ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

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ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Scorp on Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:00 am

Before the 2004 version existed (those were the days...), I rather enjoyed reading individuals' thoughts on how THEY would adapt the stage show to make a brilliant film. I'd be interested in restarting the discussion now that this film seems to have faded in most people's minds, so that we have a tabula rasa from which to start. Didn't one or two people here even write fully-fledged screenplays?

What, if anything, would you change? What would you cut? What would you add? Where would you film? What sort of costumes? What would the posters look like? What's your vision? Anyone here perhaps feel like storyboarding a whole alternative version? Imagine that your budget is unlimited and that anything's possible.

Here's some random ideas of my own:

  • The setting would have to be unquestionably the Palais Garnier. This is non-negotiable. And plenty of films have managed both interior and exterior shots of the Palais Garnier, even with period settings (horses, carriages etc) that I don't see why this film can't (cf. Arsène Lupin, Marie Antoinette, Un long dimance de fiançailles...)...



  • The Masquerade scene will be very similar to the Technicolor sequence from the Lon Chaney film. It needs to chaotic and colourful. Order and carefully synchronised choreography have absolutely no place here.



  • A couple of cool underwater shots during the journey across the Underground lake? Just for a few seconds. Similar to this:



  • We have a flashback sequence during 'Little Lotte' (perhaps extended beyond what it is currently in the stage show) to the past when Raoul and Christine are children, with them listening to the dark stories of the North recounted by Papa Daaé on his violin.

  • The fireball staff won't work on film during 'Wandering Child'. I don't want a swordfight though. It needs to be something violent. Maybe Raoul getting pelted with actual skulls from the graveyard, as a nod to the graveyard encounter in Leroux's novel where all the skulls roll towards him. The trio is restored, and when Raoul sings his lines ('Once again she is his...'), we see him running/galloping on a horse to the graveyard to save Christine -- it's not until the climax of the trio that he arrives in the graveyard.

  • Sadly the Don Juan rehearsal scene would have to go. I just don't see how it can work on film. Cut straight to the journey to the cemetery from the end of 'Twisted Every Way'.

  • The notes are to be inked in red pen as a nod to the novel, but with black borders as a nod to the Chaney film (the latter is done in the stage show). I rather like the skull wax seal from the filmthatshallnotbenamedanddoesnotexist so we can keep that. I am reluctant to leave Notes as it is, though. I think some of it may have to be converted to plain dialogue.

  • Stealing someone else's idea: keep the auctioneer in shadow and darkness. At the end people might also question whether HE could possibly be the Phantom.

  • For the auction scene, which is to be done in black and white (transition to colour in the overture), some inspiration in the designs from German expressionist cinema, particularly Dr Caligari:



  • The bed Christine sleeps in after MotN is the boat bed used in the Lon Chaney film (or rather a replica), the same bed that is Norma Desmond's in Billy Wilder's Sunset Blvd.

  • Have the lair crumbling to pieces at the end, as in the Claude Rains film and the animated 80s cartoon. Close-up on the mask in the rubble as in the Claude Rains film at the end, where in stage show Meg holds the mask up. There would need to be a reason as to why the lair is falling down...I don't want the opera house burned down (we can explain the dilapidated state at the beginning by setting the auction scene immediately after the First World War), so perhaps the mob set everything alight or something.

  • Erik overhears Christine and Raoul during AIAOY from Apollo's lyre, but we don't see him during the song, although it is suggested that someone is watching. After the 'I must go' sequence, a falling rose petal enters the frame. The camera pans up to Apollo's lyre and the Phantom is revealed. If we are going to have snow in this scene, then no snow in the cemetery 'six months later' please as that doesn't make any sense.

  • The main action, like the stage show, is set in 1881, or alternatively the more vague 1880s.

  • Lyrics are to be the revised version as currently used in London, but perhaps a rethink of the 'Think of Me' lyrics (there are too many "think of me"s in there). I did like the "the diva's a disaster, must you cast her when she's seasons past her prime?" lyric in thefilmthatshallnotbenamed, so that can go in.



