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The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 2

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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 a spell or incantation.
Covering the second half of Anger's career, from his legendary SCORPIO RISING to his breathtaking phantasmagoria LUCIFER RISING, Fantoma is very proud to complete the cycle with this long-awaited final volume of films by this revolutionary and groundbreaking maverick, painstakingly restored and presented on DVD for the first time anywhere in the world.

Contains the films:
Scorpio Rising (1964)
Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965)
Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)
Rabbit's Moon (1979 version)
Lucifer Rising (1981)

Amazon.com

Pleasure and terror commingle in this next collection of Kenneth Anger films gathered in Volume 2. Like those in The Films of Kenneth Anger: Volume 1, these shorts illustrate Anger's occult concepts with adept, fetishized poeticism manifested formally through Anger's luscious color experiments, avant-garde soundtracks, and radically inventive editing. Volume 2 boasts Anger's later, darker films that were allegedly magick incarnate: "Scorpio Rising," "Invocation of My Demon Brother," and "Lucifer Rising." "Scorpio Rising," about a biker gang as a symbol of savage ritualism, contains truly scary footage of an actual death-by-motorcycle, and is the most brilliant example of proto-metal culture that has by now infiltrated America's mainstream. "Invocation of My Demon Brother" stars the infamous Bobby Beausoleil, and is a gorgeous psychedelic recap of a theatrical black magick ceremony performed on stage during Anger's Haight Ashbury days. It features a stunning noise piece played on a Moog by Mick Jagger. "Lucifer Rising," too, is an infamous film, as it was made as a tribute to Lucifer's rejuvenating forces. Each film turns the concept of evil inside out, leaving one with a more complex notion of why Anger considered the camera a "magical weapon." Volume 2 also contains the slick "Kustom Kar Kommandos," about car club culture mirroring sexual fetish, a shortened version of "Rabbit Moon," and the not-as-exciting 2002 film "The Man We Want to Hang," about Aleister Crowley's paintings. The commentaries on each film offer indispensable, eloquent insights into the visionary motifs inherent to each piece. Notably, the booklet in Volume 2 contains essays by Guy Maddin, Gus Van Sant, and Bobby Beausoleil, who recalls his association with Anger, and how he managed to finish the "Lucifer Rising" soundtrack in his prison cell. For Kenneth Wilbur Anglemeyer fans, these DVDs sets contain welcome blessings, or curses, or both. —Trinie Dalton

