¿ Quien es Kenneth Anger ?: Probablemente uno de los directores de cine, ( autor y actor ) más innovador y desconocido del siglo XX y bajo mi punto de vista una de las mayores influencias dentro del cine moderno, alternativo, experimental y de autor Americano, pero que va mucho mas allá de esto ya que podemos ver claramente su influencia en films y en la carrera de realizadores reconocidísimos como por ejemplo Martin Scorsese , David Lynch o John Waters – por citar solo a tres quienes han reconocido personalmente su enorme influencia – y un largo, larguisimo etcetera . Anger ha trabajado únicamente en películas cortas, produciendo mas de cuarenta desde que se inició en 1937 siendo poco mas que un niño. De hecho cuenta que dirigió su primer corto a los siete años.
También es el autor de los dos primeros tomos de los controvertidos libros “Hollywood Babylon“, paradójicamente mucha gente le conoce mas por esto que por su cine.
Algunos de sus cortos rozan más el género del videoclip por su montaje y su duración. Se le concede el genio y el honor de ser el cineasta que dirigió el primer videoclip musical de la historia, ( “Scorpio Rising” ,que incluyo mas abajo ). Y dentro de este corto, la secuencia “Jesus” es especialmente delirante; Mientras Anger estaba montando “Scorpio Rising” llegó a su correo por error una pelicula educacional de la comunidad Luterana, viendo el potencial Kitsch de la cinta Anger decidió doblarla con musica e incorporarla al film con la posterior demanda de la Iglesia Luterana por violación de copyright, la cual fue desestimada ya que se consideró que había sido utilizada únicamente “con fines satíricos”.
El film forma parte del ciclo “The Magic Lantern”:
“Jesus”, fragmento de “Scorpio Rising”:
Anger ha estado siempre vivamente obsesionado por las obras y la vida del brujo Ingles Aleister Crowley.
“Todos estos films están cerca de ser sueños y en los sueños no siempre hemos de analizar lo que cada cosa significa” ( Kenneth Anger ).
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome — Keneth Anger — 
A Slavonic Mass by Leos Janácek plays as historical figures, biblical characters, and mythical creatures gather in the pleasure dome. Aphrodite, Lilith, Isis, Kali, Astarte, Nero, Pan, and the Great Beast and the Scarlet Woman are part of a visual feast of images superimposed, hallucinations, and the spirit of decadence of the “Yellow ’90s.” Mythological images from Aleister Crowley, cabalistic symbols, artifice, and magic combine to render the pleasure dome both as prison and as celebration. The movie features the author Anaïs Nin as ‘Astarte’, Marjorie Cameron as ‘The Scarlet Woman’, and the filmmaker Curtis Harrington, as well as Kenneth Anger himself.
Eaux d’Artifice – Kenneth Anger (1953)
Invocation of My Demon Brother (Kenneth Anger, 1969)
Kenneth Anger. Sound by Mick Jagger:
Fireworks (Kenneth Anger, 1947)
Kenneth Anger is an American underground experimental filmmaker, occasional actor and author. Working exclusively in short films, he has produced almost forty works since 1937, nine of which in particular have been grouped together as the “Magick Lantern Cycle”, and form the basis of Anger’s reputation as one of the most influential independent filmmakers in cinema history.
