've seen twice now on DVD (imported from France), and which I can say is excellent. I'll be writing up a full spoilerific essay about it sometime in July, but in brief, Passion is a whip-smart De Palma thriller with a magnificent split-screen sequence at its center, and a killer performance by Rachel McAdams. It's the most fun, relentless wind-up toy of a movie De Palma has put on screen since Raising Cain (Femme Fatale, which I like better than either of these, is fun, too, but not quite as wound-up; it sort of takes its own charming time). Looking forward to seeing this on the big screen.
Meanwhile, Cape Cod Times' Tim Miller caught Wednesday night's screening of Passion at the festival. "The film is convoluted," states Miller, "where you often don't know whether you're watching a dream or reality, which is fine, but here it seems more than a little forced. No one ever accused De Palma of being subtle. But that can be a good thing, too: You can't stop watching Passion, wondering what bizarre thing will happen next."
On the audio version of the program, they then play a portion of "The Hell Of It" from the Phantom Of The Paradise soundtrack.
The Guardian's Dorian Lynskey interviewed the duo prior to the release of Random Access Memories. Lynskey wrote, "Their first loves were Jimi Hendrix, the Velvet Underground and Phantom of the Paradise, the bizarre 1974 musical horror movie that Brian De Palma made with Paul Williams. 'It covered everything we liked when we were teenagers: horror, rock, musicals, glam,' says Thomas, glowing with fandom. 'Listening to Led Zeppelin songs backwards, watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre on VHS and getting KISS and David Bowie albums. It synthesised all of these elements.'"
"EASY TO SEE WHY 'PHANTOM' WAS CATNIP FOR DAFT PUNK"
In a review of the album, Slate's Geeta Dayal delved into the Paul Williams collaboration "Touch," and its relationship to Phantom Of The Paradise:
Phantom of the Paradise is key to understanding Daft Punk’s aesthetic. In the movie, a nerdy songwriter is reborn as a phantom who attempts to exact revenge on an evil svengali record producer named Swan. In one scene in the movie, Swan traps the phantom—now wearing a tight black leather jacket and a robot helmet—in a sophisticated recording studio walled with racks of analog gear. The phantom, whose vocal cords have been destroyed, speaks through a talk box attached to his chest, sounding remarkably like a vocodered lyric in a Daft Punk song.
It’s easy to see why the rock opera was catnip for Daft Punk, who claim to have watched it more than 20 times—the movie is completely over-the-top, drenched in pathos, and layered with in-jokes and sideways references, much like the band’s music. Daft Punk’s black leather outfits in their 2006 feature film, Electroma, seemed inspired by the phantom. “Electroma is a combination of all the movies we like, paying a big, almost unconscious homage to them,” de Homem-Christo told Stop Smiling in 2008. “There are so many different influences: In the end, it becomes such a melting pot of everything that it resembles something else altogether. We love cinema the same way we do music—we’re from a generation that doesn’t segregate.”
“Touch” is the apex of Random Access Memories, the total realization of the album’s ambitious reach. There’s nothing cool about it, and it takes guts to make music like this in 2013 on such a grand scale. It’s Daft Punk’s love letter to Phantom of the Paradise, and it’s schmaltzy and deeply weird. The lyrics are, well, daft (“Touch, sweet touch/ You’ve given me too much to feel”), but the lyrics are beside the point; Williams’ graceful vocal delivery is awe-inspiring. It’s simultaneously melancholy and uplifting; the moment where Williams’ voice trails off and “Get Lucky” begins is a great moment in pop music.
The one thing she didn’t want to do with the show that became Peaches Does Herself was create a jukebox musical. Peaches hates jukebox musicals.
“They never have anything to do with the band they’re about,” she says, and “also, the asinine dialogue – that’s horrible, I don’t relate.” She gestures to the rest of her crew surrounding her in the diner booth. “That’s the reason why people like us don’t like [those] musicals – it’s never the original artist.
“That’s why I loved Tommy so much as a child,” she says, talking about the Ken Russell movie of the Who’s rock opera. “They’re all in it, and there’s no talking. The entire Acid Queen scene is, like, ingrained in my brain for life. And I also saw Phantom Of The Paradise – the music isn’t actually so great in that, but Brian de Palma did an insane, amazing job. And then Rocky Horror, which has amazing music, amazing production, [an] amazing theme – that’s my holy trilogy, right there.”
But there’s more going on in Peaches Does Herself, thanks to a lifetime of pop culture rattling around in its creator’s brain.
“My mother was really interested in the Busby Berkeley movies and Singin’ In The Rain,” she says, “and all that stuff. I got to pay homage to all those things that I loved, all those other musicals. And we decided to film it.”