The Pleasure Dome: Lou Reed, Sonic Youth and More Celebrate Kenneth Anger
At last night’s benefit concert for the 40th anniversary of the Anthology Film Archives, emcee Ben Foster was quick to point out the archive’s “Cathedral” status as the city’s go to for cherished independent cinema. If that’s the case (and I’d say it is), then we gathered at Hiro ballroom last night to honor Anthology’s priest of Darkness, Kenneth Anger. Dressed in a red-on-red sweater with “ANGER” knit across the front, the humbled honoree looked more like your occultist-next-door than a high priest; however, the second he got on stage for a rare performance with his band, Techicolor Skulls, there was no doubt that we were in sovereign Kenneth’s satanic pleasure dome of sight and sound. Each of the night’s performances were supplemented by a video of the band’s choosing from the Anthology Film Archives. Technicolor Skulls appropriately played to the signs of Lucifer Rising, while the Virgins played to the sight of Maya Deren's The Very Eye of Night; Sonic Youth to Jonas Mekas' Walden(Diaries, Notes, and Sketches) and a subdued though powerful Reed entranced the crowd in front of Maya Deren's Meditations on Violence.
Re 'Technicolor Skull' .I had the privilege of seeing the unforgettable screening of Kenneth Anger's Pleasure Dome in 'polyvision' ( plus a subtrack of perfume -Aqua di Selva!) at the 1958 Festival International du Court-Metrage in Brussels. He was in his late twenties at the time. This fascinating three-screen version has to my knowledge never been seen again, it is in a sense the matrix of today's Technicolor Skull epiphany. -JG Paris