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 Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA

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PhantomnessFay
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:17 am

I believe he used the Persian's account for authenticity as he did the transcripts of the police questioning Mme. Giry. Most people overlook that. What appears more truthful than the account of a first hand witness or a report from the police?

From everything we read about and from the Persian, he deeply cared for Erik, but knew he was dangerous. This is why he hung out at the opera to keep any eye on him.

When he went to the police about Erik, why do you think they refused to intervene or investigate?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:25 pm

In my field, it is often said that eye witnesses can be false. People remember certain things, that may or may not be able to piece together the crime. The police report is similar, since the officer would be listening to another party tell it. I think you're right, that it is more authentic to leave what the Persian wrote, cause the story really doesn't throw a good light on the police.

I don't think the police believed the Daroga when he went to the police. I mean, the average probably wouldn't believe it, and police often deal with wild stories, that aren't true. I mean, how many people outside the Opera house knew truly what was going on? Really only the Persian, and Mme Giry a bit. When all comes crashing down, the police didn't come out smelling like roses. They realized too late that maybe they should have intervened, but hindsight is 20/20. I mean, I'm trying to put myself back in that time, where life was no where mear as modern as our world. People often told stories of folklore for entertainment. But often, forklore is not necessarily true. As they pass from tongue to tongue, often stories get distorted so that they barely resemble the original story. Too bad that they didn't realize that this was no story at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:59 am

About the police, maybe part of what you said is right, but a lot of folks in that time were superstitious. No way would they hunt for a ghost in the labyrinth of the Opera House. They feared the wrath of the spirit or should they loose their way, they'd never be found again. For this reason, they said Daroga sounded like a raving lunatic.

*****************************************

In your opinion, what is more exciting, the mob tracking down Erik as in this and other films, or as in the book, where fear of the Opera Ghost ruled?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:10 pm

I don't know if I can pick one over the other. Well, maybe not which is more exciting, but which I prefer. When they hunt Erik down (which we kind of see in the novel, it's just the Persian and Raoul), it's got that anticipation to it, that you don't know what's going to happen. For me, for example, where I haven't seen all the different movies, I'm going off the book, the musical, and the movie based on the musical Smile It's like that edge of your seat excitement where you just can't wait to see what happens.

I can't remember if I read it from the book or from another source about Phantom, but they mention that Opera folks were often very superstitious (wasn't it MacBeth that the actors wouldn't say the name of?). So, being superstitious, you're right, there would be no way in hell I would be traipsing down a dark labyrinth to meet what we only know as a horrific monster ghost! Even know, I'm still superstitious about thinks. Who doesn't knock on wood once in awhile? The thing I like most of this is that to me, Erik seems to retain his power, his mystery, it goes down with him. The public does not get down to him home. The movie, you see the mob rushing into his lair, so they would have seen the secrets of theh Phantom. However, they would never be able to piece it all together, cause he was too complex. But I do like that he retains his privacy right til the end.

How about you? Something else to add to this.....do you prefer the book story where Erik dies, or the movie end where he just disappears?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:50 pm

For the mob coming for the Phantom with torches was too Hollywood. Having him escape and leaving it open was good, but then couldn't that have happened anyway.

Even though l'Epoque said "Erik is dead." Didn't mean it was so. Also, the details of what Christine found upon her return to give Erik the ring was not detailed. Perhaps that could be another story. affraid

As much as I love the 2004 film and Gerry as the Phantom, the true mystic and genius of Erik is not there or in any film version I've ever seen.

I'd go for the book's ending. No mob, just a few lines to say Christine kept her promise.
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:49 pm

I never doubted l'Epoque that Erik was dead. I assumed it was true. But, would Leroux have left that opening to another story he wouldn't have written? I mean, he had 15 years or so after the original if he wanted to write another one. I don't know that he would have left an opening that he didn't intend to fill.

I must say, I more informed about the movie, and I'm still studying the book (just a little slower than I should be). To me Gerry was the Phantom. And part of me says he still is, cause I found he gave a lot to that perfomance. He really played the part, he was very emotional, and you saw that in the film. No, he wasn't the best trained singer, but when I hear him sing the reprise to All I Ask of You, I can actually feel his heartache, his anger.

The more that I learn about the book, Erik and the Phantom are basically two characters to me. And they really are two very different characters. I can't say which one I like better, because they are so different. I do find that the book Erik had much more depth, much more conflict in his character. We didn't see that so much in the movie.

