November 3, 2006
BFI London Film Festival. Novembre 2006.
The 50th edition of the BFI London Film Festival, a historic exhibit dedicated to great film productions with particular emphasis on independent and experimental filmmaking took place in London from October 18 to November 2, 2006.
This year’s festival, organized since 1957 by the British Film Institute, is one of the largest European institutions dedicated to the publication, preservation and recovery of film material, including Anger Me in the Experimental section, a documentary produced by SEGNALE DIGITALE and A Few Step Productions, directed by Elio Gelmini, Italian-Canadian film director. The screening of the documentary took place on October 27 and October 29 at the National Film Theatre with great reaction from a public of experts, film buffs, fans and celebrities in the art, music and cultural world, confirming that Kenneth Anger’s image and work are still strong and alive in London.
The influence of Kenneth Anger’s work goes well beyond what can be defined as avant-garde, reaching the great public through the works of Derek Jarman, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and so many others deeply struck by his filmmaking.His friends ranged from Anais Nin, Alfred Kinsley to the Rolling Stones. He was the true inspiration for the song “Sympathy for The Devil” by the Rolling Stones.
His obsessive interest in the history of Film and all its cult objects, Hollywood scandals and gossips, led him to write his bestseller Hollywood Babylon, an honest story about the true face of the film industry in Los Angeles.
BFI London Film Festival. With the screening of the documentary Anger Me, a good three hours of retrospective work was shown including some of Anger’s films wonderfully recovered thanks to the incredible work of Ross Lipman of Los Angeles UCLA.
A life of Anger. Friday October 27, 2006. Guardian Unlimited
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Kenneth Anger has not slept in days, maybe weeks; he can’t remember. “I don’t worry about not sleeping,” he assures me.
“Time is all we have and every second that ticks away is one less second we’re alive. The sands of time are going through the hourglass but it doesn’t frighten me………. Director Elio Gelmini has made a documentary portrait of Kenneth Anger called Anger Me………. But as Anger digresses, and apologizes for doing so, his tea abandoned, he is not as angry as his image (or his name) suggests. In one breath, he says he’s a proud outsider to Hollywood, and in another, he almost gushes: “I loved the young John Wayne. I wish I could have worked with him.”As he winds up a long story about Vera Rhuba Ralston, a bit player figure skater and girlfriend of a studio head, he says: “That’s a little slice of history. I love the things that have gone by the wayside.”
Anger Me. LAShTAL.COM
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I had the great honour to be invited as a guest to the first UK screening of the new documentary about Kenneth Anger, Anger Me, at the British Film Institute’s 50th London Film Festival, where this 72-minute documentary featured prominently in the “Experimenta Avant-Garde Weekend”.
Anger looks remarkably well, far younger than you’d expect given that he’s in his eightieth year, and was dressed in an immaculate, sober suit…….. ….. Elio Gelmini employs many of Anger’s trademark film-making techniques to enormously impressive effect in Anger Me: jump cuts, the superimposition of multiple dissimilar images to produce a remarkable synergy and so on.
The audio soundtrack is absolutely perfect, including a substantial amount of original music together with the pieces extracted from the movies themselves, by Mick Jagger and Bobby Beausoleil, for example……..It’s a beautiful documentary, made by committed and intelligent film-makers about a fascinating and, on the evidence of this screening at least, charming individual.
Anger Me. Time Out London Issue 1888: October 25-November 1
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This worthwhile documentary portrait of Kenneth Anger makes a fine complement for the screenings of his oeuvre restored on 35mm and an expected visit from the legend of the American avant-garde himself.
Its best idea is to keep Anger on one side of the frame while he talks us through his work as it plays over his shoulder, and it’s hard to think of a better introduction to his very personal celluloid language, combining his interests in paganism, Hollywood glamour and gay sexuality.
Anger devotees may not find much that’s revelatory here, but the old boy’s certainly a wonderful host – and the only living link between Aleister Crowley, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Kinsey and Mick Jagger.
Trevor JohnstonBFI London Film Festival. Novembre 2006.