Any more? Smile

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Raphael on Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:29 pm

Very cool topic! I'll gather my thoughts and post something shortly.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  phantom10906 on Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:34 pm

I remember reading a fan made script a while back with and idea for the graveyard i really liked. Instead of the sword fight or fireballs the person had Raoul getting shot at.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  operafantomet on Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:41 pm

Now, where is that LIKE button? I never find it when I look for it...

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  LadyCDaae on Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:30 pm

Didn't one or two people here even write fully-fledged screenplays?

*sheepishly raises hand* Yeah, one of them would be me. (What can I say, it was 2005, I was angry and I had free time on my hands...) It's still tagged here and here on my Livejournal if anyone's curious. I've tweaked it on occasion and there's still one or two things I'd probably do differently, but generally it's a summary of what I see when I picture a film version of the musical in my head.

The setting would have to be unquestionably the Palais Garnier. This is non-negotiable.

Agreed. I've said on occasion that setting PotO in a different opera house is like setting Hunchback of Notre Dame in a different cathedral. (I actually substituted "Garnier" for "Populaire" where appropriate.)

The Masquerade scene will be very similar to the Technicolor sequence from the Lon Chaney film. It needs to chaotic and colourful. Order and carefully synchronised choreography have absolutely no place here.

I tend to picture something similar in style to the first can-can scene in Moulin Rouge--chaotic and colorful as you said, but also the dizzying pace and rampant hedonism of it all. The part where Christine gets caught up among the dancers I pulled almost directly from the dream dance in Labyrinth, specifically the end where Sarah's crowded by strangers in leering, masked faces.

The trio is restored, and when Raoul sings his lines ('Once again she is his...'), we see him running/galloping on a horse to the graveyard to save Christine -- it's not until the climax of the trio that he arrives in the graveyard.

Much as I love the trio, I always thought it a bit awkward in a stage setting--why is Raoul just standing there? With the setting being opened up on film, however, I see no reason not to include it.

Sadly the Don Juan rehearsal scene would have to go. I just don't see how it can work on film. Cut straight to the journey to the cemetery from the end of 'Twisted Every Way'.

I kept it in, or at least part of it, mostly as a means of showing the passage of time. If I were to write it now I would probably truncate it further, though--just a few lines overheard by Christine as she goes to her dressing room for TEW.

Erik overhears Christine and Raoul during AIAOY from Apollo's lyre, but we don't see him during the song, although it is suggested that someone is watching.

The impact of the reveal in the stage version is such a great moment--I've heard audiences gasp when they realize the Phantom's heard everything and that his reaction will not be a good one. Plus, AIAOY is really our best opportunity to see Christine and Raoul together and appreciate the love they share--focusing on the Phantom takes that away from them and their relationship is short-changed enough as it is.

~LCD

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Raphael on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:09 am

Filming at the Palais Garnier is a no-brainer. It is, however (if I recall correctly) EXTREMELY expensive to film there; and as a consequence, would take up a good portion of the budget. But it wasn't like I would have cast big name movie stars anyway.

As a consequence of the above, I would have given musical theatre actors an opportunity to be in the film. They're less expensive by comparison, and they already have the talents to pull off the material. The drawback is that the crossover potential into the mainstream market is diminished, so you have to rely on the property itself to sell the tickets even if you were to cast one or more of the super-popular stage performers.

While all the scenes in the Palais Garnier and around Paris would be realistic, I'd have the labyrinth and lair be more expressionist in design, maybe somewhat like the set designs of Coppola's "Dracula" - to emphasize the contrast of Erik's world and the world above.

Christine would be early 20s. The Phantom would be late 40s-early 50s. And if that creeps you out, good. That's the point.

Oh, and it goes without saying that they'd be able to sing the material.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  PridePhan on Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:51 pm

Well, first they would be able to sing, but I think everyone thinks the same about that.

But one thing I felt when I saw the movie was that I didn't care about any of the characters.
The Phantom, who I normally love, had turned into a cartoon character. And I felt that if the boat would have sunk during the lake scene I would prob just have been happy.

I want to see more feelings and more power.

