Phantom of the Paradise

  • Dir: Brian De Palma

  • USA, 1974, 92min, DCP

  • Cast: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper

Before The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), Brian De Palma wrote and directed this campy Faustian backstage musical-comedy – complete with Frankenstein-esque drag number – about a rock-and-roll producer’s (Paul Williams) pact with the devil. De Palma combines The Phantom of the Opera and The Picture of Dorian Gray into a phantasmagoric satire on the carnal indulgences and excesses in the music industry, and sprinkles it with nods to Hitchcock (Psycho), German Expressionist cinema (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, 1920) and the history of pop music: from 1950s doo-wop and ’60s surf beat to ’70s glam rock. The opening narration by Rod Serling sets the tone for the Twilight Zone-like madness.

Further reading:
From Spieler, review of Phantom of the Paradise, From For Keeps: 30 Years at the Movies by Pauline Kael (New York: Plume, 1996)

Screening:

Note

1. Unless otherwise stated, all films (except English-speaking films) are subtitled in English.

2. For screenings at ALL commercial cinemas, tickets are available at URBTIX till 5:00pm one day before respective screenings. After that, tickets will be available only at the box office of the screening venue on the day of screening, subject to availability.

3. Screenings at HK Arts Centre, HK Film Archive and Tai Kwun: For screenings that are about to start in 1 hour, all remaining tickets can only be bought at the box offices of the respective screening venues.

4. For the sold-out screenings at HK Arts Centre and HK Film Archive, a limited number of standing tickets are available at the URBTIX Outlets of the respective venues 30 minutes prior to the screening time. Seating is not guaranteed and subject to availability 30 minutes after the screening time. Each person can purchase 1 standing ticket. The availability of standing tickets is subject to change without prior notice.

5. Screenings at HK Science Museum: There is no URBTIX Outlet at the venue. Tickets are available at URBTIX till 1 hour prior to the respective screenings. Door ticket counter opens 30 minutes before the screening. Limited tickets to non-sold out screenings will be available at the door, subject to availability (Cash Only).

6. While it is the HKIFFS’s policy to secure the best possible print of the original version for all its screenings, the HKIFFS will appreciate its patrons’ understanding on occasions when less than perfect screening copies are screened.