It still gnaws at me how there are so many different interpretations of this one novel. Musicals, many movies, different books. That one novel spawned a whole phandom. I think I've mentioned this before, but as a writer I stick with poetry and short stories. I've never tried Phanfics or anything like that, so I don't know a whole lot about this. I just wonder how much you can change an original piece of work, before it's not where near the original? For example, Forsythes book seems to be way out in left field, but it's still considered a Phantom book. Susan Kay's (which I haven't read yet either) has had wonderful reviews. So my question is, for writers, how far do you take an original story and modify it to your own? Is there any "rules" to this? Any guidelines that need to be followed? And I'm talking more published work, though I love phafics. Hopefully that makes a little sense Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Tue Oct 07, 2008 1:04 pm

Whether l'Epoque was true or not, only God knows. Sequels were not common in those days. Once an author completed a book, the story ended. Nowadays there are too many add ons to a story, because everybody wants to make money off successful works. Just like in films.

Of all the actors who have portrayed the Phantom, I feel Gerry displayed the most heart-felt emotion as well.

Interesting that you should see Erik and the Phantom as two different individuals. I've never looked at it that way. To me they are one in the same.

Any author of creative works whether as a writer or filmmaker has a vision of the way they see a story. Keeping in character with the original is very difficult. I did my best mine. For this reason we see very different interpretations.

The Claude Rains version took many liberties with the original story. Only hint of Leroux's story shone through. The changes were so many only the title, the Phantom played by Claude Rains and Christine remained vaguely like the book. The rest became a new story with new characters. And Raoul was the police inspector as well as a suitor to Christine.

This occurred because of the way a filmmaker saw the story. In other words, they became inspired by the story, they did not adapt it. Make sense?

Similar happens with Phan fics. Some we love, some we hate and others are mediocre.

To answer your question, if a story is public domain, which Phantom is, then a writer can do as they wish. Public domain occurs when copyright has expired.

Wikipedia says:

The public domain comprises copyright-free works: anyone can use them in any way and for any purpose. Proper attribution to the author or source of a work, even if it is in the public domain, is still required to avoid plagiarism.

The public domain is generally defined (e.g. by the U.S. Copyright Office) as the sum of works that are not copyrighted, i.e.

  • that were not eligible for
    copyright in the first place, or
  • whose copyright has expired.
Hope this helps.
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:17 pm

I guess I don't know a whole lot about literature from the turn of the century. It never occurred to me that sequels were not common until you just mentioned it.

I am so glad that you said you loved Gerry as the Phantom. I know a lot of people don't, so it's nice to see I'm not the only one.

I should clarify what I said about Erik vs the Phantom. When I refer to the movie, I use the Phantom, as that as what he is referred to in the movie, we are never told his name is Erik. When I refer to the novel, I use the name Erik, as it is used often. That is what I meant by seeing them as two different people. The novel Erik and the movie Phantom are very, very different characters, which is what I meant. I know they are technically one in the same, that's just me.

Thank you for explaining the "adaptation" of a story. You really made it clear to me. The way I understood it as, say after seeing the 2004 movie, something in it inspired me, and gave me an idea or as you said, a vision, to create another piece of work.

Also, thanks for the info on public domain. I must say, it surprises me that the copyright on Phantom had expired. I would think that ALW would want to keep those rights. With copyrighted works, are you able to renew the copywrights, or is it something that after so long it expires and that is it?

I find this all so interesting. I can't wait to read your phanfic. As soon as I'm done Leroux's novel, I will be reading it. I just can't read two at once, since we've seen I often confuse the two Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:49 am

If you read early literature they had a series of books or stories as L. Frank Baum did with Oz and Louisa May Alcott with Little Women and Little Men, but they were branded sequels per se.

ALW can only copyright his version of Phantom, not the original. It it were a little known book, he could illegally claim it, but he can't. Everyone in the world know Gaston Leroux wrote the original. Especially if the author still has living relatives.

I don't know about the copyright laws in the early 1900's, but nowadays, a copyright on an unpublished material is indefinite, but for published work it must be renewed each year.

Now I see what you mean about Erik and the Phantom. Definitely the Leroux Erik is more insane, pitiful and obsessed. Gerry is moving, pitiful and obsessed, but I don't see the insanity. He really didn't scare me.

Don't worry. Gerry has many fans. He is well loved.

