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Samson De Brier,
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
Kenneth Anger reckoned the film to be the result of a dream about what was called the Zoot Suit Riots. This was when some flamboyantly dressed Mexican were attacked and stripped by gangs of sailors. See more »
[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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Kenneth Anger's earliest surviving film was apparently influenced by him trying to pick up a sailor only to be beaten by the man and his friends. Trying to explain what this film is about would be pointless as I'm sure each viewing could watch it and come away with something different. The basic set-up has a man walking into a "Gents" room where he watches a man flex his muscles and then he tries to pick him up. FIREWORKS is certainly a very weird film as is its history, which included Anger being arrested on obscenity charges. Seeing the film today it's hard to believe that anyone would make too much fuss about it and I'd argue that the homosexuality isn't nearly as on display as the reputation of the film would lead you to believe. For the most part Anger has done a pretty good job in regards to the style and images seen in the film. The surrealist nature is really impressive and I thought several of the images were very nightmarish and they really came across as someone a lot more experienced behind the camera. I'm sure this film isn't going to appeal to everyone but fans of the weird should at least give it a shot.
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