The Swan Archives News Page
The Swan Archives has decided to replace our old "Trivia" page (since nothing having anything to do with Swan's legacy could properly be called "trivial") with an up-to-the-minute ticker of Swan-related news. What with Swan having been dead for more than 40 years, we're not expecting it to be particularly challenging to keep up with the fast-breaking bulletins, but when something new does come up, you'll find it here.
July 18, 2022 - There are bad podcasts, and then ...
Movie podcasts are nearly always awful, with two or three dopes taking about 85 minutes to summarize a 90 minute movie, and then one of them, typically the leader, parroting trivia from IMDB for a few minutes, to the astonishment of the others. We've never understood what, other than narcissism, drives these folks - who is the audience? If you haven't seen the movie, the agonizingly detailed recitation of the plot spoils it. If you have seen the movie, you don't need the agonizing recitation. But, as the podcasters have nothing of their own to say, endlessly summarizing the movie is their only option I guess. The latest in a very long line of completely useless podcasts on Phantom is the one from "Misters of the Dark", which sounds like three meth heads Zooming from their moms' basements. We're going to do you a huge favor by not linking to it, but if you find it on your own, don't waste your time.
June 13, 2022 - Greece is Great for Restorations...Sometimes
The 12th Athens Avant Garde Film Festival announced that their closing film at this year's festival, on June 15, would be a "restored": Phantom of the Paradise. (The festival has a "Restored & Beautiful" section, which features "newly restored films coming from all over the world.") They go on to say that they will be screening "a new director’s cut, including re-edited footage left on the editing room floor, before its release in 1974." We looked into this, and determined that in fact they will be screening the standard version of the film that has been shown theatrically since 1974. Their curator apparently read some press about the circa 2016 bluray releases, some of which included deleted footage in supplemental features, and came away with the erroneous understanding that the 2016 transfer included these materials. So, if you've traveled to Athens hoping to see what was described in the festival programme, you have our sympathies...maybe take a side trip to Crete to console yourself.
March 12, 2022 - Paul Williams Event in Torrance California
Vocalist Laura Ellis (she also plays tambourine and kazoo) and pianist/vocalist John Adkison will be performing a bunch of Paul's songs at an event entitled "The Paul Williams Songbook" on March 26, at 8pm, at the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation. You can see them here performing "Old Souls" and here performing "Just an Old Fashioned Love Song." We understand that Mr. Williams intends to be in attendance, but not performing, though I guess you never know... Tickets and info available here
November 28, 2021 - Yet Another eBayer (Falsely) Claims to Be Selling an Original Prop Phantom Helmet
Here we go again. eBay seller cram-818 wants you to believe that the helmet he's selling is "definitely an original movie prop." And, he wants at least $15,000 for it. Steer clear, it's a reproduction. Link here.
November 23, 2021 - What?!? One More Special Screening?
This one is going to be the most fabulous yet! On December 15, at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, our Principal Archivist will be teaming up with the iconic Peaches Christ (who you can learn more about here), to present a multimedia extravaganza of which a very special screening of Phantom is only a morsel! Peaches and Michael Varrati will be live-recording an episode of their "Midnight Mass" podcast, Trixxie Carr will be doing God knows what, and our Archivist will somehow fit into all this. Attendees are encouraged to dress up for the glam rock lip-synch competition. To quote Winslow Leach, "Oh, Lord!" Tickets and info here.
September 18, 2021 - Last One (For Now...), We Promise!
The Salem Horror Fest, in Salem Massachusetts, has chosen to present a "Very Special Screening" of Phantom on October 3, at 7pm. As with all these screenings, our Archivist will yammer for around 30 minutes before the screening, typically with a very corporate Powerpoint presentation. Like Epsilon Spires (see yesterday's News entry), the Bridge at 211 is a former church.
September 17, 2021 - What?!?! ANOTHER One?!?!?!
Your humble Archivist will be introducing yet another "Very Special Screening" of Phantom, this time on October 2 at 8pm at Epsilon Spires, in Brattleboro, VT. The Spires was originally built in the Victorian Gothic style in 1868, and served as a baptist church for more than 150 years before being renovated to its beautiful present form. It features a 3-story sanctuary and, since 1906, an Estey pipe organ. It is the PERFECT place to see Phantom! Tickets and info here.
September 16, 2021 - This Plethora of Phantom Screenings Might be Getting a Little out of Glove
The New Beverly, in Los Angeles, will be screening Phantom along with Dario Argento's Suspiria, on October 4, 5 and 6. Released in 1977, the same year as that other ballet movie, The Turning Point, Suspiria is the substantially more violent of the two, while being substantially less stomach-churning. Go figure. Anyway, the New Bev will be exhibiting both films in 35mm, and their 35mm Phantom print is, we believe, the lovely example Guillermo del Toro gave them. So it should be a wonderful opportunity to see the film with the right colors and grading, in stark contrast to the DCP exhibited just about everywhere else. (Except, you know, at "very special" screenings.) Incredibly, as of today, all three shows are sold out. People must really hate The Turning Point!
September 16, 2021 - It's MAYHEM, I tell you!
Phantom will be screening at the Mayhem Film Festival, which runs October 14-17 in Nottingham, England, as their "Mayhem Midnight Movie" This will be Saturday the 16th, at, of course, midnight. Festival Passes and info at Mayhem's site here.
September 10, 2021 - OH GOD, NOT ANOTHER Very Special Phantom Screening!
Our Principal Archivist's tour of elegant theaters continues, this time at the Columbus Theater in Providence, Rhode Island. We hear it's a nice town. September 30, 8pm, he'll be introducing a "very special" (we're sure we have no idea what THAT means...) screening of Phantom. Tickets and info here.
September 7, 2021 - ANOTHER Very Special Phantom Screening, This Time in Brookline, MA
Our Principal Archivist is on the road! BUT...can he stay up past midnight? We'll find out on Friday, October 1, when he'll be presenting Phantom at Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline Massachusetts, as part of "Coolidge After Midnite" and the Boston Underground Film Festival. The film will screen in their beautiful Moveihouse I, a 432-seat beauty! Tickets and info here.
August 18, 2021 - A Very Special Phantom Screening in Philadelphia
Our Principal Archivist, in collaboration with Exhumed Films and PhilaMoca, will be presenting what we promise will be a very special screening of our favorite film in Philadelphia at The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art, on October 6. We expect this event will sell out, so get on it! Tickets and info here.
August 4, 2021 - Phantom Episode of Midnight Mass is Available
The always delightful Peaches Christ, with filmmaker Michael Varrati, have released Episode 2 of their Midnight Mass podcast, which is devoted to Phantom. Guests include Phil Nobile, the editor of Fangoria Magazine; Malcolm Ingram, who directed the documentary Phantom of Winnipeg, about the Winnipeg fandom; and your humble archivist. The podcast is just slightly longer than the film itself, and you can find it here.
June 24, 2021 - Peaches Christ's Midnight Mass to Feature Phantom
San Francisco institution Peaches Christ, along with filmmaker Michael Varrati, will be hosting a new podcast, "Midnight Mass," dedicated to culty-midnighty movies. Our Principal Archivist recently enjoyed being interviewed by the well prepared and well informed pair, which can only mean that one of their first episodes will be devoted to Phantom. More info on the podcast here.
June 24, 2021 - Edgar Wright Recommends Phantom - Well of Course He Does
Appearing on James Corden's Late Late Show to promote his The Sparks Brothers, Edgar Wright was asked what single film he would recommend to anyone with some free time this summer, and his pick, unsurprisingly, is Phantom of the Paradise. Edgar is a long time fan of the film, previously hosted the 40th Anniversary celebration at the Cinerama Dome, and has chosen to showcase it at screenings he's curated in the past. Wright also cast Paul Williams in his Baby Driver, in a role that echoes Paul's turn in Phantom.
June 9, 2021 - Bugsy Malone Finally Coming on Bluray in the Right Aspect Ratio!
Bugsy Malone, Archie Hahn's other collaboration with Paul Williams (Archie plays Bugsy's singing voice...) is, at last, getting what appears to be a decent bluray release, from Paramount. See Bugsy, Tallulah, Fat Sam, and a whole lot of whipped cream in hi def, and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio at last! (The only bluray Bugsy releases heretofore have been British imports from 2008, with the extras in PAL only, in 2K, and pan'n'scanned to 1.78:1.) This new edition is "remastered from the original elements," presented in 4K, and includes new interviews with composer Paul Williams and executive producer David Puttnam. Apparently, and unfortunately, Paramount either wasn't willing to, or couldn't, license the terrific commentary track with writer/director Alan Parker, or the "From Search to Screen" featurette from the prior edition. Pre-orderable from all the usual places.
March 13, 2021 - Mission Impossible Getting a New Bluray Release
Tom Cruise is perhaps the luckiest man alive: He is the only actor we can think of who has (1) worked with both Kubrick and De Palma and (2) possibly been intimate with Nicole Kidman at some point (though we're not sure about that second one). De Palma's Mission Impossible, which is BEGGING for a fan edit in which Cruise is digitally replaced by Jar Jar Binks, is getting a new, remastered, bluray release for its 25th anniversary. This new release recycles special features that appeared on prior editions, but is supposed to be worth buying (again) because it includes a "collectible car decal" and trailers for the first six Mission Impossible installments. Of course, if you really want to "collect" the "collectible car decal," you have to buy two copies of the bluray, because putting the decal from your first copy onto your car will ruin it. (Take it from us, for an obsessive compulsive collector, this is a Sophie's Choice-like dilemma). The diabolical marketing geniuses over at Paramount have our admiration... except that, in an utter failure of obsessiveness, they are releasing this 25th anniversary edition on May 18, while the film was released on May 22nd. In further celebration of Mission's 25th, Fathom Events will be doing screenings of the film in "select theaters" in May. Unfortunately, we can't recommend attending: whenever we've attended a Fathom screening, the film was streamed to the theater, so the resolution was garbage, and the films are invariably exhibited in the wrong aspect ratios as well. So maybe the bluray isn't sounding so bad.
March 5, 2021 - Snake Eyes Getting a Bluray Release, At Last
De Palma's high concept Snake Eyes, which takes place almost entirely in a casino and more or less in real time, as emphasized by the seemingly (but not actually) cut-free initial 20 minutes, which gets revisited over and over from different points of view, is finally getting a bluray release on May 18. We haven't heard anything yet on special features, though it would be nice if they'd include De Palma's original tidal wave ending, a bit of which is seen in the Baumbach/Paltro De Palma interview/documentary released in 2015. Now when the hell can we get Femme Fatale on bluray?
February 22, 2021 - Daft Punk Bites Bullet
Legendary pop/dance/house duo Daft Punk, which was famously inspired by Phantom, has called it quits. The pair united in Paris in 1993, after having watched Phantom numerous times. Said Thomas Bangalter, half of the duo, in a New York Times interview in 2013, "[Phantom] is our favorite film, the foundation for a lot of what we’re about artistically." The two collaborated with Paul Williams on their last album, Random Access Memories, bringing things full circle. And, for those of you who attended the Phantom 40th Anniversary at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles...Daft Punk were (incognito) in the house...though they probably would have blended in with the crowd more, and been even more hard to spot if, like everyone else in the place, they had been wearing their helmets. In keeping with their tradition of mysteriousness, they've made no statement and provided no reason for the split.