And I wouldn't have done a Raul that looked like he just came from the production of The Blue Lagoon 3 or something

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Scorp on Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:55 am

PridePhan wrote:I felt that if the boat would have sunk during the lake scene I would prob just have been happy.

ROFL! Best comment in ages. Laughing

Now how would we have the deformity? As horrifying as it is in Leroux's novel to make it akin to Buquet's description? Don't see why not... It would be the only way to really shock an audience these days.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Raphael on Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:36 am

If we were talking Leroux-based film, I'd say go whole hog with the deformity, maybe something along the lines of the Hildebrandt design. But since we're talking the ALW!Phantom, I'd stay with the half-deformity but play up the disfigurement a little more in terms of distortion and coloring. Less pizza-face and more decay. And definitely keep the lip. The fact that it isn't covered by the mask is a nice hint that it's not just a handsome guy in a fashionable mask.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  LadyCDaae on Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:55 am

I'm with Raphael--the half-mask is kind of iconic for the musical, so you'd almost have to keep it. I tend to picture something like a cross between the stage make-up and Two-Face in The Dark Knight, with part of the nose and jaw eaten away. And of course the wig, under which he would actually be bald--not a little patch of hair missing on the one side, I'm talking the Gollum or post-Mustafar Anakin "has not been exposed to sunlight in a VERY long time" look. I also like the heterochroma idea Crawford used for a short while before the contact lenses became too punishing on his eyes--I think the concept would be much more workable (and of course, more effective) on film.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Scorp on Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:59 pm

Yes, I agree the half-mask should be kept. It could be possible to do a Leroux-style deformity on just half the face, though. Take a look at this rather roughly done photoshop done by someone (not me, it was done by another Phantom fan) around the time the film came out. I quite liked it, so I saved it to my computer:



What do you think?

Re the ending, would it end at the close-up on the mask, or would the story be "framed", involving us returning to the black-and-white "present" of Raoul?

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  phantomgirl110 on Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:29 pm

That deformity is AMAZING! That's exactly the sort of deformity I would love to see on an screen!ALW Phantom, because it would actually be quite horrifying the first time you saw it if you were not prepared. The nose might be troublesome because a complete lack of a nose would mess with the iconic look of the half-mask and the nose being halved down the middle would look too contrived, I think, but otherwise I think a deformity like that would be wonderful. I still can't help rolling my eyes that they finally had the chance to do a really awesome, realistic deformity on the big screen and yet they opted to tone it down to something that no one in the world flinched at.

Scorp wrote:Re the ending, would it end at the close-up on the mask, or would the story be "framed", involving us returning to the black-and-white "present" of Raoul?
Personally I would like it to end with a closeup on the mask in Meg's hand, or something similar. Definitely not a jump back to old Raoul. Constantly jumping back to him didn't bring anything new to the story except for that bit at the end with the Phantom leaving the rose on Christine's grave, and personally I found that unnecessary. I also thought that it ended the story on a slightly lighter note than I would have preferred; rather than feeling sadness for the Phantom and amazed or dramatically moved by his disappearance at the end, the audience was made to think "Aww, he still loves her after all these years, how romantic..." while the cheesy new "No One Would Listen" theme closed out the film. I find it so much more moving the original way.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Raphael on Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:34 pm

Scorp wrote:What do you think?
I think Butler has never looked better.

Re the ending, would it end at the close-up on the mask, or would the story be "framed", involving us returning to the black-and-white "present" of Raoul?
Depends on what you're using the framing device for. By definition, you need to return to the "present" if you want to bookend the piece. In the stage version, the prologue serves to set the tone for the show: the eeriness, the melodrama, the mystery. It gives us hints of a larger picture just as Björnson's sets give us hints of an environment that we don't actually see. Personally, I don't see any reason story-wise to return to the "present", so I would opt to end on Meg and the mask.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:13 am

See, that's the reason why the film "deformity" bugs me so much--given what movies can accomplish with makeup and CGI effects, it would have been an easy thing to make the Phantom's face more gruesome than can be achieved in a live theatrical performance. Yet instead they copped out with a "oh, we don't want to make him too ugly, that wouldn't be sexy realistic enough" look that doesn't begin to justify all the fuss the characters are making over it.

