ottobre 17, 2006
TORONTO. Canada. 17 ottobre 2006. Bloor Cinema
Ieri si è tenuta una serata speciale al Bloor Cinema di Toronto che ha visto protagonista Kenneth Anger e il documentario “Anger Me” diretto dal regista italo-canadese Elio Gelmini e che ha per soggetto proprio la vita di Anger (1930), i suoi film e i suoi libri.
Artisti sperimentali contemporanei come Stan Brakhage e Harry Smith sono stati largamente influenzati dal suo approccio a quello che poi sarebbe stato definito come l’Underground. Più tardi, questo Underground ha toccato anche Martin Scorsese, che ha riconosciuto apertamente limportanza di Kenneth Anger nell’evoluzione della sua tecnica cinematografica.
Insieme alla proiezione del documentario “Anger Me” prodotto da “SEGNALEDIGITALE” e “A Few Step Productions” in collaborazione col Canada Council for the Arts e con l‘Ontario Arts Council, si sono potuti apprezzare anche ben tre ore di retrospettiva con tutti i film di Anger, grazie a Gary Tops che ha organizzato la serata al Bloor Cinema.
Inoltre Kenneth Anger, presente alla serata e in grandissima forma, ha deliziato i numerosissimi fans, cinefile ed esperti accorsi al Bloor Cinema, rispondendo alle tante domande con una incredibile energia per un artista della sua età. Grazie ad una quasi infinita serie di aneddoti, puntualizzazioni, giudizi, ricordi e anche pettegolezzi, Kenneth ha preso per mano il suo pubblico per accompagnarlo in una lunga carrellata di “storie di cinema” che ne hanno fatto il mattatore della serata, ricordando a tutti i presenti quanto la sua figura e il suo cinema siano ancora vivi ed attuali.
LOOK BACK TO ANGER a night with KENNETH ANGER including a retrospective of his films and a new documentary about him, ANGER ME, at the Bloor Cinema, Tuesday (October 17). Kenneth Anger doesn’t have a phone and for the past year he’s been living in a Los Angeles hotel that doesn’t take messages.”I’ve managed to do all my various things without one,” he informs me on a cellphone handed to him by his assistant after much muffled talk about how to operate the bloody thing. “I got so irritated with people calling me when I was meditating or writing. If you want to get me, try mental telepathy!”……….. …………… As for Tinseltown’s latest demigods, he’s not buying any of it. “You may think I’m just seeing the past through this rosy glow,” he says. “But everyone’s so boring. There’s no glamour left.” The film lacks any insight into Anger’s personal life. He confesses that he was the black sheep of the family and leaves it at that. No mention is made of his own sexual orientation. Strange for a man who is so intrigued with the private lives of others.
Tuesday’s screening of a slew of Kenneth Anger’s films at the Bloor Cinema will spark interest well beyond its hardcore audience of avant-garde film freaks. Like a very few other fringe filmmakers — Chris Marker and Stan Brakhage, say — Anger’s imagery and visual strategies have found their way into just about every visual aspect of contemporary culture. Matthew Barney’s Cremaster art film cycle wouldn’t exist without Anger’s Fireworks (1947) and its stylized ballet of homoerotic violence ……….. The 72-minute-long documentary is also a compact portrait of a century’s worth of fringe art making, although it begins deep in Hollywood with Anger’s appearance alongside Mickey Rooney in Max Reinhardt’s 1935 film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Anger’s life connects early European avant-garde (Jean Cocteau was a pal in Paris in the ’50s) to hardcore rock ‘n’ roll in the ’60s (Anger is thought to have inspired the Rolling Stones’ Sympathy for The Devil) ……
Kenneth Anger got his first views of the dark side of Hollywood as a child actor in the 1930s. By the ’40s, he was already one of American cinema’s great provocateurs, the notoriety of Anger’s unabashedly queer short films eventually being trumped by Scorpio Rising , his 1964 celebration of all things butch, leathery and Satanic. The influence of his aesthetic on the Rolling Stones is impossible to quantify — they’d return the favour when Mick Jagger scored 1969’s Invocation of My Demon Brother . Yet it was his lovably skeezy Hollywood Babylon books that earned Anger his greatest infamy……….”There are moments when he feels good and is very easy to deal with, when he is a very gracious person and extremely sweet. “But there are moments when he is a bitter person and very often upset.”This is a far bigger scandal than anything Anger is researching for Hollywood Babylon III, which may never be published.Because that depends “on some legal questions,” says Anger in Anger Me.
Elio Gelmini’s Anger Me paints an enduring biographical portrait of Kenneth Anger, one of the most fascinating, controversial and brilliant cinematic artists of the past sixty years, and a veritable godfather of independent film. Raised in Tinseltown, Anger was a mere seven years old when he acted in his first motion picture (as the Changeling Prince in William Dieterle’s 1936 version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream). He turned to filmmaking as a young man, crafting a series of surrealistic, abstract short films, heavily laden with cryptic, multilayered imagery, including Rabbit’s Moon (1950), The Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954), Scorpio Rising (1964), Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969) and Lucifer Rising (1980). Though considered ‘underground,’ the works nonetheless impacted such contemporary mainstream directors as Martin Scorsese and David Lynch and have since become pillars of the American avant garde. Meanwhile, Anger acquired an enduring fascination with film history and Hollywood gossip, which led to two infamous books and turned him into a bestselling author: Hollywood Babylon (1976) and Hollywood Babylon 2 (1984). He also cultivated a network of acquaintances that included Warhol, Mekas, Ginsberg, Alfred Kinsey, Mick Jagger and everyone in-between. Gelmini pays homage to Anger via an extended monologue that finds the director discussing his life experiences, as well as the content and significance of his work.
Nathan Southern, All Movie Guide