The Man We Want to Hang by Kenneth Anger


The title comes from a newspaper headline, one of many that the tabloid press bestowed on occultist Aleister Crowley whilst titillating their readers with lurid descriptions of orgies and Black Masses throughout the 1920s. Before the Second World War it was still possible to label a self-aggrandising magus “The Wickedest Man in the World”. If only they knew what was coming…

The picture above is a still from Kenneth Anger’s 2002 film of Crowley’s paintings which you can see in two parts at YouTube. The paintings were filmed in exhibition at the October Gallery in 1998 and Anger turns the original tabloid headline around by making the “hang” refer to hanging a painting. Crowley’s crude artwork often turns up in books but there are several pictures in the film I hadn’t come across before. Crowley’s depiction of the Himalayas, where he spent some time mountaineering, look very similar to those of Nicholas Roerich, the painter whose work HP Lovecraft references in At the Mountains of Madness. It would have been nice to have some more information about the pictures but that’s not Anger’s style.

The Man We Want to Hang pt 1 | pt 2

Previously on { feuilleton }
Relighting the Magick Lantern
Kenneth Anger on DVD…finally
The art of Cameron, 1922–1995
Austin Osman Spare

4 thoughts on “The Man We Want to Hang by Kenneth Anger”

  1. Probably not news, but the second volume of The Films of Kenneth Anger will include this film (out October 2nd on Fantoma) and hopefully commentary. Supposedly Coil were working on a score for this, and while I imagine that’s just another project that never surfaced, one can always dream…

  2. Yes, thanks, I’d spotted the new DVD news earlier, hence the Relighting the Magick Lantern post above.

  3. having only had a quick peruse through things i can’t wait to read everything i can and more..cant believe i found this accidentally or did i?

Comments are closed.

Discover more from { feuilleton }

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading