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Magick Lantern Cycle  (DVD + Blu-Ray)
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 April 2009
Kenneth Wilbur Angelmyer is nuts. Crazy. Stone cold loco. And after watching his repertoire of films, you wouldn't want it any other way, believe me. I'm also slightly reticent of criticising Anger's work in any way, shape or form as he's a well-practiced Thelemite (as in Aleister Crowley) and may curse me. Luckily, there's no reason to. These movies are seminal, and an influence on many filmmakers such as David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Anger is still very much active in the film industry to this day, and with the presentation of "Ich Will!" in 2008 he now has 50 years of film dabbling under his belt. A Biker's belt with a pentagram buckle, I must add. Ouch.

Anger's films are unclassifiable as a genre or template, so don't try to categorize him - Most people in the know think of "Scorpio Rising" (1963) with it's Rock n' Roll Blitzkreig / Biker porn as the quintessential Anger, but you'll find a lot here that goes beyond that. The BFI must be congratulated (again) for bringing little known films to the fore in their excellent DVD / Blu-Ray packages - Earlier this year Jeff Keen's anthology "Gazwrx" was released, this is in the same vein - and much of the man's filmography is included here. These are "Fireworks" (1947), "Puce Moment" (1949),"Rabbit's Moon" (1950/1971), "Eaux d'Artifice" (1953), "Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome" (1954), "Scorpio Rising" (1964), "Kustom Kar Kommandos" (1965), "Invocation Of My Demon Brother" (1969), "Rabbit's Moon" (Remade, 1979), and "Lucifer Rising" (1981). Not much left out, All present and correct. A cornucopia of the surreal would be a good way to sum it all up.

Special features include :

- Kenneth Anger commentaries;
- Demonstration of restoration work;
- "The Man We Want To Hang", Anger's look at Crowley's art;
- "Anger Me", Elio Gelmini's analysis of Anger;
- Lavish booklet including an essay by Gary Lachman.

So, if you think Stan Brakhage is too tame, you have a dream compilation here right at your fingertips. Just keep your mouth shut if you find it all a bit much - Ken will come and get you.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 30 December 2010
Once experienced, any film of Kenneth Anger's will not soon be forgotten. A word of warning for those who are more inclined toward commercial or 'mainstream' cinema- Anger's films are often dense and complex, filed with metaphor, symbolism and elements of Surrealism. Despite having read around Anger's work to a considerable extent, I still find some sequences incomprehensible and intellectually impenetrable. So, some of these films will leave the average viewer perplexed.

Anger's film making is marked by an often luscious, decadent aesthetic and an atmosphere of intoxicating sensuality. If we struggle with an intellectual interpretation of some of these works, then the very fin-de-siecle focus on 'effect' captures the viewer, by tinkering with the mind below the level of immediate cognition. As Anger has stated in the past, he sees Cinema as an 'evil medium', a medium through which he 'steals the soul' of the viewer. Anger works to manipulate the emotions and, he hopes, the unconscious mind of the viewer through a 'magickal' endeavour, rather than encouraging a process of rational exploration. Often, Anger's more difficult and esoteric films e.g. Invocation of My Demon Brother, bombard the rational mind with obscure and layered imagery in a way that overwhelms, I believe, in an attempt to tap in to the irrational mind and exert control over the viewer.

The one thing that matters more to Anger than film making, is his lifetime dedication to ceremonial 'magick'. Anger is a practitioner of occultism, influenced by Aleister Crowley. His films are conceived as magical workings and screenings serve as rituals. Therefore, expect a great deal of allusion to occultism within these films. I am no expert in such things and as a result I am most likely missing out a lot of what Anger is communicating, but I love his films nonetheless. My favourite of his films is Inauguration of The Pleasure Dome- a Bacchanalian revel, the most visually striking of Anger's films, the most visually decadent and featuring a performance by Anais Nin.

