In most cities around the world, Brian De Palma’s 1974 rock opera-ish The Phantom Of The Paradise is a cult classic, appreciated mostly by self-proclaimed cinephiles with a taste for over-the-top strangeness. (As our own Ignatiy Vishnevetsky describes it in a piece recommending the film: “[Phantom Of The Paradise] represented the pinnacle of Brian De Palma’s undisciplined early excess: a smorgasbord of camp, Grand Guignol, and bird imagery that thumbed its metal beak at commercial considerations.”) In Winnipeg, Manitoba, however, it was a box-office sensation, and is still a pop-cultural touchstone on par with Star Wars.
How did this happen? Why this film? And why Winnipeg, of all places? These questions (and, presumably, many more) are answered in the new documentary Phantom Of Winnipeg, from directors Sean Stanley and Malcom Ingram. The doc makes its world premiere a couple provinces over in Montreal on July 12, at a Fantasia Film Festival screening with Ingram, Stanley, producer Edward R. Pressman, and Phantom Of The Paradise star Paul Williams in attendance.
We’ve got the exclusive premiere of the film’s poster below, as well as a trailer that debuted two weeks back. You can find information on Fantasia’s Phantom events, which also include a screening of Phantom Of The Paradise with Williams and Pressman in attendance, here and here.