Have you checked out my Gerard Butler thread?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:34 pm

Thanks for the info on copyright. That's quite interesting. I'm glad too that I was able to explain what I meant by my Erik/Phantom differences. I'm also glad to find out that there are many Gerry Phans out there. I have checked out that thread, but it's been a little while now. He's just so yummy.

Q - In the novel we know that Mme Giry is the usher for Erik in box 5. In the movie, we know that box 5 was given to Raoul. During Christine's performance in Hannibal, we see Raoul leaving, and find Mme Giry hiding in the next box. Why is she there? Is she spying on Raoul, or just there to see what may happen since the Phantom's box has been taken?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 12, 2008 5:48 pm

Gabby81 wrote:
So my question is, for writers, how far do you take an original story and modify it to your own? Is there any "rules" to this? Any guidelines that need to be followed? And I'm talking more published work, though I love phafics. Hopefully that makes a little sense Smile

I can answer this Gabby...

You take is as far as your respect for the original author permits. Do we as authors have limits? I believe we do. Works in the public domain can be use in the way an author sees fit. This is why you end up with works like Forsythe, Kay and Gale's latest erotic retelling.

Professional writers are also bound by the needs of our house as well. Once we sell our books, we do not own them. We own the characters, plot, characteriztions etc but the rights to the book belong to our publishing house. They have the right to sell and market the novel. Often this involves editorial changes to suit a certain target audience. Many times we are not ever 'married' to our titles. Our publisher can and will change them to something that may catch a readers eye. We work closely with our editors if certain changes are needed to meet market requirements.

Only one person can truly expand upon a work of classic lit and that is is the original author. I enjoy reading works that continue Austen's tale--but if I ever see a story that makes Mr. Darcy a wife beater I will throw that book across the room! But I must respect it is the author's imagination that permits such changes.

We as writers know that not every reader is going to like our interpretation of the characters. Yet if we all has the same ideas and vision, fiction would be flat.

It is the power of imagination and is a glorious thing. Leroux--will never go out of style!

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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:06 pm

Thanks so much for your reply Jennifer! I really appreciate the ideas and forsight that writers have and where they are from. Being a published author seems to be quite an ordeal, one that I never really knew. What I mean is, for example, I knew that writings were often edited and re-edited until it's finished. I believe I've even heard that sometimes things are left out to aid in the flow of the story. I didn't realize though that the editors/publishers had as much....power (that's not the word I want, but it's all I can think) when it comes to preparing a book for publishing. It makes sense however, as these publishing houses (I assume) are very aware of what the reading public is looking for.

I appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me. I do have one question however, and it goes back to the copyright thing. You said

"Once we sell our books, we do not own them. We own the characters, plot, characteriztions etc but the rights to the book belong to our publishing house."

Now, does that mean that the copyright of the books would be that of the publishing house? And how does this work with royalties? My thirst for knowledge is unsatiable Smile Lol. I love learning new things!
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:33 pm

I believe ALW wants the audience to take note of Mme. Giry and know that she is the Phantom's friend. Obviously she dislikes the fact Raoul occupies the box, but can't do anything about it.

We also need to know that she is essential to Phantom. Without her, the notes aren't delivered. Without her, the Phantom would not be there.

Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:06 am

Oooooh.....good answer! That part had always bugged me, but now it makes perfect sense. Sure, we learn later on kind of why she does this, or why she feels she has to. Sometimes I wonder about her though. Obviously she has no control over the Phantom, but she's often witness to his little trickeries, like locking Christine into her dressing room. Mme Giry is always just out of view whenever something similar is happening.

I also never realized your last statement "Without her, the Phantom would not be there." I never thought of that, but it's completely true. I wonder what would have happened to him had Mme Giry not hid him? We know he had escaped the fair by ways of killing his abuser, but would he have evaded police and found his own place to hide?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:08 pm

You wrote:

"Once we sell our books, we do not own them. We own the characters, plot, characteriztions etc but the rights to the book belong to our publishing house."

Now, does that mean that the copyright of the books would be that of the publishing house? And how does this work with royalties? My thirst for knowledge is insatiable Smile Lol. I love learning new things!


A publisher owns the rights to publish the work, but the author is the creator. Copyrights establish that and can be used to verify ownership. This way the author can prove the work is theirs, etc. Royalties are paid according to the rules of the publisher. All are different. Hope this helps.
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:01 pm

Gabby81 wrote:
Thanks so much for your reply Jennifer! I really appreciate the ideas and forsight that writers have and where they are from. Being a published author seems to be quite an ordeal, one that I never really knew. What I mean is, for example, I knew that writings were often edited and re-edited until it's finished. I believe I've even heard that sometimes things are left out to aid in the flow of the story.

