Pop Screen: Phantom of the Paradise (with Rob Simpson)

Season 2, Episode 16,  Apr 29, 2021, 05:00 PM

Brian De Palma is not a name commonly associated with campy rock-opera frivolity, but his 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise is closer to Rocky Horror territory than you'd expect from the Carrie auteur. A gonzo melange of Gaston le Roux, the Faust myth and the 1970s music scene before it figured out how to be cool, it's like nothing else you've ever seen before, and this week Graham joins his Directors' Lottery colleague Rob Simpson to figure it all out.

Along the way, we discuss De Palma's career, its roots in experimental hippie-era satire and its many highs and lows. We also discuss Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow's 2015 documentary about the director, and how it affected our understanding of this film. There's also room for some consideration of the film's star, singer-songwriter Paul Williams, a delightful anecdote about a young Guillermo del Toro and a quiz about the many, many lawsuits this film unexpectedly faced.

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