Wednesday, September 20, 2006

London Film Festival

When the London Film Festival announced its programme a few days ago, I went straight to the experimental section to see what was on offer. I was pleasantly surprised to see two films on two American underground luminaries: Anger Me, about Kenneth Anger and Jack Smith and The Destruction of Atlantis about Jack Smith, both curated by the ever reliable Mark Webber.

Anger was a legendary pioneer of independent filmmaking who used to hang out with the Stones, made the homoerotic Scorpio Rising (1964) and wrote the infamous book Hollywood Babylon. Smith, on the other hand, worked in the pre-Warhol New York art scene and was heavily influenced by kitsch 1940s star Maria Montez, blending film with experimental theatre, fashion and photography. His most famous film, Flaming Creatures, is "an epic fantasy, featuring blonde vampires and bohemians cavorting amid a tangle of naked bodies". A baroque genius.

Excerpt from Anger's Lucifer Rising (1972)

Jack Smith's short Scotch Tape (1963)

Festival site

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