Kenneth Anger's Garden of Earthly Delights

  • Dir: Kenneth Anger

  • USA, 1947-1971, English, 63mins, 35mm, Category III

A pioneer of avant-garde film, Kenneth Anger (1927-2023) led an unregretfully idiosyncratic life producing around 40 works full of powerful and confrontational imageries, merging surrealism, homoeroticism, occultism, and a love of pop culture. Fireworks (1947) is a forthright expression of sadomasochistic homosexuality, erotically transformed from the historical trauma and the social repression of sexuality. Scorpio Rising (1963) juxtaposes a montage of homoerotic shots, religious symbols and cultural icons with a jukebox-structured pop soundtrack of the 1950s and 60s, creating a new cinematic language that foreshadows the emergence of music videos. Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965) delves into the depths of desire through the theme of auto-fetishism. Filmed with a blue filter and filled with symbolic images, Rabbit Moon (1971) tells a whimsical tale about a clown’s longing to reach the moon indebted to the elements of Commedia dell'Arte, evoking Lynch’s claustrophobic interior in Blue Velvet. Anger said, ‘making a movie is casting a spell,’ he created his own mythology, he was, and remains cinema’s greatest cult priest.

Fireworks, Scorpio Rising and Kustom Kar Kommandos are preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive with funding provided by The Film Foundation. Rabbit's Moon is preserved through the Avant-Garde Masters program funded by The Film Foundation and administered by the National Film Preservation Foundation

23/12 (Sat): Film talk with Jun Li


    In-theatre Screening