Source: Concordia University
Biography of Kenneth Anger
October 13, 2006
13, 2006 —
Kenneth Anger is a living legend whose experimental films leave no one
indifferent. Born in 1930, the son of an engineer, the black sheep of a
conservative family, he was raised by a free spirited grandmother. Although
he was a fan of D.W. Griffith, he refused to join the Hollywood community
during the McCarthy era.
Anger has had a major impact on avant-garde film artists and major-league
film directors like Derek Jarman, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Francis Ford Coppola
(‘Apocalypse Now’), David Lynch (‘Blue Velvet’) and Martin Scorcese (‘Mean
Streets’). ‘Fireworks’ (1947) established Anger’s reputation as a ‘living
myth’ (Mike O’Pray), when the seventeen year-old. The intense poetic images
within ‘Fireworks’ attracted the attention of Maya Deren and Jean Cocteau.
‘Rabbit’s Moon’ (1950) and ‘Eaux D’Artifice’ (1953) cemented Anger’s
critical reputation. ‘Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome’ (1954-56),
featuring Anais Nin and Marjorie Cameron established Anger’s trademark
hallucinogenic and hypnotic visual style.
Know as an independent trail, rarely out of the public eye through his
involvement with the March on the Pentagon and association with many
celebrities, Anger received wider attention with the 1975 English
publication of ‘Hollywood Babylon’, a detailed expose of the Hollywood star
system’s lurid underbelly of sex, drugs, psychosis, and death. First
published in France in 1959, the best-selling ‘Hollywood Babylon’ is an
immaculately researched and memorable study of gossip-mongering.
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