Wednesday, 29 November 2017

FM4 - Spectatorship - Kenneth Anger: Experimental and Expanded Film/Video

'Rabbit's Moon' is a short avant-garde film directed by Kenneth Anger in the style of both mime, commedia dell'arte (a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century) and Kabuki theatre. The title refers to the Japanese myth about a rabbit on the moon. The story focuses on Pierrot trying to obtain the unattainable moon. Harlequin appears and entertains Pierrot with sword play, juggling, and dance. Pierrot remains distraught, so Harlequin summons Columbina to help uplift Pierrot.

Although the film was originally made in 1950, two further cuts were created, one in 1972 and another in 1979, both with different soundtracks. This is the 1979 edit.

'Scorpio Rising' is a 1964 experimental film by Kenneth Anger. Themes central to the film include the occult, biker subculture, Catholicism and Nazism; the film also explores the worship of rebel icons of the era, namely James Dean and Marlon Brando. As with many of Anger's films, 'Scorpio Rising' contains no dialogue - it instead features a prominent soundtrack consisting of 50s and 60s pop, including songs by Ricky Nelson, The Angels, The Crystals, Bobby Vinton, Elvis Presley & Ray Charles.

Anger has been cited as an important influence on later film directors like Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and John Waters. He has also been described as having "a profound impact on the work of many other filmmakers and artists, as well as on music video as an emergent art form using dream sequence, dance, fantasy, and narrative."

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