Kenneth Anger

   

 

 

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      Renowned as the author of the scandalous best-selling book Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a legend in his own time.  The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with the occult, astrology and the pop world of Jagger, Marianne Faithful and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss, and banning of his films.  At the heart of all this mythology is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and RW Fassbinder

        "Kenneth Anger's first public appearance on the Hollywood scene was in the role of the little Changeling Prince in the Warner's Max Reinhardt superproduction of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  In both Europe and the United States, Anger became considered the most original, influential, and truly independent of all American film artists.  From Fireworks (made when he was still a teenager) through Scorpio Rising, which branded an entire generation with its white hot and blood red images, to Lucifer Rising, Anger became, as Jonas Mekas put it, "one of the most complex personalities working in cinema.  Whatever he does, be it cinema or life, he does it fully, to the bottom... Kenneth Anger, the True Cosmic Explorer."  The collectibles, where for trade, are deemed to be Out of Print and/or have never been released commercially in the US.  They are sold one collector to another.  The seller owns no right to these videos and no rights are transferred or implied.

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The Films of Kenneth Anger - Vol. (Video)    Fireworks (1947), made when Kenneth Anger was only 17 during a long weekend when his parents were away, with footage stolen from the U.S. Navy, is the earliest of his works to survive.  It is a homo-erotic dream within a dream in which a young man, through a series of violent and ecstatic encounters, undergoes his rite of passage.  Anger himself plays The Dreamer.  It remains one of his best works for  its emotional maturity and visual wit.  "This flick is all I have to say about being 17, the United States Navy, Christmas and the Fourth of July." - Kenneth Anger.  14 minutes, tinted B&W.     Rabbit's Moon (1950):  In 1950, Anger attempted suicide in Paris.  Rabbit's Moon is a transposed, highly poeticized transposition of that incident.  It was shot in the studio belonging to director Jean-Pierre Melville which had been lent to anger.  After a few days of shooting, Melville unexpectedly reclaimed his studio, although the film was not completed, Moon remained a "lost" film for 20 years until Anger finally edited it in 1970, then adding a musical score.  This disturbing fable takes place in an extraordinary, tinselly forest, somewhat similar in texture to the fairy woodland in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), in which Anger appeared as a child actor.  A fable of the unattainable (the Moon) combining elements of Commedia dell'Arte with Japanese myth.  A lunar  dream utilizing the classic pantomime figure of Pierrot in an encounter with a prankish, enchanted Magick Lantern.  An enchanting film featuring Harlequin and Columbine, this version is the rarely seen original released in 1972.  This is the 1950 short version: 7 minutes, tinted B&W.    Eaux D'Artifice (1953):  Tuned to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, a Baroque lady flits in and out of Rome's Tivoli Fountain until she melts into the waters.  A technical and atmospheric masterpiece. "Hide and seek in a night-time labyrinth of levels, cascades, balusrades, grottoes, and ever-gushing leaping fountains, until the water witch and the fountain become one." - Kenneth Anger.  The film was shot in black & white and printed through a blue filter and the Lady's "Fan of Exorcism" was hand-tinted by Anger.  Of all his works, this is perhaps the most abstract: the rushing, flowing, trickling waters become interesting as shapes and rhythms.  An opposite retelling of Anger's masterpiece, Fireworks.  13 minutes, tinted B&W   Out of Print.   VERY LIMITED SUPPLY!   Excellent SP mode VHS NTSC, comes in black plastic collector's box with the wonderful Mystic Fire Video artwork.  US shipping $2.38 media or $5.10 priority.  Outside US, email for s/h.  $29.99.

 

The Films of Kenneth Anger - Vol. (Video)     Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954).   A hallucinatory Dionysic and Eucharistic ritual with multi-layered imagery in which magicians appear as figures from mythology and engage in an Orgia orchestrated by Lord Shiva.  "A convocation of magicians assume the identity of gods and goddesses in a Dionysian revel.  Lord Shiva, the magician, awakes. The Scarlet Woman, whore of heaven, smokes a big, fat joint; Astarte of the moon brings the wings of snow; Pan bestows the grapes of Bacchus; Hecate offers the sacred mushroom, yage, wormwood brew. The vintage of Hecate is poured. Pan's cup is poisoned by Lord Shiva. The orgy ensues - a magick masquerade at which Pan is the prize. Lady Kali blesses the rites of the children of light as Lord Shiva invokes the godhead with the formula 'Force and Fire'. Dedicated to the few; and to Aleister Crowley; and the crowned and conquering child." - Kenneth Anger.  Anger's close friend Anais Nin is featured as Astarte!  The film is derived from one of Crowley's dramatic rituals where people in the cult assume the identity of a god or a goddess.  In other words, it's the equivalent of a masquerade party - they plan this for a whole year and on All Sabbath's Eve, they come as gods and goddesses that they have identified with and the whole thing is like an improvised happening.  This is the actual thing the film is based on.  38 minutes. COLOR. Out of Print.  VERY LIMITED SUPPLY!   Excellent SP mode VHS NTSC.  US shipping $2.38 media or $5.10 priority.  Outside US, email for s/h.  $29.99.

 

The Films of Kenneth Anger - Vol. 3   (Video)   Kustom Kar Komandos (1965):  Anger's take on the California teenager's obsession with the customized car, an elegant hymn to the hot rod as  contemporary fetish-object.  A young man strokes his customized car with a powder puff. "Pygmalion and his machine mistress." - Kenneth Anger.   Kustom Kar Kommandos was originally to be an eight part, 30 minute film which Anger described as an erotic vision of a contemporary American (and specifically Californian) teenage phenomenon, the world of hot-rod and customized cars.  Anger made the episode presently shown as Kustom Kar Kommandos to raise funds to finish the film, but was unable to do so and the project was abandoned.  3 minutes. COLOR.    Puce Moment (1949):  A beautiful Hollywood star in a shimmering dress prepares to walk her dogs. "A lavish colored evocation of Hollywood now gone, as shown through an afternoon in the milieu of the 1920's film star." - Kenneth Anger.  Puce Moment is a fragment from an abandoned film project entitled Puce Woman.  The soundtrack used here is the second one: the first was the overture to Verdi's I Villi.  The film reflects Anger's concerns with the myths and decline of Hollywood as well as with the ritual of dressing with the movement from the interior to the exterior and with color and sound synchronization.  Although it was made in 1949, it is placed in Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle after Invocation of My Demon Brother, in with light subject matter, and a longer film with a shorter one.  As well, the descending movement of the film star at the end of Puce Moment, which is recapitulated and reversed in the ascension of Lilith in the following - and final- film Lucifer Rising, and the featuring of women in these two works make an interesting and successful juxtaposition.  6 minutes. COLOR.    Scorpio Rising (1963):  A ritual in four parts using a motorcycle gang, juxtaposed with mythic figures from Hollywood, politics and religion, as its central force, with commentary in the form of thirteen 1950's and '60's pop songs.  A critique of American culture, demonstrates Anger's ironic use of soundtrack, including music by Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, and The Crystals.  "A 'death mirror' held up to American culture - Brando, bikes and black leather; Christ, chains and cocaine.  A 'high' view of the myth of the American motorcyclist. The machine as totem from toy to terror.  Thanatos in chrome and black leather and bursting jeans." - Kenneth Anger.   In 1962, Anger began to make Scorpio Rising.  He did research on motorcycling and became friendly with a group of Brooklyn bikers who he says were "terribly touched by anyone that shows any interest in the thing they dig" and called them "the last romantics of this particular culture," the equivalent of cowboys.  When first shown, the film caused numerous scandals and lawsuits - and not merely because of the brief male nudity: perhaps the most bizarre suit came from the American Nazi Party which claimed that Anger had desecrated the swastika!  28 minutes, COLOR.   Out of print.   VERY LIMITED SUPPLY!   Excellent SP mode VHS NTSC.  US shipping $2.38 media or $5.10 priority.  Outside US, email for s/h.   $29.99.

 

