Kenneth Anger

Kenneth Anger (born Kenneth Wilbur Anglemeyer; February 3, 1927) is an American underground experimental filmmaker, 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. His films variously merge surrealism with homoeroticism and the occult, and have been described as containing "elements of erotica, documentary, psychodrama, and spectacle." Anger himself has been described as "one of America's first openly gay filmmakers, and certainly the first whose work addressed homosexuality in an undisguised, self-implicating manner," and his "role in rendering gay culture visible within American cinema, commercial or otherwise, is impossible to overestimate." Some of his particularly homoerotic works, such as Fireworks (1947) and Scorpio Rising (1964), were produced prior to the legalisation of homosexuality in the United States. He has also focused upon occult themes in many of his films, being fascinated by the notorious English occultist Aleister Crowley, and is a follower of Crowley's religion, Thelema. This influence is evident from films like Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and Lucifer Rising (1972). Anger has described filmmakers such as Auguste and Louis Lumière and Georges Méliès ...

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The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954)

Lord Shiva wakes. A convocation of magicians in the guise of figures from mythology; a masquerade party at which Pan is the prize. The wine of Hecate is poured: Pan's cup is poisoned by Shiva. Kali blesses the assembly as a bacchic rite ensues.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Anaïs Nin  •  Marjorie Cameron  •  Samson De Brier  •  Joan Whitney

Lord Shiva wakes. A convocation of magicians in the guise of figures from mythology; a masquerade party at which Pan is the prize. The wine of Hecate is poured: Pan's cup is poisoned by Shiva. Kali blesses the assembly as a bacchic rite ensues.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Anaïs Nin  •  Marjorie Cameron  •  Samson De Brier  •  Joan Whitney

Scorpio Rising (1963)

A gang of Nazi bikers prepares for a race as sexual, sadistic, and occult images are cut together.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Ernie Allo  •  Bruce Byron  •  Frank Carifi  •  Steve Crandell

A gang of Nazi bikers prepares for a race as sexual, sadistic, and occult images are cut together.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Ernie Allo  •  Bruce Byron  •  Frank Carifi  •  Steve Crandell

Eaux d'artifice (1953)

A woman dressed elegantly walks purposely through the water gardens at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, as the music of Vivaldi's Winter movement of The Four Seasons plays. Heavy red filters give a blue cast to the light; water plays across stone, and fountains send it ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Carmilla Salvatorelli

A woman dressed elegantly walks purposely through the water gardens at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, as the music of Vivaldi's Winter movement of The Four Seasons plays. Heavy red filters give a blue cast to the light; water plays across stone, and fountains send it ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Carmilla Salvatorelli

Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965)

A man in tight jeans buffs his car to the strains of The Paris Sisters’ “Dream Lover”.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Sandy Trent

A man in tight jeans buffs his car to the strains of The Paris Sisters’ “Dream Lover”.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Sandy Trent

The Man We Want to Hang (2002)

"The Man We Want to Hang" is a 12-minute short, consisting of Anger filming borrowed paintings done by legendary and controversial occultist Aleister Crowley.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Aleister Crowley

"The Man We Want to Hang" is a 12-minute short, consisting of Anger filming borrowed paintings done by legendary and controversial occultist Aleister Crowley.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Aleister Crowley

Airships 1, 2, 3 (2013)

Kenneth Anger's Airship series consists of three short films that exhume newsreel footage of mighty dirigibles hovering ominously in the sky, the filmmaker's characteristic fusion of magic, symbolism, mystery, and myth — as well as the opulent use of colour and, in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST: 

Kenneth Anger's Airship series consists of three short films that exhume newsreel footage of mighty dirigibles hovering ominously in the sky, the filmmaker's characteristic fusion of magic, symbolism, mystery, and myth — as well as the opulent use of colour and, in ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST: 

Don't Smoke That Cigarette (2000)

This is a compilation of TV commercials, interviews and propaganda regarding the cigarette and tobacco industry.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST: 

This is a compilation of TV commercials, interviews and propaganda regarding the cigarette and tobacco industry.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST: 

42 One Dream Rush (2010)

An omnibus of 42 short films by auteur directors based on Dreams.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tadanobu Asano  •  Rinko Kikuchi  •  David Lynch  •  James Franco  •  Harmony Korine  •  Abel Ferrara  •  Kenneth Anger  •  Asia Argento  •  Jonathan Caouette  •  Leos Carax  •  Gaspar Noé  •  Jonas Mekas  •  Zhang Yuan  •  Taika Waititi  •  Chan Marshall  •  Charles Burnett  •  Mike Figgis  •  Niki Caro  •  Carlos Reygadas  •  Lou Ye  •  Yung Chang  •  Grant Morrison  •  Florian Habicht  •  Floria Sigismondi  •  Brian Butler  •  Sergei Bodrov  •  Larry Clark  •  Joe Coleman  •  Chris Graham  •  Michele Civetta  •  Zachary Croitoroo  •  Terence Koh  •  Marcus Griffin  •  Ryan McGinley  •  Rajan Mehta  •  Chris Milk  •  Charlotte Kemp Muhl  •  Dee Poon  •  Matt Pyke  •  Lola Schnabel  •  Mote Sinabel  •  Arden Wohl
CAST:  Tadanobu Asano  •  Paz de la Huerta  •  Chloë Sevigny  •  Rinko Kikuchi

An omnibus of 42 short films by auteur directors based on Dreams.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Tadanobu Asano  •  Rinko Kikuchi  •  David Lynch  •  James Franco  •  Harmony Korine  •  Abel Ferrara  •  Kenneth Anger  •  Asia Argento  •  Jonathan Caouette  •  Leos Carax  •  Gaspar Noé  •  Jonas Mekas  •  Zhang Yuan  •  Taika Waititi  •  Chan Marshall  •  Charles Burnett  •  Mike Figgis  •  Niki Caro  •  Carlos Reygadas  •  Lou Ye  •  Yung Chang  •  Grant Morrison  •  Florian Habicht  •  Floria Sigismondi  •  Brian Butler  •  Sergei Bodrov  •  Larry Clark  •  Joe Coleman  •  Chris Graham  •  Michele Civetta  •  Zachary Croitoroo  •  Terence Koh  •  Marcus Griffin  •  Ryan McGinley  •  Rajan Mehta  •  Chris Milk  •  Charlotte Kemp Muhl  •  Dee Poon  •  Matt Pyke  •  Lola Schnabel  •  Mote Sinabel  •  Arden Wohl
CAST:  Tadanobu Asano  •  Paz de la Huerta  •  Chloë Sevigny  •  Rinko Kikuchi

He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of His Life (1986)

A film collage tracing the story of the lives, loves, and deaths within the artistic community surrounding Jonas Mekas.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonas Mekas
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Robert Breer  •  Adolfo Arrieta  •  Hollis Frampton

A film collage tracing the story of the lives, loves, and deaths within the artistic community surrounding Jonas Mekas.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Jonas Mekas
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Robert Breer  •  Adolfo Arrieta  •  Hollis Frampton

Jonas in the Desert (1994)

Not a documentary in the strictest sense of the word. Rather, it is a journey through the world of the artist Jonas Mekas - one of the exponents of independent U.S. movies; founder and director of the New York Anthology Film Archive.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Sempel
CAST:  Diahnne Abbott  •  Kenneth Anger  •  Stan Brakhage  •  Jonas Mekas

Not a documentary in the strictest sense of the word. Rather, it is a journey through the world of the artist Jonas Mekas - one of the exponents of independent U.S. movies; founder and director of the New York Anthology Film Archive.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Peter Sempel
CAST:  Diahnne Abbott  •  Kenneth Anger  •  Stan Brakhage  •  Jonas Mekas

Notes on Marie Menken (2006)

A look at avant-garde filmmaker Marie Menken.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Martina Kudlácek
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Stan Brakhage  •  Peter Kubelka  •  Alfred Leslie

A look at avant-garde filmmaker Marie Menken.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Martina Kudlácek
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Stan Brakhage  •  Peter Kubelka  •  Alfred Leslie

The Beach Boys and The Satan (1997)

A German documentary that explores the darker side of the Beach Boys, primarily focusing on Brian Wilson and the Pet Sounds album, with detours to the Manson Family.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Christoph Dreher
CAST:  Kim Fowley  •  Kenneth Anger  •  Jonathan Gilmore  •  Dick Dale

A German documentary that explores the darker side of the Beach Boys, primarily focusing on Brian Wilson and the Pet Sounds album, with detours to the Manson Family.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Christoph Dreher
CAST:  Kim Fowley  •  Kenneth Anger  •  Jonathan Gilmore  •  Dick Dale

Anger Me (2006)

Elio Gelmini interviews Avantgarde filmmaker Kenneth Anger. With archive footage of Angers films, he portrays the filmmaker from his childhood until present day.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Elio Gelmini
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Jonas Mekas

Elio Gelmini interviews Avantgarde filmmaker Kenneth Anger. With archive footage of Angers films, he portrays the filmmaker from his childhood until present day.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Elio Gelmini
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Jonas Mekas

Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)

The shadowing forth of Our Lord Lucifer, as the Power of Darkness gather at a midnight mass. The dance of the Magus widdershins around the Swirling Spiral Force, the solar swastika, until the Bringer of Light—Lucifer—breaks through.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Bobby Beausoleil  •  Bill Beutel  •  Mick Jagger

The shadowing forth of Our Lord Lucifer, as the Power of Darkness gather at a midnight mass. The dance of the Magus widdershins around the Swirling Spiral Force, the solar swastika, until the Bringer of Light—Lucifer—breaks through.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Bobby Beausoleil  •  Bill Beutel  •  Mick Jagger

Puce Moment (1949)

Puce Moment is a short 6 minute film by Kenneth Anger, author of the Hollywood Babylon books, filmed in 1949. Puce Moment resulted from the unfinished short film Puce Women. The film opens with a camera watching 1920s style flapper gowns being taken off a dress ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Yvonne Marquis

Puce Moment is a short 6 minute film by Kenneth Anger, author of the Hollywood Babylon books, filmed in 1949. Puce Moment resulted from the unfinished short film Puce Women. The film opens with a camera watching 1920s style flapper gowns being taken off a dress ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Yvonne Marquis

FLicKeR (2009)

In 1960, Brion Gysin invented the Dream Machine, a hypnotic light device with the power to induce hallucinations, drugless highs, and revolutionize human consciousness. It looks simple enough; a 100-watt light bulb, a motor, and a rotating cylinder with cutouts. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Nik Sheehan
CAST:  Richard Metzger  •  Brion Gysin  •  William S. Burroughs  •  Genesis P-Orridge

In 1960, Brion Gysin invented the Dream Machine, a hypnotic light device with the power to induce hallucinations, drugless highs, and revolutionize human consciousness. It looks simple enough; a 100-watt light bulb, a motor, and a rotating cylinder with cutouts. ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Nik Sheehan
CAST:  Richard Metzger  •  Brion Gysin  •  William S. Burroughs  •  Genesis P-Orridge

Fireworks (1947)

Fireworks revolves around a young man (played by Anger himself) associating with various navy sailors, who eventually turn on him, stripping him naked and beating him to death, ripping open his chest to find a clock ticking inside. Several fireworks then explode, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Gordon Gray  •  Bill Seltzer

Fireworks revolves around a young man (played by Anger himself) associating with various navy sailors, who eventually turn on him, stripping him naked and beating him to death, ripping open his chest to find a clock ticking inside. Several fireworks then explode, ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Gordon Gray  •  Bill Seltzer

Rabbit's Moon (1971)

A Japanese fairy tale meets commedia dell'Arte. All in white, the naïf Pierrot lies in a wood. Doo-wop music plays as he rises, stares about, and reaches for the moon. Although music abounds and the children of the wood are there at play, Pierrot is melancholy and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Andre Soubeyran  •  Claude Revenant  •  Nadine Valence

A Japanese fairy tale meets commedia dell'Arte. All in white, the naïf Pierrot lies in a wood. Doo-wop music plays as he rises, stares about, and reaches for the moon. Although music abounds and the children of the wood are there at play, Pierrot is melancholy and ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Andre Soubeyran  •  Claude Revenant  •  Nadine Valence

Lucifer Rising (1974)

Egyptian gods summons the angel Lucifer - in order to usher in a new occult age.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Bobby Beausoleil  •  Marianne Faithfull  •  Myriam Gibril

Egyptian gods summons the angel Lucifer - in order to usher in a new occult age.  (more)

DIRECTION:  Kenneth Anger
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Bobby Beausoleil  •  Marianne Faithfull  •  Myriam Gibril

Arabesque for Kenneth Anger (1961)

Filmed at the Alhambra in Spain in just one day, according to Marie Menken. Arabesque for Kenneth Anger concentrates on visual details found in Moorish architecture and in ancient Spanish tile. The date 1961 refers to the addition of Teiji Ito's soundtrack and its ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Marie Menken
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Willard Maas

Filmed at the Alhambra in Spain in just one day, according to Marie Menken. Arabesque for Kenneth Anger concentrates on visual details found in Moorish architecture and in ancient Spanish tile. The date 1961 refers to the addition of Teiji Ito's soundtrack and its ...  (more)

DIRECTION:  Marie Menken
CAST:  Kenneth Anger  •  Willard Maas
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