Kenneth Anger  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Well I was making films the way someone else would write a poem and these were personal artistic statements and so unless I found a some kind of patron I could hardly expect you know for studios to back this kind of film and I never did."--Kenneth Anger in Kenneth Anger's Hollywood Babylon (1991)

"Henry James's "The Pupil" (1891), Kenneth Anger's film Scorpio Rising (1963), and David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986). Each of these texts draws much of its considerable uncanny energies from representing heavily ritualized performances of some substantial part of the whole round of "perverse" desires and fantasies, autoerotic, homoerotic, voyeuristic, exhibitionistic, incestuous, fetishistic, and sadomasochistic."--A Small Boy and Others (1998) by Michael Moon

"He told her that he was making a biography of the Marquis de Sade, filming in de Sade's actual castle. At this point Nin found Anger extremely remote and lonely . Little is known about Anger's activities during the mid-1950s."--Anger: The Unauthorized Biography of Kenneth Anger (1995) by Bill Landis

"I met Kenneth Anger at the Deux Magots. He told me he was filming the life of Marquis de Sade in the actual castle of Sologne for Prince Ruspoli. Strange how some meetings release no sparks of life, create no echoes, no reverberations."--The Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1947–1955 (1975) by Anaïs Nin

"At someone's house I was shown his film Fireworks. The sadism and violence revolted me, but the film has power and is artistically perfect. It has a nightmare quality. Everyone had mixed feelings, horror and recognition of Kenneth Anger's talent. The films of Curtis Harrington are different. They are entirely surrealistic."--The Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1947–1955 (1975) by Anaïs Nin

Related e



Kenneth Anger (1927 – 2023) was an American filmmaker known for such films as Fireworks (1947) and Scorpio Rising (1963). In addition to filmmaking, Anger also wrote an exposé of Hollywood behind-the-scenes, Hollywood Babylon (1959).



Born in Santa Monica, California February 3, 1927 as Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer, as a child he played the child prince (aka Changeling Prince) in the 1935 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream and attended the Maurice Kossloff Dancing School with Shirley Temple.

He gained fame and notoriety from the publication of the French version of Hollywood Babylon in Paris in 1958, a tell-all book of the scandals of Hollywood's rich and famous. (The U.S. version wasn't published until 1974.) He became fascinated with the supernatural and Aleister Crowley (as well as becoming an adherent of Crowley's religion of Thelema) sometime in his late teens and many of his films reflect occult themes.

He began making films around age 9, but his early films were mostly destroyed. His first film to see distribution was Fireworks, filmed in Los Angeles in 1947, which gained the attention of Jean Cocteau, who then invited him to go to Paris. In 1949, Anger directed The Love That Whirls which according to the 1972 book Experimental Cinema contained (faked) nudity, and was thus confiscated by the film lab. While most of his films are short subject (ranging from 3.5 minutes to 30 minutes) mood pieces, in 1955 he made a documentary film of the ruins of Crowley's Thelema Abbey in Cefalù, Sicily, which is now considered a lost film.

He developed a close friendship with Dr. Alfred Kinsey of the Institute for Sex Research. Anger would later recall that Kinsey was his first customer after Kinsey purchased a copy of Fireworks when they first met in 1947. Anger eventually helped Kinsey build his film archive. The Anger Collection includes correspondence between the two men, as well as letters to and from former Institute director John Bancroft. Anger would later speak openly of his participation in Kinsey's research, including being filmed masturbating.

During the late 1960s he associated with The Rolling Stones, as well as Bobby Beausoleil (before he gained notoriety as an associate of the Charles Manson family). Beausoleil, a musician who had played with Arthur Lee, was cast as Lucifer in Anger's proposed film, Lucifer Rising. Beausoleil and Anger had a falling out and Beausoleil left, taking most of the completed film with him Beausoleil is also rumored to have buried the film's negative in the desert at one of Manson's former hangouts). British singer Marianne Faithfull later appeared in Anger's re-shot version of the film. Some footage from the earlier version of Lucifer Rising (including Beausoleil) ended up Anger's Invocation of My Demon Brother.

Kenneth Anger had a widely publicized spat with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page over the Lucifer Rising soundtrack. Anger claimed Page took three years to deliver the music, and the final product was only 25 minutes of droning and was useless. Anger also accused Page of "having an affair with the White Lady" and being too strung out on drugs to complete the project. Page countered claiming he had fulfilled all his obligations, even going so far as to lend Anger his own film editing equipment to help him finish the project. Page's music was dumped eventually and replaced in 1979 by music written and recorded by Bobby Beausoleil in prison.

