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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

Kenneth Anger on DVD…finally

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Finally…well, we’ll see. Forgive my sceptical tone, these announcements have been cropping up for years although this one seems genuine, with an Amazon page and everything. Good to know that it’s a Fantoma production since they did a great job with Jodorowsky’s Fando y Lis.

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The enigmatic Marjorie Cameron portrays the
Scarlet Woman for Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome.

The word “classic” is often used too easily but these films are classics by any standard, masterworks of underground filmmaking, pioneering in their gay content (Fireworks [1947] is like Genet directed by Jean Cocteau and all the more remarkable since Anger was still a teenager when he made it), camp and occult in equal measure, and Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, made in 1954, can claim to be one of the first examples of truly psychedelic cinema. DVD would be the perfect medium to present Inauguration with multiple soundtracks (it’s had at least two over the years) although I suspect we’ll only get the Janacek score and not the bizarre Electric Light Orchestra version I saw once at a cinema screening.

At long last, THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER VOLUME 1 is finally available on DVD this January.

Fantoma Films’ special edition DVD hits stores on January 23, 2007.

“It’s time that Kenneth Anger’s work became more available, because he is, without a doubt, one of our greatest artists.” Martin Scorsese

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 first half of Anger’s career, from his landmark debut FIREWORKS in 1947 to his epic bacchanalia INAUGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME, Fantoma is very proud to present the long-awaited first volume of films by this revolutionary and groundbreaking maverick, painstakingly restored and presented on DVD for the first time anywhere in the world.

In production for over 5 years, THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER VOLUME 1 is easily the most requested title in Fantoma Films’ history. Painstakingly restored by Fantoma, these shorts represent the beginning of the independent film movement as we know it today and Anger’s revolutionary use of blending film to music has often been credited as giving birth to the music video. The films contained in this set include: FIREWORKS (1947), PUCE MOMENT (1949), RABBIT’S MOON (1950, shown here in the rarely seen 16 minute version), EAUX D’ARTIFICE (1953), and INAUGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME (1954).

THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER VOLUME 1 contains the following special features:

-High Definition transfers from newly restored elements.
-Screen specific audio commentary for all films from Kenneth Anger.
-Rare outtakes and behind-the-scenes images.
-Restoration Demonstrations.
-A 48 page book with a written appreciation of Kenneth Anger by legendary
filmmaker Martin Scorsese, exclusive to this release, extensive notes for
each film, rare photos, never before seen sketches for Anger’s unproduced
film PUCE WOMEN, and more.

Fantoma Films’ DVD of THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER VOLUME 1 will be available in stores on January 23, 2007 for a retail price of $24.98.
Fantoma Films: www.fantoma.com
MySpace page: www.myspace.com/fantomafilms.

(Thanks to Jay!)

Previously on { feuilleton }
Ten films by Oskar Fischinger
Lapis by James Whitney
La Villa Santo Sospir by Jean Cocteau
Un Chant D’Amour by Jean Genet

 


 

Posted in {film}, {gay}, {occult}, {psychedelia}.

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7 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by mark godwin

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    john,
    it’s about time someone did this, did you ever hear whether KA managed to film the Gnostic mass?
    Looking fwds to the commentaries.
    ltrs
    Mark

  2. #2 posted by John

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    Hi Mark,

    Anger’s IMDB page (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001910/) doesn’t list anything but that only means it’s not on his list of official releases. He’s filmed so much over the years, a lot of which has been lost or abandoned, it’s hard to say what might be in a tin somewhere, waiting to be seen.

  3. #3 posted by mark godwin

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    i have always thought that he may have been amassing film of a nature that would be best seen posthumously…but it doesn’t make any sense, i read an interview recently where he was described as almost down and out…
    though many a magus has left the present world penniless and alone.
    on that cheery thought
    ltrs
    M

  4. #4 posted by Wiley

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    Recently I had emailed the Tzadik homepage to suggest one of their artists (preferrably Zorn or perhaps Keiji Haino) create scores for Kenneth Anger films. Not that I’d hold much hope on such a thing occurring unless there are a lot of unspoken messengers leaving similar remarks in their mailbox. It would seem that now there is little chance of this happening, but if the DVD actually comes through we’ll at least have yet another underground artist get a somewhat accessible release, only several million other relative unknowns left to go. If you remember saying this, I couldn’t agree more, ‘Inauguration’ would be intense if it were scored by Zorn composing something on par with IAO.

  5. #5 posted by John

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    You could always make your own soundtrack using recent Zorn music since the film is essentially a silent one score. In theory any number of soundtracks would work. The only proviso is that I haven’t heard anything of Zorn’s that has the kind of sustained climax that Anger’s film requires.

  6. #6 posted by Arild

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    Zorn and Fantomas performed scores to three of Anger’s films at a screening October 31, 2001 at the Anthology Film Archives. The music has never been given a proper release, but should be possible to find.

  7. #7 posted by Wiley

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    Thank you to Arild, I’d forgotten Zorn and Fantomas had ever done that show. I wasn’t sure if it had ever been recorded. I ought to check around for it sometime.

 


 

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