I agree with dropping the "old Raoul" framing device apart from the prologue--I felt it didn't add anything significant and interrupted the flow of the story too much.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Paula74 on Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:19 pm

Continuing the "Old Raoul" scenes beyond the Auction was a waste of screen time. It did nothing to actually flesh out the story itself and just provided a bit of heavy-handed product placement with the Swarovski jewelry display in the window.

And I do prefer it ending with Meg finding the mask...either with a close-up on it in her hand or a close-up of it lying abandoned on the cushion of the throne. Let's keep the "mystery" in "man and mystery" instead of having him just walk away through a (barely) secret passage.

As for the look of the film...I'm thinking Maria Bjornson meets Edward Gorey and keeping it balanced. Not outrageously gaudy.

And, please, get rid of those two enormous male torsos flanking the entrance to the Phantom's love nest...I mean, lair.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  operafantomet on Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:54 pm

Raphael wrote:
Scorp wrote:What do you think?
I think Butler has never looked better.
Chai latte just came out of my nose. You know how painful that is? Laughing

As for the Masquerade scene, it has been mentioned already, but I still wanna add my basic view on it. Definitely Palais Garnier. Setting: Grand staircase, as well as the auditorium without seats, as was custom for the masked balls (though I realize that would be a pain in the ass to pull off. I assume the seats are permanently attached these days... Maybe a temporary platform built on top?).

Away with the androgyne vogue dancers and the gold/black/white of the movie versions. This ain't a choreographed Viennese waltz event. In with colours, glitter, chaos, danger. As per Hal Prince's vision, the audience should always have a feeling of danger, of eyes watching, of something about to go wrong, under all the smiles. The audience should be creeped out, if not constantly, then at least in small, rushed moments. When people are dancing, the audience should have a feeling of someone about to be pulled under, or pulled away. The masks, which at first appears jolly, should give a brief feeling of creepiness, of a monster hiding behind it. And themnwe should all be re-assured, going back to the partymood and the jolliness - before getting new drips of danger. Christine being dragged from partner to partner, in a dance about to spin out of control. Eyes watching. Raoul trying to get a hold of her, but it's like everyone is blocking his way, pushing him away. Maybe they aren't. Maybe they are.

He gets a hold of her. It's all "glitter and be gay" again. They get a false sense of safeness, of carefreeness. Until that figure appears... that Red Death...

There's a detail I think some stage Raouls pull off well. The part about not believing Christine, but then experiencing hints of what she's experiencing. For example in the rooftop, hearing the luring voice calling her name, like an echo in the wind. Or in the graveyard scene, where Raoul too is almost hypnotized by the allure of the Phantom. And in Masquerade, where Raoul also feels the danger, being pushed/dragged away from Christine. I want that to be even more obvious in the movie, and especially in Masquerade. I want Raoul to think Christine's obsession with this voice, this Phantom, is just a whimsy he'll help her get rid off. But then he is slowly pulled into her world of shadows, like he was as a child when Daddy Daaé told the kinds "dark stories of the north"... And I think Masquerade is the turning point for him, where he realize it's not just a fantasy, but a real threat they won't get rid off unless something drastic happens.

So yeah... More danger in Masquerade... A lot more danger. But subtle. Almost like you think you've misinterpreted it. it's just an undefined feeling beneath the surface. But the feeling won't let go. THAT'S what I want from Masquerade.

That, and the splendor that is Palais Garnier. The Garnier Masquerade ball from "Marie Antoinette" looked gorgeous!

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  LadyCDaae on Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:41 pm

Yes, the main problem with the film "Masquerade" is that it's entirely too formal and colorless (literally and figuratively). The whole point of the Opera's masked balls, as I understand it, was that they were a wild and uninhibited, a chance to flout social convention without fear of reprisal. We should get a sense of people letting their "dark side" out to play for a short while, rather than just enjoying a nice party.

And what was up with the fans? Sorry, I know it's a musical and spontaneous choreography happens and all, but where did all those fans come from anyway? Were they handed out at the door or did the invitation say "please bring huge gilded fan to wave about in stylized manner"?

