Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

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tojoed
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Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#1 Post by tojoed » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:00 pm

Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

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NO LONGER AVAILABLE. To be released with DVD as Dual Format edition soon.

Renowned as the author of the scandalous best-selling book Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a legend in this own time. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films. At the heart of all this mythology is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and RW Fassbinder.

The films:
- Fireworks (1947)
- Puce Moment (1949)
- Rabbit's Moon (1950/1971, the rarely seen 16mins version)
- 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 (1979 version)
- Lucifer Rising (1981)

Extras
- Newly recorded commentaries by Kenneth Anger
- The Man We Want to Hang (2002) - Anger's film on the paintings of Aleister Crowley
- Restoration featurette (2009, 1080p/24 HD)
- Anger Me (Elio Gelmini, 2006, PAL 16x9 anamorphic)
- Fully illustrated booklet with essays and sketches
- PCM mono audio (48k/24-bit)

0

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Matt
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Re: Kenneth Anger's "Magick Lantern Cycle"

#2 Post by Matt » Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:38 pm

tojoed wrote:The BFI are releasing Kenneth Anger's "Magick Lantern Cycle" (Fireworks, Scorpio Rising and Lucifer Rising) on both DVD and Blu-Ray on 18th May 2009.
Oh god, and it's gonna be region B, isn't it?

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MichaelB
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Re: Kenneth Anger's "Magick Lantern Cycle"

#3 Post by MichaelB » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:30 pm

Matt wrote:Oh god, and it's gonna be region B, isn't it?
Well, the Jeff Keen Blu-ray set is region-free... but it depends entirely on what the rightsholder wants.

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Re: Kenneth Anger's "Magick Lantern Cycle"

#4 Post by Adam » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:11 pm

Kenneth would probably sell each territory separately...

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david hare
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#5 Post by david hare » Wed Feb 25, 2009 9:47 pm

I am extemely curious to see just how well these as 16mm originals will shape up on Blu. I bet they're a knockout, but I aint gonna splash until the whole lot are remastered to Blu, in whichever territory.

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zedz
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#6 Post by zedz » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:27 pm

david hare wrote:I am extemely curious to see just how well these as 16mm originals will shape up on Blu. I bet they're a knockout, but I aint gonna splash until the whole lot are remastered to Blu, in whichever territory.
This raises a side issue. I know these three particular films are very often linked together, but I've always understood the "Magick Lantern Cycle" to include all of Anger's films. That's certainly how Anger himself used to present them in person. Is the BFI release actually a 'complete works', or is this a new definition of the cycle?

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subliminac
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#7 Post by subliminac » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:19 pm

From the Amazon.uk Bluray listing:

A collection of cult films by experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Includes: FIREWORKS (1947), PUCE MOMENT (1949), RABBIT'S MOON (1950), EAUX D'ARTIFICE (1953), THE INAUGURATION OF THE PLEASURE DOME (1954), SCORPIO RISING (1963), KUSTOM KAR KOMMANDOS (1965), INVOCATION OF MY DEMON BROTHER (1969), LUCIFER RISING (1972). Previously only available in individual volumes, this collection presents the entire cycle in one definitive package.

BFI certainly has balls o steel when it comes to their unfolding Bluray line, if only every other company could be so adventurous. They are making my decision to go Region Free HD HTPC a year ago worth every penny.

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Peacock
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#8 Post by Peacock » Sat Feb 28, 2009 10:45 am

I won't be able to stop myself buying this, I just hope the special features are more extensive than the Fantoma

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denti alligator
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#9 Post by denti alligator » Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:42 am

BFI = label of the year

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foggy eyes
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#10 Post by foggy eyes » Sat Feb 28, 2009 12:10 pm

Will they be able to sort out the "judder" that mars Fantoma's transfer of Kustom Kar Kommandos? I'd be prepared to buy all the films again just for that.

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Matt
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#11 Post by Matt » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:51 pm

foggy eyes wrote:Will they be able to sort out the "judder" that mars Fantoma's transfer of Kustom Kar Kommandos? I'd be prepared to buy all the films again just for that.
I'm pretty sure that's in the original. It is technologically possible to stop the judder, but it would be expensive, time-consuming, and you'd be presenting the film in a way it was never seen originally.

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MichaelB
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#12 Post by MichaelB » Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:41 pm

Yes, basically you have to scan the film frame by frame and match each up to eliminate the original judder. The results can be spectacular - just compare the FWMS' restoration of Nosferatu (i.e. the recent MoC/Kino editions) with literally any of their predecessors - but it ain't cheap.

But I can assure you that the DVD/Blu-ray's technical supervisor will be reading this thread, and the issue will be taken on board, even if it proves impossible either financially or technically to do anything about it.

(I say "technically" because I'm not sure if the BFI's working with film materials or Fantoma's existing HD transfers - common sense would suggest the latter, as there's little point reinventing the wheel).

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Matt
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#13 Post by Matt » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:18 pm

Michael, do you know if the BFI owns any Anger prints? It might be worth taking a look at them in comparison with whatever is used for the master; Legend has it that Anger tried to make each print of a film unique in some way. If time and budget allow, it might be interesting to throw clips of such uniqueness onto the disc as extras.

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david hare
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#14 Post by david hare » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:25 pm

Matt the judder is not present in the 16mm print held in the Oz Sound and Film Archive. And it wasn''t present in the print that used to be held by the original Anthology FIlm Archives when they were still at Astor Place. I've seen it twice without judder but that was in the 1970s. I can only surmise the judder came about with a more recent positive release print (possibly a 35mm blowup) after the 1970s. I simply don't buy Anger's explanation for it.

EVen so I would love to think there is some relatively straitforward scanning technique the telecine operator could apply to attempt a correction on the Fantoma masters.

