Quick-Thoughts: Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

Screened at The Frida Cinema

The amount of plot this movie goes through — especially considering how much time is dedicated to full sing-along songs — in ninety minutes is impressive; they’re chained together *almost* seamlessly!

What’s worse: having your gift stolen or being OWNED in order to perform it? Introducing Brian De Palma’s absorbing impression of the rock scene and the fishy yet seductive industry that governs it: a balls-to-the-wall musical living on one serious hyperactive high of stylistic and narrative extremity. Not really surprised at this point that the director’s active camerawork and blocking are A-1 here, but what I am really taken aback by is how this fella can make a time-lapse montage anything but a cringy exercise in exposition? What??? Love the costume and set design as well, protruding the scenes with ultraviolet expression. 

AND HIS LEGENDARY SPLIT SCREEN. HE DID IT AGAIN. I’M A BOT TO THE DE PALMA ESTABLISHMENT AND I DO NOT GIVE A F**K. WHERE DO I SIGN FOR MORE? IN BLOOD? TAKE IT.

Found the soundtrack that’s gonna define the rest of my summer also. Long live Beef!

Verdict: B+

Brian De Palma Ranked

“Phantom of the Paradise” is now available to rent on Amazon Prime.

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