Home Entertainment Kenneth Anger, underground film-maker and Hollywood Babylon author, dies aged 96

Kenneth Anger, underground film-maker and Hollywood Babylon author, dies aged 96

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Kenneth Anger, underground film-maker and Hollywood Babylon author, dies aged 96

Kenneth Anger, the artist and film-maker whose work supplied a distinctively radical mixture of paganism and homoeroticism, has died aged 96. Artwork gallery Sprüth Magers confirmed his demise, saying: “Via his kaleidoscopic movies, which mix luxurious visuals, well-liked music soundtracks, and a deal with queer themes and narratives, Anger laid the groundwork for the avant garde artwork scenes of the later twentieth century, in addition to for the visible languages of up to date queer and youth tradition.”

Anger’s movies, which included Fireworks (1947), Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), Scorpio Rising (1963) and Lucifer Rising (1972), made him a key determine within the counterculture over 4 a long time, and later a hero to subsequent generations of film-makers grappling with related themes. Whereas he by no means discovered industrial success by means of his movies, his ebook Hollywood Babylon – a compendium of typically sleazy and largely unverifiable gossip concerning the movie business – grew to become well-known after first being printed in 1959; it was adopted by a sequel in 1984.

Born Kenneth Anglemyer in 1927, Anger grew up in Santa Monica and claimed to have appeared within the 1935 movie of A Midsummer’s Evening Dream. Having moved to Los Angeles, he met avant garde film-maker Curtis Harrington, who launched him to the occult writings of Aleister Crowley. In 1947, having made movies at house for years, Anger accomplished Fireworks, a surreal, experimental quick combining Crowley’s concepts with homoerotic imagery. It grew to become infamous for a shot of a sailor unzipping his fly to disclose a Roman candle, and setting it alight. A decade later, distributor Raymond Rohauer was convicted for obscenity for displaying Fireworks in a Los Angeles cinema in 1957; it grew to become a civil rights problem and the California supreme courtroom, in a landmark judgment, overturned the ruling, saying that reference to homosexuality in a movie was not obscenity.

Kenneth Anger, circa 1966.
Kenneth Anger, circa 1966. {Photograph}: Kobal/Rex/Shutterstock

Anger would go on to make plenty of shorts that will garner him celeb on the underground movie circuit. In 1953, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome noticed him go deeper into Crowley’s “Thelemite” non secular philosophy, whereas Scorpio Rising (1963) was a surreal exploration of American leather-based biker tradition with an influential pop soundtrack. Because the counterculture grew to become extra well-liked within the late 60s, Anger grew to become pleasant with Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Jimmy Web page and John Paul Getty Jr. Jagger appeared in Anger’s 1969 movie Invocation of My Demon Brother (together with future Charles Manson acolyte Bobby Beausoleil and satanist Anton LaVey), whereas Faithfull starred in Lucifer Rising, which Anger completed in 1981.

Chronically in need of cash, regardless of the success of his books, Anger largely gave up making movies within the Nineteen Eighties. However he got here out of “retirement” in 2000 to make a quantity extra, together with Patriotic Penis, Mouse Heaven, and Uniform Attraction. He told the Guardian in 2010 that he had a 3rd instalment of Hollywood Babylon accomplished, however was unable to publish it attributable to a chapter of fabric on Tom Cruise and Scientology.

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