Anger's life long interest in the occult brought him into contact with a variety of groups and individuals. He was a life long friend of Anton Szandor LaVey both before and after the founding of the Church of Satan in the 1960s and lived with LaVey and his family during the 1980s. In more recent years Anger accepted initiation into the Ordo Templi Orientis in a semi-honorary fashion.


Pages linking in at time of death

0032 (custom car), 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley, A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935 film), A Movie, A∴A∴, Abbey of Thelema, Abrahadabra, Abramelin oil, Abyss (Thelema), Aeon (Thelema), Agape Lodge, Aiwass, Ala Kart (custom car), Aleister Crowley, Allen H. Greenfield, American Graffiti, Amos Vogel, An Introduction to the American Underground Film, Anaïs Nin, Anger (surname), Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu i, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Louise Bardach, Anne Wallace, Anthology Film Archives, Anticipation of the Night, Anton LaVey, Antony Balch, Arena (British TV series), Augustus Sol Invictus, AV Festival, Babalon, Babylon (2022 film), Banishing, Baphomet, Beatnik Bandit, Ben Barenholtz, Ben Kelly (designer), Birmingham Arts Lab, Bo Huff, Bobby Beausoleil, Body of light, Boleskine House, Bolex, Bornless Ritual, Boyd McDonald (pornographer), Boys in the Sand, C. F. Russell, CadZZilla, Cake of Light, Carl Kellner (mystic), Cecil B. Demented, Ceremonial magic, Charlemagne Palestine, Charles Henry Allan Bennett, Charles Stansfeld Jones, Chel White, Chopper (motorcycle), Choronzon, Christopher Hyatt, Church of Satan, Cinespia, CK Deluxe, Clouds without Water, Clyde Bruckman, Cobra Woman, Collected Works of Aleister Crowley 1905-1907, Comte de Lautréamont, Coop (artist), Coronet Theatre (Los Angeles), Cubitt Artists, Cultural references to Pierrot, Curtis Harrington, Custom car, Cutdown, Dark media, David Bret, Death in Vegas, Deaths in 2023, Dick Dean, Disinformation (company), Disinformation (TV series), Divine (performer), Donald Cumming, Dondi, Doug Aitken, Drive (2011 film), Eaux d'Artifice, Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica, Ed Roth, Eight Lectures on Yoga, El Matador (custom car), Eldorado (Electric Light Orchestra album), Elgin Theater, Elliott Stein, Emil Petaja, Émile Brugsch, English Qaballa, Enter the Void, Eroto-comatose lucidity, Eunice Pringle, Exodus (custom car), Experimental film, Expresión en Corto International Film Festival, Fantoma Films, February 3, Film Culture, Fireworks (1947 film), Flicker (film), Frances Farmer, Francis Cyril Rose, Francis X. King, Frank Bennett (occultist), Fred Halsted, Friedl Kubelka, Gasser (car), Gay pornography, George Cecil Jones, George Kuchar, George S. Kaufman, Gerald Yorke, Gijón International Film Festival, Gin Blossoms, Glagolitic Mass, Grady Louis McMurtry, Great Work (Thelema), Guardian angel, Hadit, HanWay Films, Hermetic Qabalah, Heru-ra-ha, Hirohata Merc, History of homosexuality in American film, History of Taormina, Hollywood Babylon, Hot Package, Hot Sugar (musician), I... Dreaming, IAO (album), Impact (custom car), Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Independent film, Indiewood, Influence of Stanley Kubrick, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Invocation of My Demon Brother, Invocation, Ira Cohen, Israel Regardie, J. F. C. Fuller, Jack English (photographer), Jack Parsons, Jack Stevenson, James Blue, James Wasserman, James Whale, Jane Wolfe, Jayne Mansfield in popular culture, Jeanelle Mastema, Jean-Jacques Pauvert, Jérôme Sans, Jimmy De Sana, Jimmy Page, Joe Bailon, John Michell (writer), John, I'm Only Dancing, José Rodríguez-Soltero, Joseph-Marie Lo Duca, Jutta Koether, Karl Germer, Katrina del Mar, Kenneth Grant, Kenneth, Klaus Biesenbach, Konx Om Pax, Kris Jensen, Kustom Kar Kommandos, Kustom Kulture, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Lady Frieda Harris, Lausanne Underground Film and Music Festival, LaVeyan