Lucifer Rising (1970–1981) With Invocation of My Demon Brother having used up much of the footage originally intended for Lucifer Rising, Anger once more set about to create this film, which was designed to be a symbolic analogy of the coming Aeon of Horus as prophesied in the Thelemic sacred text, The Book of the Law. Anger persuaded the singer and actress Marianne Faithfull to appear in it, and tried to convince his friend Mick Jagger to play the part of Lucifer in the film, although he refused, and instead offered his brother Chris for the part, something Anger accepted, but was not happy about. Anger subsequently filmed eight minutes of the film, and showed them to the British National Film Finance Corporation who agreed to provide £15,000 in order for Anger to complete it — something that caused a level of outrage in the British press. With this money, he could afford to fly the cast and crew to both Germany and Egypt for filming. Anger befriended Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page around this time, with the two having a great mutual interest in Crowley. At Page’s invitation, Anger would travel to Boleskine House on the shores of Loch Ness in Scotland, where Crowley had once lived and which Page had purchased, and helped the musician to exorcise the building of what Page believed to be a headless man’s ghost. Page subsequently agreed to produce the soundtrack for Lucifer Rising, and used the editing suite which was in the basement of his London home to shape the music which he produced. Anger later fell out with Page’s wife Charlotte, who kicked him out of the house. In retaliation, he called a press conference in which he ridiculed Page and threatened to “throw a Kenneth Anger curse” on him. Page’s music was dumped from the film and replaced in 1979 by music written and recorded by the imprisoned Bobby Beausoleil, with whom Anger had made up. “Lucifer is a teenage rebel. Lucifer must be played by a teenage boy. It’s type-casting. I’m a pagan and the film is a real invocation of Lucifer. I’m much realer than von Stroheim. The film contained real black magicians, a real ceremony, real altars, real human blood, and a real magic circle consecrated with blood and cum.” Kenneth Anger Meanwhile, Anger, who moved to an apartment in New York City, took the footage that he had filmed for Rabbit’s Moon in the 1950s, finally releasing the film in 1972, and again in a shorter version in 1979. Around the same time he also added a new soundtrack to Puce Moment and re-released it.It was also around this time that the publisher Marvin Miller produced a low budget documentary film based on Hollywood Babylon without Anger’s permission, greatly angering him and leading him to sue.He also created a short film entitled Senators in Bondage which was only available to private collectors and which has never been made publicly available, and had plans to make a film about Aleister Crowley entitled The Wickedest Man in the World, but this project never got off the ground. In 1980, he holidayed with his friend, the playwright Tennessee Williams. It was in 1981, a decade after starting the project, that he finally finished and released the 30-minute long Lucifer Rising. Based upon the Thelemite concept that mankind had entered a new period known as the Aeon of Horus, Lucifer Rising was full of occult symbolism, starring Miriam Gibril as the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis and Donald Cammell as her consort Osiris, as well as Marianne Faithfull as the Biblical figure of Lilith and Leslie Huggins as Lucifer himself. Anger once again appeared in the film, starring as the Magus, the same role that he played in Invocation to My Demon Brother.He had surrealistically combined the roles that these characters played with footage of volcanoes, various ancient Egyptian temples and a Crowleyian adept reading from the man’s texts.
KENNETH ANGER – LUCIFER RISING PT.1 (1973 / 1981)
(Banda sonora compuesta por Jimmy Page de Led Zeppelin.)
Lucifer Rising, a celebration of pagan ritual featuring Marianne Faithfull, had a soundtrack written from prison by Bobby Beausoleil, a convicted murderer and an associate of the Manson family. In Lucifer Rising, Faithfull plays Lilith, a demon. It was Anger’s most expensive film because it involved a trip to Egypt. “I said to Marianne Faithfull, don’t bring any drugs because they’ll execute you. So she hid her heroin in her make up box underneath her face powder. I think she was powdering her face with heroin.”
Scorpio Rising 1963
Has possibly the greatest pop soundtrack in movie history: Fools Rush In, My Boyfriend’s Back, Blue Velvet, Hit the Road Jack, He’s a Rebel. Scorpio Rising would later encourage Martin Scorsese (in Mean Streets) and David Lynch (in Blue Velvet) to use pop songs to help tell a story.
Kenneth Anger Interview – On Magic and Film Commentary
“Death” (2008) directed by: Kenneth Anger
Missoni – Campagna Pubblicitaria 2010/2011
Campaña publicitaria para Missoni:
“Mouse Heaven” (2004) directed by: Kenneth Anger
A short film featuring various vintage Mickey Mouse toys.
Interview Kenneth Anger (Paris September 2012)
- Who Has Been Rocking My Dreamboat (1941)
- Tinsel Tree (1942)
- Prisoner of Mars (1942)
- The Nest (1943)
- Drastic Demise (1945)
- Escape Episode (1946)
- Fireworks (1947). 14 minutos.
- Puce Moment (1949). 6 minutos.
- The Love That Whirls (1949)
- Maldoror (1951-1952, inacabada)
- Rabbit’s Moon (1950-72-79) 16 min. / 7 min.
- Eaux d’artifice (1953). 13 minutos.
- Le Jeune Homme et la Mort (1953)
- Thelema Abbey (1955). Documental sobre la Abadía de Thelema en Cefalú (Sicilia), creada por Aleister Crowley.
- Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954-56) (Inauguración de la cúpula del placer). 40 minutos.
- Historie d’O (1959-1961)
- Scorpio Rising (1963). 30 minutos.
- Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965). 3 minutos.
- Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) (Invocación de mi demonio guardian). 15 minutos. Banda sonora compuesta por Mick Jagger. En este cortometraje, Anton Szandor LaVey fundador de la iglesia de Satán, hace el papel de Satán.
- Lucifer Rising (1970-81). 45 minutos.Banda sonora compuesta por Jimmy Page de Led Zeppelin.
- Senators in Bondage (1976)
- Ich will! (2000)
- Don’t Smoke That Cigarette (2000)
- The Man We Want to Hang (2002)
- Mouse Heaven (2004)
- Anger Sees Red (2004)
Bibliografía en inglés
- Hollywood Babylon. Kenneth Anger (1959)
- Hollywood Babylon II. Kenneth Anger (1986)
- The Devil’s Notebook. Kenneth Anger y Anton Szandor LaVey (1992)
- Satan Speaks!. Kenneth Anger y Anton Szandor LaVey (1998)
- Suicide in the Entertainment Industry. Kenneth Anger y David K. Frasier]] (2001)
ABOUT ANGER: Anger is a Hollywood legend. He has created some of the most disturbing, gorgeous, crazy and influential films ever, even if he has yet to make a feature. This great avant-gardist is also a writer, best known for Lalaland’s two most scurrilous gossip digests: Hollywood Babylon 1 and 2; the first was published in 1965, banned immediately and not published again until 1975. Among the books’ more scandalous passages are allegations that Lucille Ball started Hollywood life as a prostitute; that James Dean had a “disconcerting interest” in a 12-year-old boy; and that Bette Davis killed her second husband. We meet at a London hotel that smells of cabbage. Anger is 83 years old; his hair is jet black, his shoes red, his trousers tan. One eye is bigger than the other, and his face is unlined. He is both beautiful and grotesque: Warren Beatty meets Frankenstein’s monster. Anger wasn’t always an outsider. He trained as a dancer, and as a boy danced with Shirley Temple. He was handsome enough to have been a leading man. But he did not want to be part of the system. ”
There was a possibility of going into the industry, but there was a very unpleasant atmosphere in the early 50s, the ridiculous witch-hunt of reds. I wasn’t a communist, I just found it very unpleasant.”
His voice is a cat’s purr. Although he made films as a boy, Anger’s earliest surviving work is 1947’s Fireworks. This appeared three years before Jean Genet’s groundbreaking homoerotic prison masterpiece, Un Chant D’Amour. Fireworks features a young man (Anger) wet-dreaming a sequence in which he is seduced/gang-raped by a group of sailors after he tries to pick one up. As with all his films, there are no words, and the story, such as it is, has a dramatic music score. The camera lingers on his apparent erection – which turns out to be a model of an African soldier. Blood pours from his eyes as he is pulverised by the sailors, and a firework explodes from his zip. His heart is ripped apart to expose a ticking time-piece. It’s not only surreal and scary, it is devastatingly beautiful. Astonishingly, it was made in the McCarthy era. Anger was arrested on obscenity charges following its release. The case went to the California Supreme Court, which declared the film to be art. Anger made it in his parents’ Beverly Hills home when they were away at an uncle’s funeral.
“I just put the furniture in the garden and the living room was the set. Luckily it didn’t rain.”
How did public screenings go? ”
Well, it was shown to an elite audience,” Anger says. “Among the people who came was James Whale, the British director of Frankenstein, and I became friends with him. Dr Alfred Kinsey, the sex researcher, also came. I became friends with him, too.”
Did his parents see it? “Um, no. My grandmother saw it. She was like my sponsor: she bought my camera for me. She said it’s terrific. She was a painter.”
Did he know what he was trying to do with films? “Well, I knew all about French avant garde, so I was the American avant garde.” Six-packs, scorpions, swastikas Anger was born Kenneth Anglemeyer in 1927. His father worked for Douglas Aircraft and his brother went into the airforce, but it was his grandmother who was his inspiration. She took him to exhibitions, introduced him to art and film. At Beverly Hills High school, he remembers looking out of the window watching The Song of Bernadette being made at 20th Century Fox next door. He was friends with Harry Brand Jr, son of Fox’s head of publicity. They would swap Hollywood gossip during break. In his teens, he founded his own film society to screen obscure European movies. By the time of Fireworks, Kenneth Anglemeyer had disappeared. The sole opening credit reads: “A film by Anger.” Was it a name that reflected how he felt? “I just condensed my name,” he says. “I knew it would be like a label, a logo. It’s easy to remember.” It is Anger’s use of music as a substitute for dialogue that marks him out from other film-makers of his time. He set 1954’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, inspired by Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan, to Janácek’s Glagolitic Mass. His most famous film, Scorpio Rising (another sadomasochistic montage of bikers, beatings, six-packs, scorpions and swastikas), has possibly the greatest pop soundtrack in movie history: Fools Rush In, My Boyfriend’s Back, Blue Velvet, Hit the Road Jack, He’s a Rebel. Scorpio Rising would later encourage Martin Scorsese (in Mean Streets) and David Lynch (in Blue Velvet) to use pop songs to help tell a story. Lucifer Rising, a celebration of pagan ritual featuring Marianne Faithfull, had a soundtrack written from prison by Bobby Beausoleil, a convicted murderer and an associate of the Manson family.
Wasn’t Beausoleil a boyfriend of his? “He was a friend. We lived together.”
Has he known a lot of bad boys? “I seem to be attracted to bad boys, but I never let it go too far. In other words, there’s always, ‘OK, it’s time for me to move out.'”
I ask Anger if he was a bad boy. He smiles. “I was a smart boy. Too smart to be involved in badness.” He has always preferred badness by association.
Anger was also a friend of Anton Szandor LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan in the 1960s. Is he a satanist?
“No, I am not a satanist. I am a pagan. Satanism is another thing.”
But, I say, people look at your dystopian films, with their myriad references to the devil, and assume you are a devil-worshipper. “Well, I can’t help what people see in them,” he says.
Were you playing with ideas or was it your belief system? “Well, I suppose, a belief.” In what? “Underneath it all is an appreciation of nature.”
In Lucifer Rising, Faithfull plays Lilith, a demon. It was Anger’s most expensive film because it involved a trip to Egypt.
“I said to Marianne Faithfull, don’t bring any drugs because they’ll execute you. So she hid her heroin in her makeup box underneath her face powder. I think she was powdering her face with heroin.”
‘Hollywood is a dried-out prune’ Anger often found it hard to finance his films. This is where the Hollywood Babylon books came in useful. Although it took him years to get them past the lawyers, they became bestsellers. Many of their stories are still disputed. For years, we have been waiting for Hollywood Babylon 3. Anger says it is written, but it’s on hold.
“The main reason I didn’t bring it out was that I had a whole section on Tom Cruise and the Scientologists. I’m not a friend of the Scientologists.”
He says today’s Holly-wood is a dried-out prune of a place, its stars not even worth gossiping about. “I covered most of the people who were interesting to me in the first two books.”
Not only is Anger still filming in his 80s, he tells me he is in the middle of a purple patch, having recently made a number of shorts: one about military uniforms called Uniform Attraction; another about football warmups called Foreplay; and a third, Elliott’s Suicide, about his friend, singer/songwriter Elliott Smith, who killed himself in 2003 at the age of 34.
“He stabbed himself in the heart after a quarrel with his girlfriend. It’s the most ridiculous reason to kill yourself.”
Although Smith’s songs feature in Elliott’s Suicide, it is a film without dialogue. After all, why change a winning formula? Actually, there is one thing I have always wondered: does Anger ever watch, say, Lucifer Rising and wonder what the hell it’s all about? He smiles for a long time, casting his mind back over all those years, all those films.
“They are close to being dreams – and in dreams, you don’t have to analyse what everything means.”
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