The Films of Kenneth Anger

The Films of Kenneth Anger

Volume One

DVD - 2007
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Covering the 1st half of Anger's career, these works by the gay underground filmmaker - 5 short avant-garde films that have been meticulously restored, under Anger's supervision, and mastered in high definition - merge surrealism with homoeroticism and the occult along with elements of documentary, psychodrama, myth, ritual, and spectacle.
Fireworks: Filmed in his parents' home in Beverly Hills, California over a long weekend while they were away, this landmark of both experimental and gay/lesbian filmmaking (the controversial nature of the work led to Anger being put on trial on obscenity charges) is a bizarre, disturbing dreamscape of violation, rape, and homoerotic sadomasochism. The wordless quasi autobiographical film opens with Anger, who made this film when he was 17, awaking from a troubled dream and leaving his house to go on a stroll during which he is confronted by a group of sailors on the street who proceed to beat, torture, and molest him.
Puce Moment: Described by Anger as an "afternoon of a film star in twenties' Hollywood," this film, a fragment from the never completed project entitled Puce Woman, reflects Anger's concerns with the myths and decline of Hollywood, the focus on a glamorous Hollywood starlet going through the ritual of assuming identity, dressing, primping, perfuming and preparing for the day, finally exiting her Hollywood Hills abode leading a pack of Russian wolfhounds on leash.
Rabbit's moon: A fable of the unattainable (the moon), combining elements of Commedia dell'Arte with Japanese folklore and Aztec mythology, this lunar pantomime, which takes place in a dark fairytale forest with an all-mime cast, features Pierrot, who longs to join with the moon in which a rabbit lives, his futile attempts to jump up and catch it compounded by the appearance of the teasing, mincing Harlequin and Columbina, Pierrot's trickster wife and Harlequin's mistress.
Eaux d'artifice: Part trance film, part landscape study, part abstraction, Eaux d'Artifice features a mysterious, masked woman, "the Water Witch," who secretively romps through a labyrinthine private garden of cascades, grottoes, and leaping fountains in an elaborate game of Hide and Seek.
Inauguration of the pleasure dome: An orgiastic fantasia of Thelemic occult theories, pagan ritual, crazy costumes, hallucinatory superimposition, and sensual and infuriating imagery, this film - which takes its name from Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem Kubla Khan - is about desire at its most hedonistic. Historical figures, biblical characters, various deities, gods and goddesses, and mythic personages gather in the pleasure dome to enact a phantasmagoric bacchanal.


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