Anger + Rapture

Thursday, July 31, 2014, 8:30 pm
White Columns

320 West 13th Street
New York, NY 10014

Kenneth Anger, Invocation of My Demon Brother, 16mm, 11 min., 1969
Iván Zulueta, Arrebato (Rapture), 35mm on video, 105 min., 1980

Curated by Clara López Menéndez

Starring Mick Jagger (who also composed its score), His Satanic Majesty Anton LaVey, and Manson Family member Bobby Beausoleil, Kenneth Anger has described Invocation of My Demon Brother as "an attack on the sensorium."

Rarely screened on these shores, Iván Zulueta's experimental cult classic Arrebato (Rapture) is legendary in Spain, where it launched a cinematic revolution, inspiring filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar (who can be heard in an uncredited dubbing- as the voice of a female character). "He never filmed a single banal image," Almodóvar would later write of Zulueta, describing Zulueta's work as "David Lynch, but less shadowy and more pop." Mixing genre and experimental filmmaking, Arrebato tells the story of a hack horror director and heroin junky who becomes consumed by the vampiric apparatus of cinema.

Kenneth Anger, a pioneering and influential force in avant-garde cinema, has been making films since the early 1940s, with his first being Who Has Been Rocking My Dreamboat (1941). His six-decade-long oeuvre includes most notably the works in his Magick Lantern Cycle, including Fireworks (1947), Puce Moment (1949), Eaux d’artifice (1953), Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954-66), Scorpio Rising (1963), Kustom Kar Kommandos (1965), Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969), Lucifer Rising (1970-81), Rabbit’s Moon (1950-79). More recent works include Mouse Heaven (2004), Elliot’s Suicide (2004), Ich Will! (2008) and Foreplay (2008). Anger also performs as Technicolor Skull with Brian Butler. Anger’s work constitutes a radical critique of Hollywood, often evoking and referencing pop icons within occult settings and depicting youth counterculture in the midst of violence and eroticism. Anger does not use a narrative-based style, but rather lyrically explores themes of ritualistic transformation and transfiguration. His films are imbued with a baroque splendor stemming from the heightened sensuality of his opulent colors and imagery.

Iván Zulueta is a seminal figure in post-Franco Spanish cinema. Best known for his only feature film, the legendary cult classic Arrebato, Zulueta also made several shorts before retiring from filmmaking in the early 1980s. Zulueta is also well known for the movie posters he designed, including posters for Pedro Almodóvar’s first films. Zulueta died in 2009.