Directed by famed homoerotic underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger in 1954, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome is considered a key work of American experimental film. It varies in length from 38 to 43 minutes, depending on the print or video, and also exists in a version altered by Anger in 1966. The color film is dedicated to British writer and occultist Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), author of The Diary of a Drug Fiend. Anger’s tribute presents a Dionysian revel. Highlights include appearances by erotica author and diarist Anaïs Nin and by avant-garde filmmaker Curtis Harrington. Anger authored the book of scandal and gossip Hollywood Babylon. –movies.nytimes.com
Kenneth Anger is an independent filmmaker and author. He claims to have appeared as the child prince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935), but Warner Brothers production reports and casting sheets conclusively document that a little girl, child actress Sheila Brown, actually played the role. Anger did, however, begin making films at an early age. Most of his films are short experimental works, ranging from 3.5-30 minutes. His career has been recognized with life achievement awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics, the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Silverlake Film Festival, the Mar del Plata Film Festival, and the Maya Deren Award for Experimental Film/Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. Among other notable honors, he received the Poetic Film Prize at Festival du Film Maudit in Biarritz, France in 1949, which was presented by Jean Cocteau. Anger’s work has screened around the world, including at the Institut Francais de Vienne in Austria, the Galerie… read more
Don't know a lot about Crowley/the occult so most of the symbolism was lost on me but this was a gorgeous short. The colors, the practical effects and the imagery really hold up to anyone open to them. It's inspiring to see something like this done with no money and be this good. Nice to see Anais Nin pop up. Can see how this would be a big influence on Derek Jarman's stuff.
A Noel Coward-ish comedy of manners sucked through the 7th chakra of Osiris after raiding Gaspar Noe's medicine cabinet--made when Ike had just begun his first 4 year term in the U.S. while in England and Wales there were 1,069 men in prison for homosexuality. An utterly unique and personal art film for the ages. Hail Satan.
The exhibition Kenneth Anger: Icons is on view in Los Angeles through February 27.