Though not as famous as either “Tommy” or “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and despite its quick box office death, Brian de Palma’s 1974 rock opera “Phantom of the Paradise” has slowly developed a cult following over the years, and a new video essay from Scout Tafoya will tell you why.
The latest entry in Tafoya’s monthy video series “The Unloved” (via RogerEbert.com) focuses on de Palma’s cult classic and provides some much-needed context for the film’s very existence – it came out during the so-called New Hollywood movement of the ’70s – as well as lavishing praise on de Palma’s stylized direction and world-building. Special notice is also given to the film’s star – and antagonist – Paul Williams, who created the film’s stellar soundtrack.
Although it took decades to find its audience, the film still had a lasting impact on those lucky few that understood its madness. Among the film’s devoted fans are Edgar Wright, who credits the musical as being a tonal influence on the musically-inclined “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and Daft Punk, who bonded over the film as kids and later worked with Williams on their great album Random Access Memories.
In its 40th year of existence, bear witness to the rock gospel of “Phantom of the Paradise” and pick up the recently released Shout Factroy Blu-ray. As you wait for your order to arrive, watch Tafoya’s loving tribute to de Palma’s first great film below.