You are very welcome, Gabby. And I will echo PhantomessFay's reply. Copyright belongs to the author of the work.

It is an authors job to edit and re-edit prior to submitting to their house. The book has to be polished before even considering having it land on their editor's desk. After that--yes, the publisher does have power to change certain elements. Most contracts state that major changes cannot happen without permission of the author. I faced this, all authors do. In terms of cuts.... they are done all the time. It is a part of publishing that rips our souls out, but it is something authors just get used to. Trust me, we have files on our PC of deleted and cut scenes! Many times this is done for flow--to make the story read faster and next for word count. Words equal money and most novels today are from 70-120K. Harlequin's lines are cutting that down to 55K for some of their imprints. The standard novel runs around 90-100K (about 200-300 pages in trade paperback form)

If a novel is in need of major cuts or serious editing in the publisher's eyes an author usually get as "Revise and Resubmit" letter ahead of time. This meaning the author is to make the changes suggested by the house and re-send it for consideration for publishing. If the house is pleased with the result they may move forward from there.

Jennifer
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Mon Oct 13, 2008 7:23 pm

Hey guys! Thanks Fay and Jen (I hope I can call you Jen) for all the wonderful information you have provided. Not being a published author, I don't know this stuff. I've thought about getting some of my stuff published, but its often just an idea floating in the breeze. The one thing that stood out for me, and I may have alluded to it earlier, or at least my brain thought it Smile As an author you've polished your book and taken so much time to get it to the desk of whoever. Then, often as an objective person, they are able to see things in your work that may make the average reader have a hard time. I think I'm talking about flow. I've dealt with it before. The story needs to flow so that for someone who just picks up the reading will understand it without having to research or get confused or something. I know myself, what makes sense to me, might not make sense to another party. Can't say I would envy the job of the editor at that point. Writing is so personal that it's difficult to look at it through another's eyes. We may have tons and tons of backstory, so that it makes total sense, but since the audience doesn't see it, they don't get it. More and more I think I'm glad I'm a poet. Not that I don't do short stories, but poetry is my niche.

Well, ladies, I think that's where I'll end. Trying to think up some Q and A!

Q - Fay, did you ever come to agree with me (and I know another phan was arguing with me but I can't remember names) about the rat-catcher being the red floating head that the fireman saw? I've been meaning to ask you Smile Or sway you, either way!

Q - Which character from the Novel do you wish had made it into the 2004 film and why?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Tue Oct 14, 2008 10:57 am

Sorry, I still disagree that the fiery head was the rat-catcher. The one most people saw and complained about was an illusion created by the Phantom.

The character I would love to see in the 2004 movie was the Persian. I know ALW found no place for him in such high romance, but he gave a lot to the original story and the Phantom's past. This would have been a real gem to have him there.
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:55 pm

Lol....see Fay, we can agree to disagree than just keep on trucking. Without Leroux's insight we'll never know. I've never rejected the idea of the Phantom playing tricks, but enough of that.

I have to agree that the Persian would have been a wonderful addition to the movie. On the plus side, it would be more realistic getting through to the lair; we would have gotten background on Erik/Phantom; and, in short, I think he would add much to the movie. On the negative side, the 2 1/2 hour movie would have been considerably longer to try and weave in who the persian was and what he had to tell us about Erik/Phantoms past. That's all I have right now. You're turn to do some Q's tongue
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:27 am

In the original novel, Christine and Raoul go up on the roof by Apollo's Lyre and have this big conversation about the Phantom. From time to time, they'd here a long sigh, or something that may indicate that they were not alone, but Christine continued to insist that Erik was not there.

I feel sure that she knew better, however, what do you suppose was her reason to insist they stay upon the roof and plot to run away together if they thought the Phantom may be eavesdropping? What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 19, 2008 1:00 pm

It's my understanding that Christine believed that Erik was the man of trap doors and labrythes (sp?). She assumed that he wouldn't come up to the roof. She should have known better that Erik could go where he desired, so it would make sense to me that he could be anywhere in the Opera House, likely without being seen by anyone. I think for me, after the first sigh I heard that came from behind them would have set off my Erik meter! I don't understand though why Christine was so insistent that Erik wasn't there. Is this just her young naivety (sp) that if she wished it hard enough, he would disappear? Why she thought that Erik wouldn't go to the roof, I don't know. But, for some reason she thought he would never leave the underground of the Opera house. Silly girl.

