A Slavonic Mass by Leos Janácek plays as historical figures, biblical characters, and mythical creatures gather in the pleasure dome. Aphrodite, Lilith, Isis, Kali, Astarte, Nero, Pan, and ... See full summary »
Samson De Brier,
Pierrot waxes romantic, entranced by the moon. Harlequin appears and bullies him, then uses a magic lantern to project an image of Columbine. Pierrot tries to court the illusory Columbine ... See full summary »
A soundtrack plays folk rock as a woman prepares, at noon, to take her Borzois for a walk. She goes through her dresses, all 1920s style flapper gowns, holding them one at a time, shaking ... 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... See full summary »
Willfully fragmentary curio from famed sixties occult film-maker
Ever since his rampantly homo-erotic debut 'Fireworks' (1947) whilst still a teenager, Kenneth Anger has carved out for himself a singular reputation as a movie-maker whose films willfully transgress society's limits in search of mystical self-awareness. To this end, 'Scorpio Rising' (1964) is a blasphemous homo-sexual biker fantasy writ large while his magnum opus 'Lucifer Rising' (1972) is a gorgeous esoteric rite dedicated to Lucifer himself as well as English occultist (once dubbed "the wickedest man in the world") Aleister Crowley. 'Invocation of my Demon Brother' (1969) sits between these two career defining films and, to be honest, I only find it interesting in that respect. More specifically, the film itself is a 10 minute montage of a Black Albino, some naked men, people jamming and smoking in proper 60s fashion, shots of Anger himself performing a ritual to invoke a new Aeon (replete with Swastika), and a whole host of striking effects done with lights and different lenses, all sound-tracked by a deliberately monotonous moog synthesizer soundtrack courtesy of Mick Jagger who also pops up in a couple of shots. However, two other cameos are of note: the first is long-time friend, and founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey while the other is his former protégée (and later Manson Family member) Bobby Beausoleil who is still in prison for murder. Indeed, the fragmentary nature of 'Invocation ' comes from the fact that the footage was originally part of the original version of 'Lucifer Rising' but an argument Anger had with Beausoleil over money led to Beausoleil running off with the print whereby he inadvertently met Charles Manson who buried the film in the desert. The result? 'Invocation ' was stitched together and released and as it stands lacks the sumptuous, haunting visuals of films like 'Eaux d'artifice' (1953) or 'Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome' (1954), the feverish homo-eroticism of 'Fireworks' or 'Scorpio Rising', or the esoteric narrative grandeur of 'Lucifer Rising'. And yet it's a film I find myself returning to. Perhaps this is somehow due to the fact that, although always ambiguous about his relationship to Satanism – preferring instead to promote solar worship and Thelema (the religion founded by his occult idol Crowley) – Anger has declared 'Invocation ' to be his most "satanic" film. Maybe it's this, or maybe it's just that I am very forgiving of the film as I value it as a sub-cultural document inextricably entwined with the dark-side of the sixties as well as an interesting interim feature between two career peaks. In conclusion, I can only recommend it to people with a similar niche interest as a casual viewer will probably find nothing of interest here.
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