February 21, 2021 - Slate Does Phantom
Slate.com, which is a bunch of pro-fess-yah-nuls, has devoted the latest episode of their biweekly "Flashback" podcast, hosted by film critics Dana Stevens (Slate) and K. Austin Collins (Rolling Stone), to Phantom. (They make no mention of the fact that Jann Wenner, longtime publisher of Rolling Stone, attended the film's premiere in Los Angeles and absolutely hated it...) Probably better that we don't tell them. Other than missing that "Superstar" was composed by Leon Russell, they get pretty much everything right, and it's a very worthwhile listen. It's behind Slate's paywall, but Slate's well worth subscribing to, for "Dear Prudence" alone.
February 2, 2021 - Dee Snider Owes it all to Phantom
Mr. Snider, lead singer and songwriter for Twisted Sister, one of the most heralded of glam/metal/hair bands of the '80s, tweeted the other day that THE thing that moved him into glam was Phantom! (In past interviews, Snider has derided the word "glam" as applied to TS, arguing that there was nothing glamorous about the band, but now seems more comfortable with it.) Life imitates art! Given the immense influence that Twisted Sister had on other bands, we have to conclude that Gerrit Graham's Beef may be among the most influential fictional musicians of all time, with credit also due to Rosanna Norton, who (in collaboration with Graham) designed Beef's costumes; and Rolf Miller, who was responsible for Beef's makeup.
January 20, 2021 - Hey, We're Up Again in the USA!
Thanks for your patience during our self-imposed inaccessibility. While we were dark in the USA, we got a lot of really supportive emails, every one of which we appreciate. Of course, we also got some hate mail, which we enjoyed nearly as much. During the downtime, we moved the Archives to Sacramento California, and invested in a bunch of flat files to keep the original materials well preserved and all orderly-like. We also endured some insipid whiny complaining about the site outage from people who don't appear to understand anything about American traditions or history. Seriously, how can anyone begrudge us taking the site down for a few months as an expression of protest? That is how protest works in this country. Workers withhold their work: they go on strike. Artists withhold their art. Professional athletes refuse to play, to protest police shootings. Kids around the world refuse to go to school to protest inaction over global warning. What can webmasters do, but withhold their sites? It's done to bring attention to some larger issue; a time honored tradition. One particularly brain-dead reader thoughtfully explained on Facebook, "the problem here is that the SwanArchives is justifiably considered to be the best, most comprehensive website on the film with regards to its production. If you can think of another off the top of your head, please feel free to link to it here since I would love to discover it. I think its naive to suggest that this, frankly, rather petty and small-minded move by its author, doesn’t have any real impact and that people can just as easily go to another single site to get its information. You would have to visit multiple sites and know where to look." So his argument appears to be that if the Archives were a pile of useless crap, I should be free to take it down, but because I've gone to the time and effort to create something of value, I'm "small minded and petty" if I use it to make a political point. (This same genius then goes on to suggest that "if the site ever does become available to America again, somebody should copy all of its information, rewrite or reword it just slightly enough to avoid copyright claims...and then repost it elsewhere..." Does he think folks outside America lack the ability to cut'n'paste? What arrogance.) So, basically, he's saying, "drop an octave here, change a line there, give it a beat; make it completely yours." Sad that some don’t recognize the Swan within themselves. Anyway, we're happy to be back worldwide, and appreciate ALL your cards and letters; please keep 'em coming.
January 16, 2021 - Don't Bid On This Ripoff
This eBayer is selling what they're calling "6 supersize pictures" from Phantom, here. Although the seller doesn't mention this, they've been trashed. These are six US 11"x14" lobby cards from the set of eight, and have had the bottoms physically snipped off (which is why they're 10.25 inches by 14 inches instead of 11 by 14), rendering them totally worthless as collectibles, and yet the seller is charging far more than I've ever seen anyone try to charge for even the complete set: More than US$200, plus another US$25 for shipping, are you kidding me? The full set of eight cards, in great condition, typically goes for less than $50, never more than $75. And several of the cards appear to be bent and creased. You can do better.
December 10, 2020 - Richard Corben is No Longer With Us
Richard Corben, who, working from a sketch by Neal Adams, painted the Phantom Style C one sheet pictured here, has died. Primarily known for authoring and illustrating fantasy and science fiction stories in Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, and Heavy Metal, Corben also did gun-for-hire one-offs, like the Phantom poster, and, famously, the iconic album cover for Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album. For the Phantom Style C, Corben's services were procured by producer Ed Pressman, rather than by Fox, for Pressman's own campaign to resurrect the film after Fox's had failed dismally. Although we've been searching for years, we've never been able to track down Corben's original painting for that poster... it's one of our holy grails here at the Archives.
July 6, 2020 - Ennio Morricone Has Died
Ennio Morricone, who, for De Palma, composed the mournful score for Casualties of War, the soaring Mission to Mars soundtrack and the thrilling music that drove The Untouchables (as well as probably the vast majority of the other great film scores of the past 60 years that weren't written by John Williams) has died at 91 years old. In addition to his work with De Palma, Morricone penned our Archivist's favorite score, for Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America, and of course Leone's spaghetti westerns, and the beautiful music for The Mission. The prolific Morricone typically penned five scores in a year, and occasionally as many as nine. Even in his last few years, he was averaging two or three per year. By way of comparison, Mozart never wrote ANY film scores. Advantage: Morricone.
June 2, 2020 - Swan Archives Dark in USA
We've made the Swan Archives inaccessible from the USA. So if you're reading this, you're probably in a country that didn't put the ABSOLUTE WORST PERSON IN THE NATION in charge. The site will be back up in the US as soon as the motherfucker's out of office. Since the Americans who voted for this clown obviously don't give a shit about truth, fairness, science, the inhabitability of the world more than 10 years from now, decency, the looting of $trillions by the top .01%, the image of the country in the rest of the world, or their fellow man, we're banking on their caring enough about getting the Archives back to vote to get his ass out of the White House and into prison where he belongs. We encourage other delightful-but-nonessential sites to go dark along with us.
May 7, 2020 - Scroll of Morlok is Unfurled
Dash (son of William) Finley has completed his seven minute short thriller, The Scroll of Morlok, and it's up on Youtube here for all to see. In keeping with his father's work with De Palma, the film explores the thin line between the audience and the action onscreen, and voyeurism becoming involvement, all in the context of a thriller that pays homage to what has come before. Now if that doesn't get you to click the link, I don't know what will.
March 5, 2020 - Peet Has an Intriguing New Project You Can Support
Our old friend Peet Gelderblom, who a few years back created a version of Raising Cain that more closely hewed to De Palma's original conception for the film than did the officially released version, is nearly done with an impossibly ambitious project: A new feature film, with a coherent story, formed from tiny clips of hundreds of different movies: shorts, animated films, educational films, newsreels, and so on. Gelderblom's When Forever Dies will have its world premiere at Imagine Film Festival in Amsterdam next month...but the film isn't quite finished. Peet needs a few bucks to bring the project across the finish line, and is offering nice perks to the generous.
January 10, 2020 - Reproduction Death Records Boxes Being Passed Off as "Props" on eBay. What a Surprise.
In the eBay posting shown here, item # 264594849787, the seller, toddbass312013, is describing a couple of the boxes in which Medicom shipped their reproduction helmets as "props from the movie." The Medicom boxes have a gap between the backside of the dead bird and the "Death Records" lettering, which the originals do not. So, you know, don't buy these believing them to be actual boxes from the record factory sequence in the film. And happy new year!
December 2, 2019 - William Shephard Has Died
William Shephard, who played the "Rock Freak," and is pictured here, passed yesterday. He came to Phantom after having worked with Bill Finley (they traded back and forth the roles of Pentheus and Dionysus) in Rechard Schechner's "Dionysus in '69," a performance of which De Palma memorialized on film. As part of the Performance Group, Shephard and others in the group were recruited for Phantom to "train" the extras to act like a true concert audience, and to rile them up and get them excited...obviously, he did a fantastic job. He later (uncredited, and along with Rick Baker) played King Kong in the De Laurentiis production in 1976, and published a memoir about it, called "Inside King Kong: A Journal."
November 23, 2019 - Gerry Atwell Has Died
Gerry Atwell has been a fixture in the Winnipeg music scene for decades, and served as musical director and keyboardist at Phantompalooza 2, in 2006, where he assembled and tirelessly rehearsed a top-notch band to back the Juicy Fruits in their first-ever reunion. He passed away yesterday, following a heart attack. You can see him make a brief but memorably charming appearance in Phantom of Winnipeg, as well. We knew Gerry as a delightful, humble, warm and patient bear of a man, and our sympathies go out to everyone in Winnipeg.
November 6, 2019 - Another Hole in the Head Festival is Doing Phantom Night on December 7
The 16th Annual Another Hole in the Head Film Fest, in San Francisco, will be presenting Phantom of Winnipeg (at 7pm) and what we can tell you will be a very special screening of Phantom of the Paradise (at 9pm) on December 7. Our Principal Archivist will be participating in some fashion in the Phantom screening, introducing, or Q/A'ing, or somesuch thing. The venue is the New People Cinema in San Francisco's Japantown, which accommodates about 140 people, so we expect it to sell out, or come very close. A separate ticket is required for each of Paradise and Winnipeg,.
October 12, 2019 - De Palma Given Lifetime Achievement Award at Hamptons Film Festival
Today the Hamptons International Film Festival gave Brian De Palma a lifetime achievement award, and celebrated by hosting an onstage event with De Palma and Alec Baldwin entitled "A Conversation with Brian De Palma," which would have been better titled "Alec Baldwin Does Impressions, Tells Anecdotes, and Reveals His Complete and Total Ignorance of Brian De Palma's Early Career Whle Occasionally Permitting De Palma to Get the Odd Word In." The award was presented to De Palma by his daughter, Piper, who aptly described it as "glass and sharp." In the course of the approximately sixty minute conversation, in addition to Baldwin extensively discussing incidents from his own career, the two touched briefly on Mission Impossible, Carlito's Way, Raising Cain, Blow Out, and Dressed to Kill.
September 13, 2019 - What the HELL is up with the Rappers?
First Rick Ross (see our August 10 entry below), and now Ghostface Killah!?! GK's new song "Burner to Burner" samples Phantom (and particularly "The Hell of It") heavily, with the guitar lick, and some Paul Williams vocals. If any of you kids out there are hip to the rap thing, we geezer archivists would love to know what's going on. You can hear the song here.
September 13, 2019 - Phantoms of Winnipeg and Paradise to Play Monster Fest
The two films will be double billed on October 15 at Fangoria's Monster Fest 2019, in Melbourne Australia. Tickets and info here.
September 11, 2019 - Phantom of Winnipeg and Phantom of the Paradise with Live Q&A Coming to Sleepy Hollow
The two films will play on Thursday evening October 10 starting at 7:30pm, sandwiching in between them a Q&A moderated by your humble Archivist, and featuring Paul Williams, Gerrit Graham, Phantom producer Ed Pressman, and Winnipeg co-directors Malcolm Ingram and Sean Stanley. Tickets and info here.
August 18, 2019 - Phantom of Winnipeg Screens in Winnipeg
Phantom of Winnipeg played twice last night (double billed with Paradise) before raucous and appreciative hometown crowds at Winnipeg's Park Theater, with codirectors Sean Stanley and Malcolm Ingram in attendance. Through words and applause, the home team loudly and enthusiastically conveyed their conviction that the Toronto-based filmmakers "nailed it," capturing the essence of both Winnipeg and the fandom. Your next chance to see the film is at the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (see our entry for June 14, below.)
August 18, 2019 - SHUDDER, WTF!?!?!?