The Films Kenneth Anger - Vol. 4  (Video)    Invocation of my Demon Brother (1969):  An homage to Aleister Crowley, reworking footage originally shot for Lucifer Rising which was Anger's last completed film.  "A conjuration of pagan forces come off the screen in a surge of spiritual and mystical power.  Shadowing forth of Lord Lucifer, as the powers gather at a midnight mass." - Kenneth Anger.  In 1967, the  footage for Anger's Lucifer Rising was stolen by Anger's Lucifer, Bobby Beausoleil, who was later convicted for his participation in the Charles Manson murders.  After a severe depression and a public renunciation of filmmaking via a full-page In Memoriam in the Village Voice, Anger entered a new period of productivity during which he made Invocation from the original Lucifer Rising. 11 minutes. COLOR.    Lucifer Rising (1970-1980)  The ascension of Lucifer (Horus), Bringer of Light, invoked by Isis, Osiris, Lucifer's Adept, Lilith and the Magus (played by Anger himself).   "A film about the love generation - the birthday party of the Aquarian Age showing actual ceremonies to make Lucifer rise. Lucifer is the Light  god, not the devil - the Rebel Angel behind what's happening in the world today. His message is that the key of joy is disobedience. Isis (Nature) wakes. Osiris (Death) answers. Lilith (Destroyer) climbs to the place of Sacrifice. The Magus activates the circle and Lucifer - Bringer of Light - breaks through." - Kenneth Anger.  Lucifer Rising has been beset with problems: cast changes (Leslie Huggins, the present Lucifer, is also the fifth to play the role) have been  complicated by stolen footage and financial woes.  Over the years, several incarnations of the film have appeared.  Kenneth Anger reedited this "revised edition" in 1980, adding a music track from his original Lucifer, Bobby Beausoleil and the Freedom Orchestra, a group of prisoners serving life sentences, recorded in Dueul Prison in Tracy, California.  Lucifer Rising constitutes Kenneth Anger's glorious vision of the dawning of the Aquarian Age.  29 minutes, COLOR.   Out of print.  VERY LIMITED SUPPLY!    Excellent SP mode VHS NTSC!  US shipping $2.38 media or $5.10 priority.  Outside US, email for s/h.   $29.99.

 

Anger   The Unauthorized Biography of Kenneth Anger  (Book)   By  Bill Landis.   Known worldwide for his bestselling Hollywood Babylon books, Kenneth anger is an underground filmmaker whose tremendous influence has been acknowledged by directors as diverse as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Dennis Hopper.  As the father and most highly regarded member of American cinema's avant-garde, Anger made three films now considered masterpieces:  Fireworks, Scorpio Rising, and Lucifer Rising.  More than forty years later his aesthetic ripple is still being felt in contemporary mediums such as rock videos.

            Beginning with anger's life as a child actor in Hollywood (he was featured in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Mickey Rooney), Bill Landis's biography takes the reader on a wild journey from the beginning of the underground film movement in the United States and Europe through the equally underground gay world of the '40s and '50s to the '60s in London and San Francisco, when Anger was at his peak of fame, and up to the present.  It's a trip filled with drugs, sex, rock & roll, and more than the usual dose of occultism.  On the way, we encounter characters as diverse as Aleister Crowley, Anton LaVey, Dr. Alfred Kinsey, Anais Nin, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Marianne Faithfull, and Bobby Beausoleil, the Manson murderer who was Anger's protege and a star of Lucifer Rising.  With his unparalleled knowledge of this country's cinematic and cultural history, Bill Landis has achieved what few contemporary biographers have: a book that will prove to be as controversial as its famous subject.  HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 290 pages.

     Bill Landis  has written for the Soho Weekly News, Fangoria, Variety, the Village Voice, and Film Comment.  His writing on AIDS and intravenous drug use have been reprinted in the books Beyond Crisis and the ACLU's Needle Exchange: Harm Reduction and HIV Prevention in the Second Decade.  This is his first book.

 

Hollywood Babylon - I    (The Movie)   Docu-Drama.  Renowned as the author of the scandalous best-selling book Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a legend in his own time.  The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with the occult, astrology and the pop world of Jagger, Marianne Faithful and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss, and banning of his films.  At the heart of all this mythology is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and RW Fassbinder.

     In both Europe and the United States, Anger became considered the most original, influential, and truly independent of all American film artists. This was the first docudrama based on his best-selling books by the same name.

     Hollywood, the home of the stars is also the city of scandal. Now it can be told. The stories of Wild Parties - Orgies - Sexual Fantasies - Homosexual Hang-ups - Drugs - Secret Deaths and all the rest of the Hollywood happenings... but wait, if you think Hollywood is weird now, step back and take another look, and look you will - at Hollywood as seen in the Shadow of Babylon... Hollywood Babylon.

     Scandal was everywhere.  The only rules were, "Spend Money and have a good time"... no matter what it costs.  The names of those wild stars reads like a Who's Who of Hollywood.  Names like  Chaplin, Von Stroheim, Fatty Arbuckle and many more.  You've seen films about the stars of today - now witness the wild times of the very rich and famous as they lived and loved and sinned when Hollywood was in full bloom! 

