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Cinematic magician, legendary provocateur, author of the infamous HOLLYWOOD BABYLON books and creator of some of the most striking and beautiful works in the history of film, Kenneth Anger is a singular figure in post-war American culture.
A major influence on everything from the films of Martin Scorsese, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and David Lynch to the pop art of Andy Warhol to MTV, Anger's work serves as a talisman of universal symbols and personal obsessions, combining myth, artifice and ritual to render cinema with the power of spell or incantation.
Covering the first half of Anger's career, from his landmark debut FIREWORKS in 1947 to his epic bacchanalia INAGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME, Fantoma is very proud to present the long-awaited first volume of films by this revolutionary and groundbreaking maverick, painstakingly restored and presented on DVD for the first time.
Contains the films:
Puce Moment (1949)
Rabbit's Moon (1950, the rarely seen original 16 minute version)
Eaux d'Artifice (1953)
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954)
Recently restored by the UCLA Film Archive, Kenneth Anger's difficult-to-see early films are finally collected here onto DVD, alongside optional fascinating commentary by Anger himself. Scores of Anger fans have previously persevered through horrid rented VHS copies of these films, due to their inimitable beauty and strangeness. Anger is renowned for filmic experimentation that portrays invented occult or druggy subcultures while formally rejecting conventions of blockbuster filmmaking. As a result, he has also become the unofficial godfather of the music video, for his groundbreaking use of soundtracks that, in these early films at least, meld classical music with '50s bubble gum pop and '60s folk for a hypnotic, psychedelic effect. Fireworks is a monumental film credited as gay cinema's first masterpiece. Rabbit's Moon, presented in its original 16-minute version, and Eaux d'Artifice are Anger's two other brilliant black-and-white studies of European culture, namely Miming and the 17th century art of Water Fountains. Anger's commentary reveals directorial secrets, for example that Eaux d'Artifice's black-and-white appearance is tromp l'oeil that involved both manipulation of the camera and film development to heighten the film's metaphoric notion of artifice. Puce Moment, starring Yvonne Marquis, is a colorful, campy tribute to silent film glamour, in which the star debates what gown to wear for a party. Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome is the first Anger film to investigate mythology in relation to Aleister Crowley's witchcraft, subject matter that consumed Anger in consequent projects. Kenneth Anger's films exist in a timeless, stylized void that is both alluring and terrifying. Watching these selections will prove that Anger's aesthetic contributions to cinema are noticeable fifty years later. --Trinie Dalton
It was a very long wait indeed, years in fact, during which it seemed that this project by Fantoma to collect, restore and release a collection of Kenneth Anger's pioneering films... Read morePublished 24 months ago by an acquaintance
I had read about Kenneth Anger by reading Anais Nin & how she is featured in one of his movies, plus the ideas of his movies are fantastic & certainly inspiring. Read morePublished on September 5, 2012 by tinker bell
Starts off with "Fireworks", a 14-minute long homoerotic film starring the 18-year-old Anger himself. Read morePublished on August 26, 2011 by Surferofromantica
i highly recommend this collection of kenneth anger's early works. this is a great must-have for any film buff or anyone wanting to learn a little more about the art of film. Read morePublished on December 13, 2009 by Mara L. Powell
i loved it i thought i was very interesting and entertaining. even if your not into these kinda movies I think anyone would like it.Published on September 30, 2009 by Lesser Knowns
I have to commend the makers of these DVD sets. Anger's work looks amazingly beautiful! The entire treatment deserves closer examination, anyone who considers themselves a fan of... Read morePublished on February 24, 2009 by Matthew D. Reel
To the general public Kenneth Anger (born Kenneth Anglemyer in 1927 California) is probably best known for the book HOLLYWOOD BABLYON, which chronicles the less savory side of... Read morePublished on October 7, 2008 by Gary F. Taylor
I was lucky enough to watch some of these films on the big screen earlier this year- with Kenneth Anger in attendance doing a Q&A. Read morePublished on December 28, 2007 by Shawn Porter
I mean, I just saw it, and I'm still not sure what I saw. I do know that it's not anything like I've seen before. Read morePublished on October 15, 2007 by wiredweird