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.
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 Chloë 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 here. 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, which you can check out here.
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 weeks 'cast, which you can listen to here.
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