A woman dressed elegantly walks purposely through the water gardens at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, as the music of Vivaldi's "Winter" movement of "The Four Seasons" plays. Heavy red filters... See full summary »
Two people stand on a road, out of focus. Seen distorted through a glass, they retire upstairs to a bedroom where she undresses. He says, "Adieu." Images: the beautiful girl, a starfish in ... See full summary »
Kiki of Montparnasse,
André de la Rivière,
This documentary movie is about the battle of San Pietro, a small village in Italy. Over 1,100 US soldiers were killed while trying to take this location, that blocked the way for the ... See full summary »
A woman dressed elegantly walks purposely through the water gardens at the Villa d'Este in Tivoli, as the music of Vivaldi's "Winter" movement of "The Four Seasons" plays. Heavy red filters give a blue cast to the light; water plays across stone, and fountains send it into the air. No words are spoken. Baroque statuary and the sensuous flow of water are back lit. Anger calls it "water games." Written by
The short films of Kenneth Anger are certainly NOT for the casual film goer! The best way to describe them is avant-garde--and often make little sense, as they are not meant to be shown to the masses. Some are incredibly artistic--like filmed work of art. Some are really cheaply made and definitely look it. Regardless, they are a challenge to watch and I very strongly recommend you see them with his commentary activated. So why would I see these shorts? Well, in a recent interview I noticed that John Waters credits Anger for much of his inspiration. And, since I have seen all the films of Waters that are available (a couple very early ones aren't), it seems natural I'd give Anger's films a try. This and four other reviews are best on the DVD "Films of Kenneth Anger: Volume 1".
I notice that one reviewer gave this film a 1 and called it the worst of Anger's films. While I can really understand someone not liking his work (it is a very acquired taste), I can't see attacking this film in particular, as it is one of the loveliest and most technically amazing shorts of the age. While I do NOT generally like art films, this one is amazing.
Much of the reason I was so impressed with this film was as Anger described it in the commentary track, I realized just how difficult the film was to get it to look the way it did. To give the film a wonderful blue luminous quality, he actually filmed the short using black & white film shot through a red filter. Then, he had the result developed using color stock! To make the scenery at Tivoli's water garden look bigger, he used a midget as his actress! And, to get the water to cascade just right, he also used varying speeds with the camera. I was quite impressed that a film maker who was not at all "Hollywood" but an avant-garde film maker would know to do this. Additionally, the use of Vivaldi's "Winter" from "The Four Seasons" was perfectly timed to the film and made the whole thing a treat to see.
If you are looking for an art film, it doesn't get a lot better than this.
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