***************************************
Curious....Christine "lost" the ring that Erik gave her, which he later found and returned it to her. Do you think she actually lost it, or is it possible she threw it away and kept the story of losing it?
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 19, 2008 3:35 pm

Good point. However, my conclusion is more psychological.

I feel Christine being so naive and immature, she acted much like child defying her father. She knew how Erik felt about her and a part of her pushed him to the max, just to see how far he would go. This part of her wanted to get caught. Make sense? You know children do that to their parents.

Christine depended on her father a lot. At his passing, Erik picked up the slack and Raoul had always been somewhere in between. She need a male figure to lead her.

She didn't have to pretend she and Raoul were engaged. Many opportunities presented themselves to allow her to run away with the Vicomte. Yet, she always found an excuse to stay. At that moment, Erik became her father, she the child and the whole running off with Raoul was just a way to see how far she could push Erik.

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Now, about the ring. If you recall, Leroux says the ring was too big for her finger and had slipped off many times prior to it actually getting lost where Christine could not find it.

I feel she had too much fear to actually throw the ring away. If she had deliberately tossed it, I don't think he'd find it on the floor. But that's just me.


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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sat Oct 25, 2008 6:08 pm

Lol....I'm an only child. I know what it's like to push my parents to the max. But I never thought about Christine pushing Erik in that way. That is a really good point. A young orphan would look to any (especially) male figure to lead her. I also never realized how many times Christine really could have run off with Raoul. She just couldn't bring herself to leave Erik, though she tried to convince herself she didn't care about him.

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Thanks for that about the ring. I know when I read the novel originally that I often read a little more quickly than I should of cause I just couldn't wait to know the whole story. For some reason I kept picturing it on the side of the road, like on the curb. I don't know where that came from. However, you are right. Had she wanted to really wanted to get rid of it, Erik may not have found it.

I'd love to ask another question or come up with more trivia, but since I can't remember what I did 5 minutes ago, I should probably wait until I have something a little more concrete! Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:26 am

Not to worry. Take your time.

Here is some trivia from the movie. In the beginning of the film we see old Raoul and Mme. Giry bidding on the music box with the monkey wearing Persian robes playing the cymbals. Is this Mme. Giry who helped the Phantom as a child? Woudn't she be a lot older than Raoul?

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One more to contemplate. Analysis the meaning of the Phantom talking Christine to his lair below the Opera House and when she and Raoul fall in love upon the roof by Apollo's Lyre? scratch
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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:10 pm

I totally believe that the Mme Giry is the Ballet Mistress we see throughout the film. I believe that Raoul has aged badly, and perhaps fortunately for her, she hasn't. She definately looks quite old, but because Raoul is crippled he likely seems much older. Back then, women often had children much younger than they do now, so it's not that hard for me to believe that the Mme Giry is the same in both parts.

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Ooooh, that's a good one. The things I think of right off my head are the differences between dark and light. Often things are compared this way. The Phantom represents the darkness, perhaps evil, perhaps sinisters. Raoul represents the light, out in the open, lighthearted, innocent. To me the lair and the Lyre (aside from being a bit of a verbal pun) represent complete opposites, just as Raoul and Erik are complete opposites, light and dark, good and evil.

I wonder if you would give your opinion on this as well.

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Since I haven't been able to watch the movie recently, it's hard for me to ask a question about the movie. However, I do listen to the soundtrack as much as possible. Here's just an opinion question for you.....

In the movie/soundtrack after Christine wakes up in the swan bed, she proceeds to unmask the Phantom. Are you surprised at his reaction?

"Can you even dare to look, or bear to think of me
This loathesome gargoyle
Who burns in hell, But secretly yearns for heaven
Secretly, secretly... "

"Fear can turn to love
You'll learn to see, to find the man behind the monster
This repulsive carcass
Who seems a beast but secretly dreams of beauty,
Secretly, secretly... "

He acts so strong, so fierce. This is the first time we see any kind of weakness from him. And he turns it around really quickly. What do y'all think???


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PostSubject: Re: Q & A ABOUT PHANTOM & TRIVIA   Today at 5:19 pm

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