LA: Win Three Tickets to Kenneth Anger Tonight!

The film above, Rabbits’ Moon, was Kenneth Anger’s 1979 tribute to classic themes of love and folly, as influenced by Kabuki theater as well as commedia dell’arte. Japanese folklore’s Moon Rabbit is a symbol of self-sacrifice, not unlike Pierrot The Fool. Pierrot suffers at the whims of Columbine while Harlequin enjoys the show. This seven-minute film took twenty years to complete and its original score included music from The Capris, Mary Wells and Jamie Cullum among others. Anger, [Lucifer Rising, Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, author of Hollywood Babylon] one of the world’s greatest experimental filmmakers, is presenting five of his films tonight at the very intimate RedCat Theater.

A towering figure of American avant-garde cinema since the mid-1940s, Kenneth Anger has posited himself at the junction of pop and underground culture, occultism and rock music. Tonight’s screening presents an array of works in which Anger subjects different ideologies and subcultures to his incisive vision and the uncanny re(de)constructive power of his editing skills. Ich Will (2008, 35 min.) montages newsreels from the Nazi era to Bruckner’s music. Mouse Heaven (2005, 12 min.) “does for Mickey Mouse what Scorpio Rising did for neo-Nazi biker gangs,” according to the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Elliott’s Suicide (2007, 15 min.) is an elegy for the late Elliott Smith, while I’ll Be Watching You (2007, 4:52 min.) and Foreplay (2008, 7 min.) explore two different forms of male bonding: sex in an underground parking structure and a soccer team’s training session. The program concludes with the seminal Scorpio Rising (1963, 29 min., 35mm), whose hallucinatory and campy communing with pop culture fetishes (chrome-trimmed choppers, James Dean, zippers, Jesus) has been an enduring avant-garde crowd pleaser.

I have three two [all gone, sorry peeps!] complimentary tickets available to the first three humans to write me with their emails titled “Anger!”. The presentation begins at 8:30 pm – don’t delay!

9 Responses to “LA: Win Three Tickets to Kenneth Anger Tonight!”

  1. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Couldn’t have read “Western NC: Win Three Tickets to Kenneth Anger Tonight!”, could it?

  2. Zoetica Says:

    Catch a flight, Jerem!

  3. David Forbes Says:

    Heh. I’ll second Jerem’s remark. Genesis P-Orridge is moving here, so we may have used up all the energy in our Avant-garde-figure Attraction Ray for the time being.

    I’m impressed at Anger’s fortitude to continue doing events like this even though he’s terminally ill. I really, really wish I was on the other side of the country right now, and this is a priceless opportunity for those lucky enough to go. Enjoy.

  4. Tequila Says:

    Looks like I will have to alter my plans for the evening!

    Edit: Or not as it was sold out. My fault for totally letting this fly under the radar…least I can watch the DVD’s! :(

  5. Jerem Morrow Says:

    D, we have some sort o’ super secret jet or some such, could make the flight?

  6. Tequila Says:

    Thanks to the wonderful Lady Zo here I got to see the screening. While I won’t go into what others thought of it the general sentiment was “mixed” to say the least. It was not bad per say but the chosen works to screen…namely the new work…was quite weak. The most simple way to put it was lack of follow through. If one reads the writes up to the films or even Angers own commentary…there might be something HE sees in the work he’s done in the current century but anybody would be hard pressed to honestly see the same.

    Mouse Heaven…Angers Mickey Mouse exploration ends up being entertaining for reasons I doubt he intended. It’s more interesting for the vintage mickey mouse memorabilia and a look at the mickey mouse of old than much else. It lacks a certain punch, like an artist not fully comfortable with his tools anymore. I liked it but of all the new work this was the only high point.

    This lack of polish and focus marks his current work…Ich Will! being a prime example. It’s basically old Hitler Youth propaganda films set to classical music. It’s one large march of a particular youth brigade from the the forests to the modern city. One can read as much into it as they want but the merit and punch of the film falls short. We’re a generation or so into the rise of The History Channel. Chances are anyone here has seen more footage of the Third Reich than even Germans of the era. Its intent as to what Anger saw and what we end up seeing just does not sync up. Plus it’s like he did little to no actual work other than getting the archival footage and adding the classical music…a big mistake since WWII footage and orchestral or classical work is what EVERYONE does. The fact THIS FILM was missing his trademark use of pop songs was a real shame. I was hoping to at least see the Hilter Youth march to Wham!’s – Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go…cause there was a PERFECT place for it early in the film. Once the youth reach the rally and see the fuhrer who wouldn’t want to hear say George Michael’s classic Faith? Maybe it’s just me though.

    This lack of being able to marry what is seen on film with what is going through Angers mind is the most frustrating. Cause you know somewhere these films could really be something.

    No doubt this may be due to lack of funds to properly execute ideas, the wrong collaborators or patience with modern formats, the lack of control over the material shot thus the need to make it forcefully fit into a context that it wasn’t meant for…etc.

    Take your pick or ad you own but the worst offender was his short I’ll Be Watching You.

    I personally thought it was HILARIOUS to see essentially a bad gay porn scene with the classic The Police track I’ll Be Watching You dubbed over it. Art? Experimental? No…it was porn…hilarious to watch with a room full of people on a huge screen and with some rather squeamish audience members. Not Angers high point though maybe like some of Warhols short films…a peek into his stroke material.

    In the age of YouTube where anyone can pretty much cut together something and almost mimic what Anger is currently doing…it’s hard not to feel that maybe it’s time to do less not more with ones time. I view the night as looking through a sketchbook…not really completed of fully realized works.

    All of this is of course trumped by getting to see Scorpio Rising again and the company was great. So really it was time enjoyed but maybe not in the way Anger and those who put together this screening wanted…

    It’s kind of a shame really…cause if there was ever a time to highlight his fantastic early work and essentially rest on ones laurels it’s in screenings like this.

    Imagine it kinda like Francis Ford Coppola’s work…you want the stuff from the 70’s…and Dracula…sure as hell don’t want to sit through a screening of Peggy Sue Got Married or Jack. That’s what ya got though in this case…

    Ah well. All I can say is BUY THE FIRST TWO DVD SETS OF HIS WORK…and have your own lil Kenneth Anger film festival for people. I think It’ll leave a better taste for those unfamiliar with his work…and long time fans to be honest.

  7. Tequila Says:

    @: Jerem…I totally second your idea for a super secret jet…any blog worth its weight needs an experimental monkey navigated caffeine fueled jet!

  8. J.P. Says:

    My theory? Anger hates his audience. There is no other reason he would want to make us endure “I’ll be watching you” and the rest of his new work. It was the embodiment of taking a piss at the theater who paid him to present and the people who paid to see him and his films – the sort of thing that’s marginally cute when you’re young, unknown and brilliant and not at all when you’re 80 years old with your best work well behind you.

    It was thrilling to see “Scorpio Rising” on the big screen, however!

  9. Jovana Says:

    awesome song :B