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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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First publicly screened with no opening titles. A title sequence and narrated prologue by Anger was later added. In 1966, Anger exhibited a version with hand-painting, the only copy of which was later lost in a fire. A later version featured a new title sequence and was printed with a blue color cast. See more »
Depicts a dream sequence about the brutal rape and torture of director Kenneth Anger himself (as a teenager) by a group of sailors on the street (after trying to pick one of them up).
Anger later said, "This flick is all I have to say about being seventeen, the United States Navy, American Christmas, and the Fourth of July." Holy smokes, guys. This is about as hard-hitting as it comes for the 1940s. The homosexual theme, the intense violence... this is still shocking and revolting in the 2010s... we have have grown soft to violence, but if we have I can only imagine how people in the 40s reacted when they saw this. Terrifying!
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