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  ML6 on Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:05 am

I wish the film had that overall feeling of a period piece. I got this bland copy-cat carnival of a film.

I would redesign that whole entire journey to the lair. I'd like it done like the Chaney film. I'd also get rid of that damn horse and have far away shots of her and the Phantom, her voice echoing in the cellars. It looked like they were in some castle dungeon...
Music of the Night needs to be dark.
I'd prefer that the lighting techs who designed the stage show chose the same scheme for the film.
I'd also have Maria do the sets and the costumes.
I'd also have the graveyard scene the Phantom throwing his voice all around the graveyard. So that when it comes to the porter scene with the Box (before Don Juan), Raoul KNOWS what the Phantom is up to, which is why he says: 'only when the time comes'.
I also miss the Phantom manhandling Christine in the lair. I'm not talking about Ramin-choke-hold. I'm talking Christine keeping a distance from the Phantom instead of walking up to him and calling him out on his shit. For fek sake, he just killed someone else and abducted her. (Which makes her very pro-good-choice.) I also miss some Phantom's whipping Christine into the lair or her running and falling over her dress.
Also, Raoul needs a haircut. No long hair, please.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Lalilaloli on Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:46 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:
And what was up with the fans? Sorry, I know it's a musical and spontaneous choreography happens and all, but where did all those fans come from anyway? Were they handed out at the door or did the invitation say "please bring huge gilded fan to wave about in stylized manner"?

~LCD

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As a matter of fact, it was probably written down just beneath the part which told the guests of the evenings colour theme...

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  Loettchen on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:11 am

LadyCDaae wrote:The impact of the reveal in the stage version is such a great moment--I've heard audiences gasp when they realize the Phantom's heard everything and that his reaction will not be a good one. Plus, AIAOY is really our best opportunity to see Christine and Raoul together and appreciate the love they share--focusing on the Phantom takes that away from them and their relationship is short-changed enough as it is.

I just wanted to mention my total support for and agreement with LadyCDaae here. At the most, the film could hint at his presence with suggestive camera angles, shadows, sounds, or just atmosphere of fear. But I absolutely love the reveal in the show. My first time seeing the show was many years ago and I don't remember much about it. One of the few things I remember with clarity is seeing -for the first time - the Phantom's hand suddenly appear above the angel, accompanied by that ominous chord. And the way he slowly pulled himself into the audience's sight. Boy was it threatening and heartbreaking. Plus a perfect way to transition from the lovely and hopeful AIAOY to the imminent disaster. I'd love to see that moment on film. Then again, when there's no disaster imminent... Sad

I also second the thoughts about giving Raoul and Christine a moment for themselves!

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  LadyCDaae on Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:28 pm

Okay, so we've amply discussed what needs to be fixed--what (if anything) would you keep? Schumacher was on the whole the wrong director for this, but I think the blind squirrel did turn up a few acorns:

~Patrick Wilson: Lose the wig, give him something to play other than "aristocratic ponce," and you'd have a pretty darn good Raoul on your hands.
~Kevin McNally: A great character actor who made the most of the perennial Red Shirt that is Joseph Buquet. Would love to see him as part of a stronger ensemble--I should not come away from a movie feeling the best performance came from the guy whose sole purpose is to get killed halfway through.
~Il Muto: Again, not all of it--toss the costumes (I much prefer Bjornson's muted, elegant pastels to the film's bright candy colors) and the ballet sheep, but keep the bawdy farce of the onstage action and the growing sense of chaos and dread that culminates in Buquet's death.

~LCD

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  operafantomet on Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:42 pm

Stuff I actually liked about the movie was:

*The will to show the gaudy and dirty backstage life. It was hard work for people far down on the social ladder, and far from having the prestige it has today. I liked how it showed exhausted people, drinking/drunk people and a messy, chaotic feeling. But then Schumacher had to throw in that androgyne character, bad jokes and the "sex it up" feeling, and many of these scenes lost their impact. A pity, really.

*The Auction/Overture. Paul Brooke (Titspervert AKA Fitzherbert) was a surprising, but cool choice for the auctioneer. The whole notion about the Paris Opera standing as a deserted ruin in the middle of Paris for some 30 years is very odd (the auction in the stage versions is at a hotel, just for the record). But I like the eeriness of the scene, the recognition between Raoul and Madame Giry, and the restoration of the opera. It all crashes in the end of the Ouverture, but up until that point I really like it.

*Though I prefer stage Madame Giry, I liked Miranda Richardson's more boheme-like approach to the role. The weri-feeeeik-Frensch-accent and a sub-par voice kinda ruined the good things, though.

*And yes, definitely Patrick Wilson. It's a pity he got that ridiculous wig and all, cause he was a good choice for the role in general. Ditto for Jennifer Ellison. For some reason choose to NOT showcase her strong dancing skills. She could have been a great stage Meg, which is kinda my way of rating how good the actors were. Patrick Wilson as stage Raoul? Definitely. Emmanuelle Grey Rossum as stage Christine? Ehehehehe....

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JOSEFINE TO THE PHANTOM:
You come off as... somewhat... rough...

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  exopotamie on Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:24 pm

operafantomet wrote:Stuff I actually liked about the movie was:

*The will to show the gaudy and dirty backstage life. It was hard work for people far down on the social ladder, and far from having the prestige it has today. I liked how it showed exhausted people, drinking/drunk people and a messy, chaotic feeling. But then Schumacher had to throw in that androgyne character, bad jokes and the "sex it up" feeling, and many of these scenes lost their impact. A pity, really.

*The Auction/Overture. Paul Brooke (Titspervert AKA Fitzherbert) was a surprising, but cool choice for the auctioneer. The whole notion about the Paris Opera standing as a deserted ruin in the middle of Paris for some 30 years is very odd (the auction in the stage versions is at a hotel, just for the record). But I like the eeriness of the scene, the recognition between Raoul and Madame Giry, and the restoration of the opera. It all crashes in the end of the Ouverture, but up until that point I really like it.

*Though I prefer stage Madame Giry, I liked Miranda Richardson's more boheme-like approach to the role. The weri-feeeeik-Frensch-accent and a sub-par voice kinda ruined the good things, though.

*And yes, definitely Patrick Wilson. It's a pity he got that ridiculous wig and all, cause he was a good choice for the role in general. Ditto for Jennifer Ellison. For some reason choose to NOT showcase her strong dancing skills. She could have been a great stage Meg, which is kinda my way of rating how good the actors were. Patrick Wilson as stage Raoul? Definitely. Emmanuelle Grey Rossum as stage Christine? Ehehehehe....

I actually agree with all of this! Especially Paul Brooke. I really had high hopes for this movie because the Auction and Overture scenes were that good. (Paul Brooke wins the versatility award in my book, btw, for having been the Auctioneer, Mr. Titspervert and also the rancor keeper in Return of the Jedi 20 years earlier!)

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  LadyCDaae on Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:44 pm

*The will to show the gaudy and dirty backstage life. It was hard work for people far down on the social ladder, and far from having the prestige it has today. I liked how it showed exhausted people, drinking/drunk people and a messy, chaotic feeling. But then Schumacher had to throw in that androgyne character, bad jokes and the "sex it up" feeling, and many of these scenes lost their impact. A pity, really.

And the dwarf. Really, I can see an opera company having a dwarf supernumerary around, but (apart from possible the aforementioned Il Muto scene) he didn't serve any purpose. It was as if someone just said "Hey, let's put in a dwarf, because little people are funny!"

But yes, there should be a dingy, worn-out feeling to the backstage areas (except for Carlotta's dressing room, which she would NOT share with Christine--I like the idea of Christine's room being this tiny, modest space). Pity they had to throw in the chapel and the dormitories and all that other nonsense in there...

~LCD

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  ML6 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:53 pm

LadyCDaae wrote:
And the dwarf. Really, I can see an opera company having a dwarf supernumerary around, but (apart from possible the aforementioned Il Muto scene) he didn't serve any purpose. It was as if someone just said "Hey, let's put in a dwarf, because little people are funny!"
~LCD

Can someone explain to me the reason behind the dwarf?

