2005 / Canada / Colour / English
A film by: Elio Gelmini
Cast: Kenneth Anger
The story of Kenneth Anger, avant-garde filmmaker and Author of 'Hollywood Babylon".
Kenneth Anger was a major personality of the 1960’s and 1970’s who defined himself as a “cinematographic magician” and his “cinema” as a ritualistic form.
He is particularly well-known for his films “Fireworks” (1947), “Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome” (1954), “Scorpio Rising” ((1963) and “Lucifer Rising” (1970-1981).
Kenneth credits the use of esoteric symbolism, prevalent in his films, to Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the great magician, advocate of Gnosticism and neo-paganism.
Contemporaries like Stan Brakhage and Harry Smith were influenced by and expanded upon Anger's approach in what was known as the "underground". Later on, this "underground" influenced Martin Scorsese, the contemporary mainstream exponent of this expressionistic style, who openly acknowledges Kenneth Anger's influence on his film technique. Kenneth is also known as the author of the “tell-all” series of books entitled “Hollywood Babylon."
Includes a special appearance of Jonas Mekas, the godfather of American avant-garde filmmaking, and music by Bobby Beausoleil, Steven Brown, Nikolas Klau, Tuxedomoon, Trevor Tureski & Richard Sacks.
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"When I first saw Kenneth Anger's Fireworks, I was absolutely shocked that it was made in 1947, when Anger was a young buck of 17. While not the first queer American underground film, Fireworks was certainly among the most overtly homoerotic. Appropriately enough, it is the keystone of Pleasure Dome's Sat, Jan 28 screening When We Were Very Young, a program of early work by queer North American experimental filmmakers."
"Managing Anger. Kenneth Anger speaks out on phones, artistic theft and Scientology"
- Now Magazine
"...described (here) as a documentary but in truth it's far more than that: it's a long-overdue monologue, an opportunity for the oft-maligned Anger to present his life as he remembers it."
"Elio Gelmini's Anger Me paints an enduring biographical portrait of Kenneth Anger, one of the most fascinating, controversial and brilliant cinematic artists of the past sixty years, and a veritable godfather of independent film."
- New York Times
"This worthwhile documentary portrait of Kenneth Anger makes a fine complement for the screenings of his oeuvre restored on 35mm and an expected visit from the legend of the American avant-garde himself."
- Time Out London