Wednesday, February 28, 2007

la lune des lapins, paris 1950 & eaux d'artifice, villa d'este tivoli 1953

2 great films featured on the films of kenneth anger, vol. 1
included is commentary for each film by kenneth anger.

1. kenneth anger's 3rd film rabbit's moon (la lune des lapins), 1950, or "a lunar dream utilizing the classic pantomime figure of pierrot in an encounter with a prankish, enchanted magic lantern" (anger quoted in p. adams sitneys' visionary film)

this film was shot in the films du pantheon studio in paris in 1950 and edited in 1971 (anger lived much of the 1950s in paris).

a beautiful film about love, dreams, repetition, desire, and the magick and artificiality of cinema (illusions viewed through a magic lantern).

the title partly references the japanese and their viewing of the moon, apparently they see a rabbit instead of a man.

also of interest: after shooting this film, kenneth anger started production on a film version of lautreamont's les chants de maldoror, but got no further than rehearsals.

2. kenneth anger's 4th film eaux d'artifice, 1953

filmed at the villa d'este in tivoli italy with music by vivaldi, from the winter section of the four seasons. shot using a cyan filter on ferrania inra-red film and printed on color stock, which gives it a truly other worldly quality.

images of villa d'este:

anger used different camera speeds to isolate drops of water in much of this film. these shots brought to mind 2 films by ralph steiner: h2o, 1929 and surf and seaweed, 1929/30, and also the photography of susan derges.

william c. wees said of the film: "here water is the principal medium for preternatural light, and a water witch is its personification" and "in effect, the tinting turns the strips of film into blue stream from (or through) whose surface preternatural light gleams and flashes into viewers' eyes as they follow the mysterious bright figure..."

there are also beautiful imperfections in many of the shots that give the image a subtle flicker. this, and a soft focus, give the film a similar image quality you find in silent cinema.

-visionary film: the american avant-garde 1943-1978, by p. adams sitney, oxford univ. press
-light moving in time, by william c, wees, oxford univ. press
-villa d'este, by isabella pasquini barisi, de luca
-the villa d'este at tivoli, by david dernie and alastair carew-cox, academy editions

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