mike@projection-booth.com mike@projection-booth.com

August 30, 2011

Episode 26: Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Special Guest: Jessica Harper
Guest Co-Host: Ari the Archivist

Salutations from the other side! Mike and Mondo Justin are joined this week by Ari the Principal Archivist at www.swanarchives.org as we dissect Brian De Palma's rock and roll musical, Phantom of the Paradise.

We're your nightmare coming true.

Visit the Swan Archives
Buy the Phantom of the Paradise Soundtrack
Buy Phantom of the Paradise on DVD
Den of Geek talks about Phantom of the Paradise
Read all the lyrics to the POTP soundtrack
Visit another Phantom of the Paradise fan site
Check out the Arrow Films release of Phantom of the Paradise

Listen/Download Now:

Bonus Interview with Gerrit Graham:



  1. Great episode, guys. Ari is both amazing and creepy in his vast knowledge of all things PHANTOM, and I mean that as a heartfelt compliment.

    And thanks for asking Ms. Harper about her wacky audition dance.

  2. Hi!

    Thanks for the interview with Ari! Great memories of Phantom....

    I have to take exception to the view that DePalma's work being crud.... I have a few Faves of Brian's.... CARRIE was a CLASSIC. Sisters was another good one (William Finley. Margot Kidder) and...I don't care who says what...I LOVED 'WISE GUYS' with Danny DeVito and Joe Piscapo! Captain Lou Albano (Pro Wrestlin' manager) who had Danny and Joe in stitches!

    The ONLY thing I DISLIKE about Phantom was those gawd-awful Wolfman Jack promos! Ari's site has a GREAT clip from Ross Raventos, who did an EXCELLENT job at creating a DECENT promo!

    As far as Brian DePalma....Whatever other Brian movies come along, Phantom....will always have a place in my heart. As the saying goes, "You never forget your first love."

  3. LOL! Yes, I don't know how many times I watched the film and listened to the soundtrack before I caught the relationships between the songs (and I felt stupid too). And I'm surprised that you didn't mention Paul Williams' other great movie compositions -- he wrote the songs for The Muppet Movie.

  4. Shortly after this podcast aired, Mr. De Palma issued a statement through the De Palma a la Mod website to note that there's no basis in truth for the speculation that the 1971 National Lampoon photoplay, "Phantom of the Rock Opera," served as an inspiration for Phantom of the Paradise. That's certainly more than good enough for me, and I'm pleased and relieved to have the issue put to rest. -Ari

  5. FYI - the URL for that site is http://www.briandepalma.org

    Maybe Mr. DePalma will come on the show when Justin does his threatened Blow Up / Blow Out show. Mondo Justin's pro-Blow Up, I'm pro-Blow Out. - MW

  6. Now you're living up to your tagline "the ultimate movie podcast". This one, added to the CRIME WAVE podcast, and the "lost" Jerry Lewis film THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED serve as the three pillars you needed to live up to this hype. Congratulations!

  7. As a longtime and unabashed fan of the film, I really loved the podcast, learned a bunch and was blown away by Ari's knowledge and remarkably confident, smooth delivery. Superb!

  8. This, thus far, has been my favorite episode (although I'm listening to the Anger show as I write this and might not want to make such a statement). That's the thing about PB, you guys keep stepping it up as the podcast moves forward, making it impossible to not see what you guys will do next.
    Phantom is one of my favorite films of all time, so any new info I learned about the film here was more than welcome. I felt Ari was a great guest and shared he's obscene knowledge of the film without being pretentious or losing it when Justin went on his De Palma rant. That's another thing about PB, you both can be on total different sides without fighting or belittling the other's opinion and that's very refreshing to hear. Anyway, the Jessica Harper interview was an awesome treat for me, despite it's length, and I enjoyed everyone's discussion of the film. All of you had interesting views and trivia concerning Phantom that kept me glued and served as an all around excellent episode.
    For the record, I obviously take Hitchcock over DePalma, but I can't deny the adoration I have for DePalma's earlier films. Particularly Blow Out, Sisters, Dressed to Kill, Body Double, Carrie, and, of course, Phantom Of The Paradise. I actually like his re-visioning of Hitchcock's work, what can I say? Keep it up, guys!

  9. Hey, thanks a ton, Matt. Great to hear from you. For more Jessica Harper -- and more divisive opinions -- check out our episode on Shock Treatment.

  10. This is a fantastic one. A real treat to hear from the awesomely knowledgeable Ari and the amazing Jessica, and great hosts. Oh how I love this movie.

    - Ari (not the Archivist)

  11. There was a certain degree of aggravation for me listening to this, specifically with regards to Mondo Justin's ludicrous claim that there's no 'originality' in De Palma's work (a charge he levels with the same degree of pedestrian conviction at one of De Palma's disciples, Tarantino).

    Yeah, De Palma fetishized Hitchcock. But Leone fetishized John Ford. Are we to dismiss them both wholesale for doing so?

    Anyway, what the hell am I doing? De Palma doesn't need me to jump to his defence. The work speaks for itself. And anyone who doesn't appreciate the sheer joy (and mastery) of the medium reflected in De Palma's work is beyond my reach. It's like trying to have a reasonable discussion about God with a Jehovah's Witness - just not possible.

    But all that unpleasantness aside, this was a great episode and a terrific interview with Ari from The Swan Archives, the ultimate Phantom fan site.

    And this is one of the great pleasures of the Projection Booth, the weirdly obsessive but passionate and articulate film fans they frequently conjure up for some of these episodes.