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  providerofgoods on Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:14 pm

No clue about the dwarf, and sorry to necro-post, but I must throw in that I love LadyCDaae's screenplay, and that's speaking as one who reads a few often as part of his day job.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  MarySkater on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:45 pm

Thank you, providerofgoods, for bumping this thread.  As a relative newcomer to this forum, I hadn't seen it before.

A question which occurs to me about the hypothetical new movie is, where do you put the chandelier crash?  In the theatre, it comes about halfway through the show, to end the first act with a bang.  I suppose I can see why, in the movie, they changed it to the end,  a big dramatic moment as the story moves to a climax.  (I believe - correct me if I'm wrong - that the crash also came at the end in the Vegas stage production, which was shorter and didn't have an interval.)

I do have a problem with a storyline which burns down the Palais Garnier.  Last I heard, it was still there...  Smile  However, Leroux created a world which is not entirely congruent with the real world.  Elsewhere, I discussed the difference between the Leroux lake and the real one:
http://desertedphans.forumotion.net/t568-leroux-s-fantasy-lake
So I suppose you could justify a "Phantom" alternative universe where the Garnier was ruined.

But Leroux's chandelier crash comes earlier in the story.  It delivers one death and a warning.  That death is missing from the stage show, but the "warning" aspect is more or less common to both.  So wouldn't it be nice if the new movie restored the chandelier scene to its proper place?  The score of the 2004 movie still had the "crash" music at the end of the rooftop scene, which seemed rather pointless to me when not much was happening.

Mary

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  providerofgoods on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:47 pm

Let me hasten to add that LadyCDaae restored the chandelier drop to what was essentially the Act One climax in her screenplay, and handled it, if I may say so, very effectively.

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  MarySkater on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:55 pm

providerofgoods wrote:Let me hasten to add that LadyCDaae restored the chandelier drop to what was essentially the Act One climax in her screenplay, and handled it, if I may say so, very effectively.

Thanks for telling me. I haven't read her screenplay, but following your recommendation, I intend to, when time permits.

Mary

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

Post  LadyCDaae on Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:22 pm

MarySkater wrote:Thank you, providerofgoods, for bumping this thread.  As a relative newcomer to this forum, I hadn't seen it before.

A question which occurs to me about the hypothetical new movie is, where do you put the chandelier crash?  In the theatre, it comes about halfway through the show, to end the first act with a bang.  I suppose I can see why, in the movie, they changed it to the end,  a big dramatic moment as the story moves to a climax.  (I believe - correct me if I'm wrong - that the crash also came at the end in the Vegas stage production, which was shorter and didn't have an interval.)

I do have a problem with a storyline which burns down the Palais Garnier.  Last I heard, it was still there...  Smile  However, Leroux created a world which is not entirely congruent with the real world.  Elsewhere, I discussed the difference between the Leroux lake and the real one:
http://desertedphans.forumotion.net/t568-leroux-s-fantasy-lake
So I suppose you could justify a "Phantom" alternative universe where the Garnier was ruined.

But Leroux's chandelier crash comes earlier in the story.  It delivers one death and a warning.  That death is missing from the stage show, but the "warning" aspect is more or less common to both.  So wouldn't it be nice if the new movie restored the chandelier scene to its proper place?  The score of the 2004 movie still had the "crash" music at the end of the rooftop scene, which seemed rather pointless to me when not much was happening.

Mary

See, I think you can make arguments either way.  For a single-act production like a movie or the Vegas version, it makes sense to have (the destruction of) your biggest set piece near the end.  It makes for a natural climax. Back when I was writing that, the movie didn't really convince me that it could be as effective, but the Vegas cut pulled it off rather well.

However, the reason why I like it where it originally is in the narrative is because it represents the major tonal shift in the story.  There's no way anybody can dismiss the "Opera Ghost" business anymore--the Phantom is a very real, very dangerous threat that has everybody running scared and trying to figure a way out before more people get hurt.  It ups the stakes in a huge way, and I think that contributes to a lot of the drive in the second act.

~LCD

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Re: ALW's The Phantom of the Opera (20??): the remake

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