     1971COLOR & B/W.  CAUTION!  SUBSTANTIAL NUDITY!  121 minutes.  Out of Print 99cents first class or $5.10 priority shipping. Out of U.S. air shipping $3.  This DVD is traded collector to collector.  The Seller owns no rights to this property and no rights are transferred or implied.   $14.99 DVD..

 

Hollywood Babylon - II   (The Movie)  Docu-Drama.  Hosted by Tony Curtis.  "Discover Hollywood's best kept secrets! Witness the shocking truths and the real-life costs of fame & Fortune."  "Shocking Scandals, Unsolved Murders & Untold Desires. The true stories of the Rich & Famous from Hollywood's hidden archives are finally revealed!  Hollywood Babylon is the first and only opportunity to witness, through authentic recreations and original footage, these sensational events as they actually unfolded."  Alfred Hitchcock:  The most famous movie director of our time leads a personal life filled with strange obsessions.  He attempts to control his leading ladies on-screen and off. He even persuades Grace Kelly to participate in a voyeuristic strip tease.  Sophia Loren: The greatest European sex goddess breaks Cary Grant's heart by rejecting his marriage proposals, instead marrying producer Carlo Ponti.  Ponti, a man thirty years her senior, is charged with bigamy, involved in numerous affairs and a jail sentence, making this marriage less than smooth sailing for Loren.

    James Dean: Dean makes only three movies in Hollywood before his violent death in a speeding Porsche. The troubled teens Dean portrays in his films only hint at his inner conflict. His sexual identity remains confused all of his life, living both gay & straight lifestyles.  Gloria Swanson: Joseph Kennedy's obsession with Swanson is so great that he squanders millions on films for her that never make it to the theaters. He even tries to bribe the Catholic Church into annulling his marriage to Rose so he can marry Swanson. He finally ends the affair, sells the studio & enters politics.  1992 Babylon Productions.  COLOR & B/W.  60 minutes.  Out of Print. Excellent. 99cents first class or $5.10 priority shipping. Out of U.S. air shipping $3.  This DVD is traded collector to collector.  The Seller does not own rights to this property and no rights are transferred or implied.   $14.99 DVD..

 

Hollywood Babylon - I   (The Book)   by Kenneth Anger.   1975 Kenneth Anger. Straight Arrow Books - Distributed by Simon and Schuster. 292 pages.  "Hollywood Babylon is much more than a Who's Who of the movie capital. Its basic thrust is Who did What to Whom - and When and Where - and how much the piper had to be paid. Through these illustrated pages flitter and glitter, whirl and twirl, in public paradise and private hell, the faces and forms of fantasy figures - who may have been born in Squeedunk, Iowa as Norma Jean Slurp, Bertram Wartfish, and the like but who as Movie Stars were pressed into the service of our dreams by the great Hollywood Studios, the variegated caterpillars emerging as Jean Harlow, Ramon Navarro, Wally Reid, Rudy Valentino, Mabel Normand or Lana Turner. This fascinating books is not merely another expose, rather an affectionate and bittersweet backward glance at the fabled and foibled stars in their orbits, its intermittent black humor nearly always tinged by rose-colored glasses. Yet Hollywood Babylon is not nostalgia. Originally written in French and published in Paris in an edition long since out of print, the book was conceived years before the current nostalgia craze engulfed us in a neurotic flight from harsh realities.  Out of print.

 

 

Hollywood Babylon II  (The Book)  by Kenneth Anger.   1984 Kenneth Anger. Published by E. P. Dutton, New York. 331 pages.  "Here, at last, is the all-new sequel to Kenneth Anger's controversial, classic movie book, Hollywood Babylon. Here is more down-and-dirty Tattletale Talk from Tinseltown, illustrated with hundreds of hitherto unseen photographs, by the man who turned filmland gossip into an art form.  In Hollywood Babylon II you will read about "Closely Watched Blondes" which reveals some naughty going-on between Alfred Hitchcock and one of his favorite stars, Grace Kelly. Not merely another expose, Hollywood Babylon II, like its famous predecessor, is a bittersweet glance, past and present, at the fabled and foibled stars in their orbits. The dazzling pictures alone are worth the price of admission."  Out of print.

