Kenneth Anger is one of the premiere figures of the American underground film movement. Born in Santa Monica, California, Anger began making avant-garde films as a teenager in the 1940s and continues to do so to this day.
His most famous film is Scorpio Rising (1963), a experimental documentary/narrative hybrid featuring a Brooklyn-based biker gang that he met in Brooklyn, New York. His earlier film, Fireworks (1947) is considered a pioneering work of homoerotic filmmaking.
In addition to his filmmaking, Anger founded and ran with fellow avant-garde filmmaker Curtis Harrington a short-lived screening society and distribution organization in Los Angeles in the '40s.
Anger is also probably most famously known as the author of the hugely successful gossip book Hollywood Babylon.
Much of the below filmography was constructed out of the Underground Film Timeline, where you can find out more about Anger and his place in underground film history. Since Anger has been known to continually revise and reedit -- and sometimes abandon -- his films, many of the films listed below have multiple dates.
Many of his earliest films have been restored and released on The Complete Magick Lantern Cycle DVD set.
Watch Streaming Films By Kenneth Anger:
Uniform Attraction (2009)
Brush of Baphomet (2009)
Ich Will! (2008)
My Surfing Lucifer (2008)
Elliott’s Suicide (2007)
I’ll Be Watching You (2007)
Mouse Heaven (2005)
The Man We Want to Hang (2002)
Lucifer Rising (1966-67, 1980)
Rabbit’s Moon (1950, 1979)
Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969)
KKK (Kustom Kar Kommandos) (1965)
Anger Aquarian Arcanum (1965)
Scorpio Rising (1963)
Histoire d’O (1959-61)
Thelema Abbey (1955)
Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome (1954, 1958, 1966)
Eaux d’Artifice (1953)
Maldoror (unfinished) (1951-52)
La Jeune Homme et La Mort (1951 or 1953)
La Lune des Lapins (unfinished) (1950)
Puce Moment (1949)
The Love That Whirls (unfinished) (1948)
Escape Episode (sound) (1946)
Drastic Demise (1945)
Escape Episode (silent) (1944)
The Nest (1943)
Prisoner of Mars (1942)
Tinsel Tree (1942)
Who Has Been Rocking My Dream Boat (1941)
Boston Film-Makers’ Cinematheque 1966-67: The Posters
Flashback: 2nd Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival: Award Winners
In 1966, as the underground film wave was sweeping the country, a Boston off-shoot of New York City’s Film-Makers’ Cinematheque… Read More…
Film Man’s Obscenity Conviction Reversed
The second annual Chicago Underground Film Festival was held in 1995, at multiple locations in the city, from Thursday, July… Read More…
Scorpio Rising — Kenneth Anger
From the Los Angeles Times, February 28, 1959: Conviction of Raymond Rohauer, 34, on the misdemeanor charge of exhibiting “obscene,… Read More…
Scorpio Rising: The 1964 Los Angeles Obscenity Trial
Scorpio Rising by Kenneth Anger. Completed in 1963. The film opens with a title card of Anger’s production company. It… Read More…
The Lid’s Off Morality! Hollywood Gets Word
In the Spring of 1964, Los Angeles theater manager Michael A. Getz was arrested and placed on trial for screening… Read More…
A couple of weeks ago the Hollywood vice detail confiscated “Scorpio Rising,” a film made by Kenneth Anger, as “led in nature.” A few days later, the Ford Foundation named Kenneth Anger as one of “12 American creative film makers who will receive grants totaling $118,500.”
Underground Film History 1964: 12 Filmmakers Receive $118,500 For Projects
Twelve American filmmakers will receive a total of $118,500 from the Ford Foundation in its first move to aid creative artists in motion pictures. The grants range up to $10,000 for a one-year period. They will be used by the recipients either to produce short films or for travel and study.
Underground Film History 1958: U.S. Movies Win Prizes At Brussels
Monday, April 28, 1958: Len Lye wins $5,000 for 2nd prize at the international experimental film competition in Brussels, Belgium.
Andrew Sarris: Underground Film Is For Lovers
Influential film critic Andrew Sarris, who passed away June 20, met his wife Molly Haskell at a screening of Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising.
2012 NFPF Avant-Garde Masters Grants Announced + Screenings
The National Film Preservation Foundation and The Film Foundation have awarded their annual Avant-Garde Masters Grants for 2012, which will save films by Mike Kuchar, Ian Hugo, Jud Yalkut and more.