December 19, 2012
Toronto, Canada, December 2012
“ANGER at the ABBEY” is a small documentary about the last visit of filmmaker Kenneth Anger at a place know as the “Abbey of Thelema” in Cefalu, Sicily, Italy.
Kenneth Anger , an american underground experimental filmmaker, actor and author of two controversial Hollywood Babylon books, he has been considered a pivotal figure in the history of experimental film, an innovator and a pioneer and to be one of the major personalities of the 1960’s and 1970’s underground art scene. He defined himself as a “cinematographic magician” and his “cinema” as a ritualistic form.
In 1955 Kenneth Anger went to the Villa Santa Barbara, near the town of Cefalu in Sicily, and found the original ruins of a villa also known as “The Abbey of Thelema” which was Aleister Crowley‘s residence and spiritual centre in the first 1920s.
Aleister Crowley was an english occultist, mystic, ceremonial magician, poet and mountaineer, who was responsible for founding the religious philosophy of Thelema. Highly controversial figure, he is by some considered the founder of modern occultism and others as a source of inspiration for Satanism. A man of vast culture, he is considered a key figure in the history of the new magical movements and its influence on contemporary magical environment has been remarkable.
Kenneth Anger worked in the abbey for several weeks and uncovered explicit erotic frescoes hidden by whitewash of Crowley’s magical paintings. Kenneth decided to invite his friend dr. Alfred Kinsey, an american biologist and professor of entomology and zoology, who in 1947 founded the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University, who visited Crowley’s Thelema Abbey shortly before his death.
In 2004. after 50 years, Kenneth Anger, made a second visit to the Abbey to see what it remained of the abandoned and dilapidated italian villa.