Special Features

  • High-definition transfers from newly restored elements
  • Screen specific audio commentary by Kenneth Anger
  • Anger's 2002 film THE MAN WE WANT TO HANG
  • Restoration Demonstrations
  • Restored stereo soundtrack for LUCIFER RISING, re-mastered from the original session tapes
  • Additional audio track for INVOCATION OF MY DEMON BROTHER
  • A 48 page book with written appreciations of Kenneth Anger by Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, and Guy Maddin, written introduction to LUCIFER RISING by Bobby BeauSoleil, extensive notes for each film, rare photos, and more.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kenneth Anger
  • Directors: Kenneth Anger
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Fantoma
  • DVD Release Date: October 2, 2007
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UAE7QS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,313 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Films of Kenneth Anger, Vol. 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Kenneth Anger, Volume Two gathers together Kenneth Anger's work during his most influential period. "Scorpio Rising" is the standout, a homoerotic (daring by the standards of the day)semi-documentary (play the commentary) of gay bikers in Coney Island which through use of montage and then current pop songs, some sacreligious elements (a dated religious film is spliced in) and film footage of Hollywood movies (Marlon Brando in the "Wild One", James Dean)creates an avant masterwork, underground before the genre became tedious. Influential on John Waters Gus Van Sant but surprisingly an admitted influence on Martin Scorcese and many other mainstream film makers (the use of the song "Blue Velvet" in an out of context fashion may have been lifted by a certain film maker) and the use of pop songs in an ironic context was groundbreaking. The other films are less important ("Kustom Kar Kommandos" is a film fragment never completed, "Invocation of My Demon Brother" is dated (Mick Jagger unsuccesfully trying out the Moog, soundtrack, the appearence of Anton Levay), "Rabbit's Moon" is a shortened version of the far better version available on Volume I (which had a far more appropriate soundtrack) and "Lucifer Rising" has its moments and nice imagery but no more (the new film on Aleister Crowley "The Man We Want to Hang" is an interesting bonus but no surprise). So for overall content I'd give this 4 stars but "Scorpio Rising", plus the remastering of the films and soundtracks and the commentary take this up one full star and make this a neccessary purchase for all interested in film history.
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Format: DVD
The Films of Kenneth Anger - Vol. 2 is another lovingly prepared DVD treasure from San Francisco based Fantoma Films. Superb restoration from high definition masters on all 5 classic films, plus a bonus short. Commentaries by Kenneth Anger himself are informative and tell us the little secrets that we want to know. The 48 page illustrated booklet is another well thought out piece. Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos, Invocation Of My Demon Brother, Rabbit's Moon and the long awaited Lucifer Rising have never looked or sounded so good. Buy this one and treasure it.
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Format: DVD
Depending on whom you ask, the name "Kenneth Anger" conjures up any number of reactions. The author of the notorious "Hollywood Babylon". A devoted disciple of Aleister Crowley. A man who counts Dennis Hopper, Jimmy Page and former Manson family associate Bobby BeauSoleil amongst his friends. A provocative and influential film director. "Kenneth who!?" This collection covers the latter part (1964-2002) of the underground raconteur's astounding, nearly 60-year long career in avant-garde filmmaking. You may not know the name, but you've likely felt the influence. Watch 1964's legendary short "Scorpio Rising" back to back with Martin Scorcese's "Mean Streets" (just for starters) and you'll see what I'm talking about. Fantoma's handsome presentation features a nice booklet with essays from admirers Scorcese, Guy Maddin and Gus Van Sant, as well as wonderfully droll and enlightening commentary from the 75 year old (but still sharp as a tack) Anger. Essential viewing.
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Vol. II of Fantoma's Kenneth Anger collection is here, and it's as good or better than anything I could have hoped for. Anger's later films, from Scorpio Rising through Lucifer Rising (his 2002 film of Aleister Crowley's art is also included as an extra) are presented gloriously restored. If you grew up watching these on the UK import or Mystic Fire VHS editions (as I did), the sheer clarity and vibrance of the restored films will be enough to blow you away. Add to that the detailed and witty commentary from the auteur himself (the Scorpio comments are especially illuminating), and you have a package that no true fan of 60s-70s underground cinema could resist.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
At last the work of Anger is available to all and at a good price
The films never looked better
The commentary of Kenneth Anger is a stand out for setting the record straight on what films where about, Scorpio Rising is a good case point and what may you think of the bikers ,as most of their girlfriends where standing there ,A good show case for the high profile he has and the people who worked with him
I don't mind saying he's very polite on some people considering what happened in the past
A must for any film student
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Format: DVD
The first film in this long-awaited collection of Kenneth Anger's entire oeuvre is perhaps the single most influential of all his films, "Scorpio Rising." Representing a return to the themes of his first film "Fireworks," its a hallucinatory half-hour look at the connection in American culture between motorcycles, masculinity, myth, and pop music in American culture; its influence on later films (such as those of Martin Scorsese) is almost incalculable. The print here is absolutely stunning: the restoration was done so perfectly the film probably looks better than it ever has even when it was first made. Almost no-one since Eisenstein and the Soviets of the 20s uses montage more effectively than Anger does, and you can also see his technique in fine form in his (unfortunately forestalled) follow-up work, "Kustom Kar Kommandoes," which contrasts a beauitful custom-made California car, the emblem of constructed Apolline hypermasculity, with a pink backdrop (and a pink powerpuff used to buff it).

The remaining films are more of interest for people particularly interested in Anger as a filmmaker and thinker than for people simply interested in the history of experimental films; there are several predecessor works here to the film Anger considers his chef d'oeuvre, the 1981 "Lucifer Rising," which lays out the basic icons of his belief in Aleister Crowley's cosmology. As important as it undeniably is to Anger's ideas, its somewhat cheesy special effects seem to be behind the curve rather than ahead of it: the whole thing looks less like a tribute to the worship of Dionysiac gods than it does a prototype for Olivia Newton-John videos. (You almost expect her to come rollerskating out of heaven behind the flying saucer over the Colossi of Memnon.) But if only for its beautiful restoration of "Scorpio Rising" (available her for the first time commercially on DVD!), this DVD is worth the price for any serious student of experimental film.
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