Anger has been making films since the 1940's and he is still going. I recently had the pleasure of attending a screening of some of the films contained on this DVD. Mr. Anger was there in person and seemed very spritely for his 83 years. Long may he continue on his chosen path! If you have never viewed a Kenneth Anger film before, expect the following: magic, death, decadence, homoeroticism and spell-binding imagery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2015
Kenneth Anger major films in one packaging. Fireworks first saw it decades ago, and it made quite an impact.
Years later saw Scorpio Rising, again it made quite an impact. All the films in the DVD, are not going to be
to every-one tastes. But if you know about Kenneth Anger at all, then there will be something for you to like.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2011
I had not heard of Kenneth Anger before but got interested when reading about him and this BD-release so I went ahead and made a blind purchase. It was well worth the money since this is a wonderful collection of highly interesting and inspiring short films. If you like a different kind of cinema; both dark, weird and beautiful then this is for you.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 April 2009
Kenneth Wilbur Angelmyer is nuts. Crazy. Stone cold loco. And after watching his repertoire of films, you wouldn't want it any other way, believe me. I'm also slightly reticent of criticising Anger's work in any way, shape or form as he's a well-practiced Thelemite (as in Aleister Crowley) and may curse me. Luckily, there's no reason to. These movies are seminal, and an influence on many filmmakers such as David Lynch and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Anger is still very much active in the film industry to this day, and with the presentation of "Ich Will!" in 2008 he now has 50 years of film dabbling under his belt. A Biker's belt with a pentagram buckle, I must add. Ouch.

Anger's films are unclassifiable as a genre or template, so don't try to categorize him - Most people in the know think of "Scorpio Rising" (1963) with it's Rock n' Roll Blitzkreig / Biker porn as the quintessential Anger, but you'll find a lot here that goes beyond that. The BFI must be congratulated (again) for bringing little known films to the fore in their excellent DVD / Blu-Ray packages - Earlier this year Jeff Keen's anthology "Gazwrx" was released, this is in the same vein - and much of the man's filmography is included here. These are "Fireworks" (1947), "Puce Moment" (1949),"Rabbit's Moon" (1950/1971), "Eaux d'Artifice" (1953), "Inauguration Of The Pleasure Dome" (1954), "Scorpio Rising" (1964), "Kustom Kar Kommandos" (1965), "Invocation Of My Demon Brother" (1969), "Rabbit's Moon" (Remade, 1979), and "Lucifer Rising" (1981). Not much left out, All present and correct. A cornucopia of the surreal would be a good way to sum it all up.

Special features include :

- Kenneth Anger commentaries;
- Demonstration of restoration work;
- "The Man We Want To Hang", Anger's look at Crowley's art;
- "Anger Me", Elio Gelmini's analysis of Anger;
- Lavish booklet including an essay by Gary Lachman.

So, if you think Stan Brakhage is too tame, you have a dream compilation here right at your fingertips. Just keep your mouth shut if you find it all a bit much - Ken will come and get you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2011
Kenneth Anger's films are much like the man himself - a strange mess of mythology, fantasy in a kaleidoscopic world. The BFI have created a definitive collection of one of America's lesser-known, yet highly respected film-makers of the past 60 years. We the viewer not only benefit from having his commercially available films on Blu-Ray but also commentary and reflections from Anger himself which provides words to otherwise silent films dotted with popular and avant-garde music. MAGIC LANTERN CYCLE: THE FILMS OF KENNETH ANGER shows the greatness of post-war American avant-garde cinema while offering glimpses of where directors like David Lynch took Anger's strange worlds and brought them to a brighter light.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2012
Another Excellent collection released by the BFI on Blu-Ray. Just thought I should write to correct widely miss-advertised Region B/2 labeling.

The DVD disc is region 0 and played in my U.S. XboX, and the blu ray disc must be REGION A as it played in my cheap sony which is playstation equivalent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 June 2015
Absolute drivel.
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on 27 June 2015
No self-proclaimed film buff should be caught without this superb collection of dazzling, utterly mesmerising films. These films are fine examples of the avan-garde, any fan of maya deren or David lynch will find them captivating and intriguing. If you're looking for something truly different, something to really provoke thought and inspiration, look no further.
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on 10 April 2015
Superb product for real movie lovers !!
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