Updated: “The Freaky Genius of Filmmaker Mr. Kenneth Anger” Film Clips, Interviews and film details

Mr. Kenneth Anger (Born: Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer, February 3, 1927) is not just your average; Author/Filmmaker/Actor Artist/Occultist… he is also a one man ‘Scene’. There are few like him that have snuck on to this planet, these ‘scene’ people. Andy Warhol, maybe Anais Nin, definitely the beats (Burroughs, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Corso, Kesey), maybe some Japanese folks like Shûji Terayama . These folks have the enormous psychic capacity to create a scene wherever they go. They are a very a small group and Kenneth Anger was one of those people. From his active beginnings in the 1940’s, till today, when his following and acknowledgement is even greater than ever, Ken Anger has influenced, art, music, lifestyle and even philosophy. 

As usual with anything I put together, I can take zero credit for the content. I am not a biographer and I am one of the least schooled people you will ever meet. However I have a solid comfort with the things I dig, and without having any real introduction to Kenneth Anger’s work, either formally or through friends, I was immediately drawn to his stuff. Anger’s force to do whatever the fuck he wants is admirable and welcome; but it is his eye for what’s interesting that gets me. He is one of those filmmakers that you ‘watch with’ not at. There is a fascination that he has with his subject matter (light, sound, interiors, people, shadows, etc) that is absolutely infectious.

I wanted to share some of my appreciation for Anger here with my usual cut-and-paste assemblage of clips, docs and wikis… I am also putting this together in preparation for a special podcast I will be doing….

Here are some of Anger’s shorts. As usual, what I am posting here is purposefully low quality. I would encourage you to invest in the higher quality property that will not only enhance your experience, but support the artist as well. There are lots of places you can go to find his work, but I would start at his official website. You can also buy some bitchin’ articles of clothing and posters and such, here is the link:

https://www.kennethanger.org/

 

