Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

This film by Brian de Palma takes the “Phantom of the Opera” rape-of-Persephone theme discussed in by Film Myth Analysis Thesis and builds upon it. The phrase “Phantom of the Opera” (a novel by Gaston Leroux which was turned into a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber) literally means the same thing as “Deus ex Machina” (God in the Machine). Like the original, Phantom of the Paradise contains themes of Faustian pacts, demonic possession, demonic creative inspiration, and sexual seduction by the Devil via hieros gamos. It shows that the king of the underworld is the “Phantom” who whispers melodies and lines into the heads of writers, poets and musicians.

My guess it that Phantom of the Paradise is the inspiration for many of the rumors about “Illuminati influence” in the entertainment industry. The main character, the Phantom, makes a Faustian pact to achieve fame and fortune in the entertainment industry. However, he ends up a prisoner to the system, never able to take credit for his own work. He is shown with only one eye visible, the rest of his face shielded because of his grotesque disfiguration. Perhaps this is the reasons why pop stars today are commonly photographed covering one of their eyes: as a reference to the “Phantom” who has inspired their songs and brought them their fame.

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