I was playing the Fantomas again and they are so fine even I was wondering how much better this could get. But theiy're a no brainer for Blu.

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foggy eyes
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#15 Post by foggy eyes » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:38 pm

Thanks, David. I just checked Sitney's Visionary Film, and he also makes explicit reference to "fluid movement" in KKK. Those tracking shots certainly feel like they should be completely smooth, and I doubt Sitney would just be talking about pro-filmic stuff rather than camera movement. How does "judder" like that actually get into a print in the first place?

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MichaelB
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Re: Kenneth Anger's "Magick Lantern Cycle"

#16 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:18 am

Matt wrote:Oh god, and it's gonna be region B, isn't it?
I am absolutely delighted to confirm that this will be region-free - and you have that direct from the mouth (or rather email) of the head of BFI DVD Publishing, so it's not a Chinese-whispers rumour.
david hare wrote:I was playing the Fantomas again and they are so fine even I was wondering how much better this could get. But theiy're a no brainer for Blu.
The Fantoma HD masters are indeed the source, but the BFI release will have additional digital restoration over and above what was done for the Fantoma release.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#17 Post by What A Disgrace » Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:00 am

With my younger brother poised to get a PS3, I eagerly await the opportunity to see these films in such high quality. Rabbit's Moon, Fireworks, Eaux d'artifice and Scorpio Rising...

MovieMail lists that the Blu Ray release will be a BR+DVD set. I assume the extra material will be on the DVD? What *is* the extra material?

Oggilby
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ANGER

#18 Post by Oggilby » Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:54 pm

Amazon.co.uk listing. No details other than it's 2-disc and a listing of the films.

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MichaelB
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#19 Post by MichaelB » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:21 am

Full specs announced:
Magick Lantern Cycle - Kenneth Anger

Self-styled magician Kenneth Anger is one of the most distinctive artists in cinema. On 25 May the BFI releases Anger’s Magick Lantern Cycle – a collection of ten experimental short films – on DVD and on Blu-ray for the first time. Kenneth Anger will be at BFI Southbank on 12 May to introduce a special screening of Rabbit’s Moon.

Renowned as the author of the scandalous best-selling book Hollywood Babylon, Kenneth Anger is a legend in his own time. The mythology that has grown around him has many sources, from his involvement with the occult, astrology and the pop world of Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Jimmy Page, to the announcement of his own death in the pages of the Village Voice, and the destruction, loss and banning of his films.

At the heart of all this mythology is a filmmaker of prodigious talent, whose skill and imagination create films of great visual force, influencing filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, David Lynch and RW Fassbinder.

The Magick Lantern Cycle, released in a 2-disc set, contains the following films: Fireworks (1947); Puce Moment (1949); Rabbit's Moon (1950/1971, the rarely seen 16 mins version); 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 (1979); Lucifer Rising (1981).

Special features
- Newly recorded commentaries by Kenneth Anger
- The Man We Want to Hang (2002) – Anger’s film on the art of Aleister Crowley
- Restoration work demo
- Anger Me (2006) – Elio Gelmini’s portrait of Kenneth Anger
- Illustrated booklet containing Modesty and the Art of Film (1951), an original article by Kenneth Anger; The Crowned and Conquering Child (2008), a newly commissioned essay by author Gary Lachman; and film credits

Release date: 25 May 2009
RRP: DVD £22.99 / Blu-ray £24.99
USA / 1947 - 1981 / colour and b&w / English / cert 18 / original aspect ratio 1.33:1
DVD: cat. no. BFIVD628 / 186 + 71 mins / DVD9 + DVD5 / Dolby Digital stereo audio
BD: cat. no. BFIB1010 / 188 mins + 71 mins / BD50 + DVD5 / 1080p / 24fps
As confirmed in my post above, the Blu-ray is region-free. And I believe the BFI is continuing the policy begun with GAZWRX - The Films of Jeff Keen and Nighthawks of making the Blu-ray content HD only (so it'll play on any machine anywhere in the world) and sticking supplementary SD PAL video material on a separate DVD.
Last edited by MichaelB on Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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What A Disgrace
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#20 Post by What A Disgrace » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:35 am

As soon as I get that PS3, this Blu Ray is mine.

Oggilby
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#21 Post by Oggilby » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:06 am

Well, this has to be the biggest BluRay surprise so far. I picked up the Fantoma DVDs thinking there's no way an HD release of Anger's films would be feasible.

(Also, funny how he's attending a screening considering Anger anounced he would be dead from cancer on Halloween '08)

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Peacock
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#22 Post by Peacock » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:16 pm

How does the 1979 Rabbit's Moon differ from the other two??

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Matt
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#23 Post by Matt » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:57 pm

Peacock wrote:How does the 1979 Rabbit's Moon differ from the other two??
There's no "other two." The split 1950/1971 date for Rabbit's Moon just reflects the date when Anger completed filming and when he actually released a "finished" version (it's sometimes 1972, depending on who you ask). The 1979 version is the sped-up, "It Came in the Night" version. There appear to be no versions extant earlier than the 1971 cut.

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Peacock
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#24 Post by Peacock » Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:47 pm

My bad! Thought it was a mistake and two versions had been grouped together there.
Really looking forward to this set!

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Rsdio
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Re: Kenneth Anger's Magick Lantern Cycle

#25 Post by Rsdio » Tue May 19, 2009 1:25 pm

I thought one or two people might be interested to know that there's a quadruple LP box set of Bobby Beausoleil's Lucifer Rising soundtrack coming soon, presumably of the material that was on the previous double CD set. We were offered it at work a couple of days ago and it sounds like it should be a beautiful thing, packaged with posters and the like. We're in the UK so our price is up in the air until we actually receive it but the US retail price was suggested to be around $60.

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