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 was a singular figure in post-war American culture.
The films of Kenneth Anger provided a subversive alternative to mainstream cinema, and contained ironic references to popular culture. The films serve as magical ceremonies of light containing series of occult circuits connecting physical with spiritual dimensions; a celluloid form of astral projection. Anger regarded his work as having the potential to invoke primal forces, which can transcend the audiences’ cinematic experience to new levels of consciousness and achieve an altered state of mind.
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome
Dir. Kenneth Anger, 1954, USA, 38 min
Historical, biblical, and mythical characters gather in the pleasure dome and become part of a visual feast of superimposed images, hallucinations, and decadence.
Dir. Kenneth Anger, 1963, USA, 29 min
A “high” view of the Myth of the American Motorcyclist. The machine as totem, from toy to terror. Thanatos in chrome and black leather.
Invocation of my Demon Brother
Dir. Kenneth Anger, 1969, USA, 11 min
An experimental short, featuring strobe-like homoerotic imagery with several shots of the Rolling Stones in performance and an original synthesizer score by Mick Jagger.
Dir. Kenneth Anger, 1972, USA, 29 min
Egyptian gods summon the angel Lucifer in order to usher in a new occult age. Filmed at several magic locations, the film depicts a series of ceremonies, movements, and rituals mixed with experimental film editing.
This special survey of Anger’s work, curated by Jaimz Asmundson and introduced by Murray Leeder, is presented on 16mm courtesy of Canyon Cinema. The screening is being held in conjunction with The Undead Archive: 100 Years of Photographing Ghosts, an exhibition curated by Dr. Serena Keshavjee and co-presented by the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba, University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections, and The University of Winnipeg’s Gallery 1C03.
Jaimz Asmundson is a Winnipeg-based media artist and musician. Currently, Jaimz is the Programming Director at the Dave Barber Cinematheque and is a programmer and Festival Producer of the Gimme Some Truth Documentary Festival.
Murray Leeder is a Research Affiliate at the University of Manitoba and holds a Ph.D. from Carleton University. He has written numerous books and articles related to film and media, with a particular emphasis on horror cinema and the supernatural.
The Undead Archive and related programs are presented with the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council, and draw on research supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.