Sold, Soul, Rock, Roll

The '70s suck — Journey and disco are the devil’s spawn. The '70s rock — God save Queen, Bowie, and Springsteen. In which category does songwriter Paul Williams belong? Cursed be the man who penned the execrable Three Dog Night hit “An Old-Fashioned Love Song”; however, he also composed the songs for Phantom of the Paradise. The 1974 rock opera-cum-horror film, conceived and directed by Brian De Palma (another '70s discovery or hack, depending on your perspective), starred Williams as a devilish music producer (supposedly inspired by Phil Spector, believe it or not) who purloins the songs of a naive young musician. Despite the catchy tag line, “He sold his soul for rock 'n’ roll,” the movie bombed everywhere but L.A. Perhaps it would have fared better if Bill Graham had gone along with De Palma’s original title, Phantom of the Fillmore, or maybe the film was destined for cult status by the ahead-of-its-time mash-up of genres. Citizen Midnight plays before the screening, and, next week, the “Rocksploitation” series continues with Nicolas Cage’s Elvis homage in David Lynch’s adults-only cut of Wild at Heart (July 31) and ends with Ralph Bakshi’s animated hullabaloo, American Pop (Aug. 7).

This event begins at midnight.
Sat., July 24, 11:20 p.m., 2010

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