Hollywood’s fabulous Cinespia film series has received notice here at Metblogs a number of times in the past. I finally made it to my first screening there, which happened as well to be my first viewing of films of Los Angeles’ own Kenneth Anger. Delightfully for us movie goers, Anger’s short films were introduced by Dr. Anger himself (and his young friend, Lucifer, sung a song as well).
On Cinespia, I regret that I only got around to making it and posting this near the end of this year’s season. If you have not been there, by all means make an effort to see one of the last few screenings. The social atmosphere of the only-slightly macabre cemetery lawn is an absolute delight, especially if you bring a pleasant friend and a picnic basket to the screening. This event feels distinctively Los Angeles, in the best of ways.
Anger is an interesting film maker, from my brief experience. Of course, this fascination might be in my genes, since my non-LA father apparently has a dozen different cuts of the short “Lucifer Rising.” I am just trying to catch up with that generation (anger being closer to the generation past him). Anger eschews such common devices as dialog, plot, narrative, and really even much use of fades, pans, and other cinematic gestures towards the illusion of the camera’s eye. Instead we get plain montage, with lingering repetitions of leather men, motorcycles, Hitler, Lucifer, flowers, bunnies, scenic skies… that sort of thing. All set to either acid rock, bubblegum pop, or some other genre of music. It’s symbolist film, without Warhol’s lingering attachment to hints of storytelling. While it might not sound such from my description, there is something shockingly compelling in these compositions. Find them by all means.