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Fireworks (1947)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,313 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 27 critic

Depicts a dream sequence about the brutal rape and torture of Anger himself (as a teenager) by a group of sailors on the street (after trying to pick one of them up).

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Title: Fireworks (1947)

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Kenneth Anger ...
Dreamer (uncredited)
Gordon Gray ...
First Sailor (uncredited)
Bill Seltzer ...
Second Sailor (uncredited)
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Storyline

A wordless film, save for a voice-over introducing us to the imagery of dreams. A shirtless young man dreams of awakening to finds photographs of a muscular sailor carrying him in his arms. He goes to a bar where the sailor from his dream displays his muscular upper torso. A gang of sailors, swinging chains, enters menacingly. He watches, smoking. They surround him and an assault begins. Surreal touches accent the dream-like qualities. A phallic firework, a flaming Christmas tree, and the burning photographs provide climax and closure as the young man, back in bed, is beside the sailor. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Short

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1969 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Tűzijáték  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente) | (Cinemateca Portuguesa) | (Blu-ray)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kenneth Anger directed this film at the tender age of 20. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dreamer: [voice over narration] In Fireworks, I released all the explosive pyrotechnics of a dream. Inflammable desires dampened by day under the cold water of consciousness are ignited that night by the libertarian matches of sleep, and burst forth in showers of shimmering incandescence. These imaginary displays provide a temporary relief.
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Connections

Referenced in Stoned (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
There can't be much debate about why Kenneth Anger never became a famous filmmaker.
19 February 2002 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

Granted, Fireworks is not the kind of movie that is going to lead to a very promising filmmaking career. In fact, it's more likely to END a promising filmmaking career than anything else. It is a perversely brutal depiction of the attack and rape of a young man, played by Anger himself, but you have to take Anger's purpose into account when you watch and judge this film.

At a mere 15-20 minute running time, it is not entirely doubtful that Anger may not have made the film for profit at all, but possibly for his own sexual gratification. The question that remains, it seems, is whether he meant to derive that satisfaction during its making or during its viewing. Either way, it is clear that the film's distribution pertains much more to the latter and, assuming that Anger realized this, it can also be assumed that he did not have the hugest aspirations for tremendous commercial success for Fireworks.

One of the first things that you learn in the study of Gay and Lesbian film is that films pertaining exclusively to the homosexual community generally do not have much commercial success, if only because of the relatively small size of its target audience. Even under those circumstances, however, I have to admit that I don't feel that the film would have had much of a chance even if it was directed at a more general audience. It is a hugely uncomfortable and un-enjoyable cinematic experience to a much greater extent even than films that are purposely meant to be unattractive and ugly, like Buffalo '66.

I spent about the first minute of Fireworks waiting to see something that would justify the fact that I was watching it at a screening for a film class at the University level, and then I spent about the next 19 minutes or so waiting for it to end. I did not enjoy a second of the film, but it is clear that there is a message to be derived from it, maybe about the plight of the young homosexual male in the late 40s or the fact that men get raped, too (although, of course, also be men). In any case, the films of Kenneth Anger seem to have been relegated mainly to below even the status of bottom shelf oblivion, and quite frankly, I can't say so far that it's any huge loss.


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