7:00PM – ANGER RISING
Kenneth Anger (1947–1972) 85 mins R
A selection of essential films from the “Magick Lantern Cycle” by the foremost magus of the American underground. Anger (1927–) emphatically announced his arrival with his first extant film, Fireworks (1947), a homoerotic work that escaped obscenity charges in California and impressed Jean Cocteau. Shot in France, Rabbit’s Moon (1950/1972) introduces Anger’s signature subversion of the pop soundtrack. Occult symbolism, cinema as fetish, biker subculture, visual appropriation and montage as magick combine to reach an apotheosis in Scorpio Rising (1964) M, the death drive of which is countered by the rebirth themes of Lucifer Rising (1972), which features a soundtrack by Manson Family acolyte and convicted murderer Bobby Beausoleil.
All films screened are 35mm restored prints courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive; restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation.
‘Lucifer Rising’ by James M Magrini.
‘Scorpio Rising’ by Jeremy Carr.
8:40PM – POISON
Todd Haynes (1991) 85 mins R
One of the most powerful American debut features of the 1990s, Haynes’ transgressive portmanteau film – part science fiction, part horror movie, part gay prison movie – became a crusade for conservatives outraged at public funding for “gay porn”. Drawing blistering battle lines in the era of queer theory and AIDS activism, this reimagining of Genet is as radical as the texts that inspired it.
Un chant d’amour
Jean Genet (1950) 26 mins R
Genet’s exquisite examination of homoerotic desire was subject to decades of controversy after its release. Genet himself regretted the film, embarrassed by its crudity, yet it remains one of the most influential queer short films in cinema history.