I guess there's some hoopla goin' on tomorrow night in Washington - I heard some guy on the TV talkin' about how
Jenna Bush's dress is gonna be "cut down to here" - but I've been saving the date of January 20 for a very
different kind of gala. At MoMA's An Evening With Kenneth Anger, the former child
filmmaker/inventor of critical
scandal studies will be on hand to introduce three recent works: The Man We Want to Hang
(2002), Anger's treatise on the paintings of his spiritual mentor, Aleister Crowley; Anger
Sees RED (2002); Elliott's Suicide (2004), a rumination on the death of
indie-rock martyr Elliott Smith; and, the world premiere of Anger's latest short, Mouse
Heaven (2004), a critique of consumption via the world of Disney memorabilia.
A couple of years ago, I went to see Anger introduce his Magic Lantern Cycle at The Castro Theater in San Francisco. He showed excerpts from the as-of-then-untitled Crowley film, but spoke of it as though he was having a hard time finding the energy to finish it. Apparently, not only did he finish that film, but has since made three others. This is a remarkable burst of achievement for the 77-year-old Anger, who has been largely inactive as a filmmaker since the early 70s. Cross your fingers, kids - this could mean that Hollywood Babylon III isn't far behind.
An Evening with Kenneth Anger will commence on Thursday, January 20, at 8:15pm. The Museum of Modern Art, located on 53rd Street near Fifth Avenue in New York City. For more information on this and other MoMA film programs, please visit their website.