Friday, April 4, 2008

think puce

Kenneth Anger is an underground avant-garde filmmaker and author who was born into the Hollywood scene in 1927. in 1959 he published "Hollywood Babylon", a scandalous tell-all chronicling Hollywood's rich and famous. in the 1970's he hung out with Mick Jagger, Anton Szandor LaVey (pre-church of satan), Alfred Kinsey, Peg Entwistle (who lept to her death from the H of the Hollywood sign), and Mick name a few. he makes highly symbolic films with vivid imagery. filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese and Andy Warhol have recognized Anger's as being highly influential in their own. in august of 2007 Anger announced that he had cancer and would die on Halloween of 2008.

i really like this unfinished 1949 film called PUCE MOMENT. my friend katherine first showed me it a few years ago. every so often since i find myself watching it, its just so alluring and seems much newer than 1949 because of Anger's highly developed camera technique (closeups, camera speed, taste in music etc). the music featured in this film was added later ( i think).

here's some extra info from an Anger scholar, if you're interested.

"Dress after rhinestone-beaded dress wriggles at the camera. Jonathan
Halper's soundtrack blasts with Pink Floyd-style feedback broken by his
folkie voice singing lyrics of omnipotence. Yvonne Marquis' face fills
the camera. Her eyes look glassy under long, black lashes. Huge black
deco earrings swing herky-jerky. She wears heavy, dark eye makeup
and coral lipstick. Yvonne raises her dress to fill the camera frame.
She's naked and laughing, looking up through the dress at the sky.
She drops it over her head and it falls to her toes. Her steps seem unsure
and unsteady, and she puts on shoes laid on a pillow. More soundtrack
feedback highlights a shot of her makeup table, with its enormous bottle of
perfume. The Puce Woman strikes Nazimova poses in front of a mirror as
she applies the perfume. She looks at herself again in the mirror to Halper's
lyrics. She throws her head back, striking a glamour pose on her puce day
bed. The day bed moves. She sighs. The day bed is being taken on a trip.
Her eyes roll back in ecstasy and sexual anticipation. Shadows turn light
and dark again as though the bed is moving through a passageway. Then
she's lying on her porch again. In the background are the Hollywood Hills.
Now holding the leashes of her six Rashimov hounds, the Puce Woman
surveys her kingdom. From the camera angle, the hounds are on the level
of her house. The camera pans up the leashes for a close-up of her hand.
The Puce Woman has a petulant and bored expression, like Clara Bow,
as her dogs lead her down the steps. Her face fades into the camera
as Fini appears in deco lettering." -Bill Landis, Anger

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