Kenneth Anger is an American underground film maker, as well as an occultist who is much more influential in the realms of cinema and the occult than is recognized today. The audacity of his vision is simply startling, especially by the standards of the '40s and '50s. The films in this collection are a perfect introduction to Anger's vision and style. The first five serious film endeavors of Anger, beginning in 1947 (an auspicious year for Thelemites) with Fireworks, when he was only 17 years old.
Fireworks (1947): inspired by Anger's dream, where he is beaten and raped by a gang of sailors. Anger himself said that "this flick is all I have to say about being 17, the United States Navy, American Christmas and the Fourth of July."
Puce Moment (1949): a five minute fragment of what was supposed to become a feature film called "Puce Women". The music and the motion of this fragment make it's five minutes unforgettable. Also, the sheer nihilism of how Hollywood beauty is portrayed is undeniable.
Rabbit's Moon (1950): an awesome psychodrama involving mimes and children, ritualistically yearning for the unattainable moon to 1950's pop songs. The music ingeniously compliments the imagery and action. a strange blend of French comedy, Oriental mythology, and masonic symbolism.
Eaux d'Artifice (1953): a very beautiful tour of a magickal labyrinth of waterfalls and fountains, as we follow the water witch to her final destiny - all to the tune of Vivaldi!
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954): and it seems that they have saved the very best for last! This trippy descent into hedonistic rites is topped off with a healthy serving of Thelemic mysticism and magick. Here Anger introduces the mythology of Aleister Crowley for the first time. The Scarlet Woman is played by Cameron, the widowed wife of the famous rocket scientist and occultist Jack Parsons. Kenneth Anger has a bit part in this film as well, you can see him dressed in funereal black as the Goddess Hecate. The cabbalistic sign of Baphomet is seen as a backdrop for only a few seconds, but this would be the symbol La Vey was to employ as the symbol for the Church of Satan more than fifteen years later! This film plummets very quickly into delirium, as the orgies of pleasure and decadence reaches its crescendo, the Pleasure Dome that is being inaugurated is also an inescapable trap!
One of the best features to this collection is the audio commentary by Kenneth Anger for each film, giving us valuable insight into his artistic vision.