 

 

Moonchild  The Films Of Kenneth Anger  (Book)  Edited by Jack Hunter.   2001, published 2002. Creation Books. 128 pages.  Kenneth Anger: author of Hollywood Babylon, true disciple of Aleister Crowley, former mentor to both Bobby Beausoleil and Mick Jagger, amongst others - and certainly one of the most original and talented filmmakers of the 20th Century.  Moonchild presents revelatory texts on the occult, mind-altering, homo-erotic, synaesthetic and pop-culture tropes to be found within such classic underground films as Fireworks, Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome, Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos, Invocation Of My Demon Brother, and Lucifer RisingMoonchild also contains a host of opulent film images, quotes from Kenneth Anger, and a detailed filmography, making it the definitive study of one of cinema's most charismatic yet elusive innovators.  "I've always considered movies evil; the day cinema was invented was a black day for mankind." - Kenneth Anger.  "Kenneth anger is a unique filmmaker, an artist of exceptional imagination." - Martin Scorsese.

 

The Mighty Civic    (Video)  Kenneth Anger presents a film by Peter Wells and Stewart Main.  In this highly spiced blend of history, fantasy and actuality, New Zealand filmmakers Peter Wells and Stewart Main wave a magic wand over the universal love of old movie palaces.  Old showgirls reminisce, and enchanted usherette leads you on a voyage of discovery into the secrets of Auckland's Xanadu.  Cinema moguls break their hearts, dancing girls tiptoe over champagne-drenched carpets.  One minute you're in Auckland in the 20's, the next on an exhilarating rollercoaster ride into the days when American GI's met Kiwi beauties under the twinkling stars at the Civic's midnight roof.  62 minutes, B&W.  1992 New Zealand Film Commission.  Out of Print.  This Kenneth Anger classic may be available at your favorite movie store.

 

 

Anger-ish

 

Anas Observed   A Portrait of Anas Nin.   A film by Robert Snyder.  Anas Nin is remembered for her surreal novels, her extensive diaries and her deep friendships with artists who helped shape modern consciousness.  Hers was "the art of the person," an inner journey that she pursued through dreams, psychoanalysis and an awareness that embraced all aspects of the human character.  An exponent of a distinctly female sensibility, she revealed her observations with unswerving grace and generosity.  This portrait captures the life and philosophy of one of the most influential figures writing in America, a woman ahead of her time.

            It shows Nin at work, at home, and talking with and about her influences: D.H. Lawrence, Otto Rank, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Martha Graham, Noguchi, Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren, Edmund Wilson, Lou Andreas-Salome and others.  Her intelligence and femininity shine through in every frame.

            60 minutes, COLOR.  1973Out of Print.  Excellent.  99cents first class or $5.10 priority shipping. Out of U.S. air shipping $3.  This collectible is traded collector to collector.  The Seller does not own rights to this property and no rights are transferred or implied.   $19.99 DVD..

 

Anas Nin: Spy in the House of Love   Video Biography from England's Channel 4.  Comprehensive biography of the great erotic author.  Rare footage.  Visits with lovers (Rupert Pole), family (brother Joaquin Nin Culwell), friends - including Kenneth Anger, Lila Rosenblum, Tristine Raines and Renate Druks, business associates - including John Ferrone (editor), Peter Owen (British publisher), biographer Deidre Bair, and the voice of Anais Nin.

            The Anais Nin diary published in 1966 was heavily edited and one husband refused to be included.  Many of her friends complained of the diaries being published later - feeling that she would not have wanted such intimate writing being made public.  (Anais emphasizes that the correct enunciation of here name is Anna-eece).

            Substantial footage of Anais featured as Astarte in Kenneth Anger's film "Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome" (1954) is included in this outstanding film.  (See "Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome" above).

            51 minutes, Black & White & COLOR.  1998Out of Print.  Excellent.  99cents first class or $5.10 priority shipping. Out of U.S. air shipping $3.  This collectible is traded collector to collector.  The Seller does not own rights to this property and no rights are transferred or implied.   $24.99 DVD.

 

Spetters    A film by Paul Verhoeven.  Three men with dreams... one woman with a plan!  There is no such thing as simple love.  Starring Rutger Hauer, Renee Soutendijk.  Violence and tragedy mark this episodic yarn involving four young people in Holland on a turbulent collision course with their dreams -- one a racing-champ hopeful, one a first-class mechanic and Bible-thumbing Calvinist, one a young seductress, and the fourth her homosexual brother.  Their lives become filled with violent and tragic episodes that force them to confront their strengths and their weaknesses.  108 minutes, COLOR.  1980Out of Print.  Never released in the U.S.  

 

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