ANGER’S FILMOGRAPHY

1937 Ferdinand the Bull Lost film
1941–1942 Tinsel Tree 3 mins. A silent black-and-white film that Anger personally hand tinted with gold-scarlet over the flames. It featured a Christmas tree being dressed in decorations, before being shown stripped and bare and set on fire.[102]
1942 Prisoner of Mars 11 mins. A silent black-and-white film that mixes futuristic science fiction with the ancient Greek myth of the Minotaur. The plot revolves around a character, The Boy Elect from Earth, played by Anger himself, who is sent in a rocket to Mars where he finds himself in a labyrinth filled with the bones of other adolescents sent there in the past.[103]
1943 The Nest 20 mins. A silent black-and-white film in which a brother (played by Bob Jones) and sister (Jo Whittaker) are examining mirrors when a third figure (Dare Harris), causes them to act violently against one another, before a magical rite takes place in which the sister’s binding spell is destroyed by the brother.[104]
1944 Demigods (Escape Episode) 35 mins. A silent black-and-white film based upon the ancient Greek myth of Andromeda, in which a girl (Marilyn Granas) is imprisoned within a seaside crumbling Neo-Gothic church guarded by a religious fanatic (Nora Watson), till she is saved by a boy representing Perseus (Bob Jones).[105]
1945 Drastic Demise 5 mins. A silent black-and-white work filmed by Anger in Hollywood on V-J Day. Consisting of footage of a celebratory crowd, it ends with an image of a nuclear mushroom cloud.[105]
1946 Escape Episode 27 mins. A shortened version of Demigods (Escape Episode), it features Scriabin‘s The Poem of Ecstasy alongside the sounds of birds, wind and surf.[105]
1947 Fireworks 15 mins. Filmed in black and white, it is a homoerotic work seen through the eyes of the protagonist, played by Anger himself.
1949 Puce Moment 6 mins. Filmed in color, starring Yvonne Marquis as a celebrity in her home, and featuring music by Jonathan Halper, Puce Moment lasted only one scene and portrays her examining her dresses and perfume.[106]
1949 The Love That Whirls unknown Influenced by James Frazer‘s anthropological text The Golden Bough, it was set in the Azteccivilisation, and featured a youth who was chosen to be king for a year before being ritually sacrificed. The film was subsequently destroyed at the Eastman-Kodac developing plant, who objected to its theme and nudity.[106]
1950 Rabbit’s Moon 16 mins (1972)
7 mins (1979)
Filmed in 35mm, it is set in a small wooded glade where a clown stares up at the moon, in which a rabbit lives.
1951–1952 Les Chants de Maldoror unknown Based upon the 1868 novel by Isidore DucasseLes Chants de Maldoror, only test shots were produced, in which he employed members of the Marquis de Cuevas ballet.[107]
1953 Eaux d’Artifice 12 mins. A short, monochromatic film appearing in dark blue, with only one moment of color – a woman opens a fan that glows in bright green. The woman appears in a gown stretching from neck to toe, wearing dark glasses and a feathered headdress. Water flows throughout, from fountains, and suggestively through the mouths and over the faces of statuary. Fluids sensually pulse and flow, reminiscent of sexual climax. In the end the woman steps from a door seemingly from the side of a fountain, and is herself transformed into water. The film is set to the music of Vivaldi‘s Winter Movement from the Four Seasons.
1953 Le Jeune Homme et la Mort unknown Based upon the ballet by Jean Cocteau, this silent black-and-white film starred Jean Babilee as a young man and Nathalie Philipart as Death. It was a 16mm pilot designed to be used to raise funds to produce a 35mm Technicolor version, but the funding for this never materialized.[108]
1954 Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome 38 mins.
1955 Thelema Abbey 10 mins. A short, black-and-white documentary on Aleister Crowley‘s Abbey of Thelema in Sicily, which examined many of the exotic frescoes, a study in which Anger was assisted by sexologist Alfred Kinsey.[107]
1961 L’Histoire d’O 20 mins. Based upon Pauline Réage‘s 1954 novel, L’Histoire d’O, it revolved around the sado-masochistic sexual activities of a heterosexual couple. Anger would later relate that the money provided for the film had been a part of the ransom paid to the kidnappers of Eric Peugeot, heir to the Peugeot car company fortune.[109]
1963 Scorpio Rising 29 mins.
1965 Kustom Kar Kommandos 3 mins. In color, set to the tones of “Dream Lover” by The Paris Sisters, several handsome young men stand admiringly over the chassis of a souped-up hot rod. A young man slowly works the chamois over the chrome and paint of the machine. The young man now smartly dressed in matching pastel blue gets behind the wheel and begins to work the controls. Finally the engine revs and the car rolls away.[citation needed]
1969 Invocation of My Demon Brother 12 mins. In color, with an electronic score by Rolling Stoneslead singer Mick Jagger. The film features an array of occult symbols and activities, including a Satanicfuneral for a cat. Demon Brother also includes Anton LaVey as a priest, newsreel footage of the Vietnam War, and clips of The Rolling Stones‘ July 1969 free concert in London’s Hyde Park, their first public appearance after the death of Brian Jonesand their first performance with Mick Taylor. Also shown in the concert footage are Jagger’s then-girlfriend and pop singer Marianne Faithfull and Keith Richards‘ wife, actress Anita PallenbergDemon Brother is mostly assembled from footage for Anger’s original version of Lucifer Rising, including scenes of future Manson Familyassociate Bobby Beausoleil in the titular role.
1970–1980 Lucifer Rising 29 mins.
1976 Senators in Bondage Announced, but never produced[110]
1977 Matelots en Menottes Announced, but never produced[110]
1979 Denunciation of Stan Brakhage 7 mins. Announced, but never produced[110]
2000 Don’t Smoke That Cigarette! 45 mins.
2000 Hollywood Babylon 4 mins. Co-directed with Nico B.
2002 The Man We Want to Hang 12 mins. Images of artworks by or related to Aleister Crowley with music by Anatol Liadov
2004 Anger Sees Red 4 mins. Comprises footage of a muscled man, who identifies himself only as “Red”, walking through a park and sunbathing, at which he is seen by Anger himself, who is also in the park, before subsequently returning home.[citation needed]
2004 Patriotic Penis
2005 Mouse Heaven 11 mins. montage of Mickey Mouse memorabilia from the 1920s and 1930s, accompanied by contemporary jazz music[citation needed]
2007 Elliott’s Suicide 15 mins.
2007 I’ll Be Watching You 5 mins.
2007 My Surfing Lucifer 4 mins. Color with no sound; “A Tribute to my Surfing Pal Adolph Bunker Spreckels III” “BUNKY”. A young man with a white mercedes, the rolling waves breaking on the beach, the surfers riding them in. The film ends with a closeup of the skinned elbow of the surfer, presumably abraded during a wipeout.[citation needed]
2008 Foreplay 7 mins.
2008 Ich Will! 35 mins.
2008 Uniform Attraction 21 mins.
2010 Missoni 2 mins. 32 secs.

 

ANGER’S BOOKS

1959 Hollywood Babylon
1961 A History of Eroticism An introduction to Lo Duca‘s book.
1970 Atlantis: The Lost Continent An introduction to Aleister Crowley’s book.
1986 Hollywood Babylon II
2001 Suicide in the Entertainment Industry With David K. Frasier.

 

The Short films that are readily available (also considered his most significant works):

1947 Fireworks

(this clip includes music from contemporary musician Sufjan Stevens)

1949 Puce Moment

(music is from Johnathan Halper, Anger included the music when he re-released the original video sometime around 1968)

 

 

 

1950 Rabbit’s Moon

(I like this longer version that contains some contemporary fan music – its quite good)

 

 

1954 Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome

 

 

1963 Scorpio Rising

(this version includes the original ‘pop’ music soundtrack – its fucking awesome exactly the way it was made)

 

 

1965 Kustom Kar Kommandos

(this clip includes the original soundtrack as well)

 

 

1969 Invocation of My Demon Brother

(the only version I could find with orignal sound is a combined video with ‘Lucifer Rising’ – Mick Jagger’s soundtrack for ‘Demon Brother’ is my favorite of Anger’s films – it is also one of my top ten favorite soundtracks ‘period’ :))

 

1970–1980 Lucifer Rising

 

 

(Lucifer Rising’ follows ‘Demon Brother’ in this video)

 

INTERVIEWS

 

 

 

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