Friend of the Archives Phil Nobile alerted us to the fact that something seemed...different...about the transfer of Phantom now streaming on the Shudder service, and he's right! We have no idea (but we're looking into it...) where this transfer originated, but it's spectacular. It's definitely not the transfer used for the godawful theatrical DCP, or for any of the (Arrow, Scream/Shout, Carlotta, etc.) bluray releases. To us, the colors look right, the contrast looks right...it is the film as we remember seeing it in the theater in the '70s, finally. We cannot overstate how superior this transfer is to any digital transfer of the film we've previously seen. If anyone has any insight into what happened here, we'd love to hear it!
August 10, 2019 - New Rick Ross Song Samples Faust
The song "Vegas Residency," from rapper/record executive Rick Ross's new album Port of Miami 2, samples both versions of "Faust" from the Phantom soundtrack throughout. You can listen to "Vegas Residency" here. Ross is far from the first to sample bits of Phantom, but is probably the most prominent. Among the less notable are the Cuban Boys, in their song "Fluorescent Dream Beam," and Kas Product, in "Never Come Back,", both of which can be heard on our Themes page, here.
August 6, 2019 - Phantom of Winnipeg Wins Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary at Fantasia Fest
Phantom of Winnipeg took home (to Toronto, I guess) the Best Documentary Feature award at Montreal's most excellent Fantasia Fest. And, in completely unrelated news, Scarface is scheduled for yet another (by our count the 9th, including the ridiculous Humidor Gift Set) bluray release, this time in 4K Ultra HD, on October 15, from Universal. They're calling it Scarface (Gold Edition).
July 26, 2019 - Phantom of Winnipeg to Screen in Winnipeg
Phantom of Winnipeg, which documents the Winnipeg Phantom phenomenon, will screen twice in Winnipeg on August 17 at the Park Theatre. Tickets for each show are $20, and shows are like this: The "early show" is at 7pm, followed by a Q/A with the filmmakers, and, after that, a screening of Phantom itself, to commence at about 8:45. The late show (separate ticket) has Phantom of Winnipeg screening at 10:30, followed by a midnight screening of Phantom of the Paradise, followed by an after party with members of Swanage. (We understand this to mean that there will be a concert given by a subset of the entire band). Tickets are available here.
July 23, 2019 - A Couple of Phantom Screenings Upcoming
September 20, 8:45pm at the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Sydney, Australia, admission $15. And, in Des Moines, Iowa, August 5 at 7pm (with a pre-show talk by Ben Godar starting at 6:30), at Vaudeville Mews; $5.
July 18, 2019 - Phantom and De Palma Festival Doings
Our Principal Archivist just got back home from the Fantasia Festival in Montreal, where Phantom of Winnipeg had its world premiere on Friday, July 11, and Phantom of the Paradise was screened the next night. (Winnipeg also enjoyed an encore screening on Sunday afternoon.) Somewhere around 130 people packed the Salle J.A. DeSeve on Friday, including a number of the Winnipeg fans who are profiled in the documentary. Also in attendance were directors Malcolm Ingram and Sean Stanley, as well as Paul Williams (who is interviewed briefly in the film, as is our Principal Archivist, who somehow ended up with a co-producer credit.) The film, without actually making an attempt to answer the question, "Why Winnipeg," and without taking a position on whether Paradise is actually a good movie or not, is a gentle and loving tribute to the power of fandom to change lives and create community. The plan for the screening of Paradise the following night was that Paul Williams and (Phantom producer) Ed Pressman would "host" the proceedings, with Ed receiving a lifetime achievement award from the festival for the somewhere-around-100 films he has produced, and his role in nurturing promising up and coming directors. Sadly, Ed had injured himself in a fall the day before, and was not able to attend, so, shortly before things got underway, Paul asked our Principal Archivist to moderate a Q&A with Paul, which he nervously did. We hope people enjoyed it, and maybe even heard some anecdotes they hadn't previously encountered. Ed was, fortunately, sufficiently recovered by Monday to appear at the festival remotely, via Skype, to present his scheduled master class. MEANWHILE - a dilemma is brewing in New York, as the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival will be screening Winnipeg and Paradise and doing a tribute to Ed Pressman, all in mid-October - which is exactly when the Hamptons International Film Festival, two hours away, will be presenting Brian De Palma with a lifetime achievement award, on the occasion of which Alec Baldwin will be doing a Q&A with Mr. De Palma onstage. Why must we suffer so?
July 8, 2019 - The New Poster's Here, the New Poster's Here!
Here's the poster for Phantom of Winnipeg!
July 2, 2019 - Coveted Item on eBay
We can't tell you how often people contact us looking for the Phantom sheet music. Very occasionally, a copy of the folio goes up for sale on eBay, and there's one there now, here. Auction closes Sunday, July 7.
July 2, 2019 - Any Excuse to Run a Picture of Jennifer Lawrence
Phantom's production designer, Jack Fisk, is engaged on Ms. Lawrence's upcoming, as-yet untitled military drama (being directed by Lila Neugebauer). Currently in production in New Orleans, it's expected to be released in late 2019. Fisk also worked with De Palma on Carrie, and of course many other films, getting nominated for two Oscars along the way.
June 14, 2019 - Phantom of Winnipeg Trailer is Up
Phantom of Winnipeg, Malcolm Ingram's new documentary about the Winnipeg Phantom phenomenon, will have its world premiere at Fantasia Fest in Montreal next month, and its US premiere at The Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival in October. But, right now, you can watch the trailer here! Both festivals will also be screening Phantom itself as well.
June 4, 2019 - Domino Is Out
De Palma's latest, Domino, was released to a handful of theaters in the US, and on video on demand last week. As has been widely reported, De Palma found the production extremely trying, as the film was, he told Le Parisien's Catherine Ball, "underfunded,...far behind... the producer did not stop lying to us and did not pay some of my crew." He went on to say, in another interview, "somehow we managed to make a movie out of this completely chaotic production situation, and hopefully you'll be seeing it in your local cinemas sometime in the future." Our archivist took it in, and, while the utterly routine story and script will prevent it from going down in history as one of De Palma's greatest films, it features three precise, suspenseful set pieces of the sort that no other director ever dares to try to pull off, and is sprinkled throughout with De Palma's characteristic camera moves, split diopters, split screens, and other playful fun. At under 90 minutes, the story is economically (maybe a little too economically) told, though the persistent rumors of a much longer version that had been mercilessly butchered have been denied both by De Palma and by his editor, Bill Pankow. (De Palma says he had no involvement, though, in the final audio mix or the color timing, both of which have been criticized by some reviewers.)
May 29, 2019 - Our News Page is Back!
I mean obviously, since you're reading it. We had been remiss in updating this page, and it became so embarrassing that we destroyed the evidence. But the next few months will hold some interesting Phantom-flavored news, so we've brought it back. To begin with, Malcolm Ingram's Phantom of Winnipeg, a documentary about the Winnipeg Phantom phenomenon, will be getting its world premiere at Fantasia Fest in Montreal. The festival runs July 11 to August 1, and we expect PoW will be screening on July 12 and perhaps again on July 14. Sandwiched in between, on July 13, is presentation of Fantasia's Lifetime Achievement Award to Phantom's producer, Ed Pressman, featuring a screening of Phantom and appearances by both Ed and some guy named Paul Williams. More new News coming very soon!
October 20, 2018 - Phantom at the Met's Swan Song
The fifth (and, according to the organizers, last) Phantom at the Met went down in Winnipeg last night, a bittersweet denouement for the premiere hive of Phantom fandom. As per usual, the Met served up a buffet dinner for somewhere around 230 attendees, the film was screened, and Swanage, sounding better than ever, played through the entire soundtrack afterwards. Brief video greetings from Paul Williams, Jessica Harper, Susan Finley, and all three Juicy Fruits were screened as well, along with a trailer for the upcoming Malcolm Ingram film, Phantom of Winnipeg, which documents the town's unusual love for our favorite movie. Raffles and merch sales raised money for the William Finley scholarship fund, and our Archivist ate too much, as per usual.
October 11, 2018 - Remember to see Phantom at the Alamo!
Phantom will be the San Francisco Alamo Drafthouse's "Weird Wednesday" pick on October 24. 10:15pm, all seats reserved, six bucks, order food to eat in your seat. We recommend the chocolate malts. Tickets and more info here.
August 31, 2018 - Arrow to Release the Early De Palma / De Niro Collaborations!
This coming November 12, Arrow Video will be releasing to the US and North American markets the first bluray editions of The Wedding Party, Greetings, and Hi, Mom!. These are new 2K restorations from original materials (negative in the case of The Wedding Party; they're less specific on the source material for Hi, Mom! and Greetings). New commentary track on Greetings by Glenn Kenny; a featurette on De Palma's and De Niro's collaborations by Howard S. Berger; new interviews with Charles Hirsch (Paul Hirsch's brother), who wrote and produced Greetings and Hi, Mom!; new interview with Gerrit Graham on Greetings, Hi, Mom! and his other collaborations with De Palma; new interview with actor Peter Maloney on Hi, Mom!; Hi, Mom! theatrical trailer; newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin; and limited collector's edition booklet featuring new writing on the films by Brad Stevens, Chris Dumas and Christina Newland, plus an archive interview with Brian De Palma and Charles Hirsch. The three films will be packaged together as "De Niro and De Palma: The Early Films." Available for preorder at all the usual places.
August 31, 2018 - Paul Williams is the Guest on Maltin on Movies
You can listen to Leonard (and Jessie) Maltin's very entertaining interview with Paul [link deleted, as this appears to have disappeared.]
June 13, 2018 - God, We are SO Lame.
There has been just a TON of De Palma news these past few weeks, but our Archivist has been too busy with "real life" to chronicle it here. Suffice it to say that (1) De Palma had a "horrible" experience making Domino, which the producers submitted to Cannes in rough cut form without informing him; he nevertheless believes he's made a good movie, and is hopeful that it'll see the light of day at some point; (2) in reporting on De Palma's book signings (for his novel "Are Snakes Necessary?"), several publications erroneously reported that he's married to his co-author, Susan Lehman; (3) his next project is shaping up to be Sweet Vengeance, to be shot in Uruguay in the style of a crime procedural (presumably like an episode of a CSI series), for which he's already imagining a "very complex" drone shot; and (4) the project after that looks to be Predator, about a Harvey Weinstein-like sexual predator stalking at the Toronto International Film Festival, done in the style of a horror film. For much more detailed coverage, check out Geoff Songs' De Palma a la Mod pages; Geoff has been doing an admirable job, as always, of keeping up with developments. On the Phantom front specifically, mark your calendar for October 19, 2018, which is now locked down for "Phantom at the Met 5" in Winnipeg. No details yet on the agenda, but you can expect a lot of drinking, buffet-ing, and Phantom-related entertainment.
March 31, 2018 - Brian de Novelist
Mr. De Palma has co-authored, with Susan Lehman, a novel (a thriller) called "Are Snakes Necessary?" (Lehman has been accompanying De Palma to various film festivals over the past three years or so.) The book is apparently to be published only in French and only in France, at least initially, this Spring. ("Are Snakes Necessary?" is the title of the book that Henry Fonda's wealthy snake-loving character, Charles Pike, is focused on in The Lady Eve as he ignores all the golddigging women competing for his attention. It's all very meta, as "Are Snakes Necessary?" in Eve was itself a reference to an actual book that was popular at the time, "Is Sex Necessary?" by James Thurber and E.B. White.) In completely unrelated news, IMDB (which can't be completely trusted, as it's crowd-sourced) now shows a running time of 148 minutes for Domino, which is generally expected to premiere at Cannes later this year.
March 30, 2018 - Barcelona Festival to Focus on De Palma
The 37th Edition of the Molins de Rei Horror Fest, in Barcelona November 9-18, will be focusing on De Palma's horror oeuvre. Per the festival's organizers, "Our fascination for Brian De Palma's films, his personal and essential way of approaching horror, and his ability to seduce us again and again are the reasons why the 37th edition of the Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival is going to focus on mainly three words: Brian De Palma. This is going to be a year concerned with long sequence shots, split up screens, direct and metaphoric open-ups, provocation, desire and meddling." Not clear yet exactly what they'll be screening, but we're sure their site will become more detailed as the festival approaches.
March 15, 2018 - Phantom at Cinedelphia with Jessica Harper
Phantom will be screened at Cinedelphia (in, where else, Philadelphia) on Saturday April 14, with Jessica Harper in attendance. (She'll be in town anyway, because the previous evening Cinedelphia will be screening Suspiria from an Italian 35mm print.) No indication of what format Phantom will be projected from, but probably DCP. Phantom is at 10pm on the 14th; Suspiria at 7pm (in Italian with English subtitles) on the 13th. Tickets and info here.
February 14, 2018 - Phantom "Live and in Concert" in New York City in March
An outfit called Weasel War Dance Productions (no, really, that's what they're called) is putting on a concert comprised of performances of the songs from Phantom (and multimedia elements scattered throughout) with a live band (what could go wrong, right?) at The Secret Loft in Greenwich Village on Monday(s) 3/12, 3/19, and 3/26. Thirteen singers, five band members, costumers...everybody has to get paid. Unless, I guess, they get electrocuted before payday. And, as ticket sales might not be sufficient to pay the band and the other performers, the producers are running an Indiegogo campaign with a number of enticing perks. We are told that a link for ticket purchases will appear soon. Indiegogo page is here. UPDATE: TICKETS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE here. UPDATE THE SECOND: After three sold out performances, there will be an additional performance sometime in late April, details TBD. UPDATE THE THIRD: The encore performance is now scheduled for April 30, and tickets are available here.
February 2, 2018 - De Palma Screenings in New York City
As part of its series, "Crimes of Passion: The Erotic Thriller," the Quad Cinema in NYC is presenting several great De Palma films over the next couple of weeks: Femme Fatale (in 35mm!) on February 6 and 11; Dressed to Kill on February 8 and 11; and Body Double on February 11 and 17. If you're interested in efficiency, your best bet is to go on February 11 and see Femme at 1:00, Dressed at 3:20 and Body at 5:25. Info and tickets here.
January 26, 2018 - Paterno Has a Teaser Trailer
The Ed Pressman-produced Paterno (formely titled Happy Valley), which De Palma was at one time slated to direct, is headed for HBO this Spring, with Barry Levenson directing and Al Pacino playing the disgraced coach. De Palma left the project over creative differences a couple of years ago. The first teaser trailer can be viewed here.
December 26, 2017 - Germany Finally Getting Phantom on Bluray
Germany's Koch Media has preannounced their upcoming (February 8, 2018) release of Phantom on bluray and DVD, with the cover pictured here. No word on supplemental features yet, though we expect they will license bonus content from prior distributors. Soundtracks in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 and 5.1, and a German language audio track will be included. ("Donnerstag. Heute ist Donnerstag.") The bluray cover pictured here is interesting in that they utilized a pre-final version of the poster art that had the film's title as "Phantom" rather than "Phantom of the Paradise," presumably so that it would be easier to add the German language "im Paradies" in the neon script without having to obliterate "of the Paradise," which we're sure made it a lot easier. (The giveaway on this is that the art features the swans next to Swan's head, rather than the usual stars, which replaced the swans in the final version of the artwork).Update: This release has been pushed back to August 30, 2018.
November 30, 2017 - Torino
Here is Pino Donaggio accepting his Gran Premio Torino award last evening at The Torino Film Festival's screening of the restored edition of Dressed to Kill, as part of the festival's De Palma retrospective. Our Principal Archivist has been enjoying this well-curated festival immensely; standouts so far are the very creepy Beast, Kings, the quirky Finnish film, Thick Lashes of Lauri M'yvaara, and the whimsical Favola. Also notable, for their sheer awful badness, were Seven Sisters, Firstborn, and the totally abysmal mess that is The Man Who Invented Christmas. Can't win 'em all. But hey, it's not a total loss if you're eating at places like Dai Borboni, Ristorante il Circolo Dei Lettori, and El Puig d'Estelles, all of which are fantastic...and we could spend days in Torino's Cinema Museum as well.
September 30, 2017 - This Year's Torino Film Festival is Featuring a Brian De Palma Retrospective!
The Torino Film Festival, in Turin, Italy, which takes over the town this year from November 24 through December 2, is running (along with its slate of other films) a retrospective of Brian De Palma's work, which they are calling "complete". According to the festival's press release, they will be screening "all the works by the great American director; not just his feature films but his short films, documentaries and video clips in their original version, with subtitles." If true, this is an amazing thing; while some of De Palma's early short films, like Woton's Wake and The Responsive Eye, are readily available, certain others (Icarus, 660124: The Story of an IBM Card, Jennifer (which features Jennifer Salt), Bridge that Gap, and Show Me a Strong Town and I'll Show You a Strong Bank, are virtually never exhibited. More info here). Update: The screening schedule is now available and, unfortunately, the rarely/never seen shorts mentioned above are not on it. Oh well.
September 30, 2017 - Phantom with Suspiria in San Francisco
If you weren't able to get tickets to the sold out show on October 1 in Los Angeles, you can catch Phantom on a double bill with the new restoration of Suspiria (also starring Jessica Harper, of course) in San Francisco at the Castro Theatre on October 22. Suspiria at 7, Phantom at 8:55.
September 6, 2017 - Phantom, with Paul Williams in Person, Screening Same Day as Suspiria at Beyond Fest on October 1
It all goes down at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood: As part of Beyond Fest, a truly awesome genre film festival that runs from September 29 to October 10 in Los Angeles, these two Jessica Harper classics will be shown on October 1 - Phantom at 4pm, and the new 4K restoration of Suspiria at 7pm and 10pm (though the Suspiria screenings are sold out). There are still tickets, though, to the 35mm Italian cut of Suspiria the next night at 7:30pm. Dario Argento in person at all the Suspiria screenings! Tickets and more info here.
August 24, 2017 - World Premiere of the Phantom Archive Edition in Burbank, October 8
Our own Principal Archivist will be hosting the world premiere of our restoration of Phantom of the Paradise, which, with some help from an Oscar-winning special effects supervisor, puts all the Swan Song footage back where it belongs, restores a misplaced music cue, gives the movie back its original title, and fixes the color/contrast/grading disaster that mars all the recent bluray editions and theatrical DCP'and it looks FAB!... in any event, it's as close to Brian de Palma's original conception of the film as we think can be achieved, given the available elements. The premiere will be happening at 1pm at the Creature Features Gallery on Magnolia, which has very limited seating... admission is free, space permitting.
August 6, 2017 - Medicom Releasing its Fall Lineup of Phantom Swag
Medicom Toy Company of Japan has started making available for purchase and preorder its Fall lineup of ridiculously overpriced Phantom merchandise: helmets, keychains, Bearbricks, book covers, mugs, shirts, rugmats, cushions, pins... just about anything they could affix the Death Records logo onto. We are particularly entertained by the "VIP Keychain," which is a design Medicom "borrowed" from the Phantom at the Met gang in Winnipeg - it was created by those folks for the lanyards given to people who bought the "VIP Package". Swan stole my lanyard and framed me!!
July 20, 2017 - Phantom at the Met to Feature a Paul Williams Concert!
Phantom at the Met IV is on, and it's a whopper: It includes a concert by Paul Williams and his band, following the requisite screening of the film. Winnipeg. October 20. Be there or be Swan. Unless you're Paul, in which case you'll be there and be Swan. Tickets on sale 10:00am CDT July 24 thru Ticketmaster, and some proceeds from the event will be going to the William Finley Foundation. Must be at least 18 years old to attend.
July 13, 2017 - Podcasts
You'll have to trust me on this; I've listened to literally dozens (though it feels like hundreds) of podcasts that have devoted an individual episode to Phantom, and virtually all of them are just so dreary: First, the hosts banter about what they did over the weekend ('I had the BEST milkshake, you should've been there!'), as if anyone cares; then, they spend 120 minutes recapitulating the plot of a 91-minute movie, and then they recite as gospel the misinformation they've found in the trivia section on IMDB, as if this constitutes research for which they should be awarded doctorates...and then each host awards the film "three brewskies! I deducted one because it was like SO OBVIOUS that the cruise ship was going to sink!" (I don't understand why movie podcasters do these isanely detailed plot summaries, except perhaps that they have nothing of their own to say, and need to fill time. For audience members who've seen the film, it's redundant; for those who haven't, it just spoils the film.) In general, movie podcasters have no sense of what is interesting, or why it's just morally WRONG for them to narcissistically waste their audience's time like this. They do no original work, and express no new thoughts, and, for the most part, know nothing about film or filmmaking whatsoever. Listening to them is like being trapped in a grocery store checkout line and being forced to overhear the conversation of the bros in line behind you. As I listen to these podcasts, I just feel myself getting angrier and angrier. Not just because "someone is WRONG about something on the internet!", but because I am feeling time, and my life, slip away as the shows run their course, as if I were Westley, strapped by Prince Humperdinck to The Machine. But, still, I do this, out of a sense of duty to keep up with all things Phantom. In general, I don't point the Archives' readers to each new Phantom podcast, because I don't want you to suffer as I have, and I'm just not (quite) catty enough to post a hall of shame warning you off from the very worst offenders. There are notable exceptions, of course: The Projection Booth, hosted by the extremely well informed, articulate, and diligent Mike White, is some kind of miracle, as Mike consistently does comprehensive research before each marathon episode, and tracks down and engages interesting guests and co-hosts, and chairs compelling discussions. And Movie Geeks United is reliably good. But, in general, you can imagine my feelings of impending dread when I confront the prospect of listening to each new Phantom-featuring podcast...And, you can imagine my immense relief when a podcast turns out to be brisk, engaging, enthusiastic, and fun. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of stumbling onto episode 293 of The Wrong Reel, hosted by James Hancock (a longtime De Palma enthusiast), with his guest, musician Mike Vanderbilt. Did I learn anything new about the movie, and will you? Probably not...but it's an enjoyable conversation between a couple of guys with interesting perspectives, and a sense for what's fun, who know better than to laboriously and tediously spend two hours summarizing the plot. This was a good time, and I might even check out their other episodes! The Phantom portion of the conversation starts at about the one-hour mark.
June 17, 2017 - Paul Shows Up in Baby Driver
There are at least 9,246 great reasons to see Edgar Wright's latest, Baby Driver, and among them are a Paul Williams cameo - he portrays a shifty gun dealer, in what is undoubtedly a nod to another untrustworthy character he's played in the past. Baby Driver opens in much of the US on June 28.
May 12, 2017 - Peter Elbling to Appear in "Rhinoceros"
Peter will be appearing in the great Ionesco play as presented by Los Angeles' Pacific Resident Theater, starting on June 10, with shows Thursday Friday and Saturday nights, and a Sunday matinee. No telling how long it will run, but one of these days there will be more complete information on the Theater's own website, here).
May 6, 2017 - Phantom screening for Free in Chicago
Chicago's Logan Theater is hosting a "Phantom of the Paradise Inspired Best Dressed Party" on May 12, starting at 8pm. Attendance is free (but you have to get a ticket, here). The party runs from 8pm to 11pm, at which point the film starts. There will be raffles and prizes for best costume, and plenty of beer. Sounds great, we wish we were going!
April 21, 2017 - Ebay User Seeking Insane Price for Photocopies of Phantom scripts
Ebayer sy1960 is asking $229.99 for photocopies of four versions of the Phantom script. And he's made three sets of them, so he's hoping to score almost $700 by finding three suckers willing to pay that price. That's obnoxious and offensive. If you'd like copies of the same four scripts for free, just drop us a line, ok? Our offer stands as long as his does.
April 21, 2017 - Copper Creeps Introduces a Phantom Mechtorian
Since 2016, Bruce Whistlecraft has been creating "Copper Creeps," small (several inches tall, typically - the Phantom measures 4" from base to tip) Victorian futurist style robot characters inspired by movie monsters. Past Copper Creeps have included Bruce's takes on Frankenstein's monster and his bride, the Wolfman, Orlok, Imhotep and others. Each Creep is available in a bronze finish, a pewter finish and, in very limited quantities, a handpainted version, and each arrives individually boxed and signed by Bruce. The Phantom (and Gillman) will be available starting April 29 at ToyconUK (an art toy convention in London), and through the Mechtorians website, here.
April 11, 2017 - A Message from Susan Finley
Click here to donate!
February 18, 2017 - Phantom Playing for Free in Philadelphia
Phantom will be screening for free (projected, we presume, from DVD or bluray) at the World Cafe Live Philadelphia on April 15. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. DJ Robert Drake will provide music to get the evening started. Attendees are invited to dress up: "Dress to Impress! Get Glammed - Get Glittered - Get Gory!" Tickets and info here .
January 24, 2017 - Carlotta Cover Art
Here's the cover art, by Matt Taylor, for the upcoming Carlotta 3-disc set, set for release in France April 12. Details are trickling out; we now know that there's one bluray containing the film and bonus features; one DVD containing the film in PAL format; and one DVD containing bonus features; the Paradise Regained documentary that originally appeared on the Opening DVD will be included; the audio tracks will include English Dolby Digital 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1 and DTS-HD 2.0, and French Dolby Digital 1.0; and there will be French subtitles. Included with the discs is a 200 page book with analyses, archival materials, and photos. The set is available for preorder from Amazon in France for about 50 Euro.
January 6, 2017 - New Carlotta Edition of Phantom Coming in April!
France's Carlotta Films, which put out a superb box set on Body Double a couple years back, has announced that its upcoming Phantom "Collector's Ultra Box" set will be released on April 12 in a numbered limited edition, with a new 2K restoration of the film on bluray, and 2 DVDs (which we presume will be full of bonus materials) and hardback book full of writings on the film. (The depiction of the box set to the left is probably not how it will actually look.) The new transfer will also be available as a single bluray or DVD disc. From our perspective, the most promising aspect of this is the new transfer itself, as the current digital transfer done in 2012 for Fox by Reliance Mediaworks, which formed the basis of the Arrow and Scream Factory blurays, as well as the theatrical DCP, is horrendous. Update: Turns out Carlotta will be starting with the same transfer as Arrow and Scream did, but, like Scream, will be doing color correction on it to improve it. *sigh*
December 16, 2016 - The William Finley Fund is Now Tax Deductible in the USA!
We know that our readers are kind, generous, and share our priorities and political outlook. So we're hoping that if any of you have anything left over after lavishly bestowing princely sums upon Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, NPR, and the EFF, you might want to consider throwing some sheckels towards the William Finley Memorial Scholarship Fund, in Winnipeg. The fund, established in 2012 in fond memory of Winnipeg's (and our) favorite thespian, generates scholarships for youth in the arts in the Peg, a city that meant a lot to Mr. Finley in the last few years of his life. Tax deductible donations can be made by Canadians by making their check out, and mailing to, Winnipeg Foundation; and by US taxpayers by making checks out, and mailing to, Winnipeg Foundation USA. Either way, the address is 1350 One Lombard Place, Winnipeg, MB CANADA R3B 0X3. Make sure to include a note that says your donation should be applied to the William Finley Memorial Scholarship Fund at the 7 Oaks School Division in Winnipeg. And thanks!
November 16, 2016 - Mentor Williams has Died
Paul Williams' younger brother, Mentor, died the morning of November 16. While best known for composing "Drift Away," recorded by Dobie Gray and performed by virtually every cover band ever, Mentor was a prolific songwriter, whose work was recorded or performed by everyone from Alabama to George Jones, to Steppenwolf, Ike and Tina Turner, Aaron Neville, Roy Orbison, Michael Bolton, Waylon Jennings, Ringo Starr, and on and on and on. He produced and co-wrote songs with Paul, sometimes contributing backing vocals, and played rhythm guitar in The Holy Mackerel, a band fronted by Paul, which recorded in the late '60s. We at the Archives never had the pleasure of meeting Mentor, but we've heard Paul talk about him, frequently and affectionately, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to Paul and his family.
November 2, 2016 - Jessica Harper will be in the New Suspiria
Jessica Harper, who played the lead in Dario Argento's 1977 giallo bloodbath Suspiria, has signed on to appear in the remake, though obviously playing a different character this time. In the original, Harper starred as Suzy Bannion, who enrolls in a German school for ballerinas that turns out to be run by unsavory witches. The remake, which started shooting the other day in Italy, is directed by Luca Guadagnino, with Chloe Grace Moretz (an alum of the Carrie remake) and Dakota Johnson (daughter of Body Double and Bonfire of the Vanitites alum Melanie Griffith) also in there somewhere. We didn't love (to say the least!) Guadagnino's previous film, A Bigger Splash, so we don't have high hopes for this.
October 29, 2016 - Phantom Masked Ball in Glasgow Two Nights from Now
From our Department of Last-Minute Bureau Department: Lightshow Film Club, Something Weird Film Club, and Matchbox Cineclub are collectively presenting the "Phantom of the Paradise Masked Ball" in Glasgow, which we believe is somewhere in whatever the Kingdom Formerly Known as United is calling itself these days, on October 31 at 7pm. It's at The Old Hairdresser's, with music provided by The Fantoms. Admission is five pounds, but waived if you're wearing a mask. The attractive poster (to the left) is by Paul Jon Milne Illustration. Tickets available here
October 29, 2016 - If You Missed Phantom at the Met III, You're a Sad Bastard
Phantom at the Met III, held last night in Winnipeg with about 400 in attendance, was a rockin' good time; huge thanks to Gloria Dignazio and Del Pannu for organizing yet another spectacular Phantom Party! The festivities included a buffet dinner, video presentations from Susan Finley and Paul Williams, a screening of the film, and performance of the soundtrack by Winnipeg band Swanage, with the three original Juicy Fruits, Archie Hahn, Jeff Comanor and Peter Elbling, performing ":Goodbye Eddie," "Upholstery," and "Somebody Super Like You," complete with makeup and choreography. The Fruits generously stayed around after the show to sign autographs and mingle, and a ton of money was raised via raffles and tshirt sales for the William Finley Memorial Scholarship Fund, which benefits Winnipeg public schools. And...the Jets beat the Avalanche.
September 25, 2016 - San Francisco's Mini De Palma Fest
San Francisco's magnificent Castro Theater will be running an abbreviated de facto De Palma festival October 13-16, with a different De Palma-related film each night double billed with a 70mm print of Vertigo. On October 13, it's the new Baumbach/Paltrow De Palma documentary; on the 14th it's Obsession, the 15th is Dressed to Kill, and the 16th brings Body Double. We'd recommend arriving in the Bay Area a couple weeks early, so you can take in the Castro's screenings of Lawrence of Arabia in 70mm on October 1-3, because 70mm Lawrence of Arabia! How cool is that?
September 22, 2016 - Chud II Getting a Bluray Release
CHUD II, featuring Gerrit Graham in his other career-defining role as "Bud the CHUD," is getting what looks to be a luxurious bluray release from Vestron on November 22. This one's never previously been on bluray, and Vestron is going all out for this limited (we're not sure exactly how limited) edition, with audio commentary with director David Irving and interviews with Gerrit, Tricia Leigh Fisher, and special effects artist Allan Apone. Retailing at $34.97, the disc is available for preorder from Amazon for about 7 bucks less than that.
September 20, 2016 - Phantom with Phantom at the New Bev
See Phantom in glorious 35mm at the New Beverly in Los Angeles on October 26 and/or 27, along with the Lon Chaney version of Phantom of the Opera! Opera screens at 7:30 each night, and Paradise at 9:35. The New Bev typically gets Fox's archive print, which is gorgeous - there is no better way to see Phantom. Trust me!
September 8, 2016 - If you've got a taste for reunions...
Tickets are now on sale for an awesome looking Carrie event: it's a 40th Anniversary Prom, screening, and cast and crew reunion, with proceeds benefitting weSPARK's cancer support program, a charity on whose board Nancy Allen sits. Jointly presented by Scream Factory, weSPARK, and the Ace Hotel, the event is on October 13, at the Ace's theatre in Los Angeles. Expected in person are Paul Hirsch, PJ Soles, Piper Laurie, William Katt, Nancy Allen, and casting director Harriett B. Helberg, who I guess we can blame for the insufferable Simon Helberg. Along with the screening there'll be a Q&A moderated by Bryan Fuller, a prom party with costume contest, live DJ, prom decor, and, depending on the price you pay for your ticket, copies of Scream's 40th Anniversary Carrie bluray set, poster, and reception with the cast and crew in attendance. Tickets and more info here. UPDATE as of October 5, 2016: William Katt will not be in attendance after all.
September 5, 2016 - Tickets now on sale for "Phantom at the Met III"
Tickets for the aforementioned (see News entries below) event in Winnipeg are now on sale, for $65 Canadian plus tax, and can be obtained in person at The Met's box office on 281 Donald Street or by phone (with a credit card) at 204-594-9494. The Radisson Hotel Winnipeg Downtown (just around the corner from The Met) has a special room rate of $129.00 plus taxes per night for attendees from out of town (or who just want a night away from the kids, I guess). Call the hotel directly at 204-956-0410 and ask for the "Phantom of the Paradise at The Met" special room rate. A portion of the event proceeds will be given to the William Finley Scholarship Fund.
August 25, 2016 - De Palma Gets Jury Duty
Brian De Palma will be one third of the jury for the Platform competition at the Toronto International Film Festival this year. In its second year, Platform champions "directors' cinema" from around the world, and awards a prize of $25,000 (Canadian, we presume) to the winner. Woe be to anyone whose film opens with a helicopter shot over Manhattan! The other two jurors are director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun and actor Zhang Ziyi.
August 20, 2016 - Edgar Wright will be presenting Phantom in London
As part of his "Edgar Wright Presents" series, in which the Shaun of the Dead director introduces six of his favorite films at Picturehouse Central in London, Phantom will be featured at 7pm on October 10. Others in the series include Thunderbolt & Lightfoot, The Blues Brothers, Raising Arizona, The Driver, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. Mr. Wright cautions that he tries to make it to each screening in person, but it's possible that his shpiel will be prerecorded. (Hey Edgar: Need a copresenter?) It unfortunately appears that Phantom will be screened from the crap DCP transfer (see our 7/31/2014 post for more on that...) rather than 35mm, but it's getting to be well nigh impossible to see the film in 35 anymore, so this is probably about as good as it gets. More info and ticket details here.
August 12, 2016 - Phantom at The Met III in Winnipeg in October
As we mentioned in our June 21 entry below, our pals in Winnipeg will be throwing "Phantom at The Met III" on Friday, October 28, with all three of the original Juicy Fruits (Comanor, Hahn, and Elbling) in attendance, and local band Swanage again performing the soundtrack. In past years, the Met has served up a fine buffet dinner for this event, and we assume this year will be no different. Tickets are expected to go on sale in early September, and will undoubtedly move fast. The new information justifying this post? As follows: The organizers will be posting updates (on ticket onsale, etc.) to the Phantom of the Paradise Fanatics Facebook page. See you there!
July 8, 2016 - Phantom (and De Palma!) coming to Chico, CA
The Pageant Theater in Chico, California, will be commencing its run of the De Palma doc on July 15, and, in apparent celebration, will be screening what they refer to as their "favorite De Palma film," once only on the 16th, at 11pm. More info here.
June 25, 2016 - Metrograph is EXTENDING their De Palma Fest!
Originally scheduled to conclude on June 23, the De Palma marathon at the Metrograph in New York City is being extended another week with encore showings. Wise Guys, Mission: Impossible and Passion on June 26, Femme Fatale on June 27, Raising Cain and Mission: Impossible on the 28th, Bonfire of the Vanities and Passion on the 29th, Blow Out and Dressed to Kill on the 30th. If you can only get to one, make it Femme Fatale! More info here.
June 24, 2016 - The Department of Short Notice Department
The North Park Theater in Buffalo NY, a truly beautiful turn of the century movie palace, is yet another of the fine venues to be running mini-De Palma (and here "mini-De Palma" does not refer to Louie) festivals centering on the new Baumbach/Paltrow documentary, and will be featuring Phantom June 26 and 27 at 9:30. The documentary screens nightly at 7:00 on the 24th through 30th,and you can also catch Scarface and The Untouchables. The only fly in the ointment is that Phantom is being projected from the abominable godawful nightmarish DCP transfer. Bleh. More info here.
June 23, 2016 - Phantom in 35mm in Omaha!
Phantom will be screened from 35mm this Saturday evening at 10:30PM at the Alamo Drafthouse's La Vista theater in Omaha. Have we ever mentioned that the film looks infinitely better in 35mm than in the botched piss-poor excuse for a digital transfer that is the DCP? This is your chance to see it as it was meant to be seen - and down an excellent chocolate shake while doing so. It's part of the La Vista's Summer of De Palma series, during which they'll also be running Blow Out, Body Double, Carlito's Way, Dressed to Kil and Scarface. Tickets to Phantom here and more info on the La Vista's De Palma series here.
June 21, 2016 - Phantom at the Met III Coming to Winnipeg
This year's "Phantom at the Met" event is scheduled for October 28, with all three Juicy Fruits (Hahn, Oblong, and Comanor) expected to be in the house. If past performance is any indication of future results, attendees can expect a fine buffet dinner, a live performance by the 'Fruits, a screening of the film, and a LOT of alcohol. I mean, it's Winnipeg, right? No ticket info yet, but stay alert - past Phantom at the Met events have sold out pretty quickly. Again -- it's Winnipeg; the laws of physics don't apply there.
June 18, 2016 - Jessica Harper at the Majestic
Phantom screened for the first time ever at the Majestic in Dallas, the theater where much of it was shot, and Jessica Harper appeared onstage for Q&A. (See our May 5, 2016 post below.) A few moments of her appearance were picked up on someone's cell phone; we hope the rest will show up someday, but here's what we've got so far.
June 9, 2016 - De Palma a la Mod's Got it Goin' On
The canny marketers at A24, the distributor for the new Baumbach/Paltrow De Palma documentary, appear to have instigated De Palma fests all over the country, each culminating in a screening of the new doc. Mr. De Palma has even shown up on a couple of occasions to do Q&A, at one point telling an audience at the Metrograph in NY, "These are not good questions!" With all the festivals (the Metrograph's nearly complete presentation of his feature filmography; the retrospectives at the Phoenix Film Festival, and in Los Angeles, Toronto, Chicago, Boston, and Seattle), and the accompanying press (virtually all of it appropriately fawning), it's a lot to keep track of. This is a great time to be a De Palma fan, but we'd be exhausted if we tried to chronicle it all for you. Fortunately, the inexhaustible Geoff Beran at the De Palma a la Mod site is up to the task. There's no point duplicating his work, even if we had the energy, so we instead direct you to Geoff's pages for all the latest on this.
May 6, 2016 - Metrograph Screening Nearly the Entire De Palma Canon in 35mm!
The Metrograph in New York City will be screening nearly all of De Palma's features in 35mm during June, per the schedule to the left. Greetings, Raising Cain, Home Movies, Murder a la Mod, The Fury and The Wedding Party are missing, and Passion and Obsession will be projected from DCP. Phantom screens (with Sisters and Carrie) on June 4 and (with Hi, Mom! and Dionysus in '69) and June 5 and (with Get to Know Your Rabbit) on June 7. More info here.
May 5, 2016 - Phantom to Screen at the Majestic!
Dallas's Oak Cliff Film Festival, running from June 16-19, will be screening Phantom at the Majestic Theater, where much of the film was shot, on June 17 "with an expected appearance by one or more of the film's stars." Amazingly, this will apparently be the first time ever that the film has screened at the Majestic. Among the other films showing at the festival: De Palma, the new documentary (see our September 30, 2015 entry below); and Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which we can highly recommend, having seen it last week at the San Francisco International Film Festival. More info on the festival here. UPDATE: It appears that Jessica Harper will be doing a Q/A at this screening!
April 15, 2016 - Promo Art for De Palma
What appears to be the key art for A24's promo campaign, including perhaps the poster, for the Baumbach/Paltrow De Palma documentary is out, and it looks good! It's interesting that they chose to depict De Palma as a younger man than he is today, given that this is a career retrospective, but we like it a lot. Emphasizing the voyeurism motif that permeates De Palma's work, we see through the slats in the window next to him depictions of scenes from (top to bottom) Blow Out, Mission Impossible, The Untouchables, Scarface, Blow Out (again), Dressed to Kill, Carrie, and Carrie (again). Interestingly, the film has received an "R" rating, which means that (a) final cut has been achieved; and (b) the ratings board is a bunch of idiots. (The version we saw at the New York Film Festival a few months ago looked like it wasn't quite done - it was missing closing credits, for one thing - but it's hard to imagine that brief glimpses of a few shots from Greetings or Hi, Mom with some nudity warrant an "R", especially in the context of what is basically an educational (but highly entertaining) trip through several decades of moviemaking.) We can look forward to a trailer on April 20, and the film is set to open theatrically on June 10. UPDATE: THE TRAILER IS HERE! (And amazingly, it gets the title to Phantom of the Paradise wrong....holy cow!)
April 13, 2016 - Another Film De Palma is Reported to be Directing
De Palma's name has been associated with a number of projects over the past couple years that, for various reasons, haven't gone into production (though we have high hopes for Lights Out). The latest to which his name is attached is The Truth and Other Lies, which Deadline reporter Mike Fleming says is set to go. Adapted from the novel by Sascha Arango, who also wrote the screenplay, Truth is the story of a man who attempts to do away with his mistress when she inconveniently gets pregnant. Sounds like a fun romp, and, as always, there is nothing more fun to anticipate than the next De Palma film.
April 5, 2016 - Yet Another De Palma Documentary!
Documentarian Elio Lucantonio, who has made a tremendous number of short docs on various cinematic subjects, has turned his attention to the collaboration between Brian de Palma and Pino Donaggio, with his upcoming 52-minute "De Palma & Donaggio: Masters of Pure Cinema." View the trailer here.
March 25, 2016 - Nashville Public Library Interview with Paul Hirsch
The Nashville Public Library podcasts a series of interviews they call "Legends of Film," and the latest episode features a lengthy discussion with Phantom editor Paul Hirsch. (Hirsch also edited De Palma's Carrie, Sisters, Hi, Mom!, Obsession, The Fury, Blow Out, Raising Cain, Mission: Impossible, and Mission to Mars, among many other great films.) Check it out here.
March 20, 2016 - Beaune Film Festival to Present a De Palma Hommage
The Beaune International Thriller Film Festival (in Beaune, France, a 300km drive from Paris) will be honoring Mr. De Palma on April 1, and he will be giving a Cinema Masterclass on April 2. Over the course of the festival, which runs from March 30 to April 3, six De Palma films (Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Scarface, The Untouchables, Carlito's Way, and Passion) will be screened, along with 14 films in competition, including six from new directors. More info here.
March 12, 2016 - Phantom at the Alamo in Dallas
Phantom will be screening (presumably from DCP) on Screen 2 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas (the city where, of course, much of it was shot) on March 21, at 9:30pm. Don't even THINK about texting in the theater! More info and tickets ($7.00) here.
March 12, 2016 - Phantom at Oval Space Cinema
Phantom will be screening (from the Arrow bluray, it appears) at Oval Space Cinema in London (England) on April 27 at 7:45pm. Food, popcorn and full bar, open to 18 years old and up. More info and tickets here.
March 5, 2016 - "Sapirstein" Unleashes Phantom's "Lost Score"
There's never been a legitimate release of the Phantom soundtrack that includes the incidental music by George Aliceson Tipton, and Winslow's "Never Thought I'd Get to Meet the Devil" ditty...and there still isn't. But our pal "Dr. Sapirstein," working from the music and effects ("M&E") tracks available on the blueray editions of the film, has done some nice work further isolating and remastering nineteen of these music cues, and assembled them into a single (unsanctioned) offering. Available for download here.
February 22, 2016 - Phantom to Screen as Part of Jack Fisk fest at the Museum of the Moving Image
From March 11-26, New York's Museum of the Moving Image will be running a tribute to everyone's favorite production designer, Jack Fisk! Phantom was the second film Fisk designed, after cutting his teeth on (Ed Pressman-produced) Badlands. Both films, and many others, including Carrie, To the Wonder, Mulholland Drive, There Will Be Blood, The Thin Red Line, and on and on, will be screened. (Fisk also designed The Revenant, you know.) Phantom is on March 20 at 7pm, but catch 'em all! Tickets and info here. Buying a ticket to a film in the series also gets you into the museum for the day.
February 20, 2016 - Island of Lost Scores Podcast Covers Phantom
Films On Wax's Podcast, "Island of Lost Scores," welcomes Aaron Hamel, of Ship to Shore Phono Company, to talk about his desert island film scores, and, because Aaron has impeccable taste, one of them is the Phantom soundtrack. Aaron loves the film and the score, and he and host Charlie Brigden have a lively talk about them, along with the scores to Phantasm, Batman, and others. They get a few facts wrong (the Phantom cues were written by George Aliceson Tipton rather than Williams, and none of Beef's funeral sequence was ever shot, for example), but it's a nice discussion. Listen here; the Phantom discussion starts at about the ten minute mark.
February 20, 2016 - Daft Punk Unchained Available on Showtime Anytime
The Daft Punk documentary is available for streaming and on demand from Showtime, but we're not sure how long that will continue to be the case. It's also airing this week on BBC4 and available on the BBC iPlayer for the next week or so. As pictured here, Paul Williams is interviewed briefly in it, since without Phantom there would almost certainly be no Daft Punk, much less two of them. Check your local listings, etc., blah blah.
February 12, 2016 - Gerrit on the Projection Booth
Our favorite podcast, The Projection Booth, has posted a standalone hourlong interview with Gerrit Graham, in which Gerrit very generously dishes on a wide swath of his long career: from Greetings to Hi, Mom!, to "Star Trek" to "Seinfeld" to Philadelphia Experiment II to Bud the Chud...with a little Phantom sprinkled on top. The interview's coverage of Demon Seed was separated out and edited into the podcast's Demon Seed episode, so make sure to listen to that too. Host Mike White does a marvelous job pulling stories out of Graham that we haven't heard before. Check it out here!
February 10, 2016 - Phantom...and Malcolm....Return to the Garrick
Malcolm Ingram (see December 24, 2015 entry below) and his documentary crew will be looking for interviewees at a special screening of Phantom at the Garrick in Winnipeg on February 26. So if you're looking to gab on camera about your love of the film, the Garrick is probably a good place to be that night. UPDATE: The event planners say they'll be screening a version of Phantom with the "missing" footage; we presume this means they'll be running the "Dr. Sapirstein fanedit," which incorporates The Swan Archives' footage (which you can view separately on our Swan Song Fiasco page) back into the film, to approximate what things would have looked like if the references to Swan Song hadn't been removed at the last minute for legal reasons. Sounds great, and we'll be interested to hear how it went!
December 26, 2015 - We're Not Sure This is News, But We Love this Phantom Art!
Of all the fan-designed Phantom artwork out there, this is probably our favorite of all time. It wasn't created for any particular screening (but should be on display at all of them, we think.) The individual responsible for this is Travis Varnum, a 16-year old in Georgia. Travis has really captured the Swan/Phantom duality here, and the sense that they're both birds of the same feather. We love the clean lines and minimalism. Travis has created a number of extraordinary pieces inspired by films like The Shining, Pulp Fiction, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Eraserhead, A Clockwork Orange, and others, which you can see (and buy!) at his Etsy store, here .
December 24, 2015 - Malcolm Ingram Has Updated His Indiegogo Teaser
As we mentioned in our December 4 entry below, documentarian Malcolm Ingram has embarked on production of a new film chronicling the Winnipeg Phantom phenomenon, with funding partially through Indiegogo. Having apparently determined that the original $50K funding goal was maybe a bit lofty, Ingram has cut the goal down to $20K, and cut a new teaser, which you can see on the project's Indiegogo page. The updated promo features the charming Ingram excitedly telling us about the progress made to date, and drops tantalizing hints about where he's going with this. ("Celebrities!") Check out the new promo, the new perks, and the updated campaign here!
December 18, 2015 - Phantom to screen at Oakland's New Parkway!
The New Parkway Theater in Oakland California will be showing Phantom (from DCP) at 10:30pm on February 26th. The New Parkway is notable for serving beer and wine, and delivering food to patrons sitting in cozy couches in the theater. The screening will be hosted by someone named Mistress Persephone, who will be conducting a trivia contest and giving away prizes. Admission is $8, and advance tickets can be procured here.
December 4, 2015 - Robert Loggia Has Died
Robert Loggia, a veteran Oscar- and Emmy- nominated character actor who appeared in De Palma's Scarface as mob boss Frank Lopez, has died at 85 years old, following a battle with Alzheimer's. Although Loggia mostly played tough guys and mobsters, he memorably showed a (much!) lighter touch in his role as MacMillan the toy ompany owner in Big. Working regularly for over half a century, Loggia appeared in literally hundreds of films (and narrated the Scarface: The World is Yours video game!)
December 4, 2015 - Malcolm Ingram Working on Phantom Winnipeg Documentary
Malcolm Ingram, a documentary filmmaker who already has Small Town Gay Bar, Bear Nation, and Continental under his ample belt, has launched an Indiegogo campaign (to which you can contribute here) to fund his upcoming doc on the Winnipeg Phantom phenomenon. There's a teaser reel up on the Indiegogo site, from which we can deduce that he spent some time in Winnipeg this past September interviewing fans, some members of the Phantompalooza Committee, members of the Phantom tribute band Swanage, and Peter Elbling, who was in town attending and performing at Phantom at the Met. Ingram is aiming to raise $50,000 to complete the film, and is providing some nice perks to donors. We wish him good luck! If you'd like to check out the enticing perks, and perhaps pony up a few bucks to help this project to completion, check out the Indiegogo page here.
November 16, 2015 - Phantom to Screen in NYC with Gerrit On Hand
Phantom will be screening (from 35mm!) at the Alamo in Yonkers on December 4, with Fangoria editor Michael Gingold conducting a post-screening Q+A with Gerrit Graham afterwards. More info on the Alamo's site here.
November 4, 2015 - New Limited Edition Vinyl Phantom Soundtrack Available
A shop called Transmission Records on the northeast coast of England is selling brand new Phantom soundtracks on 180 gram audiophile pink vinyl (perhaps it's supposed to be particularly appealing to Beef). This is a limited edition of 1000 numbered copies, they say. Set for release on November 27, you can preorder this now; according to Transmission's site, supplies are already low. More info here.
October 24, 2015 - Two Nice Double Bills at the Castro Next Month
The beautiful Castro Theatre, in San Francisco, will be featuring a double bill of Psycho and Dressed to Kill on November 6, and Goodfellas with Carlito's Way on November 22. (It's all meta because the Goodfellas shower scene was so obviously ripped off from Dressed to Kill....) We don't see too many opportunities to see Carlito's Way on the big screen, so we're really looking forward to this!
September 30, 2015 - De Palma at NYFF
Our Principal Archivist attended the screening of De Palma tonight at Alice Tully Hall in Manhattan, after which Mr. De Palma, along with directors Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, took a few questions from the audience. The film, which is nothing more than an interview shot over the course of a week four years ago, accompanied by well chosen clips from De Palma's own films and those that influenced him, is a lot of fun, though much of what was covered will be familiar territory for anyone who has read and viewed all of the pre-existing De Palma interviews. The biggest surprise (we haven't seen it mentioned in ANY of the reviews we've read) was that it included footage from the original deus ex machina tidal wave ending from Snake Eyes, which, so far as we know, hasn't been seen publicly since the movie's ill-fated preview screening that resulted in the ending being removed and replaced with a far more conventional finale. The tidal wave, in the original conception, would have come down like god's wrath, the only force with sufficient power to set right the corruption embodied in the casino. We'd love to see De Palma's original ending restored. It was also interesting to hear De Palma, when discussing The Black Dahlia, describe his relatively strict adherence to the novel's impossibly convoluted storyline as a reaction to his own sorrow that he had allowed the studio to prevail in smurfing Bonfire of the Vanities, removing the very bite that had made its own source material the phenomenon it was. An undercurrent that ran continuously throughout was the degree to which De Palma has had to develop (or was born with) a sufficiently thick skin that he could keep coming back for more when film after film was misunderstood by a critical establishment that was, for the most part, unappreciative (until, inevitably, years later), or misunderstood by his studio bosses. While a thick skin can have the unfortunate side effect of insulating its owner from praise as well as damnation, De Palma seemed to be enjoying the positive attention engendered by the film. We at the Archives, who have been astonished by the criminal degree to which this artist has, for the past forty years, been underappreciated, misunderstood and even vilified, hope he is experiencing some fulfillment and satisfaction (and not mere vindication, though he's certainly getting that too) from this swell of appreciation.
September 30, 2015 - Gerrit Graham to Host Phantom Screening in Memphis
The 18th annual Indie Memphis Film Festival, running November 3-10, will be screening Phantom at midnight on November 7, with Gerrit Graham appearing in person at 11:30pm. More info and tickets here.
September 22, 2015 - Phantom at the MET Again
See Phantom, eat a nice buffet dinner, and dance to the sounds of Swanage, performing the film's soundtrack. All this on October 30 at The MET in Winnipeg. Tickets are $45 (plus tax) apiece, and, we are told, are going fast. Available at the MET's box office, 204-594-9494. Our Principal Archivist went last year, and recommends the roast beef. UPDATE AS OF 10/09/2015: Peter Elbling (aka Harold Oblong) will be appearing in person at this event! Tickets still available as of 10/10/2015!
September 9, 2015 - Phantom to Screen in Toronto
The film will be presented at the Royal Cinema in Toronto on October 29 at 8:30pm, with doors opening at 7pm, and a preshow beginning at 7:30. The Neon Dreams Cinema Club, which is putting this event on, promises "a 'Neon Screams' video pre-show guaranteed to terrify and delight." They go on to say that "there will be prizes. There will be candy. There will be drinks. There may even be a costume contest. Anything is possible!" More info here.
September 9, 2015 - 40th Anniversary Show Posters Now Available
A really beautiful piece of art (pictured here) was created by Miles Teves for Creature Features' 40th Anniversary Screening at the Cinerama Dome last year, but prints weren't available for sale at the event. Creature Features has gone to press on these, though, and giclee art prints, 23.5" x 23.5" can now be ordered, hand numbered and signed by the artist, here. There are only 200, and they're really beautiful.
September 9, 2015 - Brian De Palma Doc Screens at Venice
Noah Baumbach's new documentary, De Palma, screened for the press last night at the Venice Film Festival. Our Principal Archivist is currently attending another festival, and can't keep up with all the reviews; fortunately, Geoff Beran at the De Palma a la Mod site is on the job, and we encourage you to check his site, here, for his ever-growing compendium of reviews. So far, they're overwhelmingly positive. The film will also screen at the New York Film Festival, on September 30.
August 31, 2015 - Phantom to Kick of the Garrick's Monthly Movie Night
On October 8, at 9:30pm, a Phantom screening will be the inaugural event at "Movie Night at Garrick Hotel." An opening reception starts an hour before the film. (November's film will be A Clockwork Orange, screening on November 5.) Admission is free, and the Garrick promises "a 100" screen, professional sound system, vintage ambiance and great drink prices"!
August 30, 2015 - Phantom Coming to North Hollywood
The Laemmle Noho 7 (on Lankershim) will be screening Phantom starting on October 29, with tickets going on sale October 27. It's not yet clear how long the film will run, and showtimes haven't yet been announced, but you can keep an eye on their site, here.
August 25, 2015 - Our Original Phantom Footage Now Has a Permanent Home
Today, our Principal Archivist delivered our donation of the Archives' collection of outtakes, b-roll, and deleted scenes, in the form of 35mm negatives and interpositives, along with negatives of the TV spots and trailer and related ephemera, to the Academy Film Archive, an arm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in Los Angeles. At the AFA's facilities, the delicate footage will be catalogued, preserved, and stored professionally in the best possible conditions, so that it will be available for whatever use the future sees fit to put it to. Our Archivist (center) was joined for the handoff (and a nice lunch and "backstage" tour of the AFA's facilities) by, from left to right, AMPAS Acquisitions Archivist Howard Prouty; (Ed Pressman's wife) Annie Pressman; AFA Collections Curator Fritz Hertzog; AFA Senior Film Archivist Bill Black; Accessioning Archivist Rachel Rosenfeld from the Margaret Herrick Library; and (Phantom editor) Paul Hirsch. We at the Archives couldn't be happier with this conclusion to our adventure with this material. Now, with our own mission -- to shepherd the material to a hi-def release for the enjoyment of Phantom fans around the world -- accomplished, it's satisfying, and comforting, to know that the footage will be lovingly preserved alongside the tens of thousands of other culturally significant cinematic relics curated by the professionals at the AFA.
August 13, 2015 - Venice is Doubling Down on the De Palma Love
In addition to screening Noah Baumbach's new documentary about Mr. De Palma (see our July 29 entry below), the 69th edition of the Venice Film Festival will be honoring the Greatest Artist of Our Time with its "Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker Award," which is dedicated to "personalities who have made particularly original contributions to contemporary cinema." The award will be presented on September 9 (just a couple days before De Palma's birthday on the 11th), and will be immediately followed by a screening of the new Baumbach film. Our Principal Archivist will, that same week, be at the Deauville Festival of American Film, which will be presenting its tribute to Keanu Reeves. Talk about #amateurfilmfestival. Congratulations to Mr. De Palma (and Mr. Reeves, I guess.)
July 29, 2015 - Holy Fuckin' Shit!
A new documentary about Mr. De Palma, made by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, and imaginatively titled, "De Palma," is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival this coming September. Baumbach is a frequent De Palma interviewer (if "three times" counts as frequent), and the two are friends, so we're very much looking forward to this. Of course, our Principal Archivist is already committed to attend the Deauville festival (one country to the northwest) that same week where, if history is any indication, we will be treated to a documentary about Kleenex or, even worse, Dupieux. REALLY bad planning on our part.
July 28, 2015 - Gerrit Graham to Appear at Monster-Mania Con 31!
Will you be in the vicinity of Cherry Hill, NJ July 31-August 2? If so, you have something in common with Gerrit: He'll be at Monster-Mania Con 31, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, signing autographs and being his convivial self. Online ticket sales have ended, but you can still get a ticket at the door. More info here.
July 19, 2015 - Our Original Outtakes and Deleted Scenes on the 35mm negatives and interpositives, and more, is for sale!
Now that the Archives has accomplished its mission of having our deleted scenes and outtakes made available to the public on bluray, there's no reason for us to consider hogging all the original 35mm footage to ourselves. So, as was perhaps inevitable, it's up for grabs on eBay. The package includes ALL of our original 35mm negatives and interpositives (most, but not all, of which was used in the Shout Factory and Arrow releases), the original film cans, piles of processing-related documentation and correspondence, and some 35mm trailers, trailer negative, 16mm TV spots, and 16mm TV spot negative. Most of this material is one-of-a-kind, and it's all very nicely preserved. Check out the bidding, or bid yourself, here. Update: We took down the listing (after bidding reached $1,250.00); there is interest from a party who has plans for the footage that would benefit humanity, and we'd rather go that route than sell to a private party. If that falls through, we'll re-list the item; meanwhile, thanks to all who bid for your interest!
July 2, 2015 - Blow Out Screening at the New Bev July 4
De Palma's great Blow Out will be screening from 35mm on Saturday night at midnight at the New Beverly in Los Angeles. It's a perfect choice for the holiday (maybe it should be double billed with The Shining, which shares its twin themes of 4th of July and Steadicam....) Blow Out is chock full of subtext (actually, it's not all that "sub") on how patriotic imagery has been devalued to the point that its sole remaining purposes are to squeeze jingoism out of the citizenry, and to suggest that it's somehow unAmerican to question authority or the official line. It also features a career-best performance from John Travolta, more split diopters than you can count, and the most nihilistic ending of any De Palma film. We at the Archives love this film.
June 30, 2015 - Red Dirt Film Festival to Premiere the "Dr. Sapirstein Edit" of Phantom on the Big Screen!
The Red Dirt Film Festival, in Stillwater Oklahoma, is kicking off its third year with the first-ever theatrical screening (presumably from DVD) of the not-officially-approved-by-anyone "Dr. Sapirstein edit" of Phantom, on October 9, at 6pm, at the Stillwater Community Center, a 750-seat hall. The "Dr. Sapirstein edit" incorporates some of the footage that we at the Swan Archives unearthed a few years back, in an attempt to restore the film as closely as possible to what it looked like prior to the deletions required by the Swan Song Fiasco, detailed on our Swan Song Fiasco page. (The fan-editor also did some work by hand to reinsert some of the instances of "Swan Song" in spots where the original unaltered footage hasn't been recovered, such as, for example, over Swan's podium in the airport scene.) According to the festival organizers, there will be "audience contests and hopefully a meet-and-greet /Q&A session with a special guest involved with the film (to be announced)." Admission is free on a first-come-first-served basis, but you can buy a "swag bag" package for $15, which guarantees that you're at the front of the line for admittance into the event, and gives you access to the meet-and-greet/autograph line before the show with whichever "special guest(s) involved with the film" will "hopefully" be there. The event has a Facebook page here, and you can order swag bags at the festival's site. Update: The festival has decided not to screen Phantom after all, but the organizers vow that they will run it someday soon as a "one-off," outside of the festival itself.
June 21, 2015 - Colin Cameron has Died
Colin Cameron, who appeared onscreen in Phantom playing the bass behind the Juicy Fruits and the Beach Bums, has passed away at 73. Although we don't actually hear Colin's playing on the soundtrack (the parts were played by Leland Sklar and others), you have heard him if you've listened to virtually anything recorded during the last forty years or so. Colin has been one of the most prolific session bass players of the past few decades, appearing on albums by Paul Williams, Quincy Jones, Tina Turner, Cher, Judy Collins, Kris Kristofferson, The Muppets, Joni Mitchell, and countless others. We're glad he was able to make it to the 40th Anniversary screening of Phantom at the Cinerama Dome last year, giving a lot of Phantom fans the opportunity to meet him.
June 6, 2015 - Phantom Plushies!
The brilliant Addy Martinez has created these awesome plushies: cute cuddly versions of the Phantom (in both red and black capes), Phoenix, Beef, the Undead, and even Swan. Without question, these are the best aftermarket Phantom products ever! Each one is handmade by Addy (who also does a brisk business selling plushies of the band Rush). The members of the Phantom entourage are available individually or as a set. For details contact Addy directly, at addydan133 (at) yahoo.com .
May 24, 2015 - Arrow to Release Eaten Alive on Bluray in North America
Arrow Video's new U.S. distribution arm has put Tobe Hooper's 1977 cautionary tale about staying in motels run by crazy dudes next to alligator-infested swamps on their release calendar, scheduled for July 28. William Finley plays Roy, a hapless motel guest. Despite being directed by Hooper, who had been so surehanded with Texas Chainsaw Massacre only three years previously, and featuring Finley and Robert Englund, Eaten Alive is, we can safely say, pretty crappy. No word on extras yet. In other news, though, there's a new De Palma interview (conducted by Noah Baumbach) (and a new Nancy Allen interview) on the upcoming Criterion edition of Dressed to Kill, scheduled for release August 18 (just in time for your favorite Archivist's birthday, just sayin'.) This is what we call "burying the lead."
May 14, 2015 - Phantom to play the Rubin
The Rubin Museum of Art, at 150 West 17th St in Chelsea, will be presenting Phantom on July 31, as part of its "Cabaret Cinema" series, complementing their May-August exhibition, Becoming Another: The Power of Masks. (The series will also comprise, among others, The Seventh Seal, Dumbo, Blue Velvet, Brazil, Eyes Without a Face, and Labyrinth. Tickets are $10, or free for museum members. According to the museum, each film in the series is introduced by a notable guest to provide context. Strangely, our Archivist hasnt yet been contacted. More info here.
May 8, 2015 - Phantom Coming to Portland Oregon
Phantom will be playing from DCP at the beautiful (and nonprofit) Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon, July 10 and 11 (showtimes TBD). More information here.
April 22, 2015 - Someone at Toe Tag Riot is Our Kind of Folks
"Toe Tag Riot" is a whimsical comic book series that pits hungry zombie punk rockers against hapless bigots, racists, and homophobes, all in the name of tolerance. In issue #4, our heroes take on the Westboro Baptist Church, employing the Undeads' dagger-capped guitars as weapons...and the Phantom himself makes several appearances, one of which is shown to the left. Funny, gory, satisfying, and stylish. More information on Toe Tag Riot (including how to purchase your own copy) at author Matt Miner's site here.
April 13, 2015 - Phantom A "Staff Pick" Again...
There's something about this movie that seems to make the people who love it want to expose it to a wider audience. Honestly, we don't understand that at all. Anyway, for the second time in as many months (see our March 11 entry below), Phantom is being screened somewhere as the "Staff Pick" at a theater with an obviously very enlightened staff. In this case, it's at The Loft Cinema in Tucson, Arizona, on April 19, as the choice of The Loft's program director, Jeff Yanc. Showtime, with projection from DCP, is 7:00pm, and tickets are $6 general admission, $5 for Loft members, and available here.
March 13, 2015 - Get Yer Swan Song T-Shirts...
Eric Skodis is now offering t-shirts with the Swan Song logo from his Cafe Press store, and they look pretty nice. Get a purple one, just like Philbin's wearing when he gets poked in the gut by Beef's antler belt! You can shop for these (and of course Death Records shirts as well) here.
March 11, 2015 - Phantom to Screen in Ambler PA in April
Phantom is the "Staff Pick" for April at the Ambler Theater, whose website informs us that "each month, a different member of the staff picks a movie that they would like to share with you." Their Phantom screening (in DCP, unfortunately), on April 24 at 11:30pm, will apparently feature quiz questions, "interactive fun" (we hope that doesn't mean shadowcasting or yelling stupid shit at the screen...bleh!), prizes, and an introduction explaining why the film was "picked". Sounds like fun! $5, or free for members. More info (and a link to buy tickets) at the Ambler's site.
February 21, 2015 - Phantom to Screen in San Francisco at the Castro
Our favorite movie at our favorite theater! Phantom will be screening at the fabulous Castro Theater in San Francisco the evening of March 25, double billed with Prince's Purple Rain! Showtimes not yet available (nor is any info on whether it will be presented from beautiful 35mm or the crap DCP transfer), but we'll update when we know. More info at the Castro's site. Update: Purple Rain in 35mm, Phantom in DCP. Oh, well.
February 16, 2015 - Paul with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, March 6
Paul W. will be appearing in Jacksonville Florida with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for a programme entitled "An Evening of Songs and Stories with Paul Williams," at 8pm in the Moran Theater on March 6. Tickets range in price from $27.50 to $74.50. More info and tickets here.
February 7, 2015 - Paul Williams and coauthor Tracey Jackson on Barry Kibrick this Weekend
In support of their book, "Gratitude and Trust," Paul and Tracey will be appearing on the PBS TV show "Between the Lines with Barry Kibrick" this weekend. Check your local PBS affiliate for listings, but it looks to us as if it'll be airing at 10:00am Sunday, February 8, in most places. More info here.
January 30, 2015 - Phantom in 35mm at the New Beverly! Twice!
Phantom wll show twice at the New Beverly in Los Angeles: Midnight February 14 (which happens to be Swan's alter ego Paul Williams' wedding anniversary) and Midnight February 21. These are 35mm screenings, so you can see it as it was meant to be seen! Incidentally, the New Bev's February calendar is even more spectacular than usual, with screenings of, among others, The Family, Gone with the Pope, All That Jazz with 4-track mag sound, The Blood Spattered Bride, Breaking Away, Mother... I mean, the list goes on and on! Can I move to Los Angeles just for the month?
January 24, 2015 - Phantom to Screen in London
Phantom wll show twice in February at the BFI Southbank cinema (on Belvedere Road), from DCP. See it February 12, at 8:30pm or February 15, at 6:10pm (or both!). It looks like there are only about 125 seats in the auditorium, so you might want to order your tickets sooner rather than later, here.
January 9, 2015 - 10k Bullets Names Phantom Discs as Among the Best of the Year
Michael Den Boer of 10kbullets.com has put both the Arrow and Scream Phantom discs on his "Best Releases of 2014" list.
January 5, 2015 - Off the Shelf's Brian Saur Places the Arrow and Scream Releases of Phantom at #4 on His List of Favorite Home Video Releases of 2014
The Criterioncast Podcast, Off the Shelf, discusses their choices on this week's 'cast.
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