Saturday, April 25, 2009
Rock Movies I Love: Phantom of the Paradise
No, this is not a guilty pleasure and I will scream it from the tallest hilltop, "I adore Phantom of the Paradise!" Phantom, directed by Brian De Palma, is an updated version of the Phantom of the Opera and set in the decadent 70's glam era of Rock and Roll complete with the pills, the powder, the platform shoes and Paul Williams. Williams plays Swan, the evil record producer (with a Dorian Gray complex) who steals composer Winslow Leach's cantata. Leach enters into a Faustian deal with Swan after he has been framed and disfigured trying to retrieve his stolen music. Enter aspiring singer Phoenix, a fey rock god named Beef, and you have a Rock and Roll fable for the ages. Paul Williams' music is haunting and beautiful. For a gloriously campy and funny, rock movie, I highly recommend Phantom of the Paradise. You're welcome.