Satanism, Lawrence Rothman, Leah Hirsig, Leila Khastoo, Leila Waddell, Lenore Kandel, Lesser ritual of the pentagram, Lewis Stone, Liber Aleph, Liber OZ, Liber XV, The Gnostic Mass, Libri of Aleister Crowley, L'Inferno, List of avant-garde artists, List of directors associated with art film, List of film and television directors, List of film auteurs, List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people: A, List of modern pagans, List of non-fiction writers, List of nonlinear narrative films, List of occultists, List of Thelemites, List of Whitney Biennial artists, List of works by Aleister Crowley, Little Essays Toward Truth, Lon Milo DuQuette, Lost film, Lucifer Rising (Bobby Beausoleil soundtrack), Lucifer Rising (book), Lucifer Rising (film), Lucifer Rising and Other Sound Tracks, Lupe Vélez, Magical formula, Magick (Book 4), Magick Without Tears, Mandrake of Oxford, Mandrake Press, Mansfield 66/67, Marcelo Ramos Motta, Marianne Faithfull, Marie Menken, Marie Prevost, Marjorie Cameron, Mark Romanek, Mark Stewart (English musician), Marquis (custom car), Mary Butts, Mass of the Phoenix, Maya Deren Award, Maya Deren, Mel Birnkrant, Michael Snow, Michel Bulteau, Michele Civetta, Mick Jagger, Midnight movie, Millennium Film Workshop, Ming C. Lowe, Mondo Trasho, Moonchild (novel), Music video, Natacha Rambova, NatFilm Festival, National Film Registry, Nema Andahadna, New Hollywood, Newton Thomas Sigel, Nigel Finch, Night of Pan, Night Tide, Nik Sheehan, Noah Lyon, Nuit, Obeah and wanga, Ol' Skool Rodz, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Oneiric (film theory), Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn, Ordo Templi Orientis, Orkustra, Phyllis Seckler, Pines of Rome, Pink Flamingos, Polynesian (custom car), Pop Levi, Promises! Promises!, Puce Moment, Queercore, Rabbit's Moon, Raggare, Rat bike, Rat Fink, Rat rod, Richard Barone, Richard Kaczynski, Richard Metzger, Richard Olney (food writer), Rites of Eleusis, Robert Beatty (artist), Robert Fraser (art dealer), Robert Williams (artist), Rosaleen Norton, Rose Edith Kelly, Ross Lipman, S.T.H., Salomé (1923 film), Sam Webster (writer), Samson De Brier, San Francisco International Film Festival, Scorpio Rising (Death in Vegas album), Scorpio Rising (film), Sergio García Michel, Sex magic, Silhouette (show rod), Silver Lake Film Festival, Sleazoid Express, Snowdrops from a Curate's Garden, Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat, Sprüth Magers, Sta-Prest (band), Static Age, Stele of Ankh-ef-en-Khonsu, Story of O, Sunset Strip (2012 film), Take the 5:10 to Dreamland, T-bucket, Teenbeat discography, The Blue Equinox, The Book of Lies (Crowley), The Book of the Law, The Book of Thoth (Crowley), The Colony Room Club, The Confessions of Aleister Crowley, The Diary of a Drug Fiend, The Equinox of the Gods, The Equinox, The Holy Books of Thelema, The Law is for All, The Mantaray (show rod), The Organ (newspaper), The Politics of Envy, The Projection Booth, The Reactor (show rod), The Red Baron (custom car), The Rolling Stones' Redlands bust, The Stage Names, The Stallion (custom car), The Story of Film: An Odyssey, The Stratagem and other Stories, The View from Here: Conversations with Gay and Lesbian Filmmakers, The Vision and the Voice, Thelema, Theodor Reuss, Therion (Thelema), Thoth Tarot, Timeline of art, Tony Curtis, Transgressive art, Truck Festival, True Will, Two-Lane Blacktop, Typhonian Order, Uncertain T (show car), Underground film, Unicursal hexagram, Valhalla Rising (film), Valse Triste (film), Vena Kava, Victor Neuburg (poet), Videoex, Villa d'Este, Volksrod, Wavelength (1967 film), What's Tonight to Eternity?, Where Did All the Love Go?, White Stains, White Teeth, Black Thoughts, Wilfred Talbot Smith, Willard Maas, William Breeze, William Westerfeld House, Woodie (car body style), Zachary Lazar, Zeena Schreck

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Kenneth Anger" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools