The Anger Magick Lantern Cycle

  • Film
  • Fantasy films
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The anthology of Anger's nine released films is the most coherent (and remarkable) body of work produced by any American 'underground' film-maker. All the films are ritualistic in form and content; the later ones refer directly to the 'magick' of Anger's professed idol, Aleister Crowley. Anger's most obvious aesthetic forefathers are Eisenstein and Cocteau. Fireworks (1947, 14 min) and its inverse twin Eaux d'artifice (i.e. Waterworks, 1953, 13 min) show wish-fulfilment quests, the first successful (a lonely, masochistic boy survives a heart-stopping beating to earn himself a male lover), the second not (a crinolined dwarf cruises the dark gods of a water garden but isn't picked up). Puce Moment (1949, 6 min) salutes 1920s Hollywood, when stars were magic. In Rabbits' Moon (1950/79, 7 min), Harlequin snares Pierrot with a magic lantern image of Columbine, an illusion which kills him. Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954/66, 38 min) shows a fancy dress party at which a beautiful boy is violated by intoxicated guests; the host grows stronger by subsuming everything that happens. Scorpio Rising (1964, 29 min) is an exhaustive tour of the death-wish in Western culture with a legendary rock'n'roll soundtrack; the word is made flesh in the person of Thanatos. In Kustom Kar Kommandos (1964, 3 min) a Kalifornian beach bum caresses his hot rod. Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969, 11 min) shows Crowleyan and other rituals; a god of light is born from the union of opposites. And Lucifer Rising (1980, 30 min), which features Marianne Faithfull and Donald Cammell among others, invokes Egyptian and Celtic myth (and flying saucers) to conjure the rise of Anger's own dream lover.

Release details

Duration: 151 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Kenneth Anger

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Simply stunning. Contains a key element which most "experimental film" leaves out: fun.


Simply stunning. Contains